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Mukta Salve: The First Female Dalit Writer!

Mukta Salve, a granddaughter of Lahuji Salve, a fourteen-year ‘Matanga’ (distant) young lady concentrating for a long time and examining in the third standard in the school of Mahatma and Sawitrbai Phule, was regarded for the best article in school by Major Candy. In answer, she said in English, “Sir, give us Library and no chocolates.”

Mukta Salve
Mukta Salve

Her article on “Dharma” (Religion) was perused in a social occasion of around 3000 individuals in the nearness of Major Candy. A few considerations in her paper merit recalling even now, following century and a half, as she brought up the issue fit for breaking entire of Brahminism. On the off chance that we are not approved to peruse the sacred texts made by Brahmins, she asked, how do the Brahmins have a place with our religion?

Mukta Salve said:

“The Brahmins say that the Vedas are their own property. Only we should see them. This makes it clear that we do not have a book of religion. If the Vedas are for Brahmins, it is the duty of Brahmins to behave according to the Vedas.  If we have no right to see the book of religion, we are people devoid of religion. It is very clear. Is it not? So Oh God, inform us what is the religion coming from you. So that we all would get the experience accordingly.”

“They had continued the practice of feeding us oil and vermilion and burring us in the foundations of the buildings and forts and cause our genocide. Those days, if a Mahar or a Mang walk past their door, they would play the game of ball in the ‘gul tekdi’ making his head the ball and sword would be the bat. Such was the ban on walking past the gates of king practicing untouchability. How was it possible to get permission to learn? If somebody learned to read, and if Bajirao (Peshava) comes to know it, he would say. ‘These Mahar Mangs are reading, though untouchables. What should the Brahmins do, give them the Office work and take the barber’s bag and look for the job of tonsuring the widows, for themselves?’ So saying he used to punish them.”

“If I narrate these atrocities in detail, I feel like crying. Therefore, God has been kind to us that he sent the kind English Government to rule over us, and thereby we were relieved of these tyrannical cruelties.”

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