Omprakash Valmiki autobiography Joothan : A Dalits life is a true account of his growing up in the caste-ridden Hindu society in Uttar Pradesh village. In writing this, he had to relive all the miseries, torments, neglects and admonitions which caused him deep mental anguish. It is, in his own words, a “narrative of pain” in which “ a lot has remained unsaid”. Joothan describes not only Valmiki’s pain but also that of his Dahit community, which this critical study focusses on and explores in the backdrop of the centuries old degradation and humiliation of the untouchables in the country. An attempt has also been made to tackle some of the critical and textual problems arising out of Valmiki’s searing narrative. Shakti Batra has been Vice-principal, Dyal Singh College (University of Delhi), has also taught at the Kabul University and the University of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.

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