" Democracy was
also a great narrative and not merely a monolithic kind of democratic participation."

About the Centre

Given the socio-political and stirrings among the Dalits aiming at their births and ignorable past and creating a salubrious future, it is important not only to document the various elements of their stirring but also tocreate a data base for the use of intellectuals and social and political activists. The Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute has, keeping this objective in mind, established a Dalit Resource centre. Dalit Resource Centre (DRC), Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya, focuses on the creation of a corpus of knowledge related to the emergence and assertion of Dalit communities, especially in the contemporary socio-political arena of Uttar Pradesh. This helps in understanding the process of creation of Dalit public sphere and the contribution of Dalit popular booklets and print media in its evolvement. The DRC is in the process of identifying and interviewing popular Dalit writers residing in different pockets of Uttar Pradesh. A comprehensive map of Dalit publication centre has been developed for the purpose that helps in identifying the whereabouts of these writers on the basis of which interviews are then planned and conducted.

Detailed interview of Dalit popular writers have helped in highlighting the contribution of their writings in creating Dalit public sphere and promoting participation of Dalits in the democratic process. DRC’s research is not limited to oral sources alone. Whatever relevant written or printed materials like, essays, poems, songs, discourses, couplets, etc. are available will form a part of the DRC’s archive. This will ensure continuity and will fill up gaps in the understanding of the emergence of Dalit public sphere.

The DRC’s area of concentration is Uttar Pradesh where the phenomenon of writing and producing Dalit popular booklets for their political mobilization is wide-spread. The fieldwork, being the nucleus around which the activities of DRC is carried out is concentrated in four zones of UP, i.e., Central Uttar Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Western Uttar Pradesh and Bundelkhand. Our target groups are Dalit popular writers, organic intellectuals in the communities and the fast growing Dalit literate group; non-Dalit literate population; mainstream writers and publishers; scholars, researchers, academicians, policy makers, activists and N.G.O’s and university and college teachers.

The following types of documentation are undertaken in the project: Conducting interviews and constructing biographical notes of the Dalit popular writers earmarked in the map; making abstracts of Dalit Popular booklets; preparation of anthology both in Hindi and English of few selected booklets; audio-visual documentation of informal meetings, conferences and socio-cultural activities in Dalit communities.

The DRC is well equipped with varied nature of modern facilities that help in its smooth functioning. It includes a reading room that displays a rich collection of Dalit popular booklets, collected during the course of field visit from different parts of Uttar Pradesh. These booklets have been organized under different heads, such as Kabir, Raidas, Dalit Discourse, Ambedkar, Buddha and Buddhism, etc. It also has a conference section, where meetings and discussions pertaining to criticalissues related to Dalit studies are held. The DRC also encompasses separate chambers for Project Directors, Archivist, and Project staff.


Copyright © 2012 Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute. All Rights Reserved.
A project supported by the Ford Foundation