Good dalits and bad brahmins: Melodramatic realism in dalit short stories

Laura Brueck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article examines the literary strategies that shape contemporary Dalit fictional prose in Hindi. Based on the analysis of two short stories by the prolific Dalit writers Omprakash Valmiki and Jaiprakash Kardam, it is argued that the contributions of Dalit literature arise today not only in the context of a social movement, but are increasingly apparent through the development of a new, hybrid melodramatic-realist literary aesthetic. New critical scholarship of Dalit literature in India is therefore needed to appreciate the ongoing expansion of such forms of literature across linguistic and geographical regions in India as a postmodern sphere of subaltern social protest. Such fresh analytical attention to Dalit strategies of artistic expansion and literary growth will undoubtedly enliven the hitherto largely bland sociological conversations about Dalit literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-144
Number of pages20
JournalSouth Asia Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 23 2010


  • Ambedkar
  • Counterpublic
  • Dalits
  • Hindi
  • Literature
  • Melodrama
  • Narrative
  • Realism
  • Short stories
  • Subalternity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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