Journal of Literature and Aesthetics is one of the most esteemed and venerated journals of IWE. Over the years, the editor Dr. S. Sreenivasan has been serving the Muse with a selfless yet thankless job of an editor (thankless as seldom editors of literary journals are recognized by any institution for any award or any other encouragement activity) but the zeal and spirit of projecting something ‘good’ and ‘worth-reading’ keeps on charging their batteries for a never ending light to their fellow poets, scholars, authors and above-all readers who ultimately and eagerly wait for any issue of a literary journal to come as it quenches their creative thirst of reading and knowing more of the contemporary scenario.
It is also no less exhilarating to note when a journal focuses on a theme, (because as an editor myself I can unique how tough it is gather quality stuff and then again whiff the chaff from the grains by editing the submissions) which are ‘less explored’ or even ‘unexplored’ hitherto. The present two issues comprising poems, short stories, interviews, articles, one acts play, symposium, excerpts from the novel and autobiography deserve to be termed as magnum opus of Dalit Literature of India which is also a debatable, yet a well-acknowledged reality among academics despite few counter claims of non-entity of Dalit Literature even. Few scholars hold that it is an off-shoot of protest literature only or the essential condition of being primarily a Dalit for being a Dalit writer narrows its scope. I strongly recommend our fellow scholars, to take perusal (esp. the ones who hold the above view) of these 4 issues published in two parts so that they may make an upright sense of this fast-establishing branch as well as acknowledge its separate and peculiar existence.
These two volumes have significantly enriched Dalit Literature of India by inclusion of literature not only in English language but also, Bengali, Gujrati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telgu. These two volumes are perfect in the sense as the articles are thought-provoking, poetry is protective yet real, short stories are another woe-begone saga of Pains of Dalit community, and interviews again are entertaining and eye-openers to the researchers.
However I was a bit reluctant to read the article “Oppositional Aesthetics: Hindi Dalit Literature Today” (Vol: 1, page-157) of Dr. S. C. Dwivedi when I found him including Dr Mahendra Bhatnagar in the list of Dalit writers of Hindi. It is significant to mention that Dr Mahendra Bhatnagar is a progressive writer chiefly. One will certainly and not very easily not find him writing especially for Dalit cause. Otherwise, the article is nicely written like other articles of the journal.
The editor has sought help of his consultant editors who are themselves experts in their native language literatures, like Om Prakash Balmiki, (Hindi) Dr Sharankumar Limbale (Marathi), Harish Mangalam (Gujrati) Arvind Malagatti (Kannada), Dr. V. V. B. Rama Rao and Dr. K. Purushotam (Telgu), Dr. Jayadeep Sarangi (Bengali) and Dr. Amiya Kumar Patra (Oriya), so he should be congratulated especially as he is key figure who with the help of his Associate Dr. Manoj S. could put the present volumes before us.