Dalits and the left: Eelam writer K Daniel’s Pañcamar

When and Where

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm


Daniel Vasanthan
Mark Balmforth (McGill University)
Srilata Raman (University of Toronto)
Ashik Kumar (University of Toronto)


The decades preceding the civil war in postcolonial Sri Lanka saw an explosion of communist led movements to end the practice of caste and untouchability, especially in the Tamil northern province. These movements also created a generation of Dalit writers, many of who became left movement leaders, who changed the landscape of Tamil literature. K Daniel is generally considered the brightest spark of this generation and his first novel Pañcamar, which tells the story of how Dalits in the northern province embraced communism and fought the caste system, is a classic of modern Tamil literature and an essential historical document.

Professor Srilata Raman and graduate student Ashik Kumar are members of the Department for the Study of Religion. 

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Centre for South Asian Critical Digital Humanities