In this path-breaking study, a first in many ways, Anandita Pan argues that dalit women are an intersectional category, simultaneously affected by caste and gender. The use of intersectionality permits observation of the ways in which different forms of discrimination combine and overlap, challenging the apparent homogeneity of the categories ‘woman’ and ‘dalit’ as seen by mainstream Indian Feminism and Dalit Politics. This points to the difference between women and dalit women and the latter with dalit men, which leave them unrepresented.
The book investigates the questions of ‘selfhood’, identity, representation and epistemology which reveal the ‘savarnanization’ of ‘Indian woman’ and the masculinization of ‘dalit’. There is an incisive discussion of knowledge produced about dalit women and the intervention and contribution of Dalit Feminism therein. The book concludes with the question of who can be or become a dalit feminist, intriguingly, not a limited category.