Rewriting Meghadutam: A Narrative of the Marginalized
M Sridhar and Alladi Uma
GABBILAM: A DALIT EPIC by Gurram Jashuva(Translated from the original Telugu by Chinnaiah Jangam) Yoda Press, 2022, 106 pp., INR 399
September 2023, volume 47, No 9

Chinnaiah Jangam’s translation of Telugu Dalit poet Gurram Jashuva’s Gabbilam, a re-writing in itself of Kalidasa’s Meghadutam, is a significant contribution to Dalit discourse in India and to the literatures of the marginalized in any part of the world.  His translating the poem afresh, which has had two earlier English translations by IAS officers from the Dalit community, is a bold and laudable attempt, for it succeeds not only in placing the text in its social, historical and literary context but also in raising the status of Telugu Dalit literature in an international setting.  It has a thirty-seven-page introduction with copious notes to enrich the main text.  To top it all, it has illustrations by Laxman Ale, an artist from Telangana of international standing. It is a book that needs to find a place on the bookshelves of every college and university.

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