The Voice of a Dalit Feminist

An Interview with Urmila Pawar

  • Mahuya Bhaumik

Abstract

Urmila Pawar is a prolific Dalit feminist writer who belongs to the Mahar community of
Maharashtra. She is a social activist whose protesting voice has been a source of inspiration for
thousands of Dalit women. Despite encountering diverse levels of discrimination on the basis of
caste and gender she completed her Masters in Marathi Literature and chose to write about the
women of her society and their marginalised position. Her autobiography Aaidan, written in
Marathi, has been translated into English as The Weave of My Life: A Dalit Woman’s Memoirs
and published by Columbia University Press. Her short story 'Kavach' has been included in the
syllabus for SNDT Women's University and her documentation with Meenakshi Moon on the
participation of Dalit women has been a seminal contribution to the construction of Dalit history
from a feminist perspective.
I went to Urmila Pawar's house in Mumbai in early 2019 to take the interview. I was
touched by her warm hospitality. She spoke sometimes in English and at times in Hindi. Then I
compiled the entire conversation in English. The following version is published with her
approval.

Urmila Pawar
Published
2020-01-22
Section
Interviews