Voices from the margin in Bhimayana: A postmodern perspective
The oft-argued and oft-quoted statement that Indian society is progressively becoming a casteless society in the wake of modernism is in fact a consensual view gathered by upper class people and projected by media. The fact is that the monolithic Hindu social order is making all measures and movements aimed at social justice inconsequential and ineffective prevailing over the rational and scientific attitude to life. The present study seeks to examine the above-said view in the graphic novel Bhimyana. The novel uses new art form—a fine blend of traditional Gond art and modern graphic/ comic art, rejecting the conventional sequential art. The novel manifests the experiences and struggles of Amedkar against the evil of untouchability in the past by connecting it to the experiences of Dalits in the recent times. The novel in a way is a strong critique of Hindu social order that deprives Dalits of natural and human rights in the name of purity and social sanctity. The text not only highlights the hardships and sufferings of Dalits in the past and present times but also foregrounds the struggles of Dalits to get unshackled from the system of denial and deprivation, debasement and despotism. The novel underscores the view that unless and until Indian society dispenses with the system based on the arbitrary norm of purity and impurity cannot be a progressive one.