This issue of Summerhill is the counter-hegemonic cultural role that poetry in India has played throughout the many centuries of its existence. Indian poetry, like Indian philosophy, has a long tradition of creative dissent as it has always been alert to its surroundings and has worked against diverse forms of cultural hegemony. This tradition begins with folk and adivasi poetry where the people speak about their different origins, subvert status-quo myths and raise their voices against the masters who deny them their rights. We also have folk and tribal epics that are parallel to the mainstream epics, at times taking themes from Ramayana and Mahabharata and giving them new, often subaltern, interpretations or celebrating folk heroes.

Published: 2015-06-30