Living in the Margin : A Study of Bama’s Karukku.


  • Mrs. Anitha Merin Vincent Assistant Professor, Department of English, Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India



Untouchability, Paraya, Caste Discrimination, Christians.


Bama published her autobiography “Karukku” in 1999. This unusual autobiography helps the reader understand the lives of the Tamil Dalit Christians. Even though Bama’s purpose of writing the book was to heal her “inward wounds”, the book has touched the heart of the readers. Karukku helps us understand the realities of the lives of Dalits. Bama looks at various aspects of the Dalit reality – a village which is divided on the basis of caste, Paraya men and women who cannot seem to overcome poverty in spite of working hard, children who are forced to learn lessons of untouchability at a very young age, the apathy of the church etc.  An in-depth study of the text throws light on the pains of caste discrimination, untouchability and poverty that Dalit Christians experience. This paper, by the study of Karukku, tries to understand the realities of the Tamil Dalit Christians.


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Bama. Karukku. Translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Abraham, Joshil k and Misrahi-Barack, Judith, editors. Dalit Literatures In India. New Delhi: Routledge, 2016.

Gunn, Janet Warner. Autobiography Towards a Poetics of Experience. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1982.




How to Cite

Merin Vincent, M. A. . (2021). Living in the Margin : A Study of Bama’s Karukku. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 9(1), 223–232.