Baburao Bagul

(17 July 1930 - 26 March 2008 / Vihitgaon, Nashik district, Maharashtra / India)

Biography of Baburao Bagul

Baburao Bagul poet

Baburao Bagul (Devanagari: बाबुराव बागूल) was a Marathi writer from Maharashtra, India; a pioneer of Dalit literature in Marathi and an important figure in the Indian short story during late 20th century, when it experienced a radical departure from the past, with the advent of Dalit writers such as him.

He is most known for his works such as, "Jevha Mi Jaat Chorli" (1963), " Maran Swasta Hot Ahe" (1969), "Dalit Sahitya Ajache Kranti Vigyan", "Sud" (1970), and "Ambedkar Bharat".

Biography

Baburao Ramaji Bagul was born in Nashik in 1930. After high school education, he did various manual jobs until 1968. While doing so, he published several stories in magazines, which started getting attention from Marathi readers. Eventually in 1963, came his first collection of stories, Jevha Mi Jat Chorali (जेव्हा मी जात चोरली) (When I had Concealed My Caste), it created a stir in Marathi literature with its passionate depiction of a crude society and thus brought in new momentum to Dalit literature in Marathi; today it is seen by many critics as the epic of the Dalits, and was later made into a film by actor-director Vinay Apte.

He followed it up with a collection of Dalit poems, Akar (Shape) (1967), which gave immediate visibility, but it was his second collection of short stories Maran Swasta Hot Ahe (Death is Getting Cheaper) (1969), which cemented his position as an important Dalit voice of his generation. The collection is now considered an important landmark in Dalit writing in India and in 1970 he was awarded the 'Harinarayan Apte Award' by the Government of Maharashtra.

After 1968, he became a full-time writer of literature which continued to deal with the lives of marginalized Dalit people in Maharashtra. His fictional writing gave graphic accounts of the lives of that class of people. The thoughts of Karl Marx, Jyotiba Phule, and Babasaheb Ambedkar had an influence on Bagul's mind. He soon became an important radical thinker of the Dalit movement, and published a major ideologue of the Dalit Panther, Manifesto of Dalit Panther, in 1972. In the same year he presided over the 'Dalit Literary Conference' held at Mahad. Over the years his stories taught future Dalit writers to give creative rendition to their autobiographical narratives.

He died on March 26, 2008 at Nashik, and was survived by his wife, two sons, two daughters.

Subsequently, the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University instituted the 'Baburao Bagul Gaurav Puraskar' award in recognition of his contributions to Marathi literature, to be given annually to the maiden story writing productions of a budding short-story writer.

Baburao Bagul's Works:

Jevha Mi Jat Chorali (जेव्हा मी जात चोरली) (1963)
"Maran Swasta Hot Ahe (मरण स्वस्त होत आहे) (1969)
Sud (सूद) (1970)
"Dalit Sahitya Ajache Kranti Wignyan (दलित साहित्य आजचे क्रांतिविज्ञान)
Ambedkar Bharat (आंबेडकर भारत)

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