Outcaste is based on the famous autobiography of Dalit writer Sharan Kumar Limbale titled Akkarmashi in Marathi. The text deals with the anguish and irreverence of the cultural ferment that opened up the Marathi literature to Dalit writings. As a first-person account of the struggle against poverty, deprivation, discrimination and violence, Outcaste captures the dehumanizing impact of caste oppression in Hindu society. In tracing the author’s gradual awakening to selfhood and maturity, the play provides an inside view of life in a Mahar village. A reflection of the darker side of India, this novel is a bitter critique of the lack of compassion that the lower castes have endured for centuries. A true milestone that publicized the Dalit cause, the Marathi original went through four editions. An acknowledged masterpiece in the Mahar dialect, The Outcaste asserts the Dalit inner quest for identity using original language, idiom, metaphor and imagery.
“The Outcaste is a very complex novel, but not a text made to perform. This is an autobiography, so the text demands a different kind of treatment for a performance. Every text is complex on its own demanding an objective performing language. The Outcaste talks about the dehumanizing impact of caste oppression in Hindu society and the narrator is haunted by the question of his fractured identity. It is not a novel or a story; not even a play. It opens so many windows for creativity. It makes us realize the atrocious lives of people living in remote areas of India. The suffering of Sharan Kumar Limbale, writer of this autobiography, is not only his suffering; it represents millions of people who fight for their self-respect and dignity. Their lives may have different references but the pain, agony and suffering remain the same. It is not only the question of the writer, it is the question of our ethics, society, religion, caste and our values which are directly connected to our cruel system expecting no one’s sympathy. Even questioning these anger and irritate the System.”