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1927 – The Mahad Satyagraha: ‘Erasure’ as a form of assertion

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The exhibition explores the concept of ‘erasure’ as a form of assertion, centring the Mahad Satyagraha as a pivotal moment of rupture within the practice of Untouchability in India.

This symbolic non-violent resistance on the Indian subcontinent became the most important encounter of social equality and liberation struggle for civil rights in India, led by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, at Mahad. 

To assert civil rights of denied access to water, Dr.Ambedkar and his delegates drank from the Chavadar tank, which took place at the 1st conference on 20th March,1927. 

The Dalit movement had considered Mahad as its declaration of independence.

Mahad, had preceded quarter of a century before the civil rights movement of African-Americans, as well had preceded Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha in 1930.

The following five artists works contextualize this historic event, and its refractions. Rajyashri Goody’s ‘Manu’,‘What Is The Caste Of Water’; Amol Patil’s ‘Let’s clean the hand’ artworks and Prabhakar Kamble’s performance are the first to respond to the Mahad Satyagraha, which forms the contextual core of this exhibition. 

Subjecting ‘purity and pollution’, the plight of sanitation workers is addressed by Amol Patil and Sudharak Olwe. Wherein, Prabhakar responds to Dalit lynching, through his resolute performance, ‘Human in Una’, which probes caste codes, understandings of humanism, as well embodies the Mahad subject. Ranjeeta Kumari’s work on the Constitution binds hope. 

The exhibition extends a collaborative project between Prabhakar Kamble, Rajyashri Goody and Rumi Samadhan. The exhibition artists respond to Mahad Satyagraha for the first edition of the ‘Little Blue Zine’.


Amol Patil, Rajyashri Goody, Ranjeeta Kumari, Prabhakar Kamble, Padma Shri Sudharak Olwe

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