Grupės ir aplinkos : tarpdisciplininis mokslo darbų leidinys = Groups and environments : interdisciplinary research studies. Kaunas : Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas, 2015, nr. 4, p. 49-76
Based on the fieldwork yielding 24 unstructured in-depth interviews at universities of Hyderabad, India, the present paper analyses Dalit, known as the ex-untouchable, students' identity politics from the perspective of Subaltern Studies. The focus on Dalit students' cultural festivals provides a framework for the analysis and the conceptualisation of the subaltern's autonomy. Dalit students venture to reconstruct their identity in cultural and historical terms by creating an ideological framework for the establishment of an alternative "counter culture" which is infused and fused with negative anti-Brahmanical, anti-Hindu and anti-nationalist connotations, as well as claims for cultural difference. On the other hand, the desired cultural difference is achieved through re-interpretation of the dominant Hindu culture. Paradoxically, Dalits achieve the aim of cultural differentiation through becoming part of the dominant discourse paradigm. Otherwise stated, the Dalit "counter culture" is directed against Hindu nationalist discourse, but the "counter culture" manifests and represents itself through symbols of the dominant discourse. This paradox evokes the dichotomous view posited by the Subaltern School. The dichotomy is posed as a question: whether the subaltern embodies autonomous culture and politics (Guha, 1988) or whether the subaltern is inevitably an effect of the logic of the dominant discourse. The latter relates to Gayatri Spivak's question "Can the Subaltern. Speak?" (Spivak, 2006). By illustrating the reciprocal relationship between the dominant and the dominated, and the inevitable entanglement with each other, this article assumes a reciprocal understanding of social relations between subalternity and domination as continuously constituting each other (Chatterjee, 1993; Prakash, 1994; O'Hanlon, 1988).