Age: 36 Years
Some lesser known facts about Yashika Dutt
- Yashika Dutt – a New York-based writer who writes on troubling issues of gender equality, caste discrimination, class and identity – hails from a poor family in Rajasthan.
- He was raised in a family that is viewed as untouchable, who is also recognized as the lowest group in the caste system hierarchy in Indian society i.e. Dalit.
- According to Yashika, her mother, Shashi, was worried about her admission in a private school as she knew that survival in a school would become complicated and worse for Yashika due to poor financial position belonging to such caste in the society, in which the students were Even from the upper class. Sensing the situation, Shashi advises Yashika to hide her identity of being a “Dalit” and make everyone in the school believe that she belongs to the upper class of the society.
- In an interview, Yashika Dutt shared how she used to follow her mother’s advice and did everything possible to ensure that no one got to know her caste. Yashika also revealed that she used to observe the lifestyle of other “upper class” girls in her hostel. In addition, Yashika often applied ubtans (face packs) that her mother had given her to avoid the “Dalit look” on her face. Yashika said,
I was born a light-skinned child who grew progressively darker, until my skin color was similar to that of my mother’s. This became a constant concern for him. Before I was old enough to remember or resist, he started showering me with rubbish—something I had no choice but to follow through until middle school. ,
My seven years so far have taught me nothing about standing up for myself, or defending what I felt is right. What I also lacked was the authority that the combination of wealth and caste pride allows many people, even at that young age, to take on older, more influential threats with tenacity. I was poor and pretending to be an upper caste in a hostel full of mostly older girls; I had to fit in. ,
- In the interview, Yashika admitted that studying in a convent school and changing her surname was helpful for her to appear as a non-Dalit in the society. He said,
My convent school education, a non-Dalit last name, and skin complexion that was ‘smoky but still not dirty’ facilitated my passing as a non-Dalit. “Son, what race are you from?” “Aunt, brahmin.” A lie I told so many times and with such confidence that I fooled not only my friends’ mother but myself as well.”
- According to Yashika, her family adopted the surname ‘Dutt’ and changed her original surname to ‘Nidaniya’.
- In an interview, Yashika Dutt recalled her first experience of publicly accepting her cast as a downtrodden. According to her, she was 15 when she went to her friend’s house, where she was offered a glass of water by her friend’s mother, and right after that, she was asked about her caste. Yashika replied honestly; However, after learning about his caste he was asked to leave. Yashika said that a few days later when she met her friend again, she told Yashika that her parents wanted her not to be friends with her.
- According to Yashika, she did not tell anyone about her caste for more than a decade.
- Reportedly, in 2016, Yashika Dutt publicly came out as a Dalit after an Indian PhD student at Hyderabad Central University committed suicide to protest discrimination against all Dalits across South Asia, including her own.
- After declaring herself a Dalit, Yashika invited people to write about her share of stories and send them to Facebook and Tumblr.
- Inspired by the experiences shared by people from different parts of the country on ‘Document of Dalit Discrimination’, Yashika Dutt has created a platform for people facing discrimination and going through depression to share their experiences so that They can feel better in any way possible. Well, Yashika decided to write a book on the same which turned out to be an award winning book.
- In 2019, Yashika came up with ‘Coming Out as Dalit: A Memoir’, a book containing real-life experiences that emphasizes the discrimination faced by Dalits in India. Yashika wrote in her book,
We leave behind our food, our songs, our culture and our surnames, so we can be ‘better’ and ‘pure’, more ‘upper’ caste and less Dalit. We don’t leave our oppression behind just so that we can mingle more easily. We do it because sometimes it’s our only option.”
- Yashika loves to make healthy breakfast and often shares pictures of it on her social media.