There is a concept of performativity in Social Science, where a victim or an oppressed has to ‘perform’ her oppression every time for her to assert her rights. A very simple example would be how a tribal has to prove her backwardness to the authorities to claim their entitled rights. In terms of literature, a women writer has to perform her feminism every time she writes, for there are questions too often which asks her about the ‘women’s perspective’ in her writing.
Ambai recollects how the courtesy of offering water to a guest when you enter a household in the rural Tamil Nadu was a subtle way of enquiring about her caste. Not just the rural area, even in the urban set up there indeed are people who refuse to rent out houses to Muslims and Dalits, added Murugan.