Yashika Dutt is one of the leading Indian authors, writers and journalists based in New York. She is recognized around the world for her work on complex issues such as gender equality, identity, caste and class.
Yashika Dutt was born on Wednesday, 5 February 1986 (age 38 years; as in 2024) in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
She attended Sophia Boarding School in Merta City, Nagpur, India and then earned a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, India. Later, she completed a master’s degree in Arts and Culture Journalism from Columbia University in New York, United States.
Height (Approx): 5′ 3″
Hair Color: Medium Brown
Eye colour: dark brown
Yashika Dutt is from a poor family of Rajasthan.
parents and siblings
Yashika Dutt’s father was an excise officer, and her mother, Shashi, worked in several jobs. He has two brothers and sisters.
Yashika Dutt grew up in a family that belonged to the group that is considered to be at the lowest rung in the hierarchy of the caste system in Indian society, i.e. Dalits, also known as untouchables. She grew up learning to hide her identity as a Dalit. Yashika was seven years old when she joined a boarding school in Merta City, located in Nagpur district in Rajasthan, India. His mother, Shashi, was concerned about his admission in a good private school as she was aware of his financial status and discrimination in the society based on caste. Yashika’s mother advised her to hide her identity of being a Dalit and pretend to be ‘upper caste’ to ensure a safe and discrimination-free journey to education in school. When she was studying in a boarding school, she was living with ‘upper caste’ girls, which helped her pretend to be one of them in a better way by observing and adopting their lifestyle. According to Yashika, when she was studying in a boarding school, she faced discrimination for her dark skin color and she started applying face packs made by her mother to hide her dark skin color. . Being convent school educated and having ‘dark’ skin, Yashika could easily appear as a non-Dalit. His family stopped using the surname ‘Nidania’ and adopted the surname ‘Datt’. Yashika Dutt’s first public confession of being ‘low caste’ came at the age of 15, when she went to a friend’s house (as she always did), her friend’s mother called her inside and offered her a glass of water. Gave. Yashika was sitting in front of her friend’s parents when they came across a question about her caste, to which she decided to answer honestly and told them the truth. Immediately after learning about her caste, he tried to pass himself off as a liberal and then asked her to leave. After a few days, when she met her friend and tried to talk to her, her friend told her that her parents had asked her to stop keeping in touch.
In 2016, in an interview, Yashika Dutt talked about her school and college days when she used to hide her identity as a Dalit. She revealed that she did it with such conviction that people immediately believed her. He said,
My convent school education, a non-Dalit last name, and a skin tone that was ‘dark but still not dirty’ made my path as a non-Dalit easy. “Son, which caste do you belong to?” “Aunty, Brahmin.” A lie that I told so often and with so much conviction that I fooled not only my friends’ mothers but also myself. ,
Yashika Dutt kept her caste hidden for more than a decade. He declared himself a Dalit in 2016, following the incident of Rohit Vemula, an Indian PhD student at Hyderabad Central University, who committed suicide in protest against the discrimination faced by all Dalits across South Asia, including himself. He invited Dalits to write their stories. And share them on Facebook and Tumblr.
Yashika Dutt has worked as chief correspondent at Brunch, Hindustan Times. He has also worked as a freelance journalist with The Wire, Livemint, HuffPost India and Scroll.in.
Yashika Dutt joined Hindustan Times in 2011 as a fashion writer. He has written several articles and essays such as ‘The Specter of Caste in Silicon Valley’ (14 July 2020), published in The New York Times, ‘The Oscar-Nominated Film That Offers ‘A Masterclass in Journalism’ (14 February 2022), published in The Atlantic Published, ‘Feeling Like an Outcast – An Indian Dalit Reading of Isabel Wilkerson’s Bestseller ‘Caste” (17 September 2020), Published in Foreign Policy, ‘Long Live Comrade Gayle” (12 September 2021), Published in Foreign Policy, and ‘Indian matchmaking exposes the easy acceptance of caste’ (1 August 2020), published in The Atlantic.
Yashika Dutt’s book ‘Coming out as a Dalit: A Memoir’ (2019), draws attention to the Indian racism faced by Dalits. It highlights his journey of pulling himself up the social ladder over more than a decade as a ‘presumed non-Dalit’. He has expressed his views on how Dalits have to hide their identity to survive in the society. In ‘Coming out as a Dalit: A Memoir’ Yashika Dutt says,
“We leave behind our food, our songs, our culture and our surname, so that we can be ‘better’ and ‘purer’, more ‘upper’ caste and less Dalit. We do not leave our Dalitness behind just so that we can assimilate more easily. We do this because sometimes it is our only option.”
According to Yashika, the inspiration to write this book came from the experiences of several Dalits which they shared on ‘Documents of Dalit Discrimination’, a platform started by Yashika for Dalits to share their stories of caste discrimination. The stage is; Yashika started this platform to give Dalits a wider space to share their experiences, which they did not get in the newsrooms of traditional media houses. ‘Coming Out as a Dalit: A Memoir’ won several awards.
He received the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (National Letter Award of India) in 2020 for his book Coming Out as a Dalit: A Memoir (2019).
Food: Eggs, toast and seafood
- Yashika often shares pictures of her breakfast through posts on social media.
- She admires Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic and author Margo Jefferson.