The ‘Ambedkar Cartoon Controversy’ 1 that rocked the Indian Parliament on 11 May 2012 raised a number of Dalit 2 issues in the ensuing intellectual debate in the print and electronic media. One issue of interest revolved around the Dalit response of feeling ‘insulted’ by the ‘laughter’ apparent in the cartoon. A majority of the non-Dalit participants, including those highly sympathetic to Dalit causes, have argued that this response has been typically ‘emotional’ rather than ‘rational’. While the use of such binaries hardly serves much purpose, Gopal Guru, the eminent Dalit scholar, found it necessary to remind the participants of the long tradition of Dalit rational debates, that the current cartoon controversy was an insult to a long 190tradition of deliberative processes that have remained an integral part of the Dalit public sphere (Guru 2012). Despite historical and social conditions denying the untouchables any access to rational knowledge, Dalits, along with other oppressed sections of Indian society, have found their own ways of discursive reasoning and expression. Surviving specimens of this are available in poetic works in different South Asian languages.