The working class art forms along with Marxist literature have been a critical source towards the emancipation of the working classes. The Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association (TNPWAA) which was founded in the year 1975 espoused the ideology of ‘Art for People’s Sake.’
The Association, through various literary and cultural performances promotes progressive ideas of liberation and sensitises the masses on various socio-economic and political issues that affect them. TNPWAA’s ‘Kalai Iravu’ is a cultural signifier of their work.
This year’s Kalai Iravu held here at Tallakulam Grounds on Saturday night centered on themes of anti-caste marriages and annihilation of caste towards creation of an equal and just society.
Speaking earlier, A.N.Santharam in his welcome address spoke about the transition in art forms in terms of its performers and receivers, art performances were earlier done to satisfy Gods, later to satisfy rulers and aristocrats. The 19 century saw a shift towards ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ and later influenced by Marxism, it was ‘Art for People’s Sake and this Kalai Iravu is for people’s sake.
P. Kavitha Kumar, TNPWAA, Madurai secretary, said that Kalai Iravu’s forte is to have the traditional art forms like Paraiattam, Oyillattam and folk songs, skit or satirical comedy speak a progressive language.
Su. Venkatesan, general secretary of the association said that it is important to remember Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on Republic Day as his ideas shaped the creation of modern India. Taking a dig at Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss, he said, “it is really sordid to note that in a progressive State like Tamil Nadu we are witnessing such efforts to mobilise people on the basis of caste against the oppressed sections.” TNPWAA praised Madurai Collector for imposing a ban on PMK leader’s entry into Madurai. R. Thirunavukkarasu, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Madurai, in his felicitation asked the audience to have clean thoughts and actions which would benefit every section of the society.
TNPWAA honoured poets Parinaman, Navakavi and Vaiyampatti Muthusamy for their poems and earthy songs which depicted the lives of subalterns. The association also honoured Seenu Ramasamy, director of the award winning movie Thenmerku Paruvakatru for his realistic portrayal of human emotions.