A good literature is one which reaches out to people and makes an impact on the society said Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi Awardee Ponneelan here on Wednesday.

Delivering the Tamil Writer D. Jayankanthan endowment lecture at Tamil University, Mr. Ponneelan described Jayakanthan as a writer who introduced novelty and reformist thinking in his novels in the 20th century. “Jayakanthan's Agni Pravesam can be considered as a pioneering and powerful story that championed the cause of women freedom and liberation,” Ponneelan said. Mr. Jayakanthan's and Kalki's novels were read widely and had good fan following . Literature should reach out to people and it should not limit itself within the confines of literacy . It should make an impact on society, should transform history, and demolish hurdles that hinder the growth of society, Mr. Ponneelan said.

It was the British who started writing the history of India. In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, concentration of intellectuals turned towards uplifting the downtrodden. British wrote on oppressed communities. In the 20th century, Freedom struggle got momentum. It was also followed by movements in support of land freedom, against caste discrimination, and linguistic freedom. Gandhian movement, Ambedkarism, Periyarism and Marxism spread throughout the country. Modern literature like novels reflected these developments .

Mr. Ponneelan recalled the works of Prof. Vanamamalai in 1960 that brought folk songs and stories within the domain of social research. Universities and Colleges started recognising folk studies.

He cited S. Dharuman's “Koogai”, P. Venkatesan's “Kaval Kottam”, Joe D'Cruz's “Aazhi Soozh Ulagu” and his own “Marupakkam” as novels that reconstructed history, searched for contemporary roots.

Mr. Ponneelan said that any society would develop only when the literature flourishes from within.

M. Rajendran, Vice Chancellor, Tamil University, presided over the function. Professors Eswara Pillai and Kamarasu participated.