Says objective will be to create literary unity
Noted Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee Ponneelan has been elected as the all-India president of the Progressive Writers' Association.
Mr. Pooneelan was elected unanimously on the final day of the association's three-day convention held from April 12 in New Delhi. He assumed charge on the same day. The first Tamil writer to be elected president of this body, he will hold this post for a period of four years.
Mr. Ponneelan is at present presidium member of the Tamil Nadu Association of Arts and Literature (Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumandram) founded by late Communist leader P. Jeevanantham.
Speaking to ‘The Hindu' over phone, Mr. Ponneelan said his prime objective will be to create cultural and literary unity among Indian writers by organising regular meetings and discussing literary works of all Indian languages. This was the basic strength for promoting literature and cultural values on national levels rising above narrow minded regional differences.
He would set a new trend for inter-language exchange of the literary works, focussing translation of Tamil works into all other languages, and vice versa. He would take all efforts for the elevation of Tamil literary works and make it a national treasure. “This will take some time, but I have proposed to do it in a systematic and planned manner”, he said.
The Progressive Writers Association was formed way back in 1936 and renowned writers including K. M. Munshi, Premchand, Mulkraj Anand, Sajjad Zaheer, and Kamala Prasad had served as all India president of this forum on various occasions, he said.
Mr. Ponneelan hailing from Manikatti Pottal village in Kanyakumari district, was a former Deputy Director of School Education. He won the Sahitya Akademi award in Tamil for the novel ‘Puthiya Dharisanangal' in 1994. He had authored various books, including novel ‘Marupakkam' which revolved round the Mandaikadu communal clashes and reflected the current political scenario across the nation.
He had served as president and general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumandram for one period respectively in the past.