Purpose of writing is to systematise the class of people for whom the writer stands for, said T. Selvaraj, author of the Tamil novel Thol which won the Sahitya Akademi award, at Tamil University here on Wednesday.
Speaking at a seminar on Sahitya Akademi award-winning books jointly organised by the translation and literature departments, Mr. Selvaraj said that his first novel in Tamil, Malarum Sarugum was described by critics as a campaigning work for Leftist ideologies. “My reply to the critics at that time was that my novel was not yet read by people (farmers) for whom I have written,” he said. Thol is about leather workers of Dindigul. Reviewing the novel, P. Ananthakumar, Professor, Gandhigram Rural University said that it was one of the milestones of Mr. Selvaraj, who was a trend-setter in writing. Socialist realism was the basis of all his novels-be it his Malarum Sargum , Theneer -which reflected the lives of Tea plantation workers and now Thol which reflected the lives of leather industry workers of Dindigul.
Most of the workers in the leather industry at Dindigul were dalits from Puduchery and Arunthathiyars. Though the story revolves around Dindigul, it is a portrayal of the condition of the society as a whole in Tamil Nadu. The novel also suggests that trade unions are not merely for getting more wages for workers but for social change.
S. Radhakrishnan, former Professor, Tamil University, reviewed the Love Stands Alone book, an English translation which won the Sahitya Akademi award. Translator of the book is M.L. Thangappa. Radhakrishnan said that Love Stands Alone was a translation of selections from Sangam poetry. M. Thirumalai, Vice-Chancellor, presided over the meeting.
V. Gurunathan, Head, Linguistics Department, A. Karthikeyan, Head of the Department, Tamil Department, offered felicitations. R.S. Murugan, Head, Translation Department, welcomed the gathering. S.M. Perumal, Assistant Professor, Translation Department, proposed a vote of thanks.
K. Thilakavathi, Assistant Professor, Department of Literature, compered the programme.