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‘Society heading towards a serious cultural vacuum’

Special Correspondent
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progressive vision:R. Kamaraj, left, member, Sahitya Akademi executive committee, and Nandalala, right, vice president, Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association, along with D. Selvaraj, author of
progressive vision:R. Kamaraj, left, member, Sahitya Akademi executive committee, and Nandalala, right, vice president, Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association, along with D. Selvaraj, author of "Thol" in the city on Saturday.Photo:M.Moorthy

The prevailing literary scenario in the country, particularly in Tamil Nadu, indicates that society is heading towards a serious cultural vacuum, said D. Selvaraj, noted writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee.

It is the duty of progressive writers, thinkers and artistes to take initiative to fill this vacuum, Mr. Selvaraj said at a function to felicitate him in connection with Prof. N. Vanamamalai memorial day, which was organised by Samooga Sinthanai Uyirpiyakkam in the city on Saturday evening. No efforts should he spared in bringing writers and artistes, apart from cultural personalities, who infuse humanism into the fold of progressive art and literary movement.

The movements like Tamil Nadu Federation of Art and Literature and Tamil Nadu Progressive and Writers Association should play a pivotal role in achieving this, he said adding that those artistes and writers who had left the progressive literary movement should be re-inducted.

On his novel ‘Thol’ that won him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award, Mr. Selvaraj said his novel revolved around the travails of working people and peasants across the State and the heroic struggles launched by them to assert their rights against different forms of exploitation. None of the characters or incidents in the novel was imaginary.

Though many such struggles launched during the period from 1930 to 1958, they were not properly recorded by the world of literature by historians, he regretted. Against this backdrop, persons with literary background should play a key role in getting these struggles documented.

Referring to the attempt by some quarters to describe ‘Thol’ novel as a propaganda material, Mr. Selvaraj said that he had only resorted to faithful description of the events and the life of the people.

R. Kamaraj, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumanram and member of the Sahitya Akademi executive committee, said that ‘Thol’ offered an alternative path of politics and aesthetics. It also highlighted the need for unity among the working people in the fight against the exploitation of oppressive classes.

Nandalala, vice president of Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association, and S. Dorairaj, consultant, Frontline, felicitated Mr. Selvaraj, and said even ordinary people in society could have a grasp of his award winning novel.

M. Selvaraj, convener of Samooga Sinthanai Uyirpiyakkam, presided.

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