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‘Literary awards will give Tamil national presence’

Theatre personality N. Muthuswamy with Kasturi and Sons Director Nirmala Lakshman at the inauguration of The Hindu Lit For Life-Tamil event on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

Expressing happiness over the institution of The Hindu Lit for Life-Tamil awards, Sahitya Akademi awardee Indira Parthasarathy on Sunday said the initiative would give Tamil language and literature exposure at the national level.

Conferring the awards on five writers at the one-day The Hindu Lit for Life-Tamil event here, he said Tamil was not given its due at the national level.

“As a person who spent many years in Delhi, I know the fact. The awards will give Tamil and literature a widespread exposure at the national level. I have to appreciate the efforts of The Hindu,” said Mr. Parthasarathy, who was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“While giving awards is important, equally important is the title of the award. Awards in the name of Inquilab and Piramil require a special mention. Only those who are familiar with literature know the name Piramil. Now The Hindu has introduced him to Tamil Nadu,” said Mr. Parthasarathy, citing the words of U.V. Swaminatha Iyer that “Tamil will live forever.”

Writer Imayam was awarded the Jayakanthan prize for contemporary literature. Keeranur Jahir Raja received the award instituted in the memory of late poet and dramatist Inquilab.

The A.K. Chettiyar award for non-fiction went to dramatist Ramanujam while Damayanthi was honoured for her contribution towards feminist writing. Switzerland-based Sri Lankan writer Chayanthan got the Piramil award for young writers.

Earlier in the day, noted theatre personality N. Muthusamy inaugurated the festival in the presence of directors of The Hindu Group, Nirmala Lakshman and Vijaya Arun and The Hindu (Tamil) editor K. Ashokan.

Adopted genre

Writer Prabanchan, who spoke on hundred years of the Tamil short story, said the form was borrowed from French literature and the story should start from the very first line.

“In Russian language, the story will begin only after 20 pages. Though we have borrowed the form from another language, some of the best writers in India are Tamils,” he said.

Take a cue from Mr. Prabanchan’s speech that the first Tamil short story Kulathankarai Arasamaram, was actually an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s story, writer S. Ramakrishnan said Bengali writers had actually borrowed the form from the English.

“As far as Tamil writers are concerned, they were influenced greatly by [Honore de] Balzac and Guy de Maupassant,” he said. “The central point or theme of Tamil short stories has changed in every decade. In the 1970s, unemployment dominated the theme and urbanisation became the theme in the 1980s. Political and love stories are not as abundant as other stories,” noted Mr. Ramakrishnan.

Kalanthai Peer Mohamed said Wahabism would not approve of art and literature and one required sanction from the Holy Koran even to speak about a revolution. “The situation still continues. We are praised for our creative literature, but come under criticism from our own community. But we will continue to write,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 1:09:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/literary-awards-will-give-tamil-national-presence/article22392446.ece

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