Tamil Nadu

Extend financial assistance also to English literary works of SCs and STs, urges writer

Karl Marx Siddharthar

Karl Marx Siddharthar | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The State government provides financial assistance of ₹50,000 each to 10 Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe writers every year to get their selected works published. However, since the number of nominations received year after year is very less, a demand has been made to extend the assistance to English writings too without restricting it to Tamil alone.

Office of the Commissioner, Adi Dravidar Welfare, has informed this year’s recipient A.B. Karl Marx Siddharthar that his request to include English writings, under the financial assistance scheme, had been forwarded to the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department and that it is under the consideration of the government.

On July 10, 2006, a Government Order was issued to utilise the interest accrued from a corpus fund of ₹50 lakh, created in 2003, to encourage SC/ST writers. It was decided to provide financial assistance every year to 10 SC/ST authors and also to one non SC/ST author who writes about the travails faced by the oppressed communities.

As per the scheme, story books, poems, historical accounts and so on would be eligible for the assistance and they would be selected by a panel of experts. Every selected author would be provided ₹20,000 each (subsequently raised to ₹50,000) in two instalments or the actual cost, whichever was less, to be incurred for publication of the literary work.

The work should only be in Tamil and the selected authors should get their books published, in not less than 90 pages, within three months of receiving the first instalment. A minimum of 1,000 copies should be printed and 50 of them be given to the government free of cost. A person would be eligible for such assistance only once in two years.

“In 2020-21, I applied for the assistance for my book titled ‘Uncaste’ but could not get it because it was in English. However, I got the assistance this year for my critical commentary in Tamil on B.R. Ambedkar’s book ‘The Buddha and His Dhamma.’ Chief Minister M.K. Stalin gave me ₹25,000 last week and the rest will be given after I publish the book,” says Mr. Siddharthar.

In the meantime, he began making efforts to get the assistance for English works too and his representation remains under government consideration. The author pointed out that only 30 and 23 applications for Tamil literary works were received by the government for the years 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively and hence the government could consider permitting submission of English literary works too.

When contacted, S. Kumaradevan, member of the Tamil Nadu State Commission for the SCs and STs, supported the plea for considering English literary works too for the financial assistance. Several authors wrote books in English too on subjects that touch upon the oppressed classes and they too must be recognised, he said.

“I am confident that the government will consider the request positively and make necessary amendments to the 2006 Government Order so that both Tamil as well as English writers are able to obtain the assistance,” he added.


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Printable version | Jun 8, 2022 12:02:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/extend-financial-assistance-also-to-english-literary-works-of-scs-and-sts-urges-writer/article65421945.ece