`Sanjayan used humour for social criticism'

KOCHI DEC. 7. Sanjayan employed humour as a tool for social criticism, taking after literary trends set by Kunjan Nambiar, said M. Leelavati, noted critic here on Friday.

Inaugurating a two-day national seminar on Sanjayan, organised by the Sahitya Akademi and hosted by the 6th International Book Fair Committee at the Ernakulathappan grounds here, Dr. Leelavati said that even while lashing out against evils in society, Sanjayan was very particular that none of it became personal.

Presiding over the session, Sukumar Azhikode said that Sanjayan was a phenomenon which took on the dimensions of folklore, even while he was alive.

That one became cultured by reading books was a fallacy of modern times that was negated by Sanjayan when his magazine was read by more than other literary ones.

"Humour has a level of innocence beyond all theories and Sanjayan was an epitome of it. He could also find a synergy of both Sanskrit and English literature," he said.

Any discussion on literary career of Sanjayan would become a reflection on society, as Sanjayan lived ahead of his times at least by half-a-century, Dr. Azhikode said.

"Cultural aridity comes in the absence of humour from the social psyche. Language teachers have a vital role to play in this. Unlike political leaders of the past, there are none who could go beyond the literal sense of words," he said.

Works of Sanjayan could be a medicine for the crisis that our society had ended up in and this could be the message of seminars like these, Dr. Azhikode added.

In his keynote address, M. Achuthan said that even though Sanjayan was progressive in his attitude, he was disturbed by new trends that happened in literature during his time and that could be the reason behind his criticism of Changampuzha Krishna Pillai and Edapally Raghavan Pillai.

Offering felicitations at the session, P. Narayana Kurup said that Sanjayan's talent had remained outside the realms of logic.

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