Perumal Murugan’s novel read at Kochi Biennale

Saturday, Jan 17, 2015,20:13 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | Eminent writers, filmmakers, musicians and political activists today came together for showing their solidarity to Perumal Murugan’s Tamil novel ‘Madhorubhagan’, singled out by certain outfits for being anti-Hindu at Kochi-Muziris Biennale here. The gathering expressed support to the writer through a mass reading of a portion of his book at the Aspinwall Pavilion.
They lauded the biennale foundation for creating a space for artists to voice protest. It comes down to a question of our survival. There is too much of a silence against the issue by the two big political parties in Tamil Nadu. Creative people feel obliged to exile themselves in situations such as this; we should stand together to prevent this, writer N S Madhavan, who led the reading said.
CPI-M leader and writer Simon Britto said, In todays world, and in fact in a sovereign, socialist, secular India; a writer has his neck on the line and his assassin is waiting at the tip of his pen. While the speakers including filmmaker Kamal, award-winning music director Bijibal, scriptwriter Shibu Chakravarthy, activist T N Joy and radical-movement artist K Raghunathan voiced their protest, composer-singer Shahabaz Aman turned the mirror in wards.
The late writer Madhavikutty felt stifled in spite of the presence of eminent creative people such as us, said the flamboyant singer who lent his voice to the KMB14 signature film. On the other hand, youngsters pick up the smallest issue on social media today and the authorities feel obliged to take it up in some way. This reading is a protest against ourselves and a tribute to Madhavikutty, Aman said.
The speakers and the audience then read aloud from the novel’s English translation ‘One Part Woman.’ The novel has been caught up in protests over the past week with some groups seeking a ban on the book, published in 2010, claiming that it denigrates Hindu deities and women devotees and the author subsequently issuing a Facebook declaration that the writer is dead.