Tamil Writer Perumal Murugan wins ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman
Tamil Writer Perumal Murugan wins ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman
His novel Madhorubhagan to be honoured at 5th edition of India Habitat Centre’s Indian Languages Festival ‘Samanvay-2015’
Perumal Murugan now in the august company of Ashok Vajpeyi, Chandrakant Topiwala, Sitakant Mahapatra who have earlier been bestowed with the ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman
New Delhi, 5th October, 2015: This year on 28th November, during the India Habitat Centre’s Indian Languages Festival Samanvay 2015, Tamil writer Perumal Murugan’s novel Madhorubhagan would be honoured with the fourth ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman, the prestigious annual award instituted to recognise a litterateur-par-excellence’s contribution to Indian Literature. The distinguished personality this year was decided by an eminent jury chaired by K. Satchidanandan including Sachin Ketkar, Manglesh Dabral, Mitra Phukan and Arundhati Subramaniam after a detailed process focussing on the five focal languages of this year’s ILF Samanvay – Tamil, Marathi, Bangla, Dogri and Mizo.
Perumal Murugan is a well-known Tamil writer and poet. He has written nine novels and four collections each of short stories and poetry. Three of his novels have been translated into English to wide critical acclaim: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Current Show and One Part Woman (Madhorubhagan). He has received awards from the Tamil Nadu government as well as from Katha Books. Madhorubhagan has opened the floodgates of discussion on future of oppression of caste and enslaving conventions in modern day Tamil Nadu.
Responding to the award announcement Perumal Murugan shared, “The ILF Samanvay Award for Madhorubhagan is a modern recognition given to Tamil, a classical language with a long and unbroken literary tradition. This recognition, bestowed on my language at an unfortunate moment, will, I hope, be a shining gem rather than an unsightly wart. I wholeheartedly thank everyone who made this possible. Constrained by force of circumstance to act as the shadow of Perumal Murugan, I feel honoured by this award. I dedicate the Samanvay Award to the lotus feet of the almighty lord Madhorubhagan.”
The ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman last year was conferred upon Ashok Vajpeyi, the well-known author, scholar, critic and poet for his lifelong contribution to Hindi Literature in particular and Indian Literature in general. In 2013, it was bestowed upon veteran Gujarati author Chandrakant Topiwala for his commitment to independence and objectivity in cultural life and for standing against the authoritarian forces in contemporary Indian society and broadening the scope of human empathy through an extraordinary body of work. The inaugural award in 2012 had been conferred upon the legendary Odiya writer Sitakant Mahapatra for his extraordinary efforts in generating dialogue across Indian languages through creative and administrative activism, for emancipation of dialects and oral traditions and for unrelenting advocacy of plurality of idea and expression.
Jury Chair K. Satchidanandan opined while announcing the honour, “Perumal Murugan’s Madhorubhagan (English Translation : One Part Woman) is a rooted and passionate work of fiction that narrates with searing intensity and unsparing clarity the story of a relationship caught between the dictates of social convention and the tug of personal anxieties. This historian of the Kongu region of Tamil Nadu has brought into play his lyrical imagination, linguistic skill and lexical knowledge in this honest exploration of the tyranny of caste and the pathology of a community. Inspired by local folklore and history, this great work of fiction, dreams of a secular future for communities in India that remain hostage to the ways of the past. It is an imaginative contribution by a versatile writer and scholar to the collective struggle for a new India free from the oppression of caste and enslaving conventions.”
In this fifth year of India Habit Centre’s Indian Languages Festival Samanvay, as part of the rethinking of the festival as a significant and enduring space to facilitate growth, development of connections of Indian languages in the contemporary times, it was decided that every year, an important literary work in one of the focal languages of the festival, should be given the award so that it is more aligned to the vision and mission of the ILF Samanvay. Hence, the Award has been now named ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman, and the nominations were called only from the five focal languages—Tamil, Bangla, Dogri, Marathi and Mizo.
Festival Director of ILF Samanvay & Director – India Habitat Centre, Rakesh Kacker said on the occasion, “It gives India Habitat Centre great pleasure to announce the ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman for Perumal Murugan. The Tamil literary canon has been expanded with the induction of the series of novels and short stories that Perumal Murugan has written. Madhorubhagan occupies pride of place in this canon. This award for Madhorubhagan is a recognition of how a writer and his insider-outsider act of writing could serve the society and connect its histories with its contemporary realities and dreams.”
The distinguished speakers this year include Tenzin Tsunde, Jeet Thayil, TM Krishna, Urvashi Butalia, Aman Nath, Ayesha Kidwai, Sadanand Menon, Bhuchung Sonam, EP Unny, Arunava Sinha, Sachin Ketkar, Khushbu, AR Venkatachalapathy, Rakshanda Jalil, Namita Gokhale, Avadhesh Kumar Singh, K Satchidanandan, Meena Alexander, Sharmila Seyyid, Padma Sachdev, Rosalyn DeMello, Kannan Sundaram, Shubro Bandyopadhyay, Dolochampa Chakravary, Ashok Vajpeyi, Ramkumar Mukhopadhyay, Makarand Sathe, Iravati Karve, Vaibhav Abnave, Dharmakriti Sumant, Samina Mishra, Jerry Pinto, Radhika Menon, J Devika, Manabi Bandyopadhya, Saleem Kidwai, Priya Sarukkari Chhabria, Arundhathi Subramanian, H.S Shiva Prakash.
ILF Samanvay: IHC Indian Languages’ Festival
ILF Samanvay: IHC Indian Languages’ Festival was conceived in 2011 as an annual celebration of writing in Indian languages. The festival has aimed at generating dialogue across Indian languages at various levels and has emerged as the only literature festival dedicated exclusively to Indian languages.
The inaugural edition (2011) tried to explore the problem of bringing various literatures under the master signifier: “Indian” and the mysterious bond that makes these various literatures at once distinct and collective. In 2012, the festival moved on to highlight and discover the heritage of Indian languages through the strain of Boli, Baani, Bhasha: Gaon, Kasba, Shehar. Even in 2013 the theme Jodti Zubanein, Judti Zubanein: Language Connections aimed at – discussing the various kinds of dialogues across the ‘regional’ languages and their multifaceted interaction with the ‘national’ languages – Hindi and English. In 2014, ILF Samanvay highlighted ‘Translation/Transnation’ focus on Indian languages which have a transnational presence.
The first four editions of the festival featured 20 languages presented by more than 150 Writers including some of the contemporary masters like Sitakant Mahapatra, Sheen Kaaf Nizam, Ratan Thiyam, Gulzar, Nabarun Bhattacharya, K. Satchidanandan, Ashok Vajpeyi, Girish Kasaravalli, Udaya Narayana Singh, Rajendra Yadav, Mangalesh Dabral, Yumlembam Ibomcha, Arjun Deo Charan, Anupam Mishra, Jerry Pinto, Ketan Mehta, Mahesh Bhatt, Mukul Kesavan, Piyush Mishra, Ravish Kumar, Sharada Sinha, Sanjay Kak, Shashi Deshpande, Kavita Krishnan, Vrinda Grover, Kancha Ilaiah, Alok Rai, K. Sivareddy, Manoranjan Byapari, Nirupama Dutt, Rooprekha Verma, Sylvanus Lamare, Tenzin Tsundue, Viveka Rai Harrish Iyer, Namvar Singh, Swanand Kirkire, Vinay Pathak, Arunava Sinha and Varun Grover.
Delhi Press, Vani Prakashan, School of Translation Studies, IGNOU and LILA Foundation for Translocal Initiatives are its partners at present. Le Communiqué Consultancy will be handling the public relations for the entire Festival.