Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Some Perumal Murugan links

C.S. Lakshmi describes two sequels to 'One part woman' and writes "Seeing how much his novel was liked in the last four years, one has to look for other reasons for this sudden outburst by incendiary forces which were literally baying for his blood. I remember that he began writing his novel Pookkuzhi when the papers were full of the tragic death of a youth named Ilavarasan following his marriage and the caste-hatred it created in Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu. Pookkuzhi is dedicated to Ilavarasan, the Dalit boy who dared to marry an upper-caste girl. Not much was written about Pookkuzhi and the dedication did not go down well with many.
Before Pookkuzhi too, Murugan had spoken his mind on what caste meant to him. When his mother died he wrote two beautiful articles (which were translated into English by me for a SPARROW newsletter), where he wrote about how he had decided not to use the caste graveyard for his mother although he had paid the caste tax for it all these years in three different villages. He felt that he was in no mood to face the catechism of his community about his life and choices. He chose to use the electric crematorium. He says in that article that watching the smoke rise in the electric crematorium he felt it would take his mother, who had toiled all her life, to lands she had never been to. He had disregarded his community many years ago also, when he decided to marry a woman of his choice who did not belong to his community. His entire village had risen against him and had decided to excommunicate him. His progressive friends stood by him and prevented that from happening."
Meanwhile
"The Madras High Court on Tuesday said that it will issue a notice to writer Perumal Murugan so that he could narrate the sequence of events following which he changed his stance.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Kaul and justice Sundaresh expressed large concern in extra judicial groups wielding power in deciding what is right and what is not right and asking authors what to write and what not to write."
Though the practice has one out many years ao, one Niticentral artilce claims "If left uncontested it means their temple going womenfolk would be fair game for lewd comments and unwanted advances. " Another review favourable to the book says "evolution left men with more sexual anxieties than women. They have addressed this anxiety by seeking power over women. TheMathorubhagan episode has the flavour of insecure patriarchy gone berserk."