Writers, audience read Perumal Murugan's novel

Tamil writer Perumal Murugan, under attack from right-wing elements for his novel Madhorubagan, on Saturday found support in neighbouring Kerala with writers, activists, musicians and film makers at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) reading allowed from the English translation of his book.


Eminent writer N S Madhavan, who led the reading of the novel’s English version “One Part Woman” during the biennial international contemporary art event, questioned the non-committal stance taken by AIADMK and DMK, the two major political outfits in Tamil nadu, on the hate campaign against Murugan.


“Creative people feel obliged to exile themselves in such situations; we should stand together to prevent this,” he said referring to Murugan’s decision to give up writing and withdraw his books from stores in the face of protests against Madhorubagan.
All of them joined the audience in reading aloud excerpts of the novel that had over the past week hit headlines over protests against its alleged denigration of Hindu deities.


Writer Simon Britto said these are times when in sovereign, secular India, writers had their “necks on the line” and “assassins” were waiting at the tip of their pens.
Riyas Komu, director of programmes – KMB ’14, said it was the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s “responsibility” to address pertinent topical issues and the event’s promoters would try to protect the “autonomy of the artiste”.

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