Raise voice against plight of minorities, women writers told

Powerful people are deciding what writers should write and what not

Women writers are confined to be modest so that they cannot speak or write their views on rape incidents and the like. They have to break their silence and raise their voices against the atrocities on women, said feminist and writer Popuri Lalitha Kumari, known by her pen name Volga.

She was delivering her keynote address at the Multi-linguistic women writers conference organised by Mangalore University Women’s study centre in association with Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy and Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy in Mangala Auditorium, Mangalagangothri on Tuesday.

Volga said there was a need to write about the plight of minority and dalit women. They have to be aware of the powers that oppress the powerless. Silence by women writer is a sign of danger.

Writers have to think on whose side they are. They should be on the side of powerless rather than powerful.

In the hegemonic world, it is difficult to understand the definition of freedom. The right of writers have been curtailed, even to the extent that the writers were jailed.

Powerful people have been deciding what the writers should write and what they should not. Literary works and films pertaining to women’s issues were banned right from colonial period, she lamented. She further said that the Government banned the documentary ‘India’s daughter’ only because it wanted to project the sophisticated side of the country to the outsiders.

Gulbarga University former Vice Chancellor Prof Muniyamma inaugurated the conference and said that women poetesses like Akkamahadevi made thier own mark in Vachana literature of 12 th century in Karnataka.

Also, women writers like Tirumalamba in Telugu, Anitha Nayar in Malayalam and Savithabai Jyothi Rao Phule in Marathi traversed a long and tedious path to establish the role of women in literature. Stating that though poetess Kanthi, who was the contemporary of Kannada poet Pampa, penned literature in Champu style, they are rarely known.

Muniyamma felt for a need to record the achievements of such women. Also, there should be more writings of women in political and social life such as Lakshmammanni of Mysuru Royal family, who contributed great deal towards the progress of Mysuru.

Prof Muniyamma called upon the present day women writers to come up with rich literature, which should remain for centuries.

Mangalore University Vice Chancellor Prof K Byrappa presided over the inaugural programme. Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy Chairperson Janaki M Brahmavar, Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy B M Hanif, Mangalore University Women’s Study Centre Director Prof Sabiha were present among others.

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