Tamil writer Perumal Murugan wins ILF award

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Tamil writer Perumal Murugan will be honoured with the fifth Indian Languages Festival’s (ILF) ‘Samanvay Bhasha Samman’ award, it was announced on Monday.

The writer-poet has won the award for his novel “Madhorubhagan”, which earned him flak from Hindu groups, forcing Murugan to declare that he was giving up writing for good.

“The ‘ILF Award’ 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,” Murugan said in a statement.

Murugan will receive the award on November 28 here.

The festival aims at generating dialogue across Indian languages at various levels and has emerged as the only literature festival dedicated exclusively to Indian languages.

Murugan’s writings had opened discussions on the future of oppression of caste and enslaving conventions in modern day Tamil Nadu.

“This award for Madhorubhagan is a recognition of how a writer and his writing could serve the society and connect history with its contemporary realities and dreams,” said Rakesh Kacker, the festival director.

Murugan has written nine novels and four collections each of short stories and poetry.

Three of his novels have been translated in English: “Seasons of the Palm”, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Kiriyama Prize in 2005, “Current Show” and “One Part Woman” (Madhorubhagan).

Earlier in January, Murugan announced he had given up writing and would only be a teacher after he came under attack from Hindu groups for his novel “Madhorubhagan”.

Murugan had then said, “Writer Perumal Murugan is dead. He will continue to live as a teacher.”

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