It's time for India's intellectuals to unite and protest: K R Meera

 New Delhi, Sept 13: With dissenting voices being ruthlessly silenced by right-wing radicals, author K R Meera believes that it is again time for India’s intellectuals to stand united and raise their voice - as they did in 2015. “With the murder of (journalist) Gauri Lankesh, I think it is time for another wave of protests from the authors and artists of this country,” Meera, who earlier worked with the Malayala Manorama, told IANS in an interview.

Meera was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi award in 2015 for her book “Aarachar” in Malayalam whose English translation is “Hangwoman” - at a time when “award-wapsi movement” by the dissenting voices was at its height. However, there has been a deafening silence from the writers’ community and no major movement has happened in the recent past. “I think the majority of the writers are not comfortable with the government at all. But a movement like award-wapsi cannot take place daily in any country,” said the 47-year-old author. Although Meera had earlier noted that it was painful for her to accept the award, she didn’t return it. “Returning or not returning an award has nothing to do with the intensity of the protest. Considering how meek and silent individual writers are, the award-wapsi movement indeed was a very courageous non-violent move,” she contended. Meera also talked about the frequent clashes between the RSS and CPI-M cadres in her home state Kerala and blamed the saffronites for being “quite provocative”. “Both the Left and the RSS have been equally responsible for the violence, but in recent times, it has been observed that the RSS has been inciting violence, openly declaring that their aim is to impose President’s rule after dismissing the Left government,” the author noted.
Currently, Meera is “excited” at her nomination in the longlist of The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for the book “The Poison of Love” published by Penguin Random House India. “My happiness doubles to see books from vernacular languages included in the list this year. It is a matter of pride to see literary works in the regional languages placed in such awards because there is no other way to convince the English readers that there are many exciting works in our regional languages too,” she noted. (IANS)