Tamil author Cho Dharman on Saturday said that Dalit writers should write about the challenges posed by new forms of media, including social media.
“I always felt that Dalits should write about new challenges that all are facing from the new media and social media. I want people to move beyond newspaper language and write with new perspective. The writing should be relevant to the readers even after 5-10 years,” Dharman said.
“I am a Dalit by birth, but I am not a Dalit writer. I write for everybody,” he added.
Dharman was speaking on ‘Contemporary face of Indian language: Focus Tamil (Latest literary trends and trend-setters) at Gateway Litfest held at NCPA in south Mumbai.
Salma, a Muslim poetess from Tamil Nadu, said, “I do not believe in the term trend-setter in literature...The language keeps developing and it takes its our course.”
Salma, who heads the women’s wing of DMK party, said, “In the post independent era, DMK as a political party was focusing on women’s issues, remarriage of widows, among other issues as they were relevant in those days. It brought a change in the language and brought new words, new compositions in Tamil language.”
However, Dharman said, “DMK brought a new language in the post-Independence India. The cause is already lost, but the same language is used by DMK and we are suffering from it.”
“Science is changing our life and I want to see it reflecting in our writings. In this sense, I want to see the Tamil language changing for good,” he added.
When asked about the translation of their creative writings into English, Dharman said, “The dialects in Tamil have certain words, which cannot be translated into English. We are facing more challenges in translation, when it comes to creative writing in dialects.”
Salma said, “Similar problems are faced when it comes to the diction of Tamil Muslims. Some words used in Madurai by Muslim community, would not be found in use within 100 kms distance. Even I do not understand many words used by Tamil Muslims from various regions. It is more challenging to translate it into English.”