Responding to a question about the debate among actors over Hindi as a national language, Pa Ranjith said that it was the dominance and division between North and South Indians that caused it. “If they ask me for a linking language, I will prefer Tamil and there is nothing wrong with that,” he said. “The Dravidians are also important in India and it is time for the Dravidians to unite,” he said.
The two-day Dalit Literary Gathering will include technical sessions and panel discussions on Dalit literature. The Vaanam literary prize will be awarded to Tamil intellectual Raj Gouthaman. Ranjith said Dalit History Month is being held across India in view of Ambedkar’s birthday. The Dalit Literary Encounter need not be limited to a particular community, but it can be a platform for Tamil literature.
He said there was an increased interest among young people in reading. Tamil authors aren’t as famous as they should be, but things are changing for good.
At this stage, it is important that people also understand the Dalit literary genre. It is the literature of the oppressed like Indians under British rule, African Americans and Arabic literature.
“I think it will be an important platform, especially for young people,” he added.