Writer Indran receives Varchol Dalit Literary Award

Film director Pa Rajith presenting the award to writer Indran on Sunday. , Photo credit: B Velankanni Raj

Art critic, writer, translator and Sahitya Akademi awardee Indran (BG Rajendran) received the Varchol Dalit Literature Award from filmmaker Pa Ranjith in Chennai on Sunday. The award was instituted by Neelam Cultural Center (NCC) as a part of Vanam Kala Mahotsav to celebrate Dalit History Month and carries a cash prize of ₹1 lakh.

“I’ve always wondered how African-Americans were able to attain political power and carve out their own cultural place in society. Before I wanted to carve out that place, Poem Indran did. I think this initiative (Vanam Arts Festival) is also an attempt to stoke the fire against authority that was lit by African-Americans. They have not only worked in literature but also in the arts, such as painting and sculpture, in an effort to gain a collective perspective, as the festival is trying to achieve,” said Mr. Ranjith.

Writer and historian Stalin Rajangam said that although Mr. Indran worked in many fields, the most notable was his work as a translator. “His most important job is Arakul Vandha Africa Vanam (1982), a book of essays, stories and poems from 31 African countries. In 1986, he published, kaatrukku thissai illaiAn Introduction to Indian Literature. In 1994, he published a work of poems from third world countries (other than India) Pasita Thalaimurai, His translated works made an impact. Mr. Ranjit describes how African-American poetry shaped him. Mr Indran had an important role,” he said.

Mr. Indran said, “I feel a big movement is going on before my eyes. Ranjit is taking it forward inch by inch.

Former IAS officer and author R. Balakrishnan attended.