Trends in Tamil literature today. -Essarci
Tamil is a classical language of 5000 years heritage. Language Tamil has a treasure of literature from the year 300 B.C . Literature is a vital record of what men have seen in life experienced thought and felt. Even today Tamil is a spoken language for more or less 10 crore people around the world.
Humanity as a whole today is experiencing an unprecedented and unheard pandemic situation. A human Crisis Covid 19 has shadowed this planet earth. Let us hope our faith in science and endeavor in medical technology will find a way to get rid of this gloomy situation. We hope literature will give a helping hand in strengthening our mind to battle against this deadly monster that humanity never witnessed..
Tholkappiam written by Tholkappiyar is the oldest Tamil literature available to us. It is nearly 2500 years old. Tholkappiam speaks mainly about TAMIL grammar.
’கல்வி தறுகண் இசைமை கொடை எனச் சொல்லப்பட்ட பெருமிதம் நான்கே’ says Tholkappaiyar. Education,valour,honour, and charity are the primary assets of every human being With these basic ethical requirements of every human beinge Thokappiyam speaks very high of Tamil community existed then .Tholkappiyam is mainly a grammar book. It refers to many scholars existed then and prior to it..
Tamil literature had two big divisions in olden days .They are Agam and Puram.While ‘agam’ speaks of human love’ puram’ speaks of human valour. Puram can also speak about importance of education morality and ethics .The sub division Agam is dealing with purely of subjective nature and Puram is of objective. .In Puranaanuuru a puram literature we witness Kaniyan Poongunranaar is holding high, a principle that this world is one family.
’யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்’ meaning, Every human dwelling place is your own, Every human being is your kin. This is boldly and beautifully inscribed in United Nations..
. We can recall here the exact reflection of ‘vasu dhaiva kutumbakam’ (the world is one family) of Indian scriptures .Kaniyan Poongunranaar also holds aloft the same principle, the crest of Tamil culture.
’பெரியோரை வியத்தலும் இலமே
சிறியோரை இகழ்தல் அதனிலும் இலமே’ meaning ‘We do not wonder for one is great and We do not denigrate for one is mean.
There are three great works in Tamil literature and one can equate them with any of the world renowned literatures.
They are ‘Thirukkural by Thiruvalluvar, Thiruvasagam by Maanikkavasagar and Thirumoolam by Thirumoolar. .
Coming to the trends of today in Tamil literature I place the following, for the readers to think over. Perumal Murugan a fiction writer wrote a novel மாதொருபாகன் It was translated into English as ‘One part Woman’ The main story of the novel goes, that women who have no progeny go to the temple of Lord Ardha narishwara ( one part woman) during one festive night and beget children .During that night something as what you presume only happens and consequently women become MOTHERS. Women around the said temple town Namakkal got angry and ashamed by the narration of the author for their chastity was put in question .People revolted against the writer and the writer vacated his original residence and shifted to Chennai on transfer. Madras high court came to his rescue and gave a judicial decision upholding ones’ fundamental right, freedom of expression,.
It was star Tamil writer Jeyamohan once remarked that male writers have to strive hard to maintain their name in the literary field, but for women just their entry will suffice .Women writers rose against this critical remark and agitated. Writer Jeyamohan apologized for the statement and the problem got solved.
There is another literary view in currency that Dalit writers alone can accomplish Dalit literature .There are writers for and agaist thiscritical statement. Dalit writers like Bama, Imayam, Sivakami Cho.Dharuman display the pain of the said people in their creation. Only a Dalit can feel the pain of another dalit it is thus explained .Women alone can become feminist writers, is also the view of some women artists Can we ignore the Elangovadigal for Silappathikaram Seeththalai Chaththanaar for Manimekalai,Subramania Bharathi for Paanjali sabatham, Bharathidasan for his ‘ தலைவாரி பூச்சூடி உன்னை’ in the light of above argument i.e a woman alone can feel the pain of another women.
Creating literature in local or regional or dialect is as well prevalent now. In Taminadu we can come across different styles of Tamil language in different regions. Usage and pronunciation differ from place to place. Nagarcoil,Thirunelveli,Coimbutore,Thanjavur,and Chennai have different styles and sounds for and the same Tamil language. .A story representing people to a particular region should speak in that regional dialect only and that should be the reality .In this situation we cannot entertain a question how and in which language Ravana of Srilanka spoke to Sita of Mithila of Bihar in the great epic Ramayana. To Mahakavi kambar all in RAMAYANA speak only in Tamil.
KI.Rajnarayanan -pen name ki.raa exploits the regional dialect in his literary creations. There are several followers to Kiraa. Kiraa belongs to black land of southern Tamilnadu called கரிசல்.
In translation area there are many translators in Tamilnadu.Thisai ettum a translational quarterly magazine is brought out regularly under the patronage of Sri Nalli.Kuppusamy chettiyar of Chennai.This organization is annually honouring translators to and from Tamil language. With cash awards translators are honoured in intellectual assemblies.Kurinji velan a wellknown translator and sahitya academy winner renders translation from Malayalam to Tamil. Paavannan does from Kannada to Tamil and so on.
Leading light of Modern Literature in Tamil is Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi and every modern writer is influenced by his poetry. Without Bharathis’ writings one cannot imagine modern Tamil Literature .Knowing his poetry is very much essential to know uniqueness of Tamil thinking. Bharathi was born on 11th September in Ettayapuram a very small town of Thuththukudi District Tamilnadu State. He lived only for a short span of life, that is for 39 years. He was proficient in 14 languages. It was he who said among the languages he knew the Tamil is the sweetest .He writes,
’யாமறிந்த மொழிகளிலே தமிழ் மொழிபோல்
இனிதாவது எங்கும் காணோம்’
After his parents’ eternal departure He went to Varanasi learnt Sanskrit in his paternal aunts’ care. In his stay at Pudhucherry He brought out three master pieces in Tamil they are Kannan Paattu,Kuyil Pattu,and Paanjaali sabatham.
Bharathi was a revolutionary poet .He welcomed Russian revolution and said this was accomplished because of Goddess Paraa shakthi s’ blessing .He adored a scheduled caste friend Knankalingam with Upanayanam (sacred thread that Brahmins wore).He wrote poems on emancipation of women .He welcomed Indian Independence in the year 1920 though she got Independence only in the year 1947.
’ஆடுவோமே பள்ளு பாடுவோமே
ஆனந்த சுதந்திரம் அடைந்துவிட்டோமென்று’
He calls people to dance and sing but the Song should be in Pallu form a rustic variety .The fruit of independence should be felt by the down- trodden and under privileged section of the society Bharathi wished.
He dreams to row a boat in the gushing river Indus and play under moon light. Young women of Kerala should give sweet company. Beautiful Telugu song should be sung by them in that boat.
‘’சிந்து நதியின் மிசை நிலவினிலே
சேர நன் நாட்டிளம் பெண்களுடனே
தோணிகள் ஓட்டி விளையாடி வருவோம்’
India divided in two before independence on communal lines .Boating as Poet Bharathi wished in Indus river will ever be a dream only. A NEW DAWN in Tamil literature was made possible by Bharathi, an innovator.
Education through ones’ mother tongue in Institutions is most advantageous where in learning process is made easier and faster .Parental assistance to the learning of their children will immensely help when the learning process is through one’ mother tongue .At least primary education in schools should be in ones’ mother tongue. By mother tongue one should not wrongly mean the language ones’ mother speaks. A language which is prevalently spoken of and used in the milieu of any child with respect to its’ living and brought up, alone should be taken as ones’ mother tongue.
Irulars Narikkuravars and sakkiliars Todars and Kurumbars speak their own mother tongue and people from Telugu Malayalam kannada and Sourashtra regions settled permanently during the periods of King Krishna Deva Raya etc. in Tamilnadu may not expect their mother tongue should be medium of their education here which is practically impossible and unexpected.
Scientific tamil (lஅறிவியல் தமிழ்) literature should explore the possibilities of inculcating scientific knowledge in children from the beginning of their school education .Fomer president Honourable A P J Abdul kalaam and living scientists like Sri. Mayilsamy Annadurai learnt their education only through Tamil. We know Vaa. Se. Kuladaisamy (குலோத்துங்கன்) vice chancellor of Anna university was a well known Tamil poet and Tamil scholar a vociferous speaker in advancement and uplift of Scientific Tamil.
Unless more encouragement is extended to advancement of Scientific Tamil and forming of a body exclusively for that Tamil development is well exploited, a new strength and energy cannot be gained by the Language Tamil. This area seems to be dull and depressing today and requires more attention of the concerned sans any known prejudice.
Ethno linguistic diversity is destablizing force in Bangla Desh, Srilanka,Myanmar and Pakistan.Our experience in India is quite different .Ethno linguistic diversity is a unifying force in India. True Hindu Culture here is a unifier.
S.Ramakrishnan in Tamil a fiction writer in his Sahitya Academy award winning novel சஞ்சாரம் depicts the plights of Nadhaswaram vidwans of southern Tmilnadu A Nadaswaram party goes to great city LONDON to deliver their performance. One of the audiences in the assembly asks for reducing the volume of Nadswaram which is not possible in the auspicious instrument. Again he comes and asks for stopping of the playng of Nadswaram for dogs they had brought as camaraderie were frightened by the noise they were hearing. Playing of Nadswaram is a noise making affair there. Sorry status of every artist is mostly at par with that Nadswara vidwan who had gone to London.
A good work is born of one s’ brain and heart. We should become good readers first and not scholars. Aesthetic impulse is turning in literature as art. We only are experiencing life through medium Language. Literature alone accomplishes comfort to the needy soul. We should not forget ever the kural on Education.
கற்க கசடற கற்பவை கற்ற பின்
நிற்க அதற்குத் தக. (391)