Eminent poet K Satchidanandan believes that there is the need of creating secular space in Gujarat and many other parts of the country.
He expressed this view at ‘Umashankar Joshi Memorial Lecture’ at Gujarati Sahitya Parishad on Saturday, while introducing Malayalam author Vaikom Mohammed Basheer to Gujarati audience. Before throwing lights on personal and literary life of Basheer, Satchidanandan said that Joshi and Basheer were secular and there is a need to create similar space in Gujarat and many other parts of the country.
His literary works have social and political references and wants to write about communalism and communal politics.
Satchidanandan said that Basheer looked at life with detachment. And while representing the life of the Muslim minority in Kerala and speaking from the outskirts of mainstream historiography, he also succeeded in communicating the universal values of compassion, forgiving, tolerance and love, a feat that (Saadat Hasan) Manto had established with the same éclat and elan.
“Basheer often calls himself ‘the humble historian’ and this figure of the historian are implicit in his early stories that deal with the issues of freedom and the nation. The same can be seen in his later narratives that deal with domesticity, though here it often assumes the dimensions of parody and mock history,” said the speaker.
Around 30 books of Basheer were published starting from ‘Balyakal Sakhi’ to “Shingidimungan’ of which ‘Balyakal Sakhi’ and ‘Pattummayude Aad’ were based on his own life experience. Many of his stories are based on his life in jail during freedom movement, which not only condemns corrupt practices, but how the government has failed to fulfil the ambition of people.
“Basheer believed that thief, pickpockets, gambler and prostitute have their own language and the author has not right to refine them,” said Satchidanandan. Swati Joshi, Umashankar Joshi’s daughter and one of the trustees of Gangotri Trust, introduced K Satchidanandan to audience saying that he has given a new dimension to the Indian literature. Professor Ganesh Devi chaired the session.