Source : The Hindu
‘Recognition for honest writing; there is no politics behind it’
Tamil writer Imayam has won the Iyal Lifetime Achievement Award, instituted by Toronto-based Tamil Literary Garden, a charitable organisation promoting the development of literature in Tamil internationally.
The award has come at a time when his first novel, Koveru Kazhuthaikal, a story on Maha Dalits — a section of Dalits that works for the Dalit community — celebrates its 25th year.
The award carries a cash prize of C$ 2,500.
“I feel it is a recognition for honest writing. There is no politics behind it,” said Imayam, whose original name is V. Annamalai.
He said strides made in the fields of transport, education, telecommunication had achieved development in 25 years, which could have otherwise taken 200 years and it had changed the lives of the oppressed sections.
“If I am to write the novel now, I have to completely change the story,” he said, when asked whether the status of Maha Dalits had improved over the years.
When Koveru Kazhuthaikal was published, writer Sundara Ramasamy described it as a novel with “few equals.”
As schoolteacher, Imayam has penned five novels — Koveru Kazhuthaikal, Arumugam, Sedal, Engatha and Sellathapanam — and five volumes of short stories and a novella Pethavan, a story that has a close resemblance to the Divya-Ilavarasan love affair that shook the State some years ago.