New Delhi, Sep.15 : Senior Congress leader Dr.M.Verrappa Moily's Kannada novel Tembare's Hindi version was released on Monday in the capital.
As a novel, Dhol (or, the drum) approves the hegemonic argument of 'education liberates the poor'.
"I spent five years researching for this novel. The novel hence showcases real culture and characters of those people who are illiterate. This is a story of a person , who is untouchable in day time but divine at night time. They are treated as slave and treated as divine at night. This is not my work, it is exactly of those real people of the group of society my novel is talking about," said Dr.M.Veerappa Moily, the novelist cum senior Congress leader at the Triveni Kala Sangam on the release.
"My write ups give me peace and whatever I cannot do, I write. I write for myself and try to express my innermost feelings in my writings. My habit is to pick the themes which are difficult. I don't write until I am possessed by the subject," Moily informed the audience.
The novel endorses the viewpoint that unless the members of the oppressed community, like mentioned in 'Dhol' as the people of the Pambada community reject their traditional occupation of Bhuta impersonation get formal education and begin to understand the world with a historical-scientific view, they cannot free themselves of the centuries' old exploitation and poverty.
The novel talks about the Pambada lifestyle, Bhuta, Yakshagana, various ceremonies, ritual and rites that form the background of the novel.
It throws light on the irony of life that the members of Pambada community have to live with, as a Pambada is required to conduct the ritual and impersonate the Bhuta at night and it earns him everyone's reverence. But in the day time everything is back to square one. In addition to poverty and social untouchability, a Pambada has to be a pawn in the hands of men in power. If refused to comply, he has to lose his arms (like Monta Pambada character in the novel) or his life (like Pijina character in the novel)
Releasing the novel's Hindi version 'Dhol', senior Congress leader and AICC General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi, said: "The novel is based on social values and the interesting part is the writer, Mr. Moily, who has been a lawyer and hence given several logical reasons for various things and developments instead of giving any judgement about anything in the novel. Being familiar to one section of society, he has tried to highlight their daily problems and circumstances."
"The novel showcases how a member (the protagonist Lakan) of the exploited community turns Bhuta and is revered by all during Bhuta worship. But the same person is treated so commonly in general life at day time. It throws light upon this strangeness of life lived here by a community," Dwivedi added.
"Each chapter of this novel is a text worth learning from. There are various sub-texts worth pondering. The novel also tells how it is actually the people of lower class who create art and culture. These are the people who live the art in real sense, as shown through Bhuta in the novel. The book also states situations or circumstances using references from epics like Mahabharta and Ramayana. It shows the grotesque face of politics besides revealing the dangerous face of land-mafia surviving under political protection," said Professor K.D.Palival, former Professor and Head of Hindi Dept of Delhi University.
The novel extensively makes use of Pambada myths and oral narratives. In this sense, this book is an important source for the researchers in the area of anthropology, folklore and sociology.
"Moily's first novel Suligali was a touching story of rural life, full of conflicts as well compromises. His second novel, Sagaradeepa depicted the problems and sufferings of the poor fisherman community of the costal Karnataka. His third novel Kotta reflected the agony and anguish of one of the most neglected community called Koragas. His fourth novel, Tembare, is now translated into Hindi by B.R.Narayana as 'Dhol', " informed Dr.Purushotham Bilimale in his introductory remarks.
"Moily has brought out two collections of poetry, four novels and a collection of discursive essays in English. Recently, he completed his most ambitious work as a poet-Ramayana and Mahanveshanam in five volumes," Bilimale added. By Sandeep Datta