KOCHI: Literature, a strong medium with the capability to unite people, also has the power to bridge differences, according to Telugu litterateur Volga. She was inaugurating the literary fest held as part of the Kochi International Book Fest here on Wednesday. " The country is losing its democratic face. People are turning to violence rather than imbibing the spirit of democracy. The writers have the right to express their opinion. When an opinion is voiced, discussions should be generated based on it. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh were killed as their opinion was not acceptable to some," she said.
Volga said writers, artists and intellectuals live in fear as they do not have the freedom to open their mind. "Let us not build walls. Instead, we should demolish them," she said. "Feminism is for men, Women expect equality, peace, brotherhood and unity. Even the jokes target women," she said while recalling the strong protest faced by Telugu writers when they started writing feminist poetry in the 1990s.
The feminist writers were recognised after women writers numbering around 150, published an anthology titled 'Neeli Meghalu' after a three-day meeting in Hyderabad. "Socialism and feminism will not be accepted easily. However, it was the strength of great writers which gave acceptance to these ideologies," she said. Sreekumari Ramachandran presided over the function and Bharthi Shivaji was the chief guest. Akkineni Kudumba Rao, M Shashi Shankar, Sister Vineetha and Anand Subramony spoke.