KOCHI: There is no literature called Indian literature as we have diverse cultures and languages and integrating Indian literature is a failed project, said poet and critic K Satchidanandan. Our intellectual and cultural life is so diverse we don't have a common language or a common philosophy. Language is the basis of literature and you cannot speak of Indian literature in the singular, he said while delivering the keynote address at Krithi Literary Festival at Bolgatty Palace here on Wednesday.
"The regional histories of India are very different. The concept of literature in each language is different. If you write the history of Indian literature it will not be complete. We need inclusive histories of Indian literature in all languages, including Adivasi, Dalit, oral and performing literature. What we need is a literary cartography because we are living in a complex network of relationships. We need to redefine our understanding of words like genius, subjectivity, author and authenticity and understand the difference between the dialects and languages.
"All stories are going to be different and each of them will be incomplete. Let us not forcibly bring them together. Let us not make literature a mechanical appendix of the history of the nation. We have to make the invisible visible and inaudible audible. It is a major responsibility of historians," he said.
'Abolish religious laws to ensure equality for women'
All religious laws should be removed to ensure equality and justice to women in society, said Bangladeshi author in exile, Taslima Nasreen. "The patriarchal social system should be abolished because women are treated as slaves, sexual objects and childbearing machines under the system. I opposed it as it is oppressive. When I rejected it, the fundamentalists issued a 'fatwa' against me. The government instead of supporting me supported the fundamentalists and I had to leave the country," she said while speaking about women rights at Krithi Literary Festival here on Wednesday.
Bangladesh celebrates the birth anniversary of Begum Rokeya, a Muslim feminist and social reformer because she is dead. If she lived in this age they would have issued a 'fatwa' against her, said Nasreen.