Theatrics Mark Modern Tamil Political Debate

Published: 25th March 2016 04:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2016 04:33 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Theatrics and personality cult are increasingly becoming integral to contemporary Tamil political discourse, according to bureaucrat-turned activist and writer P Sivakami.

She was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘political discourse and contemporary writing’ organised by the US Consulate here in association with the University of Iowa’s international writing program at Madras University on Thursday.

Instead of focusing on philosophies, she said there is increasing media emphasis on the personality cult. “Furthermore, our attention is directed towards trivial aspects like freebies, instead on real issues affecting the society,” said Sivakami, a former IAS officer and author of the popular novel ‘Pazhaiyana Kazhithalum’.

Emphasising the importance of eloquence, on the part of candidates standing for political posts, Christopher Merill, of University of Iowa, cited the example of Marco Rubio, Republican US presidential candidate, who lost vital ground merely because he repeated the same sentence thrice!

Another panelist, K Srilata, professor at IIT Madras, underscored the need to link writing with contemporary events.

“The art of writing is not an island, in the sense it remains isolaed. As writers, we need to be aware of what’s happening around us,” she said.

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