'Kabali' will bring 'My father Balaiah' from libraries to drawing rooms: Author

What Thalaivaar reads in a movie might be read by his fans as well, hopes Professor Y B Satyanarayana, author of the book 'My Father Balaiah'.

HYDERABAD: Rajinikanth fans follow him from tip to toe. What he reads in a movie might be read by his fans as well, hopes Professor Y B Satyanarayana, author of the book 'My Father Balaiah' which was published in 2011.

Rajinikanth is seen reading the book in the opening scene of his latest blockbuster 'Kabali'.

"Though my book is already being researched by one student in HCU and another in Pune University and has found place in libraries in universities like Yale and Harvard, I hope that the book will now come into drawing rooms and not just stick to  academic circles," he hoped.

The Osmania University Chemistry Department professor's book about his father's struggles to raise him and his siblings and give good education despite the odds (discriminiation) for being Dalits, is also being translated to Tamil, and is likely to hit the stands in September.

"Incidentally, one of the woman scriptwriters of Kabali is also the translator of my book in Tamil. I have been told that director Pa Ranjith and most of the technicians and scriptwriters of 'Kabali' are Dalits. I called Pa Ranjith yesterday and expressed my gratitude," the professor said.

Seeing the release of Kabali as an opportune time to release 'My father Balaiah' in Tamil, Prof Satyanarayana said that the book will make more impact on young Tamilians when the movie is still fresh on their minds.

The publisher of Perumal Murugan's books will be 'My father Balaiah's' Tamil translation publisher as well. The book has been translated into Telugu, Kannada and Hindi and a Bengali translation will be published in December.

Stating that English language is the most powerful weapon of Dalits today, Prof Satyanarayana, said, "My father used to wake us up at 4 am and make us read English loudly. He wanted us to speak English like his railway station manager and other officers and get a job in Railways. Now, me and brothers are professors," he said.

Considering his book as an addition to Dalit literature, the Karimnagar native said that more Dalit literature should be written in English.

"However, opportunity and environment should come together. Majority of rural Dalits have no access to English education due to discrimination and lack of good teachers," he lamented.

The professor says he still faces discrimination in academic circles. "People will smile softly on my face but as soon as I turn back, they will talk ill about me," he said.

"In the caste-Hindu setup, antagonism will never end. Community is finding hard to move up. Only certain individuals are struggling and moving upwards and it is their responsibility to take fellow Dalits up the ladder," he said.

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The New Indian Express