CHENNAI: Finally breaking his silence, Perumal Murugan, who proclaimed his death as an author after being hounded for his novel Madhorubhagan, defended his works before the Madras High Court saying he just carried out his role as a writer, questioning patriarchal social values and be on the side of the marginalised.
Explaining that he was compelled to apologise under duress by the Namakkal DRO, he justified his own demise as an author since a writer could not function under threat or fear.
The author said he had expressed his sincere regret in writing. But the DRO rewrote it as ‘unconditional apology’ and asked him to affix his signature. He did not have the heart to apologise, he said and added that he was under terrible confusion and the large gathering at the DRO office was indicative of the aggression in the air. He spoke to his wife over the phone, and she felt that if tendering an unconditional apology would help defusing the situation, he could do so. By doing it, he should not suffer any inner break down, she had warned. And he affixed his signature, the writer said.
“The function of a writer is to question the social values and subject them to critical examination. He must not mechanically accept anything. The society which frames the rules also provides for exceptions. It is natural for a writer to focus his writing on the exceptions. When the society insists on rules, the writer will highlight the exceptions. That is how, it is possible to perceive things from the side of the victim. Otherwise, the voice of the victim and marginalised will go unheard,” Perumal Murugan, who has settled down in Chennai after his transfer to Presidency College here, said in his affidavit filed on Tuesday.
The counter was filed in response to a batch of PILs.