A search for emerging writers
Early this month Kozhikode city of Kerala witnessed a unique method of encouragement for fresh writers in Malayalam. Vigil Sponsored Books Scheme, an offshoot of Vigil Human Rights, Kerala, came out with a novel idea of lifting budding writers to the realm of letters, that is, sargavasantham. Works of 127 writers were published in 33 books. They were stories, poems, essays and dramas selected from 500 creations. The selection was done by a five-member expert committee. The writers belonged to diverse stratum—students of 8th standard to the HoD in a prestigious university in South India! The scheme came up as a silver line for the little masters of letters in the otherwise tough and thorny path of finding out a way to publish their own books.
Under Vigil Sponsored Books Scheme, the writers were relieved from the headache of organising money and infrastructure for bringing their works into light, thanks to Advocate CK Menon, chairman of Bahsad Group, Doha, Qatar, who came out to pick up the tab for the whole operation. Naturally, this yeoman’s service made 127 writers all smiles. His sponsorship converted lot of little dreams into realities.
Advocate PS Sreedharan Pillai, the prime organiser of Vigil, national executive member of BJP and an acclaimed writer, and his colleagues KG Venugopal, PM Shyamaprasad and TH Valsaraj told this correspondent that they do feel the euphoria of giving a helping hand to some new writers through this exemplary scheme. They hope, some of these writers may get Jnanpeeth award or some other recognition in the years to come. They claim that some of them do have hopeful potentials to translate the wishful thoughts of the organisers into action. Sreedharan Pillai did not hesitate to reveal that some are MTs and ONVs of the future! He was referring to Padma Vibhushan MT Vasudevan Nair and Kerala’s celebrated poet Prof ONV Kurup, two Jnanpeeth laureates from Kerala.
The one-day programme was graced by a host of luminaries of letters. MT Vasudevan Nair, MP Veerendrakumar, former union minister, MD of Mathrubhumi daily, famous writer and orator and state chief of Socialist Janata, a constituent of ruling UDF in Kerala, PV Gangadharan, director of Mathrubhumi daily, Dr MGS Narayanan, director of the Centre for Heritage Studies (CHS) and former chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, novelist and Kendra Sahitya Akademy award winner C Radhakrishnan, famous Malayalam poet and lyricist S Rameshan Nair, writers PR Nathan, UK Kumaran, Kanesh Punoor, Akbar Kakkattil and K Mohandas, Advocate CK Menon, Dr K Madhavankutty, Madhyamam editor and Jamat-E-Islami leader O Abdullah, PV Chandran, director of Mathrubhumi daily, P Balakrishnan, resident editor of Janmabhumi daily, Dr MP Shivadas, and Rajan Daniel, prominent businessman from Middle East were some among them. The novices got excellent opportunity to interact with the veterans in the field. They received certificates signed by prominent writers.
Vigil Human Rights is a registered organisation working in the socio-cultural fields of Kerala for the last 12 years. The organisers inform that next year the number of writers will be increased to 301. The silent revolution carried out by Vigil in different areas of Keralites’ life, through courts and peoples’ representatives, has become a part of the history. Vigil contributes to the cultural field as well. The sargavasantham is one among them.
Even though Vigil is not involved in party politics, Advocate Sreedharan Pillai and his associates follow the RSS-BJP school of thoughts and a cross section of society is always manning these programmes and schemes.
(Special Correspondent, Kerala)