Much of the modern Tamil poetry is written by middle class professions, mostly Tamil pundits or other lowly job holders. You don’t have a Tagore today. Or there are poets as revolutionaries either! It is a laid-back, confused society! Our revolution talk seems to be mere bravado! Either out of inferiority complex, or mere helplessness!
I have done a brief survey of the current poetry writers. There are some energetic lines here and there. On the whole, I feel a let down. There is no serious poetry being written, lyrical or metaphysical. This is a great disappointment for me, coming late into the field and fired with a great deal of enthusiasm and expectations. In one or two literary meets I arranged in recent times, what I find is much superficiality. The seriousness I seek is missing. For me, writing is a serious pursuit and the climate in Tamil Nadu seems just nor right now!
“A man ought to do something more for mankind ” (Byron).
Where is the elite culture, the sophisticated culture, the high culture in Tamil Nadu? I feel the elite society is the critical force in the evolution of culture. The tabloidisation of modern Tamil journalism is running wild in Tamil Nadu. People and writers don’t know the difference between tabloids and quality journals.
There must be a positive change in our mindset and serious-minded poets and writers must conduct themselves in a liberal-minded way.
It is for the creative writers, intellectuals, poets to respond. Literature had always fought the many injustices. There is a vigorous new poetry tradition that seems quite sustaining.
The profile of Indian poets must be raised! We have to send out our poets as ambassadors, cultural attaches to Indian embassies abroad as they do in Latin American countries! Sahitya Academy must act. We live in an age of TV publicity and celebrities! Poets have to come into the open; they must lead processions, demonstrations and sign petitions! Poets must make news! Poets do write, but they often write some sort of escapist world of make-believe, non-existent world, non-existent issues. You don’t see any world-view, Weltanschauung of sorts in the writings of this generation.
My poems, I am sure, have surely enlarged the Tamil mind’s potential to reach the wider horizons, incorporated the many worlds that I had straddled, both inside me as well as outside.
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