Unmuted- A Monograph on Aravind Malagatti (An Old and Rare Book)
|Parvathi G. Aithal
|UNIVERSITY OF MYSORE, MYSORE
Dr. Parvathi G.Aithal is an Associate Professor of English at Bhandarkars Arts and Science College, Kundapura, of Udupi District. She has established herself in the field of Kannada literature, mainly as a translator because of her valuable contribution to the area. Her thorough knowledge of five languages-Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, English and Thulu has stood her in good stead. She has published more than 30 works of major authors, translated from other languages into Kannada and vice versa. She has also published a few of her own writings among which there are anthologies of short stories, poems, reviews of books and theatre performances and articles on various current issues.
Dr. Parvathi G. Aithal has received a number of awards from Karnataka and Kerala for her contributions to literature. They are H.V. Savitramma Endowment Award from The Karnataka Women Writers' Association (2001); Dr.Shivarama Karantha Sahitya Prashasthi from Kairali Suhridvedi (2002), Mallika Endowment Award for Criticism of Books (2003), Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi Award for her total contribution to Translation (2011).
Dr. Aravind Malagatti is a well-known writer who, by his contribution to the field of critical writing, research and creative writing, has earned a name for himself. He has more than forty works to his credit in varied literary forms.. He is a recipient of the prestigious Ambedkar Fellowship Award and his Government Brahmana, the first Dalit autobiography in Kannada, received the Kannada Sahitya Academy Award. Apart from these, Kanada Sahitya Academy Fellowship was conferred on him for his total contribution to Kannada literature. It is highly creditable that in spite of all this public recognition, Dr.Malagatti maintains a low profile. The social aspects of Dalit life are his area of concem. In fact he is identified as Dalitajna. Some have called him the propagator of Kannada Dalit literature. Dr. Malagatti catches the attention of people as an orator and makes them think over Dalit issues. His writings are equally sharp. He has founded a number of Dalit organizations and has taken an active role in Dalit movement.
At present, Dr. Malagatti is Professor of Kannada in the Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies, Mysore University. He has also served as the Director of the Institute and Director of Prasaranga, the Publication Wing of Mysore University.
Dr. Aravinda Malagatti is the most prominent and versatile of the second generation of Dalit writers, which shares most of the concerns and convictions of the first, and makes a determined attempt to go beyond them. Its reach both in terms of issues and expression shows a marked advance. Dr. Malagatti is essentially a poet and his reputation rests firmly on the eight collections of poetry he has published so far, but he is also a thinker who is keenly interested in contemporary society and the numerous problems it faces and offers his own analysis based on his experience as a Dalit and a writer. Though he is not fully committed to any school of thought, he has been deeply influenced by Dr, B. R. Ambedkar and Dr. Rama Manohar Lohia. Dr. Malagatti's distinction as a writer is the openness and optimism with which he approaches problems.
The Kannada readers have long been familiar with Dr. Malagatti's work and it has received serious critical attention from perceptive critics like Dr. C. N. Ramachandran, Dr. H. S. Raghavendra Rao, Dr. Purushottam Bilimale, Dr. K. Keshava Sharma and H. S. K. But it deserves to be known to readers beyond Karnataka because it makes a significant contribution to Dalit literature as a whole. Fortunately, selections from his writings ably translated by Dr. C. Naganna and edited by Dr. D. A. Shankar are available in English in A Spectrum of Unfreedom published by the University of Mysore in 2013 and I hope that this book would enable the non-Kannada readers to experience and assess his work.
Aravinda Malagatti's position in Kannada literature in the post colonial context assumes a great significance for various reasons. He has gained attention not only as a Dalit writer, but as a thinker who has contributed richly to the general cause .He was born as a Dalit, accursed to be dumb, exploited and made to suffer the extremely traumatic experiences along with the people of his tribe. But, being oversensitive, and extremely sharp in his observation of the things happening around him, slowly a writer emerged from him giving expression to his feelings of pain, anguish and indignation at the utter injustice and imbalance he saw in the society. Thus he began to flow along the current of the Dalit-Bandaya (Revolt) Movement that had just begun to raise its vociferous voice against the exploiters. Malagatti joined the line within no time, writing a number of poems and articles-all about the sufferings of the Dalits, and very soon came to be called a Dalit writer. However, he did not simply imitate the other Dalit writers. Instead, he established his difference from them through the individualistic traits that he acquired subsequently. Though the tortures and torments inflicted on him by the upper castes, and the intensity of insult and humiliation that he suffered in the society were the same as the other Dalit writers, the way he reacted to them was different, because he took sufficient care not to distort facts. He never lost his control on hiraself, but always maintained his balance and equanimity while showing his protest.**Contents and Sample Pages**
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