Date: Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 4:43 PM
Subject: "It is fundamentalism of the people who wear liberal mask": Sahitya Akademi Award winner Joe D'Cruz on cancellation of book translation due to his support for Narendra Modi
"It is fundamentalism of the people who wear liberal mask": Joe D'Cruz on cancellation of book translation due to his support for Narendra Modi
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's growing popularity as BJP's prime ministerial candidate may be a very tangible reality for a large chunk of the nation and yet, for supporters like writer Joe D'Cruz, their allegiance has proved to be detrimental. This was observed, when, earlier this week, the translation of Sahitya Akademi award winner Joe D'Cruz's book Aazhi Soozh Ulagu (Ocean Ringed World) was cancelled on account of his support for Modi.
D'Cruz's publisher, 'Navayana' rejected the release of his copy on the grounds that he declared support for Modi and that they refused to be associated with someone they believe to be a 'fascist'. Even his translator V Geetha, a feminist, believes that his support for Modi was completely unfounded, quoting the 2002 Gujarat riots.
In an email interview with dna, D'Cruz defended his stance and said that his support of Modi was founded on the fact that he truly believed in Modi's development model and effective leadership.
In your opinion, why was your book's translation cancelled? Do you think this is a form of backlash from the elitists in Delhi?
It is because of my opinion expressed on Facebook as Narendra Modi is the right choice for PM. I think their actions show the form of narrow mentality.
In a democratic secular state like India, do you believe that it is wrong to chastise you or anybody for their personal support of a particular candidate?
Son of a tea vendor becoming the prime minister of India is a symbolic victory of Indian democracy.
It is the right wing that has been typically considered fundamentalist. Do you think the cancellation of your book is a form of fundamentalism on the part of the generally liberal left?
Of course it is fundamentalism of the people who wear liberal mask.
The Left often claims that if Narendra Modi comes to power, the Right will impede on the freedom of the populace. Do you think that even before Modi has come to power, the left is personifying the same evil they accuse him of?
What has been your overall experience after revealing yourself as a Modi supporter?
I have not revealed myself as a Modi supporter but expressed my view that if Narendra Modi come to power the marginalised sections including Coastal India will improve.
Finally do you have a statement to issue against your publisher and translator for the cancellation of your translation's release?
Attacks on me are panic reactions. I am not bothered the least; those who have attacked me have revealed their real nature. Creative writer is not an indentured labourer of some beliefs.
Celebrity Tamil novelist supports Narendra Modi, gets threatThere had been a lot of opposition, threat and blackmail after he posted his pro-Modi views a few days ago on Facebook.Press Trust of India | Chennai | April 13, 2014
Popular Tamil novelist R N Joe D'Cruz finds himself "facing threats" and "hate mails" after he expressed his support for BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, hailing his Gujarat regime as "a visionary government".
There had been a lot of opposition, threat and blackmail after he posted his pro-Modi views a few days ago on Facebook, Joe, a Sahitya Akademi award recipient and a champion of the cause of fishermen, told PTI.
On the reaction in literary circles, he alleged "certain people blackmail. Others threaten that my literary work that are currently getting translated will be in trouble. For instance, a translation of 'Aazhi Soozh Ulagu,' which is under the process of publication in English will be halted, they say. Some have sent hate mails that shower abuses."
However, Joe is unfazed by such opposition. "My decision to support Modi is whole-hearted," he said.
Asked if his support to Modi, accused of not doing much to contain Gujarat riots, would not be viewed as anti-minorities, he said, "I have travelled far and wide and understand socio-political and economic realities in our country. So far, all those who have been in power have only displayed a selfish attitude and lack of doable ideas to solve people's problems."
The development in Gujarat was actually propelled by "pragmatism" and the practical approach became "easy" owing to a real understanding of issues and workable solutions, Joe, who hails from a community of traditional fishermen, said.
"All other regimes failed to do this. More particularly, there you have a visionary government that truly cares for the common man," said Joe, whose novel "Korkai", an account of a 100-year history of fishermen, won the Sahitya Akademi award for 2013.
His earlier novel novel "Aazhi Soozh Ulagu" received the state government's best novel award in 2005.
He has also done documentary films and all his creative works deal mostly with the lives and sufferings of Tamil fishermen. He also penned dialogues for actor Dhanush starrer "Maryan," a film directed by Bharat Bala.
To a question about basing his support for Modi on Gujarat's growth alone, Joe said, "Not only that…I am one among millions of Indians who would love to see a strong and visionary leadership. I do not think there is any one else except Modi who fits the bill."
On what he expected Modi to do for fishing communities, the writer recalled the Gujarat Chief Minister's visit to Nagercoil in 2009 when he spoke on the importance of bringing systemic improvements like use of GPS to identify availability of fish.
"He understands coast, coastal life and sufferings of fishermen. I am confident, he will honour and improve the living conditions of fishermen who are unpaid guards of our lengthy coastline,"
"No past government has done anything meaningful for them. Modi understands their travails. He hails from a coastal State and has humble background. I am confident. He is committed to bring a change and will deliver tangible results."
On what he wanted to tell those who opposed him for offering support to Modi, he said such people who claim to be progressive were actually masquerading.
"They are in fact conservative and reactionary in their outlook. It is my right to support anyone. My heart and soul is always for the coast and Modi will bring justice to coastal communities that have been wronged by the rulers."-----------------------------------------------------------------
Joe D'CruzFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joe D'Cruz was born in a Roman Catholic Parathavar family in Uvari, a coastal village in Tirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. He did his schooling in Uvari and Idaiyangudi. He graduated with an M.A.(Economics) at Loyola College, Chennai and did his M.Phil at St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli. He is married to Sasikala and has two children. He has been working in the shipping industry for more than two decades.
Joe D'Cruz published a Tamil poetry compilation, Pulambazhkal, in 2004. His Sahitya Akademi award-winning novel Korkai was originally published in 2009 and prior to that his 2005 novel Aazhi Soozh Ulagu was awarded the Tamilnadu state government literary award and Tamil Literary Garden award. Both his novels are based on history and the lives of Parathavar fishermen of Tamil Nadu. The first novel Aazhi Soozh Ulagu dealt with the lives of fishermen who used catamarans and their conversion to Christianity. The second novel titled Korkai refers to Korkai, an ancient port city ruled by Early Pandyan Kingdom. It documented 20th-century history of the people in the region. It is considered as a well-researched historical novel.
He also filmed documentary films such as Vidiyatha Pozhuthukal (2008), Towards Dawn (2010). His films mostly based on sufferings of Tamil fishermen. He wrote the dialogue for Tamil movie Maryan. He opposed Kudankulam nuclear power project, arguing it will affect the livelihood of the fishermen.
Threats and Professional Censure for Supporting Narendra Modi
The Indian Express  reported that Joe D'Cruz received threats and hate-mail after he expressed support for the BJP PM Candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Narendra Modi, on his Facebook page. A translation of his work 'Aazhi Soozh Ulagu' into English, was also halted in retaliation.
- "என் ஊர்!" (in Tamil). Ananda Vikatan. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- "ஆர்.என்.ஜோ–டி–குரூஸ்". Dina Thanthi (in Tamil). 19 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- "Joe D'Cruz wins Sahitya Akademi award". Deccan Chronicle. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- "Sailing high as a writer". The Hindu. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- "KORKAI". Archaeological Survey of India. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "The Parathavas have come full circle". The New Indian Express. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "Sons of the sea show true grit". The Hindu. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "Celebrity Tamil novelist supports Narendra Modi, gets threat". The Indian Express. 13 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
sent from samsung galaxy note, so please excuse brevity