After following various responses by people for and against Jallikattu in the last one week, one glaring lacuna comes to the fore in these responses and most analysis. The lacuna arises due to the complete reduction of the Jallikattu protests to the individual merits and demerits of the sport. Amidst this cacophony, what is not properly accounted for are the reasons behind the ‘Jallikattu Movement’. Such responses also fail to understand that the protestors are not a homogenous body.
The controversy over writer Perumal Murugan’s novel Madhorubagan and the suicidal death of the writer within him reminds me of the French literary critic Ronald Barthes’ essay ‘Death of the Author’. Barthes argues against the practice of incorporating the intentions and biographical context of an author in the interpretation of a text, and instead argues that writing and the creator are unrelated. Once the author has given birth to the text, the author is dead; on the contrary any child born into this world requires nurturing, without which the fate of the child is predictable.
This is an English translation of a Malayalam article by Mr. N. K. Premachandran, former minister for water resources (2006-2011) in the state of Kerala. Every attempt has been made to remain faithful to the content and meaning of the original. However, if and where the article deviates from the original, the ideas and views presented in the original Malayalam version are to be considered those of the author.