Literature and democratic rights

Published on: January 24, 2000
Dear Friend,

We are holding a convention on “Dissenting Voices: Literature and Democratic Rights” on January 23, 2000. The day-long convention is in memory of C.V. Subbarao and will focus on the connection between literature and peoples movements in various parts of the country. Literature has always been a source of inspiration for different kinds of movements and has often articulated peoples’ aspirations in a variety of ways, through poems, songs, ballads stories theatre etc. Likewise all peoples’ movements such as those led by peasants, workers, women and Dalits have influenced the form and content of literature.

Literature has also been a space where prevailing notions of democracy are contested and redefined. Not surprisingly this space has time and again come under attack from the state and powerful vested interests. The recent attacks by communal fascist groups on artistic expression is just the latest in a long history of attempts to suppress this democratic space. This convention is in celebration of the space literature provides to help forge and give a voice to peoples aspirations and struggles.
C.V. Subbarao or Subba is a name that many people connected with the democratic rights movement know. He was a long time activist of PUDR who met an untimely death on January 17, 1994. Subba was also a well-known literary critic in Andhra Pradesh, under the pen-name Sura. His love for literature and his deep understanding of different literatures has been a constant source of inspiration for young activists in PUDR. Dedicating this convention to Subba’s memory is a way of keeping him alive for us in these dark times.

Harish Dhawan Rakesh Shukla
Venue: Indian Institute of International Law
9, Bhagwan Das Road (Opp Supreme Court), New Delhi. Date: 23 January 2000
Participants: Sumanto Bannerjee, Gaddar (Jan Natya Mandali), K.Venu (AILRC), Mahashweta Devi, Malini Bhattacharya, Rajendra Yadav, Katyayini, Volga, G.P. Deshpande, Asmita, Disha Sanskritik Manch (Haryana), Vikalp Sanskritik Manch and others.

Archived from Communalism Combat, January 2000, Year 7  No. 55,  Breaking Barriers 3