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Tamil poetess refused to accept award for Adani sponsoring the event

Tamil poet Sukirtharini has refused to accept the Devi Award after learning that Adani Group is the main sponsor of the award ceremony.

He said, “Being a part of the program goes against my principles, my writings and my philosophy, for which I have been standing till now.”

He announced his decision not to accept the award on his Facebook page on February 4. According to The News Minute, she said in a post written in Tamil, ‘The New Indian Express group gives ‘Devi Puraskar’ to 12 women, who are selected from across the country for their contribution in their respective fields. This award is to be given to me for my contribution to Dalit literature. I thank New Indian Express.

He further wrote, ‘I came to know only yesterday that Adani is the main sponsor of this event. For the politics I speak about and the ideologies I believe in, I will not be happy to receive an award from any organization or any program that is being financially supported by the Adani Group. Therefore, I refuse to accept the Devi Award.

The award ceremony was held on 8 February at the ITC Grand Chola Hotel in Chennai. Twelve women from all walks of life were selected for the awards this year, including scientist Gagandeep Kang, Bharatanatyam dancer Priyadarshini Govind, social worker Radhika Santhanakrishna and squash player Joshna Chinappa.

Sukirthrani’s literary work talks about the life and difficulties of Dalit women in India, especially Tamil Nadu. She told The Wire in an interview in 2017, “For me caste identity and women’s bodies are intertwined. I personally feel that the problems of Dalit women are different from those of women of other castes. Not all of my writings are my own experiences; They are the experiences of every other woman or Dalit woman. We are all bound in the shackles of caste. The bodies of Dalit women are especially prone to regular violence.

She said, “In my opinion Dalit women go through a worse situation than what upper caste women go through. We have to face an internal struggle with men of our own class who want to dominate women. Upper caste men are the next challenge, as they feel entitled to show their power in an even more assertive way. The status of women in any household is no different from that of the society.

He is also a teacher at Lalapet in Ranipet district. He has six poetry collections to his credit: Kaipatti Yen Kanavu Kel, Iravu Mirugam, Kamathippu, Thendapadatha Mutham, Avalai Mozhipayarthal and Ippadikku Yeval. Many of his poems are taught in colleges in Tamil Nadu and have been translated into English, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and German.

Delhi University’s decision to drop her writings from its curriculum in 2021 was widely criticized. Then she told ‘Similarly a woman’s body is deliberately ignored and destroyed by the ‘powers’. I’m certainly not surprised that these poems were removed. Now we have a central government which believes in Sanatan. But clearly, she is troubled by what I write. I am not surprised because powerful Dalit voices have always been silenced. When they cannot face the reality of our actions – mine, Bama’s or Mahasweta Devi’s – they try to stop us. But our actions speak for themselves.

It may be noted that the Adani group has been embroiled in a massive controversy for the past few weeks ever since Hindenburg Research, an American investment research firm, leveled allegations of fraud on the Adani group. In this report, it was said that a two-year investigation has revealed that the Adani group has been involved in ‘stock manipulation and accounting fraud’ for decades.