Round Table India talked to Joe D'Cruz on 12th July, 2015.
Joe D' Cruz is a renowned Tamil writer, novelist, famous for his novels, Aazhi Soozh Ulagu, and Korkai. Joe D' Cruz hails from the coastal village Uvari in Tamil Nadu and his novels and his works revolve around the life, struggle, history, culture, and other marks of the coastal people in Tamil Nadu. His novel Korkai published in the year 2009 won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013. The interview took place amidst growing ostracisation of the writer in the literary circle, which could be seen as a result of his social background.
You have been under a series of attacks, the latest being a case filed by Meenavar Viduthalai Iyakkam. Unlike many others who were vociferously supported by mainstream media and mainstream liberal groups, there seems to be a strange silence with regard to your issue. There seems to be a conspiracy to silence you.
First of all, the organization called Meenavar Viduthalai Iyakkam is not an organisation at all. It is run by an individual and is the kind of organization one calls as a 'letter-pad organisation'. The individual is doing such things to serve his vested interests. Some people have these qualities—if they wish to hog the limelight, they would take issue with someone who is popular and is in the limelight.
As far as I know, there have been no adverse comments on my works Aazhi Soozh Ulagu and Korkai. I do not consider all these as controversies or as issues—these relate to an individual person and that's about it. I am neither in a position to seek support nor in a position to demand an audience with regard to these issues. I do not think it is needed either. These issues have piqued the attention of the media very much—many news channels, predominantly the English ones, came to my house without my asking. I do not pay much heed to such attention. I am a people's servant and not a full-time politician. I mean, you can see the condition in which I live. I work in a company for food and survival and I work for the cause of my people as it makes me happy. If I could pawn my works for personal gains, for making money, or for political mileage, it could have changed my material circumstances. But, even if you come and see me after a year or so, you would see me living in the same conditions.