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Nationalism and Social Changes: The Role of Malayalam Literature

Nationalism and Social Changes: The Role of Malayalam Literature
Item Code: NAX482
Author: K.K.N. Kurup
Publisher: Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Thrissur
Language: English
Edition: 1998
Pages: 142
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch

As early as 1993, funds for a major U. G. C. Research Project was sanctioned to me to pursue an inter-disciplinary area of ‘Nationalism and Social Change - The Role of Literature in Kerala.' The investigation was centred around the nationalist movement and the Malayalam literature and their cumulative effect of interaction in the promotion of social change. The nationalist movement in this region was anti-colonial, anti- feudal and anti-caste as elsewhere due to its ideological content and programmes. Literature was a powerful vehicle to carry over these ideas to the literate and the illiterate men living in the rural areas under rich or poor circumstances. The net result was the emergence of a mass movement.

The best intention of the funding agency was defeated by several problems including administrative delay and red-tapism. Thus only a portion of the funds was available, and I was compelled to cut short the project and complete it without further delay. An exhaustive survey of the entire literature of Malayalam in this direction is a difficult task. Further it would be a monotonous repetition of the same ideas and aspirations expressed by the writers. Therefore this study has been restricted to certain selected areas and main concepts relating to nation- alism and social change as reflected in the literature. In another sense nationalism was responsible to promote and strengthen all branches of literature.

A seminar relating to the role of Indian literature in promoting nationalism was organised under*my guidance in the university of Calicut in 1994, sponsored by the Indian Council of Historical Research. This seminar was also much useful in understanding the main trends of Indian literature during the 20th century and its role in promoting nationalism and social change.

While pursuing this research project I have discussions with eminent nationalists of Kerala who have actively participated in the struggle for freedom and in the process of remoulding the colonial society. Among them, I am particularly thankful to Sri. E. M. S. Namboodirippad,

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