Thackeray was a politician, journalist and cartoonist but he simply did not have any worthwhile contribution to make to the literary world. Besides, his politics was generally anti-Dalit, anti-Muslims, anti-women and anti-outsider. He called one Sahitya Sammelan "bail bazaar" and insulted PL Deshpande, NG Gore and others. Giving his name to the dais meant insulting the deeply progressive tradition of Marathi literature and poetry.
Then, the entire Parshuram-related controversy. I condemned these and conveyed my protest to the organisers. My refusal to attend the Sammelan is not a permanent position but I believe that Marathi writers and poets must take a stand against the increasing tendency of politicians appropriating literary space. This is a disturbing thing and I wish more of us would stand up and protest it.
(As told to Smruti Koppikar)
(Pradnya Daya Pawar lecturer, feminist and well-known Dalit poet)