Award Winner – Perumal Murugan

ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman 2015



Tamil Writer Peruman Murugan’s novel Madhorubhagan has bagged the fourth ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman, the prestigious annual award instituted by the IHC Indian Languages Festival Samanvay.  The award for 2015 was decided by an eminent  jury chaired by K. Satchidanandan, and included as its other members Sachin Ketkar, Manglesh Dabral, Mitra Phukan and Arundhati Subramaniam. The Jury selected Madhorubhagan after a detailed process of inviting nominations from five focal languages of ILF Samanvay 2015– Tamil, Marathi, Bangla, Dogri and Mizo. These nominations were then screened by the Award Advisors and a final selection was made by the Jury from the final shortlist.


The Award Winning Book: Madhorubhagan

Jury Chair K Satchidanandan says:


“Perumal Murugan’s Madhorubhagan (One Part Woman) is a rooted and passionate work of fiction that narrates with searing intensity and unsparing clarity the story  of  a relationship caught between the dictates of social convention and the tug of personal anxieties. This historian of the Kongu region of Tamil Nadu has brought into play his lyrical imagination, linguistic skill and  lexical knowledge  in this honest exploration of the tyranny of caste and the pathology of a community.  Inspired by local folklore and history, this great work of fiction dreams of a secular future for communities in India that remain hostage to the ways of the past. It is an imaginative contribution by a versatile writer and scholar to the collective struggle for a new India free from the oppression of caste and enslaving conventions.”

Responding to the award announcement Perumal Murugan gave this statement:

“The Samanvay Award for Madhorubhagan is a modern recognition given to Tamil, a classical language with a long and unbroken literary tradition. This recognition, bestowed on my language at an unfortunate moment, will, I hope, be a shining gem rather than an unsightly wart. I wholeheartedly thank everyone who made this possible. Constrained by force of circumstance to act as the shadow of PerumalMurugan, I feel honoured by this award. I dedicate the Samanvay Award to the lotus feet of the almighty lord Madhorubhagan.

P Murugan

Perumal 3

The IHC Director who is also the Festival Director of ILF Samanvay says:



‘It gives the IHC great pleasure to announce the ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman for Perumal Murugan. The Tamil literary canon has been expanded with the induction of the series of novels and short stories that Perumal Murugan has written. Madhorubhagan occupies pride of place in this canon. This award for Madhorubhagan  is a recognition of how a writer and his insider-outsider act of writing could serve the society and connect its histories with its contemporary realities and dreams.”

Perumal Murugan is a well-known Tamil writer and poet. He has written nine novels and four collections each of short stories and poetry. Three of his novels have  been translated into English to wide critical acclaim: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Current Show and One part  woman. He has received awards from the Tamil Nadu government as well as from Katha Books.