1.) On the popularity of my blog
Deccan Chronicle, June 12, 2008
Controversial Tamil writer Charu Nivedita’s charuonline.com has got a traffic rank of 232,947, a previously unheard of rank for any Tamil writer’s website. This came to light after ‘Alexa’, a web traffic information company ranked the Tamil writer’s site as one of the most popular Tamil sites. Alexa’s ranking is considered a yardstick to measure the popularity of various websites across the world. “I am happy that my website is gaining popularity among Tamils across the world. I update my website almost every day,” said Charu Nivedita. I am writing more about Arab literature in my website now,” said the writer.
2.) On my works that appears in net first and in print later
Tamil lit moves off net and into print even as book fair kicks off – Times of India, January 1, 2010.
Charu Nivedita who runs his own website is enjoying his www avatar. “If an incident happens in the morning, I am able to broadcast my response by afternoon to my readers across the world. I don’t have to depend on any magazine,” he says. Nearly 20 of Charu Nivedita’s books carrying content that first appeared on the net are out in the market.
“My internet columns are print-ready. I write them keeping in mind the fact that they are going to appear in print later,” he says.
3.) On the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010
The Elaichi Elixir – Outlook, June 21, 2010
Charu Nivedita says, “The only reason Karunanidhi is holding the conference is because the polls are coming and he wants to tom-tom this as one of his achievements.” He adds, however, that this is standard practice for TN’s mega politicians.
4.) On difference between erotic writing and porn
Hot between the lines -The New Indian Express, August 4, 2010
Charu Nivedita, the author of Zero Degree believes that eroticism is the pulse of life. His works deal with painful eroticism. “The erotic writings of Marquis de Sade and Elfriede Jelinek have inspired my works. Erotic literature finds its roots in the age of Sangam and Kambar poetry. It has been reported that even Avvaiyyar, in one of her poems mentioned that she wanted to sip palm wine with King Adhiyamaan.” Charu is an encyclopedia on erotic literary works. He shares, “Soundarya Lahiri and Andal’s Thiruppavai, belong to the class of spiritual erotic writing. These days, there is a repression of writers who deal with eroticism.” He also goes to say, “Real eroticism involves appreciating sex. One is branded a ‘porno writer’, even if the piece deals with just eroticism.”
Charu also agrees that the pornification is a result of the influence of Victorian morality. He smiles, “Today, poets write porn. There is no tinge of eroticism in it.”
5.) Rajinikanth should play his age
Sify News, November 1, 2010
“Rajinikanth should stop doing films like Enthiran, and play his age,” spoke Charu Nivedita while inaugurating the Seventh International film festival, Chennai, along with director Mysskin. The film fest is organized by Manickam Narayanan of Seventh Channel.
6.) My speech at the 2010 Hay Festival, Trivandrum.
Hindustan Times, November 13, 2010.
Charu Nivedita, Tamil writer of Zero Degree who Malayalees have claimed as their own, mounted an attack on his state’s politics.
“I find myself with (AIADMK chief) Jayalalitha in daring to call (CM) Karunanidhi, Karunanidhi and not Kalaignar (artist), in a state which considers (actor) Kamal Hasan a thinker and (filmmaker) Mani Ratnam a social scientist.”
7.) My favourite books
Master Takes, Tehelka, November 13, 2010
Of late, Sharmistha Mohanty’s New Life really moved me. A story of a woman from Kolkata, it delves into the conflict between eastern and western cultures. Another interesting book is Tahar Ben Jelloun’s This Blinding Absence of Light, a story of prisoners surviving in the dark. Besides these, I have some favourites that include Nikos Kazantzakis’ Zorba the Greek and Report to Greco. Both books argue that the root cause for violence is a spiritual vacuum in life. I also liked Rory Stewart’s The Places in Between, on his journey through Afghanistan after the departure of the Taliban.
8.) Talented writers should be given more encouragement
The Hindu, April 2, 2011
“Talented writers should be given more encouragement. Lesser talented writers are given prominence in contemporary Tamil literature. It has been a long-dated trend in Tamil Nadu, the film industry is being used as a stepping stone for a career in politics. Due to the overdose of politics, good films were forced to fight for their space in the Tamil film industry,” spoke Charu Nivedita after inaugurating the valedictory session of the international film festival in Kochi.
9.) Quality of literature down
The Hindu, June 4, 2012
Modern Tamil Nadu does not respect writers and literature, writer Charu Nivedita has said. He was addressing the valedictory function of ‘Thattakaperuma,’ a series of programmes to observe the second death anniversary of writer Kovilan, in Thrissur on Sunday. “At least some in modern Tamil Nadu falsely believe that M. Karunanidhi is the best writer in Tamil. And that there is no literature beyond his writing. The truth is that the quality of Tamil literature has gone down over the years,” he added.
10.) Politicians worsened Mullaiperiyar Dam issue
The Times of India and Madhyamam, July 8, 2012.
“I am extremely sad about the Mullaperiyar Dam issue. It was politicians who worsened the issue, and it later became a weapon in the hands of fanatics,” said Charu Nivedita, the renowned Tamil writer who inaugurated a symposium on Mullaperiyar Dam organized by ‘Uyiru’, a joint cultural forum of Tamil and Malayalam writers, social activists and artistes, at the Public Library hall here on Saturday.
11.) On item songs and rape
Axe the vulgarity; No more Munnis – Deccan Chronicle, January 5, 2013
“Our young men are desensitized by their consumerist attitude where they consider women as a sexual commodity. The pelvic movements and gyrations in our cinema songs can challenge the blue films and the viewer age spectrum is a baffling 3-year-old toddler to a 90 years nonagenarian,” says writer Charu Nivedita.
12.) On the portrayal of a minor girl in a liplock scene in Mani Ratnam’s Kadal
Should they kiss and tell? – Deccan Chronicle, 23 January, 2013
Question – The female lead in one of the most celebrated Tamil films, Kaadhal, was a Class 9 student. The female protagonist of a yet to be released Tamil film is a 16-year-old girl, who is seen locking lips in the trailer.
Charu – “It doesn’t project a great picture. Awareness about forbidding the casting of underage girls in films must be fast spread. Even the Censor Board, which ruthlessly chops off common slang, turns a blind eye to this dangerous trend.”
13.) On children being allowed to watch ‘A’ certified films
Much ado about the item – Deccan Chronicle February 4, 2013
Charu – “My concern primarily is that in most places, children below 18 are allowed to watch ‘A’ certified films. There must a strict vigil on this.”
Question – However, this also raises the question about actors flashing their six packs while uttering the popular punchy one-liners? Would such representation also be scrapped from television?
Charu – “Be it a man or a woman, nudity cannot be termed vulgar, as it is purely contextual.”
14.) On translations
Economic Times, December 15, 2013
“There is no cross-cultural bridge between states here. While you could find [Mario Vargas] Llosa, [ Jorge Luis] Borges and [Gabriel Garcia] Marquez even in Tamil, you couldn’t find many Bengali or Hindi books in Tamil or English, ” says Tamil writer Charu Nivedita, whose unconventional, post-modernist novel Zero Degree was published by Chennai-based Blaft Publications in 2008.
15.) On hero worship in India:
Al Jazeera, March 21, 2014
Chennai-based contemporary writer Charu Nivedita says, “civic and political changes have influenced popular tastes in the state. South Indians have an emotional nature that can be naive. The influx of pulp cinema, supported by a political and entertainment culture has led to an erosion of its classical aesthetics. Cinema has contributed to a culture of deification of film stars”, he says.
16.) When Navayana refused to publish Joe D’Cruz’s work, after he wrote in praise of Modi:
The Indian Express, April 16, 2014
“This is blackmail. They pretend to have just heard about his political stand, but Joe has been talking on similar lines for over a year,” said Charu Nivedita.
17.) India Today Website quotes Charu Nivedita on beep song controversy. Dated December 13, 2015
Charu Nivedita blasted Anirudh and Simbu for the untimely release of the song. The writer condemned them for releasing such a song during a time when whole of Chennai and few other districts are suffering from the flood waters. The author of Zero Degree further stated that he has no problem with the word, since it is like any other word in usage.
18.) India Today website quotes Charu Nivedita on Ilaiyaraaja’s verbal abuse towards a journalist, dated December 18, 2015
Charu Nivedita in his Facebook post said that Ilaiyaraaja could have avoided to answer the question if he didn’t want to. He further said that not only physical brawl this type of outburst is also violence.
19.) On beep song controversy:
The Hindu, December 22, 2015
Charu Nivedita questioned the very need for such a composition. “The very basis of eve-teasing comes from youth being influenced by what they see in popular culture and how lightly it is represented. Apart from being extremely offensive to women, songs like these influence a society to act vulgar,” he said.
He further added, “The mindset of relegating women to specific roles within households and discriminating against their capabilities is what comes through in songs like this. At an individual level, we should introspect and raise our voices against such misogyny and vulgarity.”
20.) Polemics in Tamil Literary World
Times of India, 25.11.16
“Transgressive writer Charu Nivedita who has contributed to both ‘Uyirmmai’ and ‘Kalachuvadu’ says he has been at the receiving end of insults as he is perceived to be part of the ‘Uyirmmai’ camp. ‘Disagreements break out among writers as they may belong to different schools of thought. Readers perceive that I am a fierce rival of writer B Jeyamohan as we have opposing viewpoints that show up in our works. We are actually very good friends.’ ”