The book — ‘Sudhirsukt’ (Hymns of a Shudra) — came out four years ago and was written by former BJP MLA Vishnu Surya Naik Wagh but first surfaced in the news a month ago with rumours that it was in line to get the state’s highest literary award.
Sudhirsukt has hit the headlines for three reasons – the description of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) community as exploiters, use of “abusive” words to describe caste elite women and the usage of a local language throughout the book, unlike the unadulterated Konkani language endorsed by the caste elite in the state.
His supporters say Wagh wrote nothing wrong and that his commentary through the poems constituted an important assertion against the GSB elite.
“There is not a single wrong thing written in the book. It is a beautiful piece of work, which gives a true narrative of the society. I have read all the poems and it is only then that I decided to publish this work,” said his publisher Hema Naik.