Let me first express my gratefulness to Sahitya Akademi for the Award . It is also because of the Award that I am in a position to share my experience with distinguished literary persons like you gathered in the writer's meet.
Tukaram Darshan the work for which I am awarded is a work in criticism . But I would like to add that it is a work in cultural criticism and let me tell you in and with confidence that I have not followed any critic or historian or thinker while writing this book , There was no paradigm which I could have followed . In fact , it is out of dissatisfaction and pressing need to satisfy myself that I had to create my own paradigm for me . Whether I succeed or fail was entirely different thing , although now I can venture to say that my attempt is very well received and responded positively .
In my humble opinion search for a new paradigm is certainly a creative experience , creation need not be restricted to literary works such as poetry or fiction . It is required everywhere including sciences and natural as well as social and philosophy .
Today too much specialization has culminated into myopic and fractional views of reality . Karl Popper has said that specialization may be natural temptation for scientist , but for philosopher it is a moral sin . Mortal sin is something that causes death . And what is the mark of a live spirit if not creation ? So I had refused to restrict
myself to some specialized limited area of research right since my academic activities , and preferred interdisciplinary approach . To make visible interconnections among various disciplines is itself a creative experience , thrilling and charming . There is no logic to it .
I found Tukaram as a point wherein all such disciplines meet and converge How did I find it ? I say very humbly , it was a creative insight . I never looked back on thereon And this outcome was a rewriting of cultural history of Maharashtra, with Tukaram at its center It is Tukaramcentric history of Marathi culture .
Tukaram ! Here is a figure who has tremendous impact on Marathi language , literature and culture in general . He influenced Marathi people so that it became almost impossible for any person any group in Maharashtra to bypass Tukaram by not responding to him , and by ignoring his existence. In fact if you collect and organise such reactions and responses given to Tukaram you get considerably sufficient history of Marathi culture . To name a few persons - Justice M.G. Ranade, Mahatma
Jotiba Phule, Dr.R.G. Bhandarkar , Vitthal Ramji Shinde, B.S. Mardhekar, Dharmanand Kosambi, Bhalchandra Nemade, Dilip Purushottam Chitre, etc. The social political and religious movements also were influenced by Tukaram . Paramahans Sabha
Prarthana Samaja , Satyashodhak Samaja are among them . People accepted Tukaram as their friend , philosopher and guide .
It is because of such influence of Tukaram on Marathi culture I call Tukaram as the Sanskriti Purusha of Maharashtra .
I do not know whether this model of cultural history can be extended and universalised . It depends on which culture one is dealing with . One has to identify cultural person in that culture and find out his influences and the ways he was received and reacted . If he is really the Sanskriti Purusha , I am sure , one will be in a position to have a novel insight in history .