Revisit original sufi poets to resist majoritarian politics' idea of spirituality: K Satchidanandan

Mumbai, Nov 15 (PTI) Poet K Satchidanandan on Thursday said it's important for people to revisit the poetry of Tukaram and Meera Bai to understand spirituality in its true form, especially in the times of majoritarian politics where religion is used as a tool to attain power.

Satchidanandan said he had written a poem about Kabir in the '90s, before the demolition of Babri Masjid, when people knew 'something like this was going to happen.' 'It is about Kabir addressing contemporary Indians and telling them how wrong their idea of religion is. He is speaking about a deeper kind of spirituality, which could exist even without the formal religion. It led me to a deep study of 'bhakti' and sufi poets like Tukaram, Meera Bai, Akka Mahadevi...

'I belive the one way to resist the extremely wrong idea of religion that is being spread today is to go back to these poets and learn from them what it means to be truly spiritual,' Satchidanandan said.

He was speaking at the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, where he was honoured with Poet Laureate award.

Satchidanandan, considered to be the pioneer of modern poetry in Malayalam, said spirituality can never be the basis of hatred.

'All these poets stood for love across religions, love which transcended caste, gender and all kinds of nuisance. That's where I find true spirituality, or counter spirituality to the kind of majoritarian politics you find today which doesn't have spirituality but uses religion to attain power,' he added.

Satchidanandan has represented the country at several literary meetings overseas and has headed several national literary institutions. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2012. PTI JUR BKBK