The English translation of Tamil author Perumal Murugan’s controversial novel Maadhorubaagan has bagged the annual award for translation by the Sahitya Akademi. Translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, the novel, titled One Part Woman, was selected for the award by a three-member jury comprising K Satchidanandan, Dr Githa Hariharan and professor AR Venkatachalapathy. Murugan’s work had courted controversy in 2014 after various groups opposed the book saying that it insulted the women of the Kongu Vellala Gounder community in Tamil Nadu and degraded a Hindu deity.
As protests by these groups turned violent, Murugan had announced his withdrawal from the world of writing. The Namakkal district administration had also banned the novel, only to be lifted by the Madras High Court that declared the ban illegal in 2016.