It is interesting to note Periyar’s thoughts and policies reflected in the literature of several Indian languages. He used to insist on women’s empowerment, widow-marriage etc; A much celebrated Kannada novel ‘Vamsa-Vriksha’ by S.L. Byrappa echoed Periyar’s thoughts.
A Brahmin religious old man lives with his widowed daughter-in-law and grandson. She falls in love with a non-brahmin professor. The old man is against her remarriage. At the end he finds out the secret of his own birth, that his mother was forced by her impotent husband to share her bed with a low caste street singer, inorder to continue the family tree (Vamsa Vriksha). The disillusionment of the old man is the crux of this novel.
It was made into a feature film in 1972 with the same title. Girish Karnad and B.V. Karanth jointly directed it. Girish played the role of the professor. He breathed his last on June 10, 2019. Sharada too, who acted as the young widow, passed away recently in Bangalore.
‘Vamsa Vriksha’ was produced in Telugu too, as ‘Vamsa Vriksham’. It was directed by Bapu, and released in 1982. ‘Sankarabharanam’ fame Somayajulu was the crazy old man on the screen. ‘Vamsa Vriksha’ glitters as a bright star in the galaxy of Kannada literature.