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There is only Hindu literature now, not Indian literature: Dalit literary icon Sharankumar Limbale

By Saritha S Balan

For Marathi writer and Dalit literary icon Sharankumar Limbale, a Dalit is one who fights against caste. And today, he says, the lines of that fight are much clearer. The rise of the BJP to power, he believes, has brought fascist forces in the country to the fore. This leaves writers in a state of unrest.

“We are no more in a comfortable state. The unrest has been created by the government. We are now more vigilant and hence more creative,” he says, talking to The News Minute after a national seminar on Dalit Literature, Art and Aesthetics, organised by The Institute of English in Thiruvananthapuram. However, says Sharankumar, we could not have reached where we are today if not for the contributions of secular governments, particularly of the Congress, which has failed to strengthen anti-fascist forces despite ruling the country for decades.  “They didn’t really care for social change or for the minorities- caste or economical. In that way, the BJP is government is just the succession of the previous governments,” he added. Read more

Source: The News Minute


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India: Chennai Literary Festival kick-started on Monday

The fourth edition of the Chennai Literary Festival kick-started on Monday at the University of Madras, Students. It will have 18 workshops and 22 competitions over three days.

Remembering an incident from last year when a student tearfully thanked the organisers for the cash prize since it would help him pay the fees, Latha Rajan, chairperson, Chennai Literary Festival, said that cash prizes would be awarded for all competitions this year too. “When we started the festival four years ago, only around 15 colleges took part. Now we have more than 30 colleges, even from Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, taking part,” she added.

The programme has workshops on an array of topics ranging from Dalit and tribal literature to animation and cyber security. The workshops will be conducted simultaneously in 18 different colleges in the city. A range of competitions from dubsmash to book reviews and debate will be held. Read more

Source: New Indian Express


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When literature travels from one language to another

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Left to right: Rakhshanda Jalil (writer – Invisible City: The hidden Monuments of India), Urmila Pawar (Marathi writer), Radha Chakravarty (writer & translator), Nirupama Dutt (Journalist, writer & translator), Rashmi Menon (commissioning editor at Amaryllis Books)

By Aminah Sheikh

Translated literature is like perfume in a bottle. One often expects the perfume to retain its fragrance when poured into another bottle, but that isn’t possible given the nuances of the source literature – culture, period, emotions. Some essence is lost, while a new aroma is added.

“The word ‘translation’ comes, etymologically, from the Latin for ‘bearing across’. Having been borne across the world, we are translated men. It is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately to the notion that something can also be gained,” renowned writer Salman Rushdie describes in his work ‘Imaginary homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991’.

This emotion echoed during a panel discussion ‘The Glory of Translation’ at the Kumaon Literary Festival. The session was moderated by Rashmi Menon, commissioning editor at Amaryllis Books.

The genre of translated books has been under experiments in the last two decades. “However, it is only in recent times that translators have new found confidence as publishers and source (literature) authors are growing to accept translated work that isn’t literal,” said literary historian & writer Rakhshanda Jalil, of Invisible City: The hidden Monuments of India fame.

Increasingly, writers are Indianising their translations which helps retain a certain flavor from the original literature. Radha Chakravarty, writer & translator (of Tagore’s prominent work) is of the view that, translations are where cultures meet, people from different orientations and backgrounds come to understand each other in harmony.

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India: Dalit writers forced to leave lit meet over Shivaji remarks

Noted Dalit writer Pradnya Pawar and Dalit scholar Raosaheb Kasabe were reportedly forced to leave a Marathi literary meet over their “objectionable” comments on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The meet was organised at Patan in adjoining Satara district by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad and the alleged incident took place on Sunday when a mob asked the duo to leave the event for “hurting” the sentiments of the Maratha community with their remarks on the 17th century warrior king.

Kasabe was invited as a special guest, while Pawar was nominated president of the two-day event which was dedicated to Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar. Read more


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India: Death of a trailblazer in Dalit literature

Om Prakash Valmiki lost his battle for life to liver cancer on Sunday, aged 63, leaving behind a literary legacy that is iconic not just for his words, but also because of what it tells us about our times.

Born at the lowest rung of the scheduled castes as an untouchable chuhda in Muzaffarnagar district of western Uttar Pradesh, he rose to occupy the highest place in the world of Dalit literature because of his powerful writings. Continue reading