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Indian litfests focus only on English writing, rues Adoor

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016,13:47 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Mumbai | National award winning filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan says many literary festivals have come up in the country but strangely all of them focus on English writing. Gopalakrishnan said once in a while a concession is made for Hindi but otherwise these festivals largely remain exclusive for English. Of late, a couple of literature festivals have come up in our country. One or two boast of even being international. Well and good. Strangely, all of them are about writing in English.

Once in a while a little concession is made to Hindi. But by far the exception ends there to the exclusion of all other Indian languages, he told reporters here. He was speaking at the inauguration of the second edition of the Gateway LitFest here. Gopalakrishnan, 74, played a major role in revolutionising Malayalam cinema and is regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of India.

The Oru Pennum Randaanum director said many literary stalwarts wait for their works to be translated in English while those who debut writing in English gain instant fame. While there have been literary stalwarts whose works lie back unknown and unacknowledged for want of translation into English and other languages, someone who happens to write his debut work in English is crowned with accolades and world-wide readership, he said. So, in today’s world the language in which one writes can turn out to be a boon or a detriment, he added.

The South filmmaker believes a good translation of the regional works in many different languages is important.

It is in this context that good, faithful and effective translations which read like the original becomes important. Translation from one Indian language to another and translation into foreign languages again from the original is essential.

The two-day Fest will be attended by about 50 leading writers from 13 Indian languages. Jnanpith winners Pratibha Ray and Sitakant Mahapatra, who were present at the event, were acknowledged for the literary works. Other renowned writers who graced the event were Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Subodh Sarkar, N S Madhavan.

The festival aims to promote the plurality and richness of Indian writing in several languages and understanding of different culture through their writing.

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