Writers, thinkers intellectual capital of nation, says Punjab Governor Purohit

Chandigarh, Sep 5 (PTI) Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Monday said writers and thinkers are the intellectual capital of a nation who enrich it with their creative ideas and literature.

Purohit, who is also Administrator of Chandigarh, said ‘word’ and ‘language’ are the most important inventions of human history and literature the living carrier of the thought-tradition of a society.

        “The writers and thinkers are the intellectual capital of the nation who enrich it with their creative ideas and literature,” he said while releasing a book, ‘The Ninth Flower: Best of Amrita Pritam’, transcreated from Hindi by author-biographer Jyoti Sabharwal and brought out by Stellar Publishers.

The governor applauded Sabharwal for taking up a very challenging task of “transcreating” Amrita Pritam’s various genres of writing into English and making it accessible to a larger group of readers.

       “Literature is the living carrier of the thought-tradition of a society. The more cultured a society, the more refined would be its language. The more awakened the society, the more extensive its literature would be,” Purohit said.

The governor said Amrita Pritam was a “poetess, novelist and essayist, who wrote extensively in Punjabi and Hindi, introduced the conservative Indian society to the whims and fancies of a woman through her pen”.

      “Her verse Aj aakhan Waris Shah nu (Today I invoke Waris Shah) addressed to Punjabi Sufi Poet Waris Shah, in which she laments the tragedy of the partition of Pakistan from India, continues to resound even after seven decades,” Purohit noted.

She came out with her first book of poetry Amrit Lehran (Waves of Nectar), written in the spiritual tradition, at age 13.

     “However, it was at 16 – with Thandiyan Kirnan (Cool Rays) – that she received critical acclaim and became the first modern poet of Punjab, eventually being considered a pillar of Punjabi poetry. After that we all know that there was no looking back!,” the governor said.

          Transcreator Jyoti Sabharwal, as we can comprehend, had a very challenging task of translating her various genres of writing into English, he said.

Sabharwal said she is often asked why she coined the term transcreation.

“Because I firmly believe that there can never ever be a transliteration. Because each language has its own resonance, each language has its own medium. When I am writing in English, it should not appear that I have literally lifted something from somewhere and presented it,” she said.

      The governor said the reader should not feel a book has been translated from another work. It should read like an original body of work, he added and praised Sabharwal for her work.

“Jyoti Sabharwal had the daunting task on hand to retain the resonance and idiom of the Hindi original while translating this voluminous literary work into English,” Purohit said.

India is a country of many languages and we celebrate our linguistic diversity by creating some magnificent works each year which contribute to our literary heritage, he said.

State governments, authors, translators, lovers of literature and the publishing industry should work together to ensure that the literature of our vernacular languages, both modern and classical, is available to readers in all corners of India, he said.

“Indian writing in English has sparked excitement and recognition across the world. Even greater laurels await us if we can expose the world to the flowering creativity of our vernacular literature,” he said. PTI SUN AQS AQS

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