Home Dehradun Minister Pradhan launches VoW 2021 digitally!

Minister Pradhan launches VoW 2021 digitally!

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By Our Staff Reporter
New Delhi/Dehradun, 30 Jun: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the website for VoW 2021 and the Archives of the previous editions of the festival digitally, today, from New Delhi in the presence of the Board of Governors and Jury members of Valley of Words. Speaking on the occasion, he said, “While there is no dearth of literature festivals in India, and indeed many more should come up- for this is the hallmark of a nation in conversation with itself – its present, its past as well as its future. Unlike typical festivals which focus on the popular and the controversial – the selection of the books and the format of discussion at VoW are cerebral and oriented toward recognition and celebration of knowledge as well as the arts in their myriad manifestations.
He complimented VoW for giving a pan India character to the festival. The fifth edition will be held at Panchkula, New Delhi, Vadodara, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, besides of course Dehradun. He also suggested that the Military History and Strategy sessions in the next editions should focus on the Naval and Maritime traditions of India and could be held in Bhubaneshwar, for Kalinga was the nerve centre of maritime traditions of India. He was happy that the festival will also acknowledge the valour of the Indian soldiers in the context of the 1971 war of liberation of Bangladesh.
Pradhan complimented VoW for carrying forward PM’s clarion call for the celebration of the KN Pannikar Reading Month, and for working in collaboration with the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) and its affiliated clubs to spread the love of reading.
He thanked the Jury Members of VoW – Dr KK Paul, Dr Anjan Ray, Dr Jaywanti Dimri, Dr Dinesh Chamola, Dr Sushil Upadhaya, Jerry Pinto, Jyoti Dhawan and Ratna Manucha for devoting their time and energy to reading the books critically and shortlisting them.
Immediately after the launch, the announcement for the shortlists was made. The winners for the English Fiction include Analog versus Virtual by Lavanya Lakshminarayan, Blasphemy by Osman Haneef, In the Land of Lovers by Sukun Singh, Sometimes Ivory, Sometimes Sand by Mahek Janged and The Wall by Gautam Bhatia. The Hindi fiction selections include Mamata Kiran’s Aangan Ka Shajar,Visat par Jugnu by Vandana Raj, Kulbhushan ka nam darj ho by Alka Saraogi, Ravi Katha by Mamata Kalia and Sayanai Diwani by Noor Zahir.
In the category of contemporary writings and nonfiction, the honours in Hindi go to Daastan-e- Mughal-e-Azam by Rajkumar Keswani, who unfortunately lost the battle of his life to Covid before the announcement of these Awards. The four other books include Vidrohi Sanyasi (on Shankaracharya) by Rajeev Sharma, Noakhali by Sujata, Ram Vilas Paswan by Pradeep Srivastava and Door Durgam, Durust by Umesh Pant.
The English books and authors in this category include A Forgotten Ambassador in Cairo by NS Vinodh, A New Idea of India by Madhusudan Gupta and Rajiv Mantri, Jinnah: His Successes, Failures and Role in History by Ishtiaq Ahmed, Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience by Sumathi Ramaswamy and Sixteen Stormy Days by Tripurdaman Singh.
Translations from the Bhashas of India to Hindi and English are becoming increasingly popular. The best translations to English include The Loneliness of Hira Barua in Assamese by Arupa Kalita, translated by Ranjita Biswas; Hijab, from Kananda by Guru Prasad Kaginele and translated by Pawan Rao; The Princess and the Political Agent in Manipuri by Binodini. This has been translated by L Somi Roy. The last two books in this category include Shanti Parv in Punjabi by Des Raj Kali and translated by Neeti Singh and Ratno Dholi in Gujarati by Dhumketu and translated by Jenny Bhatt.
The number of books being translated into Hindi from English and the Bhashas of India is emerging as an important trend. The selections include two books in Marathi: Naukershahi ke Rang by Dhyaneshwar Mule and translated by Dr Damodar Khadse and Sanatan by Shravan Kumar Limbale and translated by Padmaja Ghorpade. The Gujarati book Ashwatthama by Prerna Limdi, translated by Kavita Gupta and Manto’s Urdu classic Bagair Unvaan Ke, translated by Mahtab Haidar have also made it to the short list. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Sitayan in English has been translated by Ashutosh Garg.
In the category Writings for Young Adults, the short list includes Loki Takes Guard by Menaka Raman; Gravepyres School for the Recently Deceased by Anita Roy; OGD by Anushka Shankar; The Secret Life of Debbie G by Vibha Batra; and the Phoenix in the Sky by Indira Ananthakrishnan.
Last but not the least, in the children’s category, the five books include: A Quiet Girl by Paro Anand; It is my Colour by Nancy Raj; Making Friends with Snakes by RohanChakrabarty; The Song at the Heart of the River by Ishani Naidu and Satrangi Ladkiyan by Kamala Bhasin.