Calling for more literary translators in India, award-winning poet, lyricist and film-maker Gulzar said this was necessary to make the country’s various languages “gel” with each other.
At a poetry session with author-translator and Rajya Sabha member Pavan K Varma at the 2nd edition of Bengaluru Poetry Festival here, Gulzar said, “Languages must gel with each other. We need to have more translations and translators in our country.”
Noting that the “most dynamic poetry” that is happening today in Indian languages is from the Northeast, he also voiced the need for a literary festival that brings the writers of all Indian languages on the same platform.
During the discussion on challenges of translation, Varma said, “Languages aren’t merely tools of communication but are windows to culture. People must retain their mother tongues with pride but not chauvinism.”
“People in the North must make the effort to learn the South Indian languages,” he added.
Organised by the Atta Galatta bookstore, the two-day festival witnessed the coming together of prominent poets and musicians like sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, essayist and literary critic Ashok Vajpeyi, Jerry Pinto, Ranjit Hoskote and Tamil poet Salma among others.
Poets and musicians turned to arts as their means to discuss various social and political subjects.
The idea behind the festival was to make it inclusive, festival director and writer Shinie Antony said.
“We wanted to make the festival inclusive. We wanted the differences between spoken word poetry and performance poetry to be blurred. We tried to keep a balance between the poetry that people are reading now and those that stood the test of time.”