New Delhi: The Sixth edition of Indian language conclave, LangFest 2020, started today in New Delhi. Organized by The Intellects, a progressive forum of intellectuals in New Delhi, the conclave, also known by its Odia tagline, Amari Bhasha Pathe, is one-of-a-kind platform that brings together linguists, cademicians, writers and cultural leaders from Odisha and renowned linguists and academicians from other Indian languages, on one platform.
The conclave was inaugurated by Shri Prasanta Nanda, veteran filmmaker, actor and Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha. The opening keynote address was delivered by noted linguist Prof Anvita Abbi, who made a forceful appeal for protecting the diversity in languages and culture of the nation.
“Uniformity is not unity. Homogenization kills languages and cultures,” she said giving examples of how green revolution, while increasing crop production, has made many varieties of rice vanish. “Odisha had more than 1700 varieties of rice. Many of them are extinct now,” she said, illustrating her point.
The annual conclave is also known for its awards – Prabasi Bhasha Samman. The highest honour, AmaGouraba, was conferred on Prasant Nanda while the newly instituted A V Swamy Memorial Award for Social Service was conferred on Shri Sankar Sanyal, president of HarijanSevak Sangh.
The full list of awards is given at the end. Taking part in a discussion on Indian Languages: The Emerging Contours, speakers—all eminent linguists—agreed that continuous exchange between Indian languages is the only way forward and that diversity of Indian languages need to be celebrated.
“I don’t know of any other language which celebrates its classical language day by inviting people from other language.” said Prof T S Satyanath. “That is the way forward,” he said, lauding the efforts by The Intellects to bring all Indian languages on one platform.
Prof Basant K Tripathy, a translator par excellence, representing Odia, said while translating we must keep the original as intact as possible. He cited examples of Dr J V Bolton of Oxford University, who has translated works of Fakir Mohan Senapati, father of Odia modern prose. Prof Sachin N, Professor of Malayalam, highlighted the role of social media in shaping modern languages. “Academicians should take that into account, because a language is a living thing,” he said.
Prof Girish N Jha from JNU, representing Sanskrit, talked about the efforts to translate classic texts of Sanskrit to various Indian languages.
In a session on MotherTongue for Social Change: From Gandhiji to Today, writer and administrator, Sangram Keshari Mohapatra, illustrated how the Gandhian message was effectively made to reach people by writers from Gopabandhu Das to Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, even while pointing the contribution of writers who did not agree with the Gandhian way, like Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi, the man who introduced Odias to Marxism.
Poet and former ambassador AmarendraKhatua, Advisory Member, Hindi Salahkar Govt of India Anand Sahoo, Shri Shankar Kumar Sanyal, and The Intellects Chairman Debendra Nath Rout conferred the awards on the winners.
The second day of the Conclave would host a roundtable on Preparing Indian languages for the Digital Age: A Multidisciplinary Approach. It will be attended by linguists, technologists, policymakers, writers, media professionals and digital content creators, among others. The roundtable will come out with a set of recommendations for the central and state governments to make positive intervention to catalyse the process.
AMA GOURAB SAMMAN-2020
Prasant Nanda: Eminent Odia Film Personality – Director, Writer, Actor, Music Director
A.V.SWAMY MEMORIAL AWARD
Dr. Sankar Kumar Sanyal: for imparting Gndhian values across the country and abroad.
PRABASI BHASHA SAMMAN-2020
Prashant Ku Pattnaik – Journalism
Sangram Keshari Mohapatra – Digitization and Literature (Odia Virtual Academy)
Laxmi Das – Editor HARIJAN SEVA Contribution for promoting Mother Language and Gandhian Value
Gayatri Mishra Joshi – Odissi Dance and Odia Language
Basant Kumar Tripathy – Translation from Odia to English
A.N. Ansari – Community Media Practitioner
YUVA PRERANA SAMMAN-2020
Sangram Keshari Senapati
Promotion of Odia Language through Web literature and Social Media
Print Media Excellency Award for Promotion of Odia Language
Kadambini Lit Fest
Promotion of Odia Language through Festivity and Modernity