The absence of organised translation activity in literature and academia has led to cultural and intellectual distancing in Indian society, believes eminent historian Mushirul Hasan.
“This distancing has led to greater regionalisation and in some cases appropriation of languages. The unity in diversity is lost - and on a personal note, it has led to a gulf between my students and me,” Hasan, a former Jamia Millia Islamia University vice-chancellor, said on Saturday, March 6.
The academic, who has authored more than a dozen books and 200 papers, was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day seminar on “Translation and Inter-Cultural Communication” organised by IGNOU's School of Translation Studies and Training at the Lalit Kala Akademi in the capital. The seminar began Saturday.
“While adopting a standard two and three language formula in eduction, literature and society, we have not paid attention to building the country across cultural, linguistic and intellectual divides. We need translations to connect to the world and to our own society."
He cited the translations undertaken by the caliph Al Mamun and his father Al Mansur of the Abbasid dynasty in ancient Baghdad, which later enriched Europe.
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