Kannada Transcending Borders through Translations is the need of the hour: Litterateurs in Bang

Bengaluru, April 15, 2019: It’s important that Kannada transcends borders through translation of its literature in English and other languages to reach larger audiences and any effort towards this needs to be lauded said the noted writer and critic Narahalli Balasubrahmanya. The same was echoed by the noted columnist, translators and writer Deepa Ganesh while releasing the book “Caught in the World of Binaries – 100 Select Poems of Nisar Ahmed” edited by C N Ramachandran and M S Raghunath and published by Manipal Universal Press (MUP) at an event in Bangalore.

Narahalli Balasubrahmanya who spoke about Nisar Ahmed’s poetry said it is not only about translation but transcreation that takes literature from one language to another. The translators in the book that include stalwarts like V K Gokak, Sumatheendra Nadig, R K Ramanujan, H S Shivaprakash, Tejasvini Niranjana and the like have adequately captured the essence of Nisar’s poetry in English.


Deepa Ganesh elaborated on the contents of the book and said, ideally the book could have been titled breaking the world of binaries rather than caught in the world of binaries. Reading out a few poems from the book in English and also from the original Kannada works, she said Nisar has unbound himself while writing whether it was form, structure or theme. She spoke about translation as something that is sensitive to structure, texture and culture of the original and that many of the hundred selected in the collection meet these expectations.

Justice M N Venkatachaliah who released the book said Nisar’s poetry has always moved him like many others for generations and has immensely caught the imagination of the readers and also the singers who have taken Nisar’s words to general public.


Speaking at the occasion, Nisar Ahmed thanked the translators, editors and the publisher and reminisced his writing of some of the poems that won him laurels. He said, he would prefer readers and singers to explore more of his poems and not limit themselves to poems which have already become famous C N Ramachandran and M S Raghunath talked about their journey through the editing of these translations and their ideas on why it was important to be placed before the English audiences.


Chief Editor of MUP Neeta Inamdar in her opening remarks said languages are storehouses of native knowledge and wisdom and are powerful tools in creating a collective consciousness. Translation provides a platform for synthesis of ideas and native knowledge and therefore, MUP recognizes this power of translation and brings out the series – Indian Literature in Translation. 


The program began with a beautiful rendition of some of Nisar’s poetry by the sugama sangeeta artist Savita Nigadoni. Many writers attended this event jointly organized by MUP and Sapna Book House and supported by Theatre Tatkal at Suchitra Cinema and Culture Academy.

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