Amitav Ghosh conferred Jnanpith Award

Gopalkrishna Gandhi presents the Jnanpith Award to Amitav Ghosh (second from right) on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Author Amitav Ghosh was felicitated with the 54th Jnanpith Award for his “outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Indian Literature in English”, on Wednesday.

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who was the chief guest at the event, presented the award to the author. Mr. Ghosh is the first English language writer to become a Jnanpith laureate.

“When I started writing many years ago, I could not imagine that the Jnanpith Award would ever come my way. In those days, Indians who wrote in English would think of themselves as marginal, both to Indian and to English literature,” said Mr. Ghosh

The Jnanpith award is the highest literary award in India and can only be conferred upon an Indian citizen. English language was added to the list of languages for consideration after the 49th Jnanpith Award.

“Even though I write in English, I draw constantly from Bangla and its vast imaginative resources,” he further said. “Communication between languages and across different habits of mind, always require, humility, patience and a willingness to listen,”he said.

Mr. Ghosh who is a social anthropologist by academic training, has written extensively in both fiction and non-fiction sphere of literature. His works has been translated in more than 30 languages. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1990 for his book The Shadow Lines and the Padma Shri in 2007 for his services to literature and education. Mr. Ghosh also holds four honourary doctrates.

“Amitav Ghosh’s work comes from the sinews of effort no less than the strokes of inspiration, his materials are drawn from the human condition...His books are rich in what can only be called minerals — the result of patient excavation, not a chance of discovery, remarked Mr. Gandhi.

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Printable version | Jan 13, 2021 6:44:38 PM |

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