Greater push for language publishing!
Editor – S K Khurana India has a wealth of literature…but diversity in language is a big barrier in the dissemination of this treasure. So many masterpieces of literature go unnoticed because they are written in regional languages and hence very limited audience…this audience is restricted to the natives of the region only…even India, which has a staggering population of 1.2 billion people are devoid of it. These pieces of literature are just not able to cross the regional boundaries, in spite of digital revolution. India has 24 recognised regional languages and there are many more dialects as well… in fact every 20 km in India has a slightly different dialect.
Though many government bodies like NBT, India; Sahitya Akademi, etc are working towards promotion of such literary works, but their efforts are like a drop in an ocean. The translations are not easy as the original thought process and flow need to be maintained in all translated works. Then, these kinds of works need to be rigorously displayed at major international trade shows to ensure maximum visibility and create interest internationally.
Though a lot of translation activities are happening in the country but they are majorly from foreign languages to English. Besides, many Indian literary world, children classics, mythology, yoga, meditation, etc are available to foreign publishers for rights to publish in their languages. All these works can also be translated into our own different regional languages (vice-versa) to increase the reach.
It is time to give a greater push to the Indian languages. Some efforts are being made towards this. The recently held Samanvay – an Indian languages festival, has been a welcome step in this direction. Even book fairs like New Delhi World Book Fair need to rope in more regional publishers regularly to the shows, in order to bring them more visibility. Publishers’ fraternity should come forward to utilise the treasure trove of regional literature. At the government level ministries also need to support (financially too) this effort dedicatedly.
Happy publishing, boundary less!