Seminar stresses bridging language hiatus

Statesman News Service
KALIMPONG, March 28. — With the commencement of the first ever two-day national seminar on “Indian writing in English: Themes, Issues, Backgrounds” here, it was on the cards that the audience would be having a great experience.
The UGC-sponsored seminar also witnessed the participation of students from neighbouring areas.
The keynote address by Prof. Ananda Lal of Jadavpur University pointed out the need to bridge gaps between English and various regional languages in North Bengal.
“In the post-modern situation it becomes extremely essential to enlighten ourselves of the importance of understanding life from various perspectives. Hence self-participation in our own history is highly essential,” he said.
It was also discussed at the seminar that the syllabus for English at North Bengal University (NBU) was too traditional and conservative.
“It is very unsystematic indeed. The Indo-Anglo history which is at present an optional subject at the NBU should also be turned into compulsory one,” he said.
In the technical sessions on the first day, Prof. Ananda Basu Roy of Vidyasagar University spoke about cultural imperialism, post-colonial transformation and global culture with social reference to Indian English writing.
Mrs Rita Ghosh of North Point College (Darjeeling), Mr Pritam Mukherjee (Abhedananda Maha Vidyalaya, Sainthai) and Mr Sukanta Das of PD Women’s College (Jalpaiguri) delivered lectures on major literary works by renowned Indian writers.
Expressing the importance of the seminar, Miss Anukampa Subba, convener of the organising committee, said: “The department of English in colleges under NBU have been dealing with English, American, European and Greek literature for a long time. But our own Indian literature in English is a new field of study that the university has introduced quite recently. We are happy about this because it is high time that we should have a solid knowledge base about our own literature and culture in this era of globalisation and cultural and economic colonialism.”
Over 40 teachers from 18 colleges of North Bengal and Sikkim participated in the seminar.

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