Rita Kothari is a cultural historian, translator and academic, and works with multiple languages and regions. Her seminal book on the history of translation in India Translating India : The Cultural Politics of English followed by Chutneying English : The Phenomenon of Hinglish (Penguin India); Decentring Translation Studies : India and Beyond (John Benjamin Press, NL) and more recently, A Multilingual Nation : Translation and Language Dynamics in India (Oxford University Press) have established her as one of the leading scholars of language politics, dynamics and translation theory. Her practice of translation is vast and long-standing - including Hindi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Kutchi as both source and target texts. Her translation of the Gujarati Dalit novel, Angaliyat : The Stepchild (Oxford University Press); the story of a single Muslim woman in Gujarat in Vaad : The Fence ( Zubaan Publishing) and The Glory of Patan by K.M.Munshi (Penguin India) have received acclaim as translated works of fiction. She has also had substantial experience of translating poetry, and short stories. The anthology Speech and Silence : Literary Journeys by Gujarati Women (Zubaan Publishing) and Unbordered Memories : Partition Stories from Sindh (Penguin India) have made pioneering contributions through translation. Kothari's focus on borders and boundaries in the two monographs The Burden of Refuge and Memories and Movements brought to light untold stories of partition and boundary-making. Her latest translation of Agnipariksha, a memoir based on the 1969 riots also adds an under-researched dimension to the history of communalism in India. Translation is the prism through which Kothari approaches social contexts, examining them linguistically and culturally, and both her theory and practice feed into each in other inextricable ways. An internationally recognized scholar of translation studies, Kothari teaches at Ashoka Unviersity.
Dr. Anamika has published 8 collections of poetry, 5 stories and various criticisms. Embedded in feminism, her creations have inspired generations of readers and budding writers in Hindi and English. According to her, every world is a translation in itself. She has translated works of many famous writers like Rabindranath Tagore, Lesmurry, Octavio Paz etc. She has translated important works like Nag Mandal (Girish Karnad), Rilke ki Par (Contemporary English Poetry), Kehti Hain Auratein (Feminist Poems from World Literature). Dr Anamika has been honoured with awards like Bharat Bhushan Award, Girja Kumar Mathur Samman, Sahityakar Samman, Parampara Samman, Kirdaar Samman etc.
She is a Delhi based academic and bilingual writer with more than twenty national and international publications to her credit. A trained classical dancer, her novels have a vast readership and her poems are translated into various languages. Her works are prescribed at curricula at JNU, University of Cochi, and University of Moscow etc. Currently she is working as a professor of English in Delhi University Satyawati College.
Eminent Malayalam poet and translator Attoor Ravi Varma has been named the winner of the debut Vani-Samanvay Distinguished Translator Award. The award for 2015 was decided by an eminent six-member jury that included writer, publisher and Jaipur Literary Festival co-Director Namita Gokhale, Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi, writer and Creative Director of ILF Samanvay Rizio Yohannan Raj, IHC Programmes Director Vidyun Singh, NBT Director and writer Rita Choudhury, and writer-scholar Rita Kothari.
The Jury selected Attoor Ravi Varma for the award worth INR 1,00,000 (Rupees One lakh) after a detailed process that included a nomination stage and an evaluation stage. The criteria considered were the following:
Announcing Attoor Ravi Varma as the winner of Vani-Samanvay Distinguished Translator Award 2015, the Director of India Habitat Centre, Rakesh Kacker, and the Chairman of Vani Foundation, Arun Maheshwari said in a joint statement:
“We are delighted that this significant award has come to become a reality in a very short period. The addition of this award to the IHC’s and Vani Foundation’s range of activities in the context of ILF Samanvay will help enrich our respective organisations as well as the festival and its institutional mission. The award is committed to celebrate Indian translators who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to not only translating between two languages, but also bridging two cultures. We feel privileged to bestow this honour on Attoor Ravi Varma, the recipient of the first Vani-Samanvay Distinguished Translator Award, and extend our heartiest congratulations to him.”
Responding to the award announcement, Attoor Ravi Varma, 84, said that he was very happy for having been selected for the first Vani-Samanvay Distinguished Translator Award. He expressed his willingness to personally come and receive the award. The award ceremony is scheduled between 6pm and 7pm on Saturday the 28th of November at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Maruvili, poet and script writer Anvar Ali’s film on Attoor will be screened at ILF Samanvay on 29th Nov.
From among the eleven nominated translators, Attoor Ravi Varma, Pratibha Dave and Lakshmi Holmstrom emerged as the first three names vis-à-vis the criteria considered.
Speaking of Attoor’s work, Rizio Yohannan Raj, Jury Member representing the Southern region and Creative Director of ILF Samanvay said:
“Attoor is one of the pioneers of modern Malayalam poetry, and is renowned for his pithy style that matches the intensity of his thought. Though he is well recognised as a poet, the consistent contribution he has been making to facilitate profound cultural exchanges between Tamil and Malayalam through his translations of works ranging from Tamil Sangham poets to young Tamil writers of today has not yet been quite known to the world, despite the awards that he has got from the Kerala Sahitya Akademi and the Kendra Sahitya Akademi. His remarkable felicity, versatility and sensitivity in dealing at once with ancient love poetry and radical contemporary voices in fiction, on the one hand, and the political relevance of his choices in translation on the other have made him emerge as a natural claimant of this Award. We are delighted that the first Vani-Samanvay award has a recipient of Attoor Ravi Varma’s standing and calibre. We hope the institution of this award will encourage more and more translators to work directly between Indian languages without the mediation of English or Hindi, thus contributing to the creation of an organic culturescape in the country.”
Attoor’s major translations from Tamil to Malayalam are:
The following eleven nominations made it to the long list: