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News In Himachal – 3 Feb 2015

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Rabindranath Tagore and Translation Studies: The Perpetual Impact of South Asian Culture on World Literature

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By- Dr. Faisal Barkat, Islamic University of Science & Technology, Awantipora, Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir

 Translation studies have brought world cultures together to be recognized as one. It is this delicate and sophisticated thread that has brought world literature under one roof by transcending cultural, ethnic, religious, social, and regional barriers. South Asian writing has also reserved a considerable place in world literature and the translation works have played a vital role. The translation of South Asian literature into English by regional or foreign writers ultimately gave birth to a variety of English literature now recognized and acknowledged as South Asian English Literature. The compilation of all the great poets of South Asian Literature has been translated into many languages and one such great South Asian literary figure is Rabindranath Tagore; his work has set records and has crossed the oceans to let other parts of the world concede the vastness of South Asian diversity. His poetry in the form of pearls has always inspired the arid and restless souls. His poetry has no limitations, it guides and consoles every restive soul and during the current pandemic when everyone is destitute, his poetry could be the source of calmness and ultimate composure. Thus, this write-up focuses on the English translations of Tagore’s work and invariably pays a tribute to him on his Birth Anniversary.

Rabindranath Tagore is a world-famous literary figure who does not need any introduction; his contribution has helped in the recognition of South Asian literature as a part of global literature. His vision, scholarship, universal outlook, and profundity won him many accolades from the East to the West. His contribution to South Asian literature spans over a vast body of writings that developed a cautious and visionary balance between tradition and modernity. His iconic work Gitanjali is without any doubt a masterpiece that has stimulated many Western poets. The following poem titled, ‘Where the mind is without fear’ originally written in Bengali is one among the most discussed poems of Tagore, the choice of words used to convey a desire, to see undivided India as a free country, exhibits what real freedom is all about. These golden words of this poem hold a great significance when related to our current scenario:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action;

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. (Where the Mind Is Without Fear)

It was Tagore’s artistic vision that fascinated many foreign writers and readers who wanted to imbibe and interact with the poetic insight of Tagore but were unable to ensue because of the great linguistic walls. Thus, what inspired Tagore to translate his work into English was his willingness to share his thoughts, feelings, and ideas with the global audience. English being a universal language catalysed his thoughts and beliefs to reach his readers across the world. Regarding the translation of his own poems, Krishna Kripalani very aptly summarizes the birth of Tagore’s translation works: Tagore was due to sail from Calcutta, on March 19, but suddenly fell ill on the night before his departure and the doctors forbade an immediate voyage. His luggage, already on board, had to be sent back from Madras where the ship halted next. Disappointed at this unforeseen postponement of his voyage, he sought consolation and strength, as of old, by retiring to Shelidah on the bank of his beloved river Padma. It was here that he began to translate, for the first time, some of his Gitanjali songs into English.  (Kripalani, 2011, p.122)

With the passage of time Tagore took up the translation works keenly and religiously and started to translate songs form Gitanjali. In one of his letters written to his niece Indira Devi, Tagore shares: So, I took up the poems of Gitanjali and set myself to translate them one by one. You may wonder why such a crazy ambition should possess one in such a weak state of health. But believe me, I did not undertake this task in a spirit of reckless bravado. I felt an urge to recapture through the medium of another language the feelings and sentiments which had created such a feast of joy within me in the days gone by. The pages of a small exercise-book came to be filled gradually, and with it in my pocket I boarded the ship.(Radice, 2011). It is worth mentioning here that around the 1900s Tagore’s translations were not accepted for publication by the British in their journals keeping in view their lack of curiosity in oriental style. While Tagore was translating his songs, he could have never envisaged the fact that these translations are going to influence the world literature deeply. In the year 1913 when Tagore’s Gitanjali won the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore transformed into a star with eternal luminosity. These translations indeed made him the poet of the world.

In fact, one of the great Western poets W.B. Yeats acknowledged the universality and greatness of Gitanjali in these words:I have carried the manuscript of these translations with me for days, reading it in railway trains, or on the tops of omnibuses and in restaurants, and I have often had to close it lest some stranger sees how much it moved me. These lyrics -which are in the original, many Indians tell me, full of subtlety of rhythm, of untranslatable delicacies of colour, of metrical invention – display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my life long. The work of a supreme culture, they yet appear as much the growth of the common soil as the grass and the rushes.(Saha, 2009) It is also very important to note that Tagore started his translations long before he was awarded the Noble Prize. One of his friends namely Ramananda Chatterjee published a literary journal titled The Modern Review in the year 1907. This journal was published from Calcutta having many readers both in America and England. The Modern Review played a significant role in promoting Tagore’s translations to the people of the West thereby stimulating interesting discussions among them. As time passed the number of translators translating Tagore’s work increased among which included some distinguished personalities like Debendranath Mitra, Sister Nivedita, Jadunath Sarkar, Lokendranath Palit and Ajitkumar Chakraborty (Chakravarty, 1961).

While Tagore’s work was being translated by many of his admirers, the complicated task was all about the sincere translation of his poems. In view of this difficult task, Ramananda Chatterjee requested Tagore to translate his own poems into English. At the same time, Tagore felt the emptiness in the translations of his poems by translators which gradually ignited a desire in him to translate his poems more seriously. All his seriousness towards his translations paved the path for his greatest achievement in the form of Gitanjali. Of the many forms of translation like word-for-word and literal translation, Tagore opted for his English version of Gitanjali a form that retained the true essence and beauty of the original text, ‘a rhythmically free’ [ and] ‘slightly biblical style of prose-poetry’ (Radice, 2011, p.282). Tagore confesses in his letter to Dinesh Chandra Sen about the prejudice to any work being translated by others, where he remarked, “I feel translation can never be satisfactory unless done by myself. Since the melody of the Bengali language and Bengali rhythm cannot be transferred to English, the rendering of ideas in simple English can only bring out its inner beauty. I can easily do this work without any mistake”. This clearly reflects the sincere attitude of Tagore towards his original text the originality of which could have lost if he would have not taken the task of translation on himself.

Reviewing the poems of Gitanjali, Ezra Pound expresses: “It is a little over a month since I went to Mr. Yeats’ rooms and found him much excited over the advent of a great poet, someone ‘greater than any one of us.’ It is hard to tell where to begin…We have found our new Greece, suddenly. As the sense of balance came back upon Europe in the days before the Renaissance, so it seems to me does this sense of saner stillness come now to us during our clangour of mechanism. I am not saying this hastily, nor in an emotional flurry,… I have had a month to think it over…There is in him the stillness of nature. The poems do not seem to have been produced by storm or by ignition but seem to show the normal habit of his mind. He is at one with nature and finds no contradictions. And this is in sharp contrast with the Western mode, where man must be shown attempting to master nature if we are to have ‘great drama’….” (Kripalani, 2011, p.125-126).

In conclusion, this write-up inculcates that Tagore’s literature is the repository for rare gems and pearls, each word he uses has an unfathomable meaning. The fact of the matter is that it is due to these translations that I was able to read and grasp Tagore. Though with that being said, there is much more to explore, and his literature has further scope.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Himachal Watcher or its members.

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Himachal Reports 3,942 New Cases, 45 Deaths from Coronavirus Including 12-Year-Old Boy in Last 24 Hours

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh reported 45 new fatalities due to coronavirus on Thursday taking the total death toll of the state to 1,724 according to official data provided by the government. Kangra district reported the highest number of deaths with 17 casualties in the last 24 hours while Shimla and Solan reported eight new fatalities separately.
 
On Friday the state’s total Covid cases reached 1,18,729 as 3,942 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours. There are currently 2,7,756 active cases of infection in the state. Solan district also reported a 12-year-old patient of coronavirus who died due to severe symptoms of Covid-19 that included acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The deceased had no other pre-exiting medical conditions, according to the health department. 

Today, a total of  18698 samples were taken. Till now the state has sampled a total of 15,90, 372 citizens in the state. The Covid test results of  12,630 people are still awaited. 

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 6, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

daily cases may 6
Meanwhile, with the rising number of cases, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to impose a corona curfew effective from May 7 i.e. Friday. The curfew will come in effect from 6 am on May 7 to 6 am on May 17. During this period the state government will go ahead with its vaccination drives. Assembly of more than five people is not allowed under the curfew, however, in case of a wedding ceremony or a funeral up to 20 people can gather with the permission of the District Administration.

Also Read: HP Govt’s Corona Curfew Guidelines: Read What’s Allowed, What’s Not

With the spike in cases across the country, the government of Himachal Pradesh has introduced some precautionary measures for travellers planning to visit the state. For anyone who wants to travel to Himachal Pradesh during the curfew duration, a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours is mandatory. This rule is applicable for those travelling to the state by air, rail, and buses.

To boost the number of medical staff on the ground, the state government decided to rope in final year students from MBBS, nursing, and contractual doctors in Covid hospitals. According to a notification, the state will be paying an incentive of Rs 3,000 per month to the fourth-year medical students while final year nurses will be paid Rs 1,500 per month for their duty in Covid wards. On Thursday, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also launched a dedicated Covid-19 Helpline at ‘Mukhyamantri Sewa Sankalp Helpline’ 1100 for facilitating people regarding covid related issues.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Casualties for May 6, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Daily COVID-19 deaths in Himachal PRadesh on may 6

Coronavirus deaths in himachal in 2021

 

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HP Govt’s Corona Curfew Guidelines: Read What’s Allowed, What’s Not

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HP Govt Curfew Guidelines 2021

Shimla-A corona curfew was imposed in Himachal Pradesh as the number of daily COVID-19 cases and fatalities continue to spiral upwards. Yesterday, the state had reported 3842 cases and 32 fatalities, according to the statistics of the state health department. 

The annual examination of 10th standard of Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education was cancelled. It was decided that all the students would be promoted to 11th class by the Board as per the norms suggested by CBSE for its students for the 10th standard examination. It was also decided that 12th standard examination of Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education and annual examination of colleges would also remain suspended till further orders. 

Corona curfew would remain in force in Himachal Pradesh with effect from 6 AM of 7th of May,2021 to 6 AM of 17th May 2021. The corona curfew, however, would be different from a complete lockdown in many ways.

Also Read: Corona Curfew in Himachal Pradesh From May 7, Public Transport to Remain Operational, Educational Institutes Closed Till May 31

During this period, depending upon availability, vaccination would continue in places as notified by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Himachal Pradesh from time to time. Eligible people as advised by the department will be allowed to travel to the designated CVCs in their vehicles /taxis/auto-rickshaws by following guidelines.

HP Government has notified the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) which are as given below (unedited):    

  1. People desirous of / required to undertake testing for Covid-19 shall be allowed to travel to designated Government / Private Covid-19 Testing Centre in their vehicles /taxis /auto-rickshaws by following guidelines to that effect.
  2. During the curfew period, assembly of more than 5 people shall be treated as unlawful.
  3. However, a maximum of 20 people only will be allowed in gatherings related to marriages /funerals with permission of the District Administration.
  4. Government and Private offices/establishments shall remain closed. Government employees will work from home a shall not leave their headquarters without permission.
  5. All educational, training, coaching institutions, etc. shall now remain closed until 31st May 2021. However, MBBS(4TH and 5th year), BDS (4th year), Nursing classes(3rd year) only will continue. Physical conduct of the examinations by State/ national/ International bodies shall be allowed on a case to case basis by the respective Departments with due intimation to all concerned authorities.
  6. All cinema halls, malls, market complexes/ Bazar/ gyms/ sports complexes swimming pools/ entertainment parks/ theatres/ auditoriums/ assembly halls and related activities and similar places shall remain closed.
  7. Liquor shops /vends, ahatas, bars will remain closed.

During the corona curfew, the following activities are allowed: 

  1. All health services (including AYUSH) to remain functional, such as:
  2. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, telemedicine facilities
  3. Dispensaries, Chemists,  pharmacies, all kinds of medicines hops including Jan Aushadhi Kendras and medical equipment shops.
  4. Medical laboratories and collection centres
  5. Pharmaceutical and medical research labs, institutions carrying out COVID-19 related research
  6. Veterinary Hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, pathology labs, sale and supply of vaccine and medicine
  7. Authorized private establishments, which support the provisioning of essential services, or efforts for containment of COVID-19, including home care providers, diagnostics, supply chain firms serving hospitals
  8. Manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceutical, medical devices, medical oxygen, their packaging material, raw material and Intermediaries.
  9. Construction of medical/health infrastructure including the manufacture of ambulances

Financial sector: following to remain functional:

  1. Bank branches and ATMs, IT vendors for banking operations. Banking correspondents (BCs), ATM operators and cash management agencies.
  2. Insurance companies
  3. Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFCs) including Housing finance company (HFCs) and Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) with bare minimum staff.

Co-operative Credit Societies

Efforts should be made to operate with minimum staff and they should be encouraged to Work from Home wherever possible and feasible.

Public Utilities

  1. Operations of oil and gas sector, including transportation, distribution, storage, retail of products, for example, petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG etc.
  2. Generation, transmission and distribution of power at the state level.
  3. Postal services, including post office
  4. Operations of Utilities in water, sanitation, and waste management sectors, at municipal/local levels in the state
  5. Operation of Utilities, including the movement of vehicles and personnel, providing telecommunications, DTH and internet services, including maintenance of telecom towers and recharge facilities for prepaid mobile connections.

Commercial and private establishments  as listed below

  1. Ration shops, including PDS and neighbourhood/roadside/street corner shops, dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal feed and fodder, fertilizers and pesticides including their transportation, warehousing, and related activities. These establishments shall follow all Covid-19 safety procedures and shall mandatorily close by 6 PM
  2. Hotel, restaurant and dhabha shall operate as per already issued SOPs by Department of tourism
  3. Home delivery by operators/online delivery of all goods/services by e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Blue Dart, DTDC,
  4. Myntra etc.
  5. Retailers of food and grocery items shall also be allowed to provide home delivery services
  6. Print and electronic and social media
  7. Telecom, internet services, broadcasting and cable services/DTH and optical fibre
  8. Petrol pumps, LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.
  9. Power generation, transmission, and distribution units and Services
  10. Government-approved common service Centers at Gram panchayat level
  11. Cold storage and warehousing services.
  12. Private security services and facilities management services for maintenance and upkeep of office and residential complexes.
  13. Establishments used/ earmarked for quarantine facilities
  14. Shops dealing in construction equipment and supplies such as cement, iron, chips etc

Transportation

  1. Inter-state and intrastate movement of Public transport shall continue with occupancy restricted at 50% and subject to SOPs issued by Transport Department.
  2. Passengers travelling to the state by air, bus or railway shall register on the e-pass portal of the HP Government before the commencement of the journey.
  3. Movement, loading/unloading of goods/cargo(inter and intra) including transportation of all goods is allowed.
  4. All goods carriers whether loaded or unloaded
  5. Member of print and electronic media with valid ID cards shall be allowed to move in vehicles as per SOPs and covid protocols.
  6. All vehicles belonging to Government/local bodies or authorized organizations involved in essential services, emergency and COVID-19 Management Shall be allowed to play.
  7. Inter and intrastate movement of goods/cargo for inland and exports.
  8. Transportation for all medical personnel, nurse, paramedics staff and other hospital support services.
  9. Private vehicles subject to a limit of 50% occupancy with COVID appropriate behaviour and protocols shall be allowed for emergent  reasons,
  10. All agricultural, horticultural, animal husbandry and related activities to remain fully functional.
  11. Farming operations by farmers and farm workers in the field(sowing, nursery preparation, land preparation, irrigation, planting, harvesting, threshing, processing and packaging etc.
  12. Any other activities related to agriculture, horticulture, floriculture like procurer distribution, packaging, warehouse, mantis, cold storage, shops dealing with agricultural machinery and its spare parts, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides etc.
  13. Collection, processing, distribution and sale of milk and milk products by processing plants including transportation and supply chain.
  14. Operation of animal husbandry farm including poultry farms and hatcheries, fisheries and livestock farming activities.
  15. Industries/Industrial establishments both government and private sector
  1. All Industries operating in both urban and rural areas with strict adherence to SOPs and COVID-19 safety protocols.
  2. The Deputy Commissioners shall monitor the SOPs which are to be strictly followed by the industries in their operations. The head of the Industrial Unit/Corporate office shall regularly brief the DC in this regard.
  3. Construction Activities will be allowed in both government and private sector
  1. All construction activities, contract works at sites along with the associated movement of vehicle/labour in this regard.
  2. The SOP is to be followed in the government as well as private construction sites and movement of personnel vehicles to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  3. Offices of the Gov’t of India, its autonomous/subordinate offices will remain open, as mentioned below:
  4. Defense Forces, Central Armed Police Forces, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Disaster Management and early warning agencies(IMD, SASE, CWC), Airport Authorities of India, Railways, National informatics Centre(NIC), Food Corporation of India(FCI), NCC & Nehru Yuva  Kendra(NYKs) any other central Government office engaged in essential services or assisting in the management of COVID-19 at minimum capacity and shall encourage work from home.

Offices of state government, its autonomous bodies and governments will remain open as mentioned below.

  1. Police, Homeguards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons, municipal services along with offices dealing with essential services remain open and will function without any restrictions. Further HPPWD and Jal shakti department shall function with minimum staff following covid protocols.
  2. District administration and treasury (including field offices of Accountant General) will function with restricted staff, however, delivery of public services shall be ensured and necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose.
  3. Forest offices, staff/ workers required to operate and maintain zoo, nursery, wildlife, fire fighting in the forest, water in plantation,  patrolling and their necessary transportation movement. The Forest office include forestry plantation and related activities, including the Silviculture  
  4. All other Departments of state government shall remain close during the lockdown period.
  5. People with disabilities, pregnant and lactating women, the person with comorbidities shall work from home.

Offices of the Private/ Civil society sector:

To encourage work from home for their staff.

General guidelines:

  1. Face coverings/masks compulsory
  2. Physical distancing must
  3. Spitting punishable
  4. Safety and protection of vulnerable people 

Following people are advised against outdoor movement:

  1. Lactating and pregnant women
  2. Children below 10
  3. Seniors above 65
  4. People with comorbidities.

 

 

 

 

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