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Irony of tolerance; forbearance being questioned by intolerant writers

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By- Surbhi Moudgil

Tolerance is a propaganda with no distinction of device; a role-play of democracy which often gets contradicted by its own preachers.

The ironic enactment of the tolerant world is getting broader on its awareness spectrum, yet it is shrinking in its dissent. The preachers on tolerance in India, award (Sahitya Akademi) winning writers, of late have questioned the legitimacy of their writings being snubbed by a particular section of the society.

Several contradictions arise when demands on tolerance are probed.  An arch pluralist, Isaiah Berlin’s statement, “Let us have the courage of our admitted ignorance, of our doubts and uncertainties. At least we can try to discover what others require, by making it possible for ourselves to know men as they truly are, by listening to them carefully and sympathetically, and understanding them and their lives and their needs…”, accelerates the argument of tolerance being questioned.

Can an agitation contrary to another agitation represent tolerance?

Novelist Vikram Seth criticized the current atmosphere in the country, saying some people “under the banner of Hindutva, intimidation and bigotry, seek to silence writers and scholars.” Levitating on the question, ain’t they going on a rally to express their disagreement, intimidation and been taken as bigots, the same kind of an expression.

The question is: are the writers being tolerant of others’ expression on religious beliefs, angst, and agitations? Clearly not, as they are getting furious and giving up their Sahitya Akademi awards.

The writers, as well as the passive self-righteous social groups, claiming for tolerance and yet not being tolerant to each other, need to find a collective path of pluralism. We should tread the path of this pluralism where one is not just liberal or just conservative but trails the intermediate track of moderation.

The liability of tolerance is larger than the gamut of acceptance and both need to be differentiated by either of the partisans, the writers as well as the supposed intolerant society.

The writers should be able to tolerate the agitation expressed by particular pockets of the society, and vice-versa.

Tolerance is a one-way road, where there is either moderation from all side or total chaos of demanding the others to tolerant. Thus, the writers, as well as the society, need to modify their perspectives before hovering the pragmatic blame game of tolerance.

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Indian Origin Author Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy” adaptation to have non-white cast

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Author Vikram Seth, Twitter

London, May 5, 2017: Indian-origin author Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy” is being adapted as the first-period drama for BBC One. The series will have a complete non-white cast.

Published in 1993, the period coming-of-age story of “A Suitable Boy” begins in 1951 and is set in India. The eight-part series will be shot on location in India and feature the BBC’s first entirely non-white cast, reports deadline.com.

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Andrew Davies, the screenwriter whose hits include the famous 1995 version of “Pride and Prejudice” starring Colin Firth and last year’s adaptation of “War and Peace”, will be writing the series.

“Lata’s trials of the heart speak as loudly to me now as when I first read Vikram’s epic novel two decades ago. She is a great literary heroine in the tradition of Jane Austen and George Eliot.

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“But behind her stands a massive supporting cast of striking, funny, irrepressible characters and a vision of India in the 1950s that no reader can ever forget. It will make a wonderful series and I can’t wait to bring the magic of the book to life on screen,” Davies said.

Filming is set to begin later this year and it is expected to occupy the Sunday night slot reserved for popular costume dramas such as “Poldark”.

“A Suitable Boy” is a Lookout Point production for BBC One. (IANS)

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Sahitya Akademi’s extravagant Celebration of Literature kicks off in Delhi

Festival of Letters, the annual fest organised by Sahitya akademi has kick-started with the dignified presence of prominent personalities

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Sahitya Akademi annual festival Wikimedia

New Delhi, Feb 22, 2017:  An extravagant celebration of literature, marked by the presence of over 200 writers, scholars, poets, translators and critics from all over Indiais on offer at the ongoing Festival of Letters organised by the Sahitya Akademi here.

The festival officially kicked off on Tuesday with eminent Kannada writer and Fellow of Sahitya Akademi, S.L. Bhyrappa inaugurating three-day-long event.

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The theme for this year’s Festival is Folklore and Oral Literature of India, the Akademi said in a statement. Sahitya Akademi Awards will be conferred on 24 writers on Wednesday at Kamani Auditorium here.

Eminent scholar and Historian Ramachandra Guha will be delivering “Samvatsar Lecture” on Thursday. The topic of his lecture will be “The Craft of Historical Biography”.

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“This year, the festival is starting on 21st February 2017, which is the international Mother Tongue Day and the Akademi is also organising a two-day National Seminar on “Protecting Mother Tongues,” where a number of literary stalwarts will participate,” Sahitya Akademi Secretary K Sreenivasarao said.

The Festival of Letters will culminate on February 26. (IANS)

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Sahitya Akademi’s annual festival to begin from 21 Feb in New Delhi

A number of dignitaries from all over India will take part in Sahitya Akademis annual "Festival of Letters" which will have exhibitions and cultural events

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Sahitya Akademi annual festival Wikimedia

New Delhi, February 20, 2017:  Over 200 distinguished writers, scholars, poets, translators and critics from all over Indiaare all set to participate in Sahitya Akademi’s annual “Festival of Letters,” starting here on Tuesday.

During the Festival, the Akademi will present its annual awards for creative writing and hold its Annual Exhibition, the Samvatsar Lecture and a National Seminar on a topic of literary importance, among other events.

 The theme for this year’s Festival is Folklore and Oral Literature of India, Akademi said in a statement.

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The Akademi exhibition (showcasing glimpses of Akademi’s activities in 2016) will be inaugurated by eminent Sanskrit scholar Prof. Satyavrat Shastri on Tuesday morning.

Sahitya Akademi Awards will be conferred on 24 writers on Wednesday at Kamani Auditorium here.

Eminent scholar and Historian Ramachandra Guha will be delivering “Samvatsar Lecture” on Thursday. The topic of his lecture will be “The Craft of Historical Biography”.

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“This year, the festival is starting on 21st February 2017, which is the international Mother Tongue Day and the Akademi is also organising a two-day National Seminar on “Protecting Mother Tongues,” where a number of literary stalwarts will participate,” Sahitya Akademi Secretary K Sreenivasarao said.

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A number of cultural events have also been scheduled for the evenings. These include Lai Haraoba, a Mao and Kabuli Dance by Jawaharlal Manipur Dance Academy, Baul songs by Raja Hasan, Bharatnatyam by Sandhya Purecha and Kutch Music by Kala Varso Trust, among others.

The Festival of Letters will culminate on February 26. (IANS)

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