New Delhi: Tamil writer Perumal Murugan will be honoured with the fifth Indian Languages Festival’s (ILF) ‘Samanvay Bhasha Samman‘ award, it was announced on Monday.
The writer-poet has won the award for his novel ‘Madhorubhagan’, which earned him flak from Hindu groups, forcing Murugan to declare that he was giving up writing for good.
“The ‘ILF Award’ is a modern recognition given to Tamil, a classical language with a long and unbroken literary tradition. This recognition, bestowed on my language at an unfortunate moment, will, I hope, be a shining gem rather than an unsightly wart,” Murugan said in a statement.
Murugan will receive the award on November 28 here.
The festival aims at generating dialogue across Indian languages at various levels and has emerged as the only literature festival dedicated exclusively to Indian languages.
Murugan’s writings had opened discussions on the future of oppression of caste and enslaving conventions in modern day Tamil Nadu.
“This award for Madhorubhagan is a recognition of how a writer and his writing could serve the society and connect history with its contemporary realities and dreams,” said Rakesh Kacker, the festival director.
Murugan has written nine novels and four collections each of short stories and poetry.
Three of his novels have been translated in English: ‘Seasons of the Palm’, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Kiriyama Prize in 2005, ‘Current Show’ and ‘One Part Woman’ (Madhorubhagan).
Earlier in January, Murugan announced he had given up writing and would only be a teacher after he came under attack from Hindu groups for his novel ‘Madhorubhagan’.
Murugan had then said, “Writer Perumal Murugan is dead. He will continue to live as a teacher.”
Author Tim Harford has written a new book titled ‘Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy
Tim Harford is also an economist and a columnist
New Delhi, August 22, 2017: The i-Phone may seem the pinnacle of human endeavour, ingenuity and technological prowess — but while Steve Jobs deserves the plaudits, the range of technologies making it possible were a collective effort, facilitated by a surprisingly unexpected benefactor. Such tales are discussed in Tim Harford’s “Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy.”
When we think of the wonders of our modern world, we may cite these flashy hand-held devices that enable us to communicate, entertain ourselves and find information instantly. But they are merely one facet, for our lives now owe to a range of inventions and discoveries stretching from the humble plough to Google, and from the elevator to intellectual property, and achieved in several unusual and unexpected ways.
And while the i-Phone does make a list of 50 such inventions, so do concrete, clocks and infant formula as well as limited liability companies, public key cryptography and the welfare state — and many others, including some which may seem surprising.
But economist, columnist and author Tim Harford does not only seek here to list of 50 specific inventions but also to tell us the singular stories behind their inception — the iPhone especially — and how they affected us socially and economically from the beginning of civilisation to workings of the world economy now. Or rather in laying its foundations.
These 50 inventions, he says, range from those “absurdly simple” to ones which became “astonishingly sophisticated”, “stodgily solid” to “abstract inventions that you cannot touch at all”, profitable right from their launch or, while others were initially commercial disasters.
“But all of them have a story to tell that teaches us something about how our world works and that helps us notice some of the everyday miracles that surround us, often in the most ordinary-seeming objects. Some of these stories are of vast and impersonal economic forces; others are tales of human brilliance or human tragedy.”
Harford, known for his “Undercover Economist” series, does stress that he doesn’t seek to identify the 50 most economically significant inventions for some seemingly obvious entrants — printing presses, airplanes, computers — are missing. And there are good reasons why.
He also promises that while zooming in closely to examine one of these or pulling back to notice the unexpected connections, will provide answers to questions like the link between Elton John and the promise of a paperless office, how an American discovery banned in Japan for four decades affected women’s careers there, which monetary innovations destroyed Britain’s Houses of Parliament in the 1830s.
Harford also explains how all these inventions have two facets — they may not be always benign — in the longer run, or ensure a “win-win” scenario for all.
While it is easy to see inventions as solutions to problems, he warns against seeing them as only solutions, for they “shape our lives in unexpected ways — and while they’re solving a problem for someone, they’re often creating a problem for someone else”.
These attributes are best shown by the case of an ostensibly well-meaning American inventor who is responsible for poisoning our environment twice-over though his two contributions were initially helpful, and then by both the beneficial and baleful impacts of the plough — or banks for that matter.
Harford also shows that there is more to an invention than its inventing, and even for any one of them, “it’s often hard to pin down a single person who was responsible — and it’s even harder to find a ‘eureka’ moment when the idea all came together”.
Dealing with such aspects in the brief interludes between the inventions, placed in no discernible chronological or thematic order, Harford also seeks to put them together at the end to pose the vital question of how we should think about that often used and often misunderstood buzzword “innovation” today.
“What are the best ways to encourage new ideas? And how can we think clearly about what the effects of those ideas might be, and act with foresight to maximise the good effects and mitigate the bad ones?” he asks.
But as his incisive but illuminating and entertaining sojourn through centuries of human activities and endeavours show, there are no easy or definite answers. (IANS)
New Delhi, May 7, 2017: An author and journalist Tarek fatah reacts to his suspension of account on social networking site Facebook last month, and posted a message on Twitter saying: “As if being on the ISIS death list weren’t enough, Facebook suspends me. This calls for a book titled: White Guilt and Brown B*******.”
As if being on the ISIS death list weren't enough, @Facebook suspends me. This calls for a book titled:
Reference to ISIS by Fateh is regarding a report when he was targeted by the terrorist group during his visit to India. The news came into limelight when two of the four terror suspects were arrested by the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) during the investigation.
According to an Indian Express report, cops have arrested Nazim Shamshad alias Umar, Zeeshan alias Ghazi Baba alias Muzammil, Faizan alias Mufti and Ahtesham in a joint operation of ATS spanning five states. They were caught from Mumbai, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, respectively. During the 8-day police custody, Faizan and Ahtesham had revealed the plan to attack Tarek Fatah.
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Unable to explain how Fatah has violated the terms and conditions of the website Facebook, the reasons of his account’s suspension are still dim and dubious. On receiving numerous complaints based on offensive and nasty comments against any ID, Facebook generally tends to suspend that account. But this has not prevented Fatah from his unceasing showering of contentious comments on other social media websites, including Twitter. He has been casting his opinions on most delicate issues.
Apart from being an Islamic scholar and a columnist, Fatah has also been widely known for his remarks that have reportedly generated controversies due to their divisive political stances.
Earlier, the Google account of Tarek Fatah was suspended on January 11, this year, for a brief period. However, the account was restored after about an hour. Google just like Facebook gives its users the facility to report or block someone for unwanted emails or if the addressees feel “harassed”. It is likely that if too many people report an account, Google might suspend it. It is likely that certain people may have reported Fatah’s Gmail account leading to the suspension.
In February, an organisation ‘All India Faizan-e-Madina Council’ had accused Fatah of upholding anti-Muslim sentiments on his TV show. In reaction, the 67-year old journalist had stated that he is not scared by the death threats against him. He tweeted: “A bounty on my head,” Indian Mullahs on my tail, Jihadis lusting my blood, but they don’t scare me.”
– prepared by Himanshi Goyal of Newsgram, twitter account: @himanshi1104
New Delhi, Apr 25, 2017: Aiming to bring a billion people online and make the web more useful for them, Google India on Tuesday unveiled new products on advancement in machine learning for Indian languages.
Google also announced that the neural machine translation is now available for nine Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.
“Google wants to extend internet for every Indian. We have identified gaps that bar Indians from accessing the internet. There are 400 million internet users in India and the number is expected to reach 600 million by 2020,” Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and SouthEast Asia, Google, told reporters here.