Tuesday March 19, 2019

Tamil writer Perumal Murugan wins ILF award

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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.”

(IANS)

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Snapchat Launches its Beta Test Version in Eight New Languages

While Snapchat lost users because of its much reviled redesign, the company stressed that it ultimately resulted in 30 per cent more people watching its exclusive stories and shows

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Snapchat is reportedly planning to launch more
Snapchat, IANS

In its efforts to reach more users, photo-messaging app Snapchat has launched a beta test version in eight new languages, five of which are Indian, the media reported on Wednesday.

The new languages being tested are Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu, Malay, Vietnamese and Filipino, evidently focusing on the Indian market.

The turn of events is interesting after Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, in April 2017, infamously said that “poor countries” like India and Spain were of no interest to him for business expansion.

“This is our first Beta containing eight new languages! If you’re fluent in any languages listed below, try changing your device language to check them out,” web portal Social Media Today quoted Snapchat as saying on the beta description.

The company has urged beta testers to report issues with screenshots to help make the launch of these languages “awesome”.

The official release date of the new languages support, however, remains unclear.

It is also not known whether the beta is being tested by Android users, iOS users or both.

Snapchat, smartphones
An image of the Snapchat logo created with Post-it notes is seen in lower Manhattan, New York, May 18, 2016. VOA

A 2017 Google report suggested that India would have nearly 536 million internet users accessing content in languages other than English by 2021.

“India, the second most populated nation on Earth behind China and the second biggest smartphone market in the world, has become a key growth region of focus for social media apps in recent times, with Facebook now serving more users in the country than in the US.

“India is also the second biggest market, in terms of users, for both Instagram and LinkedIn. It then makes sense that Snapchat looks to make India a bigger focus,” the report said.

Also Read- Google Launches a Free App ‘Bolo’ For Kids in India

In October 2018, Snapchat hired Raheel Khursheed, former head of news partnerships and government for Twitter India, as its first executive to head operations in the country.

In February, the photo-messaging app claimed that it had added 186 million daily users in the final three months of 2018, ending a streak of two consecutive quarters of declining users.

While Snapchat lost users because of its much reviled redesign, the company stressed that it ultimately resulted in 30 per cent more people watching its exclusive stories and shows, the media reported. (IANS)