ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Secular, Secularism and Non-translations

This paper traces the conceptual-linguistic journey of the term “secular” in India and shows how its entry into any discussion was accompanied by questions of ambivalence about equivalence. An anxiety around its foreignness; or its inefficacy by being both excessive and inadequate as a word can be traced through multiple sites. It proliferates, meaning many things and nothing at all. What makes it so unsettled, so polyphonic, and therefore ready to be seized? Does that have to do with being neither fully embraced nor ignored, on the threshold of language, as it were?

A Case for Collaborative Translation of Literary Texts in South Asia

Translation of contemporary works of literature from one South Asian language into another has a great potential for developing a shared understanding of the region’s diverse linguistic cultures. The author shares his experience of translating and editing translations of novels, short stories, poetry, and literary non-fiction from South Asia and elsewhere into Urdu.

Legal Violence and Its Unacknowledged Terrain in Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court

A critical take on the film, Court, with respect to the legal discourse through which it weaves its narrative of the failure of legal activism. The film is critiqued through a particular branch of critical legal scholarship that associates the activities of the lawyer or legal activist with that of the translator or the interpreter. As activities pertaining to justice and the survival of human beings, acts of misreading and mistranslation are therefore not innocent or incidental to the legal process or legal activism.

Poems of the First Buddhist Women

Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women, translated by Charles Hallisey; Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press, 2015; pp xli + 293; ₹295.

Of Moons and Mirrors

From Urdu to Hindi and then English, Kai Chand the Sar-e Asman sets out on a creative journey.

Sanskrit, English and Dalits

Unlike Sanskrit, there are no scriptural injunctions against the learning of English; English is theoretically as accessible to dalits and women as it is to the 'dwijas'. However, the brahmanical classes have monopolised the use of English (as also other symbols of western modernity) and have justified the denial of the same to the dalits, sometimes even reading their 'faulty' use of the language as acts of resistance/rejection of colonial modernity.

Translation, Colonialism and Rise of English

The introduction of English has been seen as "an embattled response to historical and political pressures: to tensions between the English parliament and the East India Company, between parliament and the missionaries, between the East India Company and the native elite classes". Extending this argument, the author suggests that the specific resolution of these tensions through the introduction of English education is enabled discursively by the colonial practice of translation. European translations of Indian texts prepared for a western audience provided to the 'educated' Indian a whole range of Orientalist images. Even when the anglicised Indian spoke a language other than English, he would have preferred, because of the symbolic power attached to English, to gain access to his own past through the translations and histories circulated through colonial discourse. English education also familiarised the Indian with ways of seeing, techniques of translation, or modes of representation that came to be accepted as 'natural'.
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