Book release function of Nandini Sahu's FOLKLORE AND THE ALTERNATIVE MODERNITIES (2 Vols) in the 20th World Book Fair, New Delhi by Prof.Manoj Das


In the ongoing 20th World Book Fair at New Delhi, Prof. Manoj Das released two volumes by Dr.Nandini Sahu titled “Folklore and the Alternative Modernities” on 25th Feb 2012. On this occasion, Manoj Das emphasized the need of scholarly books on folklore studies and appreciated the attempt of Nandini Sahu to make folklore studies a part of the mainstream of English studies today . Manoj Das, as an avid story teller he is, cited examples from Indian folk tales and defined the thin line of distinction between folklore and myth while justifying the in-depth relationship between folk, classical and modern literatures. Manoj Das also congratulated Nandini Sahu on her endeavor to sensitize the readers towards the preservation of folk culture. Speaking about the volumes, Nandini Sahu told that she, in her books, has made an attempt to deal with the study of folklore and the alternative modernatives associated with it. She was of the view that the western parameters like the Great Little traditions should not be applied to the study of the Indian folklore. In the Indian context, the Loka and Shastra, or, folk and elite contrast is contrary to the western contrast between Great and Little traditions. Rather the complementariness of Marga and Deshi is very deep and intricate, contributing immensely towards the making of Indian literature. Oral literature or folk is never marginalized in India. It is always an alternative tradition and alternative need not be understood as ‘the opposite’. The glory of mainstream literature in English studies in India rests not by marginalizing but by accepting the oral or folk as its complimentary. The volumes experiment with a flexible view of folk, not making folk a part of the marginal literature by pushing it to a museum. Rather the modern texts which have made explicit use of the folk to make it available to the readers today should also be treated at par with the oral, the much debated ‘pure folk’ literature. She also made a statement that these volumes would be of immense value to the teachers of literature, researchers, folklorists, anthropologists, experts of social psychology, marginal studies, developmental studies, culture critics, linguists and policy planners. On this occasion, Dr. Sudarshan Kcherry, the Managing Director of Authorspress, delivered the welcome address while Prof. G.S. Jolly proposed the vote of thanks.

1 comment:

drratanbhattacharjee said...

A mega event of book release is always an inspiring occasion for Indian literature.The folklores and folktales have been an eternal part of every culture since ages. When it comes to Indian folk tales, the country of diverse religions, languages and cultures has a complete range of tales and short stories. Indian folklore has a wide range of stories and mythological legends, which emerge from all walks of life. The interesting stories range from the remarkable ‘Panchatantra’ to ‘Hitopadesha’, from ‘Jataka’ to ‘Akbar-Birbal’.

Not only this, the great Indian epics like ‘Ramayana’, ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Bhagvad Gita’ are full of didactic stories inspired from the lives of great souls. Being full of moralistic values, Indian folklore makes perfect stories for children, who are required to be, instilled with right values. All these ancient stories have been passed from generation to generation, creating bondage of traditional values with present-day generation.The secondary literature on medieval Indian society frequently portrays the Sufis as a group that provided a vital link between Hindus and Muslims , to some extent mitigating the harshness of the Muslim military conquest of the subcontinent. What lacks in the Sufi literature is a satisfactory explanation of how such conversions might have taken place of how an essentially esoteric mystical tradition might have filtered down to commoners thus providing folk elements for the development of the Sufi literature.The depressed and illiterate Hindu castes such as the cotton cleaners or the barbers were also attracted by the Sufi tenets and they contributed indirectly to the development of the folk elements.In Bengali folk literature also the contribution is made by the Kol and Dravidian( the Santhals, the Malers, the Oraons) .In Bangalir Itihas : Adiparba Nihar Ranjan Roy mentioned two other languages enriching the folk elements: Souraseni and Magadhi. Dr. Nandini Sahu will certainly focus on all these unexplored aspects. Folk tales collected from famous stories or themes composed by 'Kobials' or folk poets and Bauls or street singers had long caught the imagination of the captive audiences in the rural areas. They laid the foundation for modern poetry in Bengal. Dr. Sahu will surely consider these aspects. Folk literature is a part and parcel of the language and culture of our society. The two volumes will surely explore these aspects also. Another aspect may be focused : the use of folk literature as a powerful educational tool. Kudos to Nandini for the mega event.