Director’s Note

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Samanvay 2012 is the second edition of the festival of Indian languages. This celebration of Indian writings began with conversations on the search for Indian literature and traversed writings in regional languages in its first edition. And now, we move on to highlight and discover the heritage of Indian languages through the strain of Boli, Baani, Bhasha: Gaon, Kasba, Shehar. The bolis and baanis gave the first oral and recorded expression to the thoughts of people who lived together in a community. The community gave the boli and baani their regional variations and also the intonations which gave the bhasha its rhythm and resonance over the years. This resonance is something we are familiar with through poetic works in Awadhi, Braj-bhasha, Maithili and many other baanis and bolis. Their inherent rhythm got embedded in the spiritual works of the pioneers of the Bhakti movement. Thus an endearing immortality is reserved for the bolis and baanis. Indeed, most of our mystical and metaphysical writings are in these bolis. In a sense, they have both divinity and mystique embedded in their intonation and the lyrical episodes which have given us our entire heritage of spiritual and mythological works. This year’s Samanvay – the Indian Languages’ Festival beginning on 2 November – puts the accent on this heritage with its opening session ‘Boli Is Back’. Tracing its lineage in Hindi, Kannada, Manipuri, Kashmiri, Oriya, Marathi, and of course the conversations about English writings of repute, we bring an impressive bouquet of offerings for the serious reader and also for the seeking mind. IHC’s annual Indian languages’ festival is one platform that is reaching out to focus on the intrinsic beauty of verbal and printed exchange, its philosophical ethos and its embedded roots in different regions of the country. We hope that this adds to the intellectual and social capital of the city.

Raj Liberhan

Director, India Habitat Centre

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