GUWAHATI, Oct 4 - The seventh Amulya Kumar Chakravarty Memorial Literary Award for Translation was presented to Dhrubajyoti Barthakur at the Sankaradeva Kalakshetra here this evening for his Assamese rendition of German author Hermann Hesse’s monumental work, Siddhartha.
Speaking as the chief guest, Asam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Dhrubajyoti Borah stressed the need for quality translation works, saying translation not only enriches literature but also connects different peoples.
“The importance of translation can hardly be overemphasised. Civilisations have evolved through translation. Translation is an elevating process that connects communities and enriches civilisation as a whole,” he said. Dr Borah said English owed its stature as the most important global language to – among other factors – the profusion of translation works from different languages.
“This is evident even in the Bengali language where excellent translation works from languages across the world are aplenty,” he added.
Ruing that the Assamese language lost its rich tradition of translation some two-three decades back, Dr Borah said that gone were the times when great Assamese litterateurs used to take up translation with a missionary zeal.
Asserting that the Sabha has accorded top priority to translation, Dr Borah said a permanent centre for facilitating translation, from other languages to Assamese and vice-versa, would be set up in the city.
“We plan to publish a hundred monumental translated volumes synchronising with the centenary celebrations of the Sabha scheduled for 2017,” he said, adding tribal languages all the NE States would figure in the endeavour.
Barthakur, in his acceptance speech, gave an account of the difficulties in translating Siddhartha – a complex work narrating the spiritual journey of self-discovery of the protagonist. He said this honour would motivate him to take up more translation endeavours.
Senior journalist DN Chakravartty recalled his association with the late Amulya Chakravarty – an accomplished administrator and litterateur who particularly excelled in translation, as evident in his Assamese versions of the Iliad, Odyssey and Aeneid.
Writer Eli Ahmed released a collection of translated Bangla short stories, Sarat Sardindu Parashuramar Bangla Galpa, by Urmila Chakravarty.
Instituted by Brihattar Panjabari Sahitya Sabha in association with Amulya Chakravarty Memorial Trust, the award carries a citation, a trophy and Rs 15,000. BPSS president Nagen Bhuyan presided over the function. General secretary Mafizuddin Ahmed also spoke.