ITANAGAR, April 4 � Literature has got the strength to weave the multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic people into one thread called India. This observation was made by the Sahitya Akademi president and eminent litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyaya, while speaking at an Inter- State poets� meet, organised by the Akademi in collaboration with Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society at JN State Museum here on Tuesday.
The maiden initiative of the Sahitya Akademi drew participation of about a hundred poets, including those of national repute and local talents, who recited their compositions on the occasion.
Gangopadhyaya said though the Central Government has recognised 22 Indian languages, the Akademi adopted two more and is translating one�s literary works into 24 languages to help people from different linguistic groups and regions easily understand each other, besides facilitating such inter-State poets� meets.
In his address, Dr Lakhinandan Bora, the convenor of Assamese Advisory Board, said that modernisation, particularly the huge influence of English literature, is changing the values of Indian literature and its essential ingredients. The trend has pushed the languages and literature of the small populations to the brink of extinction. Dr Bora, however, said English is going to stay as an Indian language with Indians writing better novels than their English counterparts.
Describing Arunachal as �the land of rich folklore, literatures and oral history�, the novelist from Assam said that despite lack of its own script, the hilly State has produced many a noted writers like Y D Thongchi, Lummer Dai, Mamang Dai and anthropologist Dr Verrier Elwin. Dr Bora exuded hope that the maiden event would go a long way in promoting the State on literary front.
Pointing out that every language has a set pattern, the Sahitya Akademi secretary and famous Kannad poet, Agrahar Krishnamurthy quoted Mamang Dai (who refers to �souls of rivers� in her writing) to drive home his view that different patterns help articulation and creativity.
There is a general misconception about the North East as being insurgency infested and where Korean blankets are available everywhere, but the region�s uniqueness centres around love as the main theme of literature, said Akademi regional secretary from Kolkata, Ram Kumar Mukhopadhyaya.
He opined that Y D Thongchi getting the Akademi award for his Assamese novels Mauno Oonth and Mukhar Hriday (Silent Lips, Talking Heart) proves that Indian language is one, though written in different scripts.
Arunachal, with its rich folk songs, folklores, and dances has enough depth and variety to encourage creative writing, drama, fiction, poetry, novel etc, said Padmashree Arun Sharma, the lone Sahitya Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee in the country.
As Indian literature of late is rediscovering the country�s glorious heritage, Sharma urged Arunachalees to break new grounds though creativity, which he said, has a direct bearing on the society.
Earlier, in his opening speech, Thongchi said though the State has a rich oral literature, lack of a common language proved a drag in the growth of literature. Arunachal with one per cent literacy in 1947 has come a long way with its projected literacy rate of 74 per cent (2011), but Monpa and Khampti only have scripts.