India as A Linguistic Civilisation
The talk ‘India as a Linguistic Civilisation’ will attempt to trace the many origins of Indian languages, their diverse historical trajectories and their contemporary inequalities as well as their vast diversity.
It will make an attempt to describe India’s self-hood through the prism of language in order to explain why any myopic idea of national identity negates India’s past and present.
Ganesh Narayan Devy was a Professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda from 1980 to 96. In 1996, he gave up his academic career in order to initiate work with the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNT) and Adivasis. He then created the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre at Baroda, the Adivasis Academy at Tejgadh, the DNT-Rights Action Group and took up several other initiatives.
GN Devy has initiated the largest-ever survey of languages in history, the People’s Linguistic Survey of India carried out with the help of nearly 3000 volunteers and published in 50 multilingual volumes (Orient BlackSwan). He has written and edited close to ninety books in areas including Literary Criticism, Anthropology, Education, Linguistics and Philosophy.
He was awarded Padma Shri in 2014 in recognition of his work with denotified and nomadic tribes and endangered languages.