Jayant Narlikar selected as president of Marathi literary meet to be held at Nashik
Jayant Narlikar, an eminent astrophysicist and writer, has been elected as the president for the 94th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, a prestigious annual Marathi literary meet which will take place in Nashik from March 26-28 this year. The decision in this regard was finalised on Sunday during the meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal members, which took place in Nashik.
Narlikar, a well-known astrophysicist and emeritus professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (Iucaa) has received many national and international awards and honorary doctorates. Narlikar is internationally known for his work in cosmology, for championing models alternative to the popularly believed big bang model. “His selection was made on the basis of majority opinion of selectors rather than an unopposed one,” said Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal president Kautik Thale Patil.
His work has been on the frontiers of gravity and Mach’s Principle, quantum cosmology and action at a distance physics. He has also worked on problems related to quasars, black holes, among others. Apart from his scientific research, Narlikar has been well known as a science communicator through his books, articles, and radio/TV programmes. He is also known for his science fiction stories.
Narlikar was awarded Padma bhushan in 1965, at the young age of 26. In 2004, he was awarded Padma vibhushan while in 2011 the government of the state of Maharashtra honoured him with the state’s highest civilian award of Maharashtra Bhushan. In 2014, the Sahitya Akademi, the premiere literary body in India, selected his autobiography ‘Chaar Nagaratle Majhe Vishwa’ for its highest prize in regional language (Marathi) writing.
Yakshanchi Denagi, Waman parat na Ala, Antral ani Vidnyan are some of his popular books in Marathi. This is a rare occasion that a celebrated scientist has been chosen as the president of Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan.
Eminent writers and former presidents of Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan expressed happiness over Dr Naralikar’s election for this year’s literary meet.
Sadanand More writer and former president of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, said, “In the 70s when his thesis came out, a demand was raised that he should get Bharat Ratna. At that time, Acharya Atre had said that he is our Vishwa Ratna. He is down to earth and he is still connected to the roots. He has not forgotten our mother tongue Marathi language. He has been writing in Marathi to spread scientific information. I congratulate Mahamandal for electing him.”
Laxmikant Deshmukh, writer and former president of Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, also expressed optimism after this decision. “He is a well known scientist in the world. Through his simple writing, people started to read science fiction in Marathi. In this period, we have been drifting away from science, it is a very good decision. Scientific temper needs to be prevailed through literature. He should have been elected early. But it’s better late than never,” Deshmukh said.