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Marathi’s global reach of top concern: Sahitya sammelan president

Pune’s Aruna Dhere is proud to be chosen president of prestigious literature festival and she is just getting started

pune Updated: Oct 30, 2018 17:08 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Sahitya Sammelan president,literature
Sahitya Sammelan president ,Aruna Dhere at her residence in Pune, India(RAVINDRA JOSHI/HT)

Marathi author Aruna Dhere, who was unanimously elected as the president for the 92nd Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan which will take place in January 2019 in Yavatmal, Vidarbha, says, “I feel very proud of the fact that everyone opted for selection rather than elections and that the position is indeed important whether the elected person is man or woman, anyone who creates good literature is important.”

She further adds that there is a need to translate the works of Marathi authors in English as Marathi authors lack a vision of being global. “In my capacity as a president of Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, I would look at going global or international. If we compare other regional language writers from Bengali or Kannada, Marathi literature readership is less,” she said. “No one has thought of bilingual ways of writing their literature works, but it has been my effort even before I was selected for the prestigious position,” added Dhere whose poetry is part of translation with German authors under a programme with Goethe Institute. She was the only poet from Pune to participate in the two-year poetry project ‘Poets Translating Poets’ initiated by Goethe Institute, Max Mueller Bhavan which had 50 poets in 20 different languages from South Asia and Germany to understand and translate each other’s poetry.

Speaking about the selection Dhere says, “The process of selection also suggests people’s reflection of pure happiness of simply getting someone from the literary field, instead of giving prominence to politics and other social agendas. These are people who believe literature is life, which is my mantra.”

Dhere was brought up in a ‘wada’ (traditional house) in Shaniwar peth, which has a strong influence on her writings and her poetry depicts the turmoil, the daily life of women in ‘wada.’ She feels that women today are at extremes, there are those who want to reach career goals, while on the other hand, we have women who have no knowledge about their rights and do not look beyond their personal and family life. “That needs to change, and we need to bring about a literary revolution where everyone reads a book and learns. The youth wants to read, but they have no direction what to read, for their superiors, family members and teachers lack the vision to acclimatise them to good literature,” she said.

Dhere agrees that there is stress among women in the literary world. “I would like to push for women’s literature which is indeed coming of age now. One would be surprised to see many women writing good literature in Marathi, especially when it comes to personalised topics. Over a period of time, women have found a way to project their feelings, discuss problems, social equations all through two mediums – poetry and short stories, which are adding to the growing list of good women writers in the regional language such as Marathi,” she said.

Currently, Dhere is busy on two volumes of translating works of Indian women saints and another book on selected works of contemporary women poets of India.

First Published: Oct 30, 2018 17:07 IST