Festival Advisory Committee - Samanvay 2013

Alok Rai

Alok Rai is currently professor, Department of English, Delhi University. As a Rhodes Scholar, he received his B.Phil. in Modern English Studies from the University of Oxford, and went on to do his Ph.D. on the writings of George Orwell from University College London.

His areas of interest include Modern English Literature, and cultural processes in modern North India, with particular reference to issues of language and literature. He was awarded the Senior Fellowship of the ICSSR in 1985, and was a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library during 1985-87. Publications include Orwell and the Politics of Despair, Hindi Nationalism, and an English translation of Premchand’s Nirmala.

Arjun Deo Charan

Dr Arjun Deo Charan is a Rajasthani poet, playwright, theatre director and critic. He has directed and written many plays that have been staged at several theatre festivals organized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, National School of Drama, Kerela Sangeet Natak Akademi and Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Some of his published works include plays like Do Natak Aaj Ra, Bol Mhari Machhali Itto Pani, Dharamjudh, Virasat and Mugti Gatha, a book of poems Rindhrohi and Ghar To Ek naam Hai Bharose Ro, a monograph Rawalon Ki Rammat and Satya Prakash Joshi. He has also translated Mrichhkatikam, Nagamandala and The Caucasian Chalk Circle into Rajasthani.

Chairman of Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi, Dr Arjun Deo has been awarded by the Sahitya Academi, Rajasthani Bhasha Sahitya, Sanskriti Academy, Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Academy and K.K. Birla foundation.

Presently he is the head of the department of Rajasthani at Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Arunesh Neeran

Arunesh Neeran is secretary general, Vishwa Bhojpuri Sammelan. Hailing from Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, he has several publications in Hindi and Bhojpuri and is a noted academician in his field.

Devendra Raj Ankur

Devendra Raj Ankur has been director, National School of Drama, New Delhi, along with having played the roles of a teacher, director, critic, playwright and an actor. Having created a completely new genre of modern Indian theatre called Kahaani ka Rangmanch, he has penned over 400 stories and novels in all Indian languages. He feels that there is nothing in this world better than the thrill of performing live.

He has been a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and founder and member of reputed theatre institutes. He has conducted theatre workshops in India and abroad, and many of his works have been published both in journals and as complete books.

K. Satchidanandan

K. Satchidanandan is a poet writing in Malayalam. He has a doctorate in post-structuralist poetics and was professor of English at Christ College, University of Calicut, Kerala, editor of Indian Literature, the journal of the Sahitya Akademi (The National Academy of Letters) and later the chief executive of the Akademi. He then worked as a language policy consultant for the Government of India and has also been associated with Katha, Delhi. He edits the SAARC journal Beyond Borders in English, the poetry quarterly Kerala Kavita in Malayalam and the South Asian Library of Literature. At present he is director and professor, School of Translation Studies and Training, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi. He is also on the project advisory board, Indian Literature Abroad, a Government of India Initiative.

He has published poetry, critical essays, interviews and edited anthologies of poetry and prose. His awards for literary contribution include Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award and Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, besides Sahityasree from the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Delhi. He has also received a senior fellowship from the department of culture, Government of India, the Sreekant Verma Fellowship from the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the K.K. Birla Fellowship for comparative literature. A film on him, Summer Rain, was released in 2007.

Satchidanandan has been honoured with knighthood by the Government of Italy, with the Dante Medal by the Dante Institute, Ravenna and the India-Poland Friendship Medal by the Government of Poland. He has also been an activist for secularism, environment and human rights.

Mahmood Farooqui

Mahmood Farooqui was educated at the Universities of Delhi, Oxford and Cambridge (UK) from where he holds an M Phil in Oriental Studies. He has been a journalist and a newspaper columnist. Over the last seven years he has effected a major revival of Dastangoi. He is the author of Dastangoi (the book) and ‘Besieged: Voices from Delhi, 1857′ (Penguin, 2010).

Mary Therese Kurkalang

Mary Therese Kurkalang runs Khublei which promotes and organizes events in the arts, publishing and social development areas. Born in Shillong, Mary has lived and worked in Delhi for the last fifteen years in NGOs, international cultural centres and in the publishing industry. For the past few years, and especially through Khublei, Mary is working to actively promote the cultures of the North-Eastern states of India, and raise awareness on issues related to these states.

Ravi Singh

Ravi Singh is co-publisher, Aleph Book Company, and publishing director, Rupa Publications. Before this, he was publisher and editor-in-chief, Penguin India, and assistant editor, Delhi Diary magazine. Since the mid 1990s he has worked with many of the biggest names in South Asian literature.

Sitanshu Yashaschandra

Sitanshu Yashaschandra is among contemporary Gujarati literature’s most eminent representatives. A poet, playwright, translator and academic, he has received several awards over the years from the Sahitya Akademi Award for his opus, Jatayu, to the Padma Shri. He has authored three books of poetry.

Yashaschandra has worked as vice-chancellor, Saurashtra University; UGC Emeritus Professor and national lecturer; and chief editor, Encyclopedia of Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi). His doctoral work at Indiana University, USA, was in comparative literature, and at the University of Bombay, in Indian and western poetics. He has also been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a Ford West European Fellowship for research in comparative literature. He has taught, as professor and chair of Gujarati, at the M.S. University, Baroda, and has been visiting professor, Sorbonne University, Paris; Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, andJadavpur University, Kolkata.

His creative and critical theory work is mainly in Gujarati but has been widely translated into Hindi and other languages. He has translated several works of poetry, drama and criticism from English to Gujarati. Tokhaar, his adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s Equus, was hailed as a landmark play in modern Gujarati theatre.

Udaya Narayan Singh

Born in 1951, Udaya Narayan Singh is an internationally renowned linguist, translation theoretician, lexicographer and creative writer, and has served as the pro-vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. He also acted as the director of the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore. He taught linguistics, English studies and translation studies at the University of Hyderabad, University of Delhi, South Gujarat University, Surat, and MS University, Baroda.

Singh is a bilingual writer in Bangla and Maithili, and has published 6 poetry collections (with translations in Indian and European languages), 11 plays and 6 books of literary essays, besides having translated 6 books. In addition, he has authored over 180 research papers in linguistics and edited about 16 books.

He led the Indian cultural delegation to China during 2007–08, and was a member of the Indian delegation to UNESCO in 2011, and to France and USA in 2012. He has also been a poet-invitee at the Frankfurt Book Fair and the London Book Fair.