33. Sprachenvielfalt, Sprachenprobleme

“Poetry from Gujarat and not Gujarati poetry,” clarified Gopika Jadeja, the young Singapore-based poet who moderated the panel and translated for our benefit. For the poets in the limelight spanned languages — Jayant Parmar writes in Urdu, Vaishakh Rathod in Hindi, Jitendra Vasava in Bhili and Gopika herself in English.

Jitendra Vasava’s intent to bring out the identity and place of the Adivasi people came out in the brevity and intensity of his Bhili poetry. Simple words beneath a complex metaphor, especially while lamenting the suppression of his mother tongue by a foreign one. The ‘foreign’ language, the moderator gently reminded us, was not English but Gujarati. And that opened our eyes to another Gujarat — one diverse in culture, tradition and language. / The Hindu

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