In a country as diverse, as multilingual and multicultural as India, forging a nation state has remained a difficult project both politically and culturally. In a certain sense, “India” as a nation (state) remains a territory at once real and imagined, illusive and binding. Defining various cultures, languages and literatures in the singularity of a nation(ality) was the invention of the Indian freedom struggle against the colonial rule.

This session explores the ways in which the Indian state has tried to sustain that invention and confronts the problematic of bringing various literatures under the master signifier: “Indian”. It also explores the mysterious bond that makes these various literatures at once distinct and collective.

Inauguration: Kunwar Narain, Sitakant Mahapatra.

Speakers: Kunwar Narain, Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Ashok Vajpeyi, Laxman Gaikwad, Alok Rai.

Moderator: K. Satchidanandan.

Reading: Sitakant Mahapatra, K. Satchidanandan, Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Ashok Vajpeyi, Mangalesh Dabral, C.P. Deval, Radha Vallabh Tripathi, Gangesh Gunjan, Malkhan Singh.

Time: 16 December, 4.00 PM to 6.00 PM.