Panaji (Goa) Noted historian, Ramchandra Guha said that history has taught us that there are no permanent winners or losers. Guha was speaking on the topic, ‘History beyond chauvinism’ during his keynote address at the inauguration of the eighth edition of the Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF) at the Maquinez Palace of the Entertainment Society of Goa in the city on Thursday evening.
Guha said that there were four types of chauvinisms that regulated history. The chauvinism of discipline, the chauvinism of source material, the chauvinism of ideology and the chauvinism of nationality. Explaining the chauvinism of discipline, Guha, citing his own research work on the Chipko movement said that history was a good blend of social science and literature and was never one dimensional. For the chauvinism of source material, Guha said historians must stop restricting themselves to government documents alone and instead study, among other sources, newspapers, which according to him provided a wealth of social history.
“Historians cannot have political or religious leanings,” Guha said while explaining the chauvinism of ideology. He cited the example of how a Marxist historian is not a real historian because of his/her political ideology.
Earlier in the evening, Mini Krishnan, Editor, Translations at the Oxford University Press in her keynote address on the topic, ‘The hinge of integration—translation’ explained how greater integration was possible through translations in a diverse country like India.
Highlighting the many positives that emanated from good translated works, Krishnan cited the example how the Stella Maris college for girls in Chennai had made a Kannada book translated into English, compulsory reading for undergraduates. Likewise, she was happy that young urban Indians understood Dalit ideology and literature because of good translations.
Paying tribute to the slain journalist and writer, Gauri Lankesh, Krishnan lauded the late Gauri’s recommendation that children be compulsorily taught in their mother tongue till grade five.
The evening saw the unveiling of an artwork by Panjim based artist, Hanuman Kambli, which was specially created for GALF 2017 and the release of a book of poems by the Chorao island based Salil Chaturvedi.