Seminar held on word and power in Mussoorie
Dalit Resource Centre (DRC) at GB Pant Institute Social Science, Jhusi, Allahabad, has successfully concluded its two-day cultural discourse on, ‘Power and Word (Satta aur Shabda): Forging a Democratic Order,’ as Lokdhuni –II, in Mussoorie yesterday. The discourse was an attempt to understand the complex interrelation between ‘Word’ and power structure. The state produces its own lingua franca, which often is in opposition to the words and idioms of those that are being ruled. The state produces its public that in turn shapes its public sphere. In sharp contrast, those opposing the power structure use different language and gives rise to counter public sphere.
This cultural discourse was an effort to help in forging literary communities and explore people’s perspective on issues like power (satta), deepening democracy, contemporariness, temporality and its impact on estate and governance in the Indian society. The participants also intellectually analyzed the relationship between word, power and culture, in context of literature. the objective of the seminar was to create an alternative source that documents innovative alternative reaction of literary communities in India and provide an opportunity to writers to interact with literati. This discourse helped to explore and understand our cultural resources, spanning the vast canvas from the Bhakti Era to the contemporary times.
The discussion were held on the themes Literature and Emerging Democratic Sphere, Words, Literature and Democratic Struggle, Contestation of Dalit’s Words, Literary Struggle in Post 90’s India. A select group of about thirty eminent litterateurs, poets and critics of different Indian languages, social scientists and activists namely Prof. Namvar Singh (eminent Hindi Critic, New Delhi), Sri Om Prakash Valmiki (eminent Dalit writer,Dehradun), Prof. Harbans Mukhiya(Eminent Historian, Delhi), Sri VN Rai (VC, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha), Shri Raju Sharma (director, ILD, Jaipur) Rajesh Joshi (notable Hindi Poet, Bhopal), Ekanta Srivastava(Editor, Vagarth, Kolkatta, Bishnu Mohapatra (eminent Oriya Poet,Orrissa), etc. were the main participants to discuss above mentioned.Prof Pradeep Bhargava, Director, G B Pant Social Science Institute welcoming all the eminent participants said that it was really unfortunate that state defines the limits of our Socio-economic discourse. The discourse imposed by the state was so powerful that it limits new innovative thoughts.Badri Narayan, Coordinator of this conference, stated that focus should be on role of the words. Does word empowers state or weakens it. Another point needed to be explored that criticality has increased in discourse or decreased. If state produces its dissent by itself then is there any hope for radical consciousness in this.Prof Namvar Singh, eminent Hindi Critic said in his inaugural lecture that power of words has always challenged the state. An illiterate Kabir, challenged the state. This was probably first challenge by literature to State, initiated by an illiterate saint. So far as question of challenge by contemporary literature is concerned, is there any real devotee of literature having ability to challenge state.