CHANDIGARH, March 18, 2008: As a part of the ongoing Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, Faculty of Languages, Panjab University, Chandigarh holds a one day special seminar on "Making of India as a Nation: An Inter-Language Dialogue" on Thursday, March 20 in the English Auditorium. The seminar, according to Professor Shelley Walia, Dean Faculty of Languages, seeks to explore the possibilities of dialogue among languages and language departments in the academia so that an inter-language frame of nationalism could be harnessed within the imperatives of composite past, and globalized future. It would be a cultural lie if anyone language claims to be the sole carrier of Indian nationalist ideals, and its post-nationalist needs. The erstwhile polemics of foreign versus native, vernacular versus classical, national versus international, organic versus planted cannot be sustained for such polarities only belie the everyday working of linguistic pluralism that characterizes postcolonial India. The seminar involves as many as eleven language departments of Panjab University – English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Persian, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit, and the speakers of national and international acclaim from these disciplines are invited to participate in the day-long deliberations. Professor Aijaz Ahmad, a renowned Marxist scholar and a cultural analyst, would deliver the Inaugural Address. Prof Ahmad’s works such as In Theory, Lineages of the Present, In Our Time, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Imperialism of Our Time are indispensable to a mature understanding of the cultural politics of pre- and
Post- 9/11. There would be two keynote speakers – one is Professor Manager Pandey, an eminent critic of Hindi, and another is Professor Sudhir Chandra, a noted historian and a cultural critic. Besides them, a distinguished panel of academicians such as
Prof. Rajendra Mishra (Sanskrit), Prof. Sankar Basu (Russian), Prof. Gangnegi (Tibetan), Prof. Jagbir Singh (Punjabi), Prof. Ainul Hasan (Persian &Urdu) and
Prof. S.B. Sasalatti (German) would debate on the possibilities of negotiated multi-lingual nationalism that is compatible with India’s rich cultural heritage on the one hand, and its aspirations to be a key global player on the other. More than 200 delegates are expected to participate in the academic event according to Prof. Shelley Walia, Dean Faculty of Languages.