Cooperation with UNESCO
Since its inception, the Akademi has actively cooperated with UNESCO, Paris, in the implementation of Unesco’s major project of Mutual Appreciation of Eastern and Western Cultural Values, and has also maintained contact with several literary and cultural institutions in foreign countries to encourage better appreciation of Indian literature abroad. Besides advising on matters of common interest, the Akademi has prepared for Unesco the following publications:
Selections from the Adi Granth: A selection of hymns and their translation into English was made by a committee of distinguished Sikh scholars. The book with an introduction by S. Radhakrishnan, has been published by George Alien and Unwin, London, under the title Sacred Writings of the Sikhs.
The Ayodhya Canto of the Ramayana as told by Kamban: Translation into English by C. Rajagopalachari, was published by George Alien and Unwin, London, a second edition of the book was published by the Sahitya Akademi on behalf of the Unesco in 1970, and was reprinted in 1981.
All Men are Brothers: The selection by Krishna Kriplani, from the writings of Mahatma Gandhi, with an introduction by S. Radhakrishnan, was published directly by Unesco. An American edition was subsequently published. An Indian edition too was published by the Navajivan Trust, Ahmedabad. The Sahitya Akademi has sponsored and published its translation in Assamese, Bengali, Kannada, Konkann, Malayalam, Oriya, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. A low priced second edition of the Bengali version was published in 1969, for the government of West Bengal, on the occasion of the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Chemmeen: This Malayalam novel by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, which won the Akademi Award in 1957, was recommended to Unesco for translation. An English translation by V.K. Narayana Menon was published by Harpers, USA. and Victor Gollancz Ltd. London. Translations in several foreign languages have also been published.
The Puppet’s Tale: Under this title, Unesco sponsored the English translation, by S.L. Ghosh, of the well known Bengali novel Putul Nacher Itikatha by Manik Bandyopadhyay, two editions of which have been published by the Sahitya Akademi.
Wild Bapu of Garambi: Sahitya Akademi has published for Unesco, the English translation, by lan Raeside, of the well known Marathi novel Garambicha Bapu by S.N. Pendse. A second edition of the book was published in 1981.
Poems of Subramania Bharati: The Sahitya Akademi has published for Unesco, this English translation of select poems of the well-known Tamil poet, Bharati, is an English verse rendering, with an introduction and notes by Prema Nandakumar. A revised and popular edition was published in 1982 during the poet’s birth centenary.
UNESCO has also sponsored publication of translations of the following Indian classics in consultation with the Sahitya Akademi:
Classics In English Translation
Sanskrit classics: Chaurapanchashikha, attributed to poet Bilhana and Avimaraka (play) attributed to Bhasa. Two volumes of Kalidas works into English have been brought out.
Bengali classics: Baul songs of Bengal entitled The Mirror of the Sky; Krishnakanter Will (novel) by Bankimchandra Chatterjee; select writings of Tagore, entitled A Tagore Reader; Jagari (novel) by Satinath Bhaduri; Pather Panchali (novel) by Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay and Padma Nadir Majhi (novel) by Manik Bandyopadhyay.
Hindi classics: Kavitavali and Vinay Patrika (poems) by Tulsidas; Godan (novel) by Premchand and also a Selection of Short Stories by Premchand.
Maithili classic: Love Songs of Vidyapati. Marathi classic: Janeshwari, Vols. I & II.
Urdu classic: Three Mughal Poets: Mir Sauda, Mir Hasan, Ghalib. Life and Letters, both by Ralph Russel and Khurshid-ul-Islam and Umrao Jan Ada (novel) by Ruswa.
Classics In French Translation
Bengali classics: Balaka (poems), Gora (novel) and Bhikarini and other Stories by Rabindranath Tagore; Pather Panchali (novel) by Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay.
Marathi classic: Selections from TukaramTamil classic: Silapadikaram