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Thinker, Cultural Activist & Literary Critic

Date & Time

Sun, 25 Sep 2022

Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675

Indians belong either to castes or to tribes. What makes the tribal people tribal or adivasis? What have been there cultural traditions, their thought patterns and their philosophy of life? What led to some of them getting branded as ‘criminal tribes’? What is the future of the culture of the Adivasis in the 21st century world? This lecture will present views of the speaker based on his experience of creating the Adivasi academy at Tejgadh and a global network of the indigenous peoples. The lecture will offer a perspective on the rapidly disappearing continent of culture that the indigenous of the world inhabit.

This episode of BIC Talks is an extract from the second of a series of four masterclass lectures by Prof. G N Devy, titled Memory, Culture and The Being of India that took place in the BIC premises in early February 2022.

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Ganesh N Devy

Thinker, Cultural Activist & Literary Critic

G N Devy, a thinker and a public intellectual, initiated and led the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, covering over 700 languages with a team of nearly 3000 volunteers. The PLSI resulted in the publication of 91 titles, divided in 50 volumes in English, Hindi and several Indian languages, bringing to notice some 35000 printed pages of valuable data on the language diversity of India.

Devy initiated a series of international conferences of the indigenous communities from all continents resulting in 12 published volumes of perspectives of the indigenous on culture, ecology and politics.

Currently, he is engaged in producing a People’s Report on Indian civilisation and its history of the last 12000 years with the help of a large international collective of scholars in Human Genetics, Archaeology, Linguistics and Anthropologists.

Devy describes himself as a cultural activist. He writes in three languages—Marathi, Gujarati and English. His first book in English, After Amnesia (1992) received the Sahitya Akademi Award, which he returned in protest after the assassination of Dr. M. M. Kalburgi.

He has been an institution builder and a Professor of Literature. He has received many awards and honours including Padmashri, the Linguapax Award and the Prince Clause Award. He writes in Marathi,Gujarati and English and has to his credit 99 books written or edited by him.

His recent publications include, Being Adivasi (co-edited, Penguin, 2021) and Mahabharata – the Epic and the Nation (Aleph, 2022).