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JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY  
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                                                                                  2015[2] 
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"Caste and Democracy in India," a Perspective from below, edited by Dr. Vivek Kumar, Associate Professor, Centre for Study of Social Systems, SSS, publised by Gyan Publiching House. ISBN: 9788121212243.


"Coalition Government and Politics" UPA-II to 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, edited by Prof. C. P. Bhambhri, Distinguished Scholar, JNU, published by Shipra Publications, Delhi. ISBN: 978-817541-692-5.


"The Political Economy of Korea" Transition, Transformation and Turnaround, edited by Dr. Jitendra Uttam, Assistant Professor, Korean Studies, SLL&CS, published by Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 9781137451231.


"The Death & Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi", edited by Prof. Makarand R. Paranjape, Centre for English Studies, SLL&CS, published by Vintage Books, Random House India. ISBN: 978-81-8400-XXX-X.


Book Release

Book Release of JNU Faculty Members at the India International Centre

IIC-Asia Project and Primus Publication organized the book release event of Essays on the Arabian Nights on 26 February, 2015 at 6.30 pm in the Lecture Room II of IIC Annex, New Delhi. It was chaired by Mr. Soli J. Sorabjee, President of IIC and the new arrival was released by Professor Harish Trivedi of University of Delhi. The two editors of the volume, Dr. Rizwanur Rahman and Dr. Syed Akhtar Husain, Professor, G.C. Tripathi and Prof. Irene J. Winter, William Dorr Boardman Professor Emerita, History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University were the speakers on the panel.

At the outset Mr. Soli Sorabji acknowledged that Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan was the spirit behind the venture of this latest Asia Project publication and deserved special thanks. He asked Prof Harish Trivedi to release the book which Soli Sorabji prefered to call Thousand and One Nights. Harish Trivedi commended the Asia Project publication as truly Asian or Pan Asian as the volume contained the reception of the Nights in all the parts of Asia. He particularly noted the Arabian Nights in Indian languages namely Tamil, Malyalam, Urdu and Sanskrit. He observed that the Nights originally stemmed from Sanskrit in late ancient period and was rendered into Sanskrit again in the late medieval period of Indian history thus forming a full circle. He was amused to read the reception of the Nights in the Far-East Japan and noted that like the magic carpet it travelled into various climes and countries of the world. But the most important aspect of 1001 Nights was its narrator Sherazade giving birth to three children which deterred the King from killing her and allowing the literary narrative theory of nextismto remain in voguein the world of literature.

The next speaker on the panel Dr. Syed Akhtar Husain seconded the proposal of Soli Sorabji to call the Arabian Nights as 1001 Nights and observed that there were never 1001 stories in the Nights. It was a metaphorical way of presenting the innumerability of the stories in the literary corpus which was edited and printed at Fort William College, Kolkata and Bulaq in Egypt. He also interpreted the paintings of Rabindranath Tagore on the cover page of the book. The third speaker on the panel Dr. Rahman gave the detailed account of the receptions of the Nights in Arabic literature and said that there were even untold stories of Sherazade in the modern Arab World.

The fourth speaker Dr. G.C. Tripathi gave the graphic presentation of the Nights in Sanskrit and Hindi literary traditions and discussed the Essays on the Arabian Nights in the Indian context of history, linguistics and culture.

The last speaker on the panel was Professor Irene J Winter who had spent years in Iran and Iraq in her excavation work. She had brought the copy of Arabian Nights published in 1930, which her mother gave her to read. Professor Winter appreciated the efforts of Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan for bringing the academicians from Harvard, JNU and other universities in the orbit of the Asia Dialogue and realising the aims and objectives of the Asia Project successfully. Essays on the Arabian Nights is one of the fruitions of the Project in which the trajectory of the Asian Dialogue could be pleasantly heard. Different nations- the Indians, Persians, Arabs, Chinese etc. all played their role in the evolution of human saga and stories which we read in 1001 Nights today.

Dr. Jain, proprietor of Ratnasagar Publication proposed a vote of thanks and particularly thanked Mr. B.N. Verma of Primus Book for his efforts to bring the volume in an elegant and impressive form.

Nadeem Akhtar
Research Scholar
Centre for Persian and Central Asian Studies









 
             

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