Nip this evil in the bud
clarification first: Contrary to what some have
concluded, I had not digressed from the WikiLeaks issue by
dwelling upon raw flesh-eaters (8th January). The
point was that the unprocessed WikiLeaks disclosures (attracting
the "raw-flesh" metaphor) would eventually result in
healthier international diplomacy. Saffron terrorism is in the
news again, thanks to Swami Aseemanand’s reported confession. Masle
(PTC News) discussed the issue’s political and legal aspects.
A panellist wondered whether the terror act reflected on the
Hindu community at large, or was it an aberration, thanks to the
lunatic fringe’s political shenanigans. History tells us that
it is dangerous to ignore the lunatic fringe. Within no time it
becomes a mainstream monster that devours all that is sane and
humane; witness the rise of Nazism in the early 20th century, or
the present Islamist fundamentalism.
Fundamentalists in Pakistan have lionised the murderer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer Photo: AFP
Pakistan, its liberal majority is fast conceding ground to
fundamentalists; witness the manner in which Taseer’s murderer
has been lionised. The media should help nip the fundamentalist
menace in the bud. India can ill-afford to go the Pakistan way.
translation is a challenging task, especially when the original
work comes from an alien culture. It wouldn’t be that tough to
translate from, say, Punjabi to Hindi and vice versa; but to
translate from Punjabi to English, or the other way around,
becomes intellectually demanding because one has to keep the
cultural connotations in perspective. In Talking Books
(Day and Night News ), a discussion examined the issue. How much
liberty can a translator take while translating certain
expressions/descriptions that are typical to a particular
culture? One of the translators on the show pointed out that
there was no English equivalent for the term baiee used
while addressing, or talking to someone.
It really is an
untranslatable colloquialism, he asserted. Other Hindi and
Punjabi writers/translators, too, dwelt upon various
difficulties in preserving cultural nuances while translating
from English and other European languages like Russian etc.
However, a Punjabi translator’s assertion, that the word khabchoo
has no corresponding expression in English, was erroneous; in
English "southpaw" and "lefty" are at least
two words that can be used.
absorbing discussion, however, the readability factor was
ignored. The very purpose of translation is to showpiece the
works of an author in other languages, which makes it essential
that the targeted readers get interested in the translated
works. For example, Leo Tolstoy’s works have been translated
into English by several persons. Among these, Constance Garnett’s
works (Modern Library) are considered dull, whereas those by
Rosemary Edmonds (Penguin) are deemed readable, but the
translations by Aylmer Maude and Louise Maude (Everyman’s
Library) are judged the best.
& Square (D&N News) Kanwar Sandhu had a
wide-ranging talk with Justice Mukul Mudgal (not "Modgil,"
as addressed in the interview; Mudgals are Maharashtrians,
Modgils are from Haryana-Punjab). The issues were varied, like
lawyers practicing in the courts that come under their judge-kins’
jurisdiction, appointing "outsiders" as Chief Justices
of High Courts, rights of the poor vis-`E0-vis legal aid,
allowing/facilitating the functioning of the informal sector
like food streets and flea markets etc.
The talk was interesting.
However, should Justice Mudgal have declined to comment on the
extant procedure of appointing judges through a collegium of
judges, on the grounds that he himself was a beneficiary of such
a system? One would have felt enlightened if the honourable
outgoing Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had
opined on the fairness and efficacy of the appointment