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Book Release: Folklore and the Alternative Modernities
Dr. Nandini Sahu is again in headlines today in the biennial World Book Fair New Delhi, 2012, which began on February 25, and will continue till March 4. The 20th World Book Fair at Delhi was inaugurated by Chief guest Kapil Sibal, HRD Minister of India.

THE WORLD Book Fair  in New Delhi opened with the book release by Sri Manoj Das, Professor of English, Shri Aurbindo International University. He released two volumes by Dr. Nandini Sahu titled “Folklore and the Alternative Modernities”.

Professor Manoj Das, along with Vipin Chandra, a reputed historian were also the guests of honor at the inauguration ceremony of Book Fair. Dr. Nandini Sahu is a well known writer of international repute. She is at present the author/editor of a number of  books entitled The Other Voice, Recollection as Redemption, Post-Modernist Delegation to English Language Teaching, The Silence, The Post Colonial Space: Writing the Self and the Nation, Silver Poems on My Lips. But the two volume book ‘Folklore and the Alternative  Modernities’ is a wonderful literary effort by Dr.Nandini Sahu. On this occasion, Professor Manoj Das emphasized the need of scholarly books on folklore studies and appreciated the attempt of Nandini Sahu to make folklore studies a part of the mainstream of English studies today. Some animals, birdS, and trees help us understand myth and folklore.

Oral traditions are no less communicative and the folk legends are the mirrors of peoples experiences. It is necessary now to redefine the concept of culture through an interdisciplinary approach for understanding folklores. An attempt to redefine archaeology and the ethno history of pre-colonial people is also within the purview of Dr. Nandini Sahu’s books on folklore. In fact, she is doing her research on Native American literature for her D.Litt., which too helped her no less in understanding the nature of folklores and to place the Indian folklore in a sharp contrast with the folklores of occidental culture. The speakers in the book fair commended the endeavor of Dr. Nandini Sahu to sensitize the readers towards the preservation of folk culture.

Speaking about the volumes, Dr. Sahu who is a poet and a creative writer of international repute, and  widely published in India, the US, the U.K and Pakistan, said she herself made an attempt to deal with the study of folklore and the alternative modernatives associated with it. She was of the view that the western parameters like the Great Little traditions should not be applied to the study of the Indian folklore. In the Indian context, the Loka and Shastra, or, folk and elite contrast is contrary to the western contrast between Great and Little traditions. Rather, the complementariness of Marga and Deshi is very deep and intricate, contributing immensely towards the making of Indian literature. Oral literature or folk is never marginalized in India. It is always an alternative tradition and alternative need not be understood as ‘the opposite’. The glory of mainstream literature in English studies in India rests not by marginalizing but by accepting the oral or folk as  its complimentary. The volumes experiment with a flexible view of folk, not making folk a part of the marginal literature by pushing it to a museum.

Rather the modern texts which have made explicit use of the folk to make it available to the readers today should also be treated at par with the oral, the much debated ‘pure folk’ literature. She also made a statement that these volumes would be of immense value to the teachers of literature, researchers, folklorists, anthropologists, experts if social psychology, marginal studies, developmental studies, culture critics, linguists and policy planners. Dr. Sahu as the faculty of English of School of Humanities IGNOU proposed a programme ‘PG diploma in Folklore and Culture Studies”  which aims at studying folklore and other relatd cultural forms and achieving  this by situating them in their social context. The programme focuses on time, geography , space  and literature  of the folklore and culture of the world in general  and of India in particular.

The programme aims to find out the  relationa between folk culture and context through various  frameworks borrowed from disciplines such as Literature, History, Sociology, Anthropology and Folklore studies and emerging disciplines as Culture Studies. The programme also focuses on themes such as oral literature, material culture, social cultures, social customs, performing arts, theories and methods  of folklore employed so far such as historical–geographical, historical re-constructional, ideological, functional, cross–cultural, structural and contextual–all of which demand an inter-disciplinary approach .

On this occasion, Dr. Sudarshan Kcherry, the Managing Director of Authorspress, delivered the welcome address while Prof. G.S. Jolly proposed the vote of thanks.

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