This is an anthology of parallel texts from the Irish and Indian intellectual traditions ranging over what scholars have said about the two countries' histories of turmoil, their philosophies of mind and being, their myths and fantasies, their contemplative imagination as expressed in their lyrical poetry, their learning in medicine, history, linguistics and poetics, the records left about them by Irishmen who came to India and by Indians who went to Ireland, and the contemporary engagements between the two countries.
The volume shows that, despite major differences between the two countries, contacts and similarities between them have been substantial. The recorded testimonies of Irish people and Indians who have visited the respective countries demonstrate that in both cases the experience has been a warm and encouraging one, which has led the visitor to become more aware of what is meant by nationality, what he or she has acquired from his or her country of origin and what he or she has gained by contact with another society and another culture. That the two appear to share the same spirit of the self is attested by the fact that they both end up in the twentieth century, by coincidence or destiny, with the symbolism in their flags of the same three colours -orange, white, and green.
Kapil Kapoor, Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha, former Professor of English, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Editor-in-Chief of 11-volume Encyclopaedia of Hinduism, and is the Chief Editor of Sahitya Akademi-sponsored Encyclopedia of Indian Poetics. He has four books and many edited volumes to his credit.
Seamus Mac Mathima, Emeritus Professor of Irish and Celtic Studies, University of Ulster, has written extensively on Irish language and literature, and on Comparative Celtic, is President of Societies Celto-Slavica; Member, Royal Irish Academy; Corresponding Member, Austrian Academy of Sciences; and Member, Royal Society of Arts. He has written many books and numerous scholarly articles. Robert Anthony Welch, former Professor of English and Dean of Faculty of Arts at University of Ulster, was a prolific writer on Irish literature and had published many books. He was Editor of Oxford Companion to Irish Literature.
Santosh Kumar Sareen, former Professor at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, is President, Indian Association for the Study of Australian Literature. He has published a number of articles and has written a few books.
Richard York, former Professor Emeritus, European Studies, University of Ulster, taught French, European Studies, and Film Studies, and has authored half a dozen books.
THIS is an anthology of parallel texts from the Irish and Indian intellectual traditions ranging over what scholars have said about the two countries' histories of turmoil, their philosophies of mind and being, their myths and fantasies, their contemplative 507 imagination as expressed in their lyrical poetry, their learning in medicine, history, linguistics and poetics, the records left about them by Irishmen who came to India and by Indians who went to Ireland, and the contemporary engagements between the two countries.
The work began in 2005 when Prof. Robert Welch, former Dean, Faculty of Arts and Professor of English, University of Ulster (now Ulster University) and Prof. Kapil Kapoor, former Professor of English, Concurrent Professor Sanskrit Studies and Rector of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi met in Belfast and conceptualized a research initiative to document and explain tell-tale affinities in attitudes, values, creative expressions and thought systems of the two people under INDIA-UK ACADEMIC AND EDUCATIONAL NETWORK scheme that invited applications "from leading Indian institutions undertaking research in Humanities and Social Sciences, who are in discussions with leading UK institutions to develop joint research projects to apply for grants". Accordingly Prof. Kapil Kapoor applied to the British Prof. Robert Welch of Ulster University. Prof. Kapoor requested Prof. Santosh Sareen, the then head of the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi to join the Project, a request that Prof. Sareen accepted and then as Head of the Department he certified this project as a University project and forwarded it to the British Council. The project proposal was accepted.
Prof. Welch on his part requested Prof. Seamus Mac Mathuna, Professor of Irish and Director of the Research Institute for Irish and Celtic Studies, University of Ulster, to join the team. He kindly agreed and did so together with other academics working at the University of Ulster. Since that time, Professors Kapoor and Mac Mathuna have played a centrally important role in organizing, coordinating and developing the project, and in preparing and emending textual entries. In addition to attending to editing and writing throughout the various stages of the project, they have also been responsible for the final editing of the book and seeing it through the press.
Once a first version of the text was close to completion and at a stage where it required close attention to layout and detail, Prof. Richard York, Emeritus Professor of European Studies at the University of Ulster, was persuaded by the editors to undertake the arduous task of coordinating the Indian and Irish material. With infinite patience and scholarship, he read through the manuscript making very crucial suggestions and changes in consultation with us.
Things have worked out as Prof. Welch had originally envisioned and as an end-product we have this anthology that took many years and workshops at the University of Ulster and Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the input of several scholars, to complete.
Sadly, neither Prof. Welch nor Prof. York is with us today. It had been a great joy to work with both of them and Prof. Mac Mathuna and Prof. Kapoor miss them deeply on this occasion.
One may as well ask: how can there be an anthology of writings on India and Ireland? What principles of selection and organization would enable a unified body of writings? What could the two countries have in common? India has a population of over a billion, second in the world, with a median age of 25 and a life expectancy of 70; 29 per cent of them living in cities; it has a GDP per capita of $2900 and 25 per cent of the population lives in poverty; it has twenty six state-official languages (most importantly Hindi, but also including English) and several religions (although Hinduism is by far the most widespread); it is partly tropical and subject to the monsoon. The Republic of Ireland has a population of over four million, 126th in the world, with a median age of 35 and a life expectancy of 78, and 61 per cent of the population are urbanized; it has a GDP per capita of $45,300 and 7 per cent of the population lives in poverty; English is the normal everyday language, although Irish is officially the first national language; the population is overwhelmingly Catholic; it has a temperate climate, inclining to the cool and damp. In short, India is a "Third World" country, which is making extremely rapid economic progress, and is very large and marked by considerable cultural and ethnic variety while Ireland is in many respects a typical prosperous European country, is small and broadly homogeneous in character (although this is much less the case for the separate state of Northern Ireland).
What then can be the point of a book on the contacts and similarities of these two apparently disparate communities? This volume will show that the contacts and similarities have been substantial. In our final section we record testimonies of Irish people who have visited India or established themselves there, and of Indians who have visited Ireland. In both cases the experience has been a warm and encouraging one, which has led the visitor to become more aware of what is meant by nationality, what he or she has acquired from his or her country of origin and what he or she has gained by contact with another society and another culture. This may seem to point to a certain harmony or congruence of character beyond all the differences in the ways of life. But what could that congruence be based on? We may offer three dimensions of contact: ethnic links, a parallel political history and a similar structure of sensibility.
Ethnically, Ireland and India are extremes of the Celtic-Aryan civilization expressed in very early times by the formation of the Indo-European languages. Their relationship has been the subject of much academic study, not least in Ireland and continental Europe, and is manifest in the resemblances they show between a number of their most ancient legends, customs and belief.
Historically, both are marked by the persistence, the survival, of a native community subject to repeated invasions and then prolonged colonial rule. Most acutely, both have undergone British rule - since the sixteenth century in Ireland and the eighteenth century in India - and while this has not been wholly negative, bringing as it did education, technical progress and the example of modern political and administrative institutions, it has led at times to atrocities and deprivations, has often generated value and loyalty conflicts and has generally been felt to inhibit the national consciousness and expression of the two countries, especially through the low status given to native language and culture within the educational system. The shared interest of the two countries in decolonization has been very much in the minds of political leaders such as Michael Davitt and Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and the political struggle in each country has in its time served as an inspiration to the other; a particularly close link was forged also in the cultural renaissance that took shape in both countries at the end of the nineteenth century. It should also be noted that this complex and often tragic history has led to community divisions and conflicts, most apparent in the partition of both countries (of Ireland in 1921 and of India in 1947). This volume features the original people more strongly than the incoming populations. However, their histories have not been wholly one of hostility and that the new communities of Irishmen and Indians form a real and positive element in the mature states.
Third, and perhaps least definable, the two nations would appear to have a commonality in the realm of contemplative imagination and the structure of feeling. In both traditions a central cultural attitude - though by no means the only one - is a rejection of the values of power and wealth and a commitment to the qualities of thought, imagination, learning and aspiration to the ideal. Both cultures, on the level of high art and of popular creativity, have been largely attuned to the legendary, the fantastic, the miraculous and the other-worldly; and both have had extremely rich traditions of poetry and fiction.
Separated, then, by half the world, by size, economics and climate, Ireland and India have not been wholly separated in the concerns that have oriented their thinking. And this is why each country has maintained over the centuries a continuing awareness of the other, and why, in the words of one Irish lover of India, they have enjoyed a "mutual regard".
Item Code: NAR931 Author: Kapil Kapoor , Seamus Mac Mathuna, Robert Anthony Welch and Santosh Kumar S Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2018 Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd. ISBN: 9788124608982 Language: English Size: 10.00 X 7.00 inch Pages: 728 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 1.4 Kg
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