ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman

ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman 2015

In keeping with the commitment of ILF Samanvay to nurturing creativity and democratic exchanges among languages in the Indic space, the festival features two major annual recognitions: ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman and Vani-Samanvay Distinguished Translator Award.

In its 4th year  (2015) the annual ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman has undergone a makeover. Till 2014, named Samanvay Bhasha Samman, this honour was bestowed on an eminent writer who had contributed significantly to the growth of one or more Indian languages. Last year, the third Samanvay Bhasha Samman 2014 was conferred upon Ashok Vajpeyi, the well-known author, scholar, critic and poet for his lifelong contribution to Hindi Literature in particular and Indian Literature in general. The second Samanvay Bhasha Samman 2013 was conferred upon veteran  Gujarati Author Chandrakant Topiwala  for  “his lifetime  contribution to  Gujarati  and  Indian  literature; for  his commitment for independence and objectivity in cultural life; for standing against the authoritarian forces in contemporary Indian society and broadening the scope of human empathy through an extraordinary body of work.” The inaugural award in 2012 had been conferred upon the legendary Odiya writer Sitakant Mahapatra for “his lifetime contribution to Odiya and Indian literature; for extraordinary efforts in generating dialogue across Indian languages through creative and administrative activism, for emancipation of dialects and oral traditions and for unrelenting advocacy of plurality of idea and expression.”

In this fifth year of India Habit Centre’s Indian Languages Festival Samanvay, as part of the rethinking of the festival as a significant and enduring space to facilitate growth, development of connections of Indian languages in the contemporary times,  it was decided that every year, an important literary work in one of the focal languages of the festival, should be given the award, as such a scheme is more aligned to the vision and mission of the ILF Samanvay. Hence, the Award has been named ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman, and from a cluster of five languages from the five regions of the country—Tamil, Bangla, Dogri, Marathi and Mizo— nominations were called from a large panel of publishers, academicians, critics/writers. Works—Poetry Fiction Creative non-fiction; e.g. Autobiographies, Travelogues, Memoirs, etc—published in the last 5 years in these languages were considered. To begin the process, each language’s advisers suggested 5 critics/writers, 5 academicians, and 5 publishers who sent in their nominations in an elaborate format prepared for this purpose. Each nominatorsent 3 nominations, and filled up thequestionnaire  in justification of the nomination.

Criteria for nominations specified that the book should:

  • Preferably have been translated in any other Indian Language. This criterion, however, is NOT mandatory.
  • Have been published between Jan 2010—Dec 2014.
  • Be considered significant in the particular language.
  • Have brought a breakthrough in the literary scenario of that particular language.
  • Have extended the frontiers of language and style vi) be not just commercial but aesthetically rich.
  • Have some social and/or literary substance to it.
  • Challenge established norms.
  • Have brought a shift in the canon.
  • Have made a considerable impact on the language it has been written in.
  • The advisers are free to add books over and above the nominations received per language.


The advisers of Bangla, Dogri, Marathi and Tamil shortlisted 2 books per language.Though nominations were received from Mizo, the advisors did not recommend any for the award. Each panel of advisors of the four languages prepared a critical justification for the members of the jury explaining their choice for the 2 books shortlisted. From among these 8 nominations the jury members chose PerumalMurugan’sMadhorubhagan

Shortlisted works

  1. Bangla

Prabal Kumar Basu, Bhalo Bolte Shikhun
Anita Agnihotri, Desher Bhitor Desh

  1. Dogri

Om Goswami, UnniSou Santali
Lalit Magotra, Hello Maya

  1. Marathi

Mahabaleswara Sail, Tandav
L. S. Jadhav, Horpal

  1. Tamil

Perumal Murugan, Madhorubhagan
Imayam, Savu Soru

The award ceremony is scheduled between 6pm and 7pm on Saturday the 28th of November at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.