Two Bengali-language novels shortlisted for prestigious Bank of Baroda RashtrabhashaSamman

Bank of Baroda(Bank), one of India’s leading public sector banks, announced the list of 12 nominations for the first edition of the “Bank of Baroda RashtrabhashaSamman”Awards 2023 on 24.05.2023. Mahanadi’ and ‘GharPalanoChhele’, two Bengali-language novels are among the list of 12 novels nominated for the award.This unique award has been instituted to recognize and promote literary works in various Indian languages(included under the 8thSchedule of the Constitution)as well as to make the best Indian literature available to Hindi readers through translations, thereby broadening theinterest and making the novels accessible to a larger set of readers.


The‘Bank of Baroda RashtrabhashaSamman’Award will be presented to both the author of the original work and the translator of the book into Hindi. The author of the original work and the respective Hindi translator of the award-winning book will receive Rs. 21.00 lakh and Rs. 15.00 lakh respectively. Moreover, the authors and the Hindi translators of the next five shortlisted books will receive Rs. 3.00 lakh and Rs. 2.00 lakh each respectively.


At the event organised in Kolkata today, the original authorsSmt. Anita Agnihotri and ShriManoranjanByapari, and one of thetranslators,Smt. LipikaSahaparticipated in a panel discussion with Shri Joydeep Dutta Roy, Executive Director, Bank of Baroda. The writers conversed on the Indian literature landscape and the significance of the RashtrabhashaSamman award for the literary fraternity across India.


Speaking on the occasion, ShriJoydeep Dutta Roy, Executive Director said “Bank of Baroda is one of the leading banks in the country, which along with being ahead in the business and financial world, has also been fulfilling its social responsibilities very well.In this endeavor, Bank of Baroda has instituted the “Bank of Baroda RashtrabhashaSamman” award to encourage literature in different languages ​​of the country and provide them a platform for wider readership and popularity.This unique initiative and this award, in terms of amount and form, is one of the country’s biggest honor in the field of literature.”


Smt. Anita’s novel ‘Mahanadi’portrays the profound bond between a river and the people living along its banks. The author through the novel delves into the cultural, historical, and ecological significance of the Mahanadi River in India, highlighting the interdependence of human life and the natural world.‘Mahanadi’ has also been translated in to English and Odia, besides in Hindi.


ShriByapari’sbook ‘GharPalanoChheleexplores the life and experiences of a marginalized young boy in contemporary society and delves into themes of social inequality, discrimination, and the struggle for identity and acceptance.


The five-member awards jury is chaired by renowned author and Booker Prize winner Smt.Geetanjali Shree. The other four jury members are ShriArun Kamal, an Indian poet; ShriPushpesh Pant, a renowned academic and historian; Smt. Anamika, a contemporary Indian poet and novelist; and ShriPrabhatRanjan, a Hindi fiction writer and translator.


The Bank had initiated the process of inviting nominations during the period March-April 2023 and received several entrieswritten in different Indian languages, fromwhich the jury prepared a list of 12 books to be in the long-list.


The winner of the ‘Bank of Baroda RashtrabhashaSamman’Award will be announced mid-June, 2023 in Delhi.


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