We need truths to be told to the youth - Author and Multilingual Translator, Dr. Bina Biswas
Dr. Bina Biswas, a former professor of English Language and Communications in TRR Group of JNTU (Hyderabad) holds a PhD in English from Andhra University. She has authored thirteen books including 5 major translations and 2 poetry books. Her book ‘Tagore’s Heroines: Assessing the Portraits of Gender Orientation’ has been a bestseller, both in India and abroad. She has also written many schoolbooks and series for CBSE schools.
Dr. Bina has been a panelist in many national and international literary fests and conferences. She is a Tagore Scholar and multilingual translator. She has been a jury member for Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi for two years.
Dr. Biswas is also a social activist and strongly believes in woman empowerment. She feels women have been at the receiving end since the beginning of human history and continues to do so. There can be a change only when women get educated in the true sense of the word and stop taking things lying down.
She is a recipient of Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award in 1993.
A facilitator with more than 25 years in teaching profession, Dr. Biswas has a consistent track record of success in training the students for Higher Education Verticals as Soft Skills Trainer in India and abroad.
She is also proving her entrepreneurial skills with her Publishing House ‘Rubric Publishing’ and an Interior Designer Company called CreatSpaces.
Check out some interesting excerpts from a conversation that we had with multi-talented Dr. Bina Biswas!
You had a career in teaching, but later shifted to full-time writing and other literary activities. Please tell us more about this shift in career.
While teaching I had my eyes fixed on writing and the literary world, and the moment I got a chance I quit. I knew my salvation lies here!
The most difficult aspect about translation work is that the essence and emotions must not be lost. In your opinion, what helps to keep that up?
They say ‘Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful’ and I feel it is the most difficult aspect to keep both, emotion, and essence, intact. I try my best to remain honest to the source language and give my best.
What is the biggest struggle of an author/writer/novelist today in India?
Now, we have more writers than readers and the present young generation belongs to the digital world, hence, to make them read books other than academic books is the most challenging thing.
These days people hardly like to read for knowledge because this is the age of information. Hence, I feel that for an author, the biggest challenge now is to find readers.
In such circumstances, what should authors do to ensure they reach their right target audience?
With the advent of social media in our life and more platforms to showcase whatever one writes we have left the readers confused and they don’t know what to read and what to discard. Authors should write and write something that inspires, educates, and has literariness in them. They are bound to find readers if what they write has value and not just pulp.
While you have always known to be a supporter of women empowerment, do you think that the initiatives by government supporting the cause are appropriate? Do you have any suggestions for the government?
Something is at least better than nothing. Whatever the government does to empower women is not enough. I feel more financial projects, self-help projects and having more centralized bodies to identify the talents in a particular area and give them platform and generate businesses for them.
Literature plays a huge role towards the growth of the country, considering culture, youth, etc. According to you, what kind of literature India needs currently?
This has been true for all ages. Literature has always played a crucial role in our life, culture, youth, and society. We need truths to be told to the youth. And books that teach us to have human values and the foremost thing that literature should now have is the ‘inclusiveness’. We are already having strife-ridden societies across the globe; there is a definite need to have a body of literature where we have no hate, no seclusion and threat of losing cultural identities.
While you have been working in multiple languages, which language in your opinion is more preferred by readers these days?
You have also written many schoolbooks and series for CBSE schools. What skills are required to work in this field?
All the years that I taught I always felt the need to improve the content of the school text books. Skills are mainly knowledge here. You need to have a strong hold of the topics you are writing on.
What is your opinion about the women being represented in the media, films, and literature?
Only a section of women gets represented and it is much hyped too. But a few forums do value the real achievers. In films, women still get a bad deal in most, literature works independently to some extent. I will not go by the number but by their quality. Let there be more representations from the underprivileged section.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
The challenges will be different from what we faced. They will be at par or even above their men counterpart in almost all fields, and hence maintaining the balance will be the biggest challenge.
Please share some details about your upcoming book.
I am working on my travel memoir where I am trying to address the age-old issues and conflicts that world’s major religions have vis-à-vis human history.
Do you think Women’s Day should be celebrated? Why?
Yes, as long as it makes women happy though I see no fun in it. The day women stop getting raw deals, not raped, and commoditized as an exhibit and female feticide is stopped; let us celebrate that day as women’s day!
Apeksha Sandesh is proud of achievements earned by author and multilingual translator Dr. Bina Biswas and congratulates for her contribution and commitment towards Indian literature with her works as well as words and wishes her all the best for her future endeavours!