Programs Organized in Baroda

According to a decision made at the board meeting, Balvant Parekh Centre has initiated programs in regional languages through the Nodal Centres. Professor Sitanshu Yashaschandra, eminent Gujarati poet and Member, Board of Trust will be in charge of these programs. On 10 May 2013, a meeting, presided over by Dr. Yashaschandra and attended by scholars and writers, was convened at the Centre to discuss the possible activities and orientation of the nodal centres. A blue-print for future activities was prepared in the meeting. The plans for the current year include starting various centers in and around Gujarat to introduce the idea and practice of General Semantics in regional languages, encouraging translation of articles on General Semantics and allied disciplines into Indian languages, and conducting programs in regional languages involving scholars, writers and artists.

                                        Himanshi Shelat                                                                                  Jyoti Bhatt

The Centre, in collaboration with the Kendra Sahitya Akademi organized the first event of a series of programs titled Vani, Vastav ane Hu: Ekavisami Sadi (‘Language, Reality and I: 21st Century') on July 10, 2013 in Baroda . Himanshi Shelat, renowned Gujarati author, read from her short fiction and engaged in a detailed discussion with the audience. Jyoti Bhatt, eminent Artist and Photographer presented a slide show of his selected works and interacted with the participants. More than 80 people from Baroda attended the program.

Meeting of Minds: Three Days with Atul Dodiya, Bhikhu Parekh & Ketan Mehta

2, 3 & 5 October 2013


The Centre, in collaboration with the Sahitya Akademi, Delhi and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, organized a three day program ‘Meeting of Minds: Three Days with Atul Dodiya, Bhikhubhai Parekh and Ketan Mehta’ on 2nd, 3rd, and 5th of October, 2013. The first day began with a slide show and a talk by Atul Dodiya (Internationally renowned painter) on the aspects of associations of his works to literary texts. He showed about more than 150 slides of his works, mostly done in a series at various stages of his career as a painter. He pointed out that how literary works of several Gujarati writers like Labhshankar Thakar, Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Manoj Khanderiya etc. and some American, European and Urdu writers came to his help as sources of artistic inspiration while he was totally blank and dazed after his first visit to Europe. He admitted, in the beginning itself, that it is truly very difficult for an artist to talk about his works as words often fail to express the language of colours. But being a good orator and a communicator, Dodiya did it well, keeping the audience spellbound. In the beginning of this session, Piyush Thakkar gave a very detailed introduction to Atul Dodiya: the artist and his work. Atul Dodiya’s talk was followed by two sessions in the afternoon – one with ‘Atul Dodiya in conversation with Vasudevan Akkitham (Chair), Sandhya Bordwekar, Rita Sodha, and Piyush Thakkar. The day ended with the last session in the form of a free conversation of Atul Dodiya with the invitees from diverse fields related to art, literature, and theatre.

Bhikhubhai Parekh

The program on the second day was ‘An Evening with Bhikhubhai Parekh’ (Eminent Thinker and expert on Gandhian Thoughts and former Vice Chancellor of M. S. University, Baroda ). The event began with the welcome address by Sitanshu Yashaschandra, Convener, Gujarat Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi. He also introduced the honorable speaker. Professor Bhikhu Parekh Spoke on the topic, “Gandhi, Gujarat and the Responsibility of the Writers of Gujarat.” His lecture was followed by an interaction with the listeners who had come from various parts of Gujarat and Mumbai. The sesson was moderated by Prof. P. J. Patel. Prof. Bhikhu Parekh discussed many aspects pertaining to literature, art, and language and the possible social roles and obligations of Gujarati writers of the contemporary era. He also made the distinction clear between ‘Gandhi in Gujarat’ and ‘ Gujarat in Gandhi’.

Ketan Mehta

The third and final day, “A Day with Ketan Mehta” (a distinct, committed, and world famous film maker) began with a detailed introduction of the artist by Abhijit Vyas, followed by a screening of select parts of his films based on some literary works. Mr. Mehta spoke at length about the relation of his work to literary texts. He began his show with the clip of his first film Bhavni Bhavai, made in Gujarati language. He shared with the audience some memories: the now famous star cast of the film worked with him for gratis. He remembered the acclaim the film has won in India as well as abroad at various film festivals. He took the audience on a journey through many of his films – Holi, Mirch Masala, Aar Ya Paar, Maya Memsaab, Rang Rasiya and Manjhi: the Mountain Man. This visual experience permitted a glimpse into his creative process and the major stages of his career as a director. Mr. Mehta’s concern for the oppressed and marginalized Indian people and his commitment to the art have made him what he is. Audience thoroughly enjoyed the session; particularly the students of the Fine Arts Faculty and the young amateur artists who had come from various places. This session was also followed by two other sessions: one with Ketan Mehta in conversation with Praveen Pandya, Javed Khatri, Bankim Parmar and Abhijit Vyas; and the other in the form of an open discussion with Ketan Mehta moderated by Indrapramit Roy.


The three day program ended with a vote of thanks proposed by Prof. Sitanshu Yashaschandra. The program, for all the three days, was anchored by very well known Gujarati poet Ramnik Someshwar. A distinct achievement of this program was that following Professor Sitanshu Yashaschandra’s suggestion, the speakers spoke in Gujarati. The auditorium was fully packed during these three events; many people sat on the floor for hours together bearing with all the inconveniencies to listen to the distinguished speakers.

Nikhil Mori B.K. Patel Arts & Smt. L.M. Patel Commerce College , Savli