|Photo: Pratham Books|
Publishing in English in Sri Lanka is a relatively new phenomenon. For much of the past and even today, most publishers were printers who became occasional publishers and then booksellers. Dominant names such as Lake House and M D Gunasena produced both Sinhala- and English-language books, and had their own printing presses and sales outlets. The 1956 Language Act made Sinhala the country’s official language, effectively sounding the death knell of English as a spoken, written and read language. The subsequent steady decline in readership naturally made it unprofitable for the few existing publishing houses to invest in producing novels, memoirs or poetry in English, and their focus gradually shifted towards dictionaries, educational material and school textbooks.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
Flickr / girl.from.melbourne
An early monsoon
On June 16 2013, the India Meteorological Department confirmed the early arrival of monsoon rains across the whole of India. Full coverage was not expected until the middle of July, making farmers hopeful for a bumper crop.
From our archive:
C K Lal discusses the fixation of Southasia's political leaders with 'monumental waterworks.' (September 2007)
Somnath Mukherji explores the sights, sounds, smells and feelings that monsoon evokes. (June 2007)
Venu Madhav Govindu notes the 'fundamental importance' of a good monsoon for both city and rural dwellers. (August 2003)