A passage through India
Outlook Traveller|July 2021
In Wanderers, Kings, Merchants, a brand new book I’m reading on the roots (and routes) of Indian languages, author Peggy Mohan writes, “When languages die, it is an omen, of things to come that are still beyond our range of vision.” But if dying languages are doomed canaries in a coal mine, what about stories and storytelling? Do they speak of invisible threats too, of impending loss, when they evaporate from our lives, our imagination? Do they also foretell the death of languages, the loss of dialects? (They do.)
Soity Banerjee

This special issue that you hold in your hands though, is not about cautionary tales, or words brined in regret. It’s about hope and joy, and celebrating stories (and storytelling) across the diverse states of India. It’s about handing over the mic to the local communities, and listening to their stories, in their voice. It’s about taking pride in the oral traditions of India, and hoping earnestly that we can hold on to them for a little while longer...

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