The Mohsen Hachtroudi (MoHa) Foundation and CHG Earth Group announced the inception of the first ever Franco-Indian literary prize at a press conference here on Tuesday. A week-long cultural festival, the Gitanjali Literary Prize will see artistes from different fields including graphic art, photography, dance, music and more participating.
Fariba Hachtroudi, Francophone writer of Iranian origin and President of the MoHa Foundation initiated the project.
“The prize has two aims: to contribute to the promotion of the French language in India and also to the promotion of Indian works in France. Works by noted Indian writers not only in English, but in other regional languages like Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali will also be eligible,” she said.
A Francophone author and an Indian author will receive a prize each, with two separate juries of eminent authors and people from the literary world deciding the winners.
The winners of the prize will be presented with the Gitanjali Medal, a literary sojourn of 15 days and a translation of the award-winning work.
The French book will be edited in India by an Indian editor and the book in any of the Indian languages will be published by a French editor. Fariba said, “This year, we have restricted it to India and France. From next year, we hope to have a more international presence from the other Francophone countries.”
The award ceremony will be held on December 7 at the Consulate General of France in Pondichery. The ceremony will be preceded by the week-long cultural festival at various venues in Pondichery that will feature sponsors of the prize, Shashi Tharoor and Jean-Christophe Ruffin; authors William Dalrymple, Tarun Tejpal, Ananda Devi, Hubert Haddad and Tishani Doshi.