privacy policy

Humiliation, Resistance and Dreams in Translation : A Study of Lal Singh Dil’s Memoir and Poems


· Balwant Kaur Miranda House, University of Delhi (Delhi, India)
· Vibhas Chandra Verma Deshbandu College, University of Delhi (Delhi, India)


07/27 | 09:00-09:20 UTC+2/CEST


The life of subaltern Punjabi poet Lal Singh Dil is a chronicle of depravation, displacement, struggle and broken dreams that echoes the plight of several marginalised identities.. His poetic aesthetic is woven by a mix of Punjabi folk, its culture, casteist subjugation, extreme-left movements, systemic and upper caste atrocities and contemporary history. So far there have been two translations if ‘Dil’s poetry from Punjabi to English-  1:- “Poet of the Revolution: The Memoirs and Poems of Lal Singh Dil” translated by Nirupama Dutt , New Delhi, Penguin Viking, 1998;  2:- “Lal Singh Dil : Selected Poems” translated by T C Ghai, Delhi, L G Publishers, 2017)  Our presentation will focus on three important issues: (1) Socio-political landscape of Punjab after the 1947 partition and the question of Dalit identity in this space. (2) An exploration of the vivid and multifaceted life and works of Lal Singh Dil by analysing the major theme of identity politics/ struggle for self-respect in Dil’s autobiography. (3) Examining the English translations of Dil’s memoir and poetry and the politics around translation. Our analysis of these translations will focus on:

  1. Selection criteria for the translated pieces and identifying cases of Under-translation/Over-translation
  2. The target audience of the translator,
  3. Translation of cultural vocabulary, folk life and related political discourses.
  4. An attempt to examine the overt and covert political associations and the nature of conflicts in these translations