A Cambridge University professor has won a prestigious award for the first complete English translation of Bankimchandra Chatterji’s novel Anandmath . Professor Julius Lipner of the university’s Faculty of Divinity was awarded the ‘2008 A K Ramanujan Book Prize for Translation’ for translating the novel written in Bengali in 1882.
The novel defined India’s national anthem and inspired a generation of freedom fighters.
he prize, named after A K Ramanujan, the scholar of Indian literature, is conferred for translations from a South Asian language, and can be from work from any historical period. Previously unpublished translations are more likely to receive the award. Professor Lipners version of Anandamath is the first translation since the early 20th century and is the only one complete with historical facts. It has an introduction which discusses the novels historical basis and the author’s background.
The award was presented to Professor Lipner by the South Asia Council which is part of the American Association for Asian Studies (AAS). The AAS is a scholarly association open to all people interested in Asia’s history and culture. Professor Lipner was born and brought up in India and he regularly visits here to conduct research. He teaches Hinduism and the Comparative Study of Religion and has lectured throughout the world.