New Delhi: Author Rana Dasgupta is among 70 global personalities who are expected to shape tomorrow`s world according to French newspaper Le Monde.
"To celebrate its 70th anniversary, the eminent French newspaper Le Monde will publish 70 portraits of personalities expected to shape tomorrow`s world in their own respective ways in various areas, from economics and politics to arts and sports. Indian author Rana Dasgupta has been chosen to represent India`s culture," according to a statement by the French Embassy .
Dasgupta, the author of "Tokyo Cancelled" (2005), "Solo" (2009) and the more recently published "Capital: a portrait of Twenty-First-Century Delhi", is representing India in the cultural field among its "young sprouts".
Dasgupta, who currently lives in Delhi had won the Commonwealth Writers` Prize for his novel "Solo". He was in conversation with critic and foreign fiction editor of Le Monde`s book section Florence Noiville at an event here late last evening.
Evolution of literature, politics and citizenship over the last seven decades dominated the conversation with the speakers pondering over questions like these: Why is literature no more seen as a weapon to fight ideological battles. Has the written word lost its relevance? How are the newer forms of citizenship changing the nature of politics.
"Literature is no longer a weapon of fighting ideological battles as in the times if Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre," Noiville pointed out.
However, Dasgupta said, "writing has become more intimate" considering people have more "factual concerns today unlike in the past". He says he believes this to be "an outcome of the decreasing role of the state over people`s life."
"Nature of reality is being determined by material forces giving birth to newer forms of citizenship in the space vacated by the state. The existing ground rules of politics are being challenged," said the Delhi-based author.
The name of French economist Thomas Piketty, whose book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" was well received globally, came up repeatedly in the discussion.
Noiville agreed with Dasgupta and said it was "strange to see cultural battles over a French economist`s ideas in the United States."
Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy, who was present in the audience said, "Literature is not only informed by the political, it informs the political as well." She asserted that "the world is shaped by words."
"A movement like Occupy Wall Street might have failed but the slogans like `we are the 99 per cent` raised during the movement is today part of the political mainstream and has spread throughout the world giving birth to newer forms of resistances," she said.
Meanwhile Le Monde, founded in the year 1944, has lined up many such events in the run up to the main event to be held in September in Paris on the occasion of its 70th anniversary.