In a celebration of literary prowess transcending borders, author Tshering Tashi was recently bestowed with the esteemed ‘Premchand Fellowship’ by the Indian Sahitya Akademi. The ceremony, held on December 8, marked a significant acknowledgment of Mr. Tashi’s remarkable contributions to the world of creative non-fiction.
Hailing from Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, Tshering Tashi has become a beacon of literary excellence, particularly known for his works that intricately weave the tapestry of Bhutan’s rich cultural narrative. His writing effortlessly makes the nation accessible, engaging, and intriguing for the younger generation, marking him as a literary figure of profound influence.
The author’s impressive portfolio includes co-authorship of well-received titles such as ‘The Bodhisattva King,’ ‘Bold Bhutan Beckons,’ and ‘Symbols of Bhutan.’ Additionally, Tashi has penned independent works like ‘Mysteries of the Raven Crown,’ ‘Legacy of Gongzim Ugyen Dori,’ and ‘Myth and Memory – Untold Stories of Bhutan.’ His dedication to fostering literary dialogue extends to his role as co-director of the Bhutan Echoes Literary Festival.
Following the conferment of the ‘Premchand Fellowship,’ Mr. Tashi delivered an insightful lecture titled ‘Storytelling: The Repository of Culture.’ In this address, he skillfully traced the profound cultural and historical bonds between India and Bhutan, shedding light on the shared contribution of both nations in the dissemination of Buddhism.
The ‘Premchand Fellowship’ itself holds immense prestige, being named after the revered Hindi writer Munshi Premchand. Instituted by the Sahitya Akademi in 2005, on the occasion of Premchand’s 125th Birth Anniversary, the fellowship is awarded to individuals of eminence in the field of culture and literature. Recipients are either engaged in research on Indian literature or are creative writers from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, excluding India.
The fellowship spans a flexible period of one to three months, during which the visiting fellow is expected to submit a comprehensive report of their research. These reports are subsequently presented before the executive board. Furthermore, recipients are encouraged to contribute to the academic community by delivering lectures on their area of specialization at universities and institutions dedicated to the discipline.
Tshering Tashi stands as the twelfth luminary to receive this prestigious fellowship, following in the footsteps of the inaugural recipient, Pakistani Urdu writer Intizar Hussain. The Sahitya Akademi, founded in March 1954, is a venerable institution dedicated to the promotion of literature and languages in India. As an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture, it continues to play a pivotal role in recognizing and nurturing literary talent across borders. Tshering Tashi’s recognition adds another illustrious chapter to the legacy of this distinguished literary honor.