The English and Hindi versions of China’s renowned linguist, historian and author Ji Xianlin’s biography, titled Ji Xianlin: A Critical Biography, was launched on Sept 21 at New Delhibased Jawaharlal Nehru University.
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India bestowed one of its highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, on Ji in 2008. His biography retraces the academic, professional and personal journey of the doyen of Indology, Buddhism and Orientalism in China.
B.R. Deepak, a professor at JNU’s Center of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies in the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, translated the book into both languages.
While the Hindi version was released by Indian publisher Prakashan Sansthan, the English-language biography was published by the Pentagon Press.
Deepak trained in Chinese history and India-China relations at Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Some of his translations from Chinese into Hindi and English include The Analects of Confucius, My Life with Kotnis, and Chinese Poetry: 1100 BC to 1400 AD, for which he was awarded the Special Book Prize of China in 2011.
Speaking at the book launch, Deepak said that Ji had virtually tapped into the entire repository of 24 most prominent works of history pertaining to India and South Asia.
Deputy Chairman of the Indian parliament’s upper house, Harivansh Narayan Singh, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese embassy to India, Li Bijian, and JNU Vice-chancellor, Jagadesh Kumar, attended the ceremony.
A host of Indian professors, authors, literary academics and students of Chinese language also attended the event.