Ganesh Narayandas Devy
Born (1950-08-01) 1 August 1950 (age 73)
Bhor, Pune District,
Bombay State (now Maharashtra), India
OccupationCritic, thinker, editor, educator, cultural activist
GenreLiterary Criticism
Notable awards

Ganesh N. Devy (born 1 August 1950)[1] is an Indian literary critic and former professor. He is known for the People's Linguistic Survey of India[2] and the Adivasi Academy created by him.[3] He is credited with starting the Bhaashaa research and Publication Centre.[4] He writes in three languages—Marathi, Gujarati and English. His first full length book in English is After Amnesia (1992).[5] He has written and edited close to ninety books in areas including Literary Criticism, Anthropology, Education, Linguistics and Philosophy.[6]


G. N. Devy was educated at Shivaji University, Kolhapur and the University of Leeds, UK. Among his many academic assignments, he held fellowships at Leeds University and Yale University and has been THB Symons Fellow (1991–92) and Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow (1994–96). He was a Professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda from 1980 to 96. In 1996, he gave up his academic career in order to initiate work with the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNT) and Adivasis. During this work, he created the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre at Baroda, the Adivasis Academy at Tejgadh, the DNT-Rights Action Group and several other initiatives. Later he initiated the largest-ever survey of languages in history, carried out with the help of nearly 3000 volunteers and published in 50 multilingual volumes.[7][8][9]


In response to the growing intolerance and murders of several intellectuals in India, he launched the Dakshinayan (Southward) movement of artists, writers, and intellectuals. In order to lead this movement and to initiate his work on mapping the world's linguistic diversity, he moved to Dharwad in 2016.[10] Devy returned his Sahitya Akademi Award in October 2015 as a mark of protest and in solidarity with other writers[11] sensing a threat to Indian democracy, secularism and freedom of expression and "growing intolerance towards differences of opinion" under the right-wing government.[12][13] The Dakshinayan movement follows the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The movement has spread to several states in India such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, West Bengal, Uttara Khand, Punjab and Delhi.[14]


G. N. Devy has received several Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was awarded Padma Shri on 26 January 2014 in recognition of his work with denotified and nomadic tribes and endangered languages.[15] He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award (1993) for After Amnesia, and the SAARC Writers’ Foundation Award (2001) for his work with denotified tribals. He was given the reputed Prince Claus Award (2003) for his work for the conservation of tribal arts and craft. His Marathi book Vanaprasth received eight awards including the Durga Bhagwat Memorial Award and the Maharashtra Foundation Award. Along with Laxman Gaikwad and Mahashweta Devi, he was one of the founders of The Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Action Group (DNT-RAG). He won the 2011 Linguapax Prize for his work for the preservation of linguistic diversity.[16]


See also


  1. ^ "Sahitya Akademi : Who's Who of Indian Writers". Sahitya Akademi. Sahitya Akademi. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  2. ^ Rana, Ratika (28 April 2022). "Settling The Language Debate: Here's How Hindi Is Far From Becoming India's National Language".
  3. ^ Kaushik, Martand (1 July 2018). "How GN Devy challenges our concept of knowledge". The Caravan. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Baroda NGO - Bhasha Research and Publication Centre". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  5. ^ Devy, G. N. (1 January 1992). After Amnesia. ISBN 9780863112676.
  6. ^ "The Centre Cannot Hold : How G. N. Devy Challenges Our Concept of Knowledge". 23 July 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "The man who 'discovered' 780 Indian languages".
  8. ^ "Getting the language count right".
  9. ^ "Scholar GN Devy's Life's Work Is The Best Reply To Those Rallying For One National Language".
  10. ^ "Meet Ganesh Devy, the man who is out to map the world's linguistic diversity".
  11. ^ "GN Devy on why he's returning his Sahitya Akademi award".
  12. ^ "Gujarat cops knock at writer Ganesh Devy's doors after he returns Sahitya Akademi Award".
  13. ^ "Now, Ganesh Devy returns his Sahitya Akademi award". The Times of India. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Ganesh Devy: Diminishing understanding between societies… I am trying to bridge divide". 2 February 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Print Release". 22 February 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Devy gets Linguapax Award - Times of India". The Times of India. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  17. ^ Rayan, Krishna (1993). "Review: THE CASE FOR NATIVISM". Indian Literature. 36 (4 (156)): 188–191. JSTOR 44295534.
  18. ^ Mund, Subhendu (2002). "Reviewed Work: Of Many Heroes : An Indian Essay in Literary Historiography by G.N. Devy". Indian Literature. 46 (1 (207)): 188–191. JSTOR 23344554.
  19. ^ Perry, John Oliver; Devy, G. N. (2003). "Reviewed Work: Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation by G. N. Devy". World Literature Today. 77 (1): 95–96. doi:10.2307/40157830. JSTOR 40157830.
  20. ^ Heredia, Rudolf C. (2006). "Review: Redeeming the Silence". Economic and Political Weekly. 41 (42): 4437–4438. JSTOR 4418832.