( First published in Northern India Patrika, October 11, 2014)
Last month Aavratan, a reputed research journal, organized a seminar in coordination with Deen Dayal Upadhyay University situated in Gorakhpur. This Gorakhpur based research journal in the past has published excellent papers revealing lesser known facets of critical issues. The seminar was dedicated to promotion of Hindi- the official language of India. The star attraction of the event was the presidential speech by Dr. Genadi Shlomper, who happened to be Hindi Instructor at East Asia Department, Tel Aviv University, Israel. It was a pretty interesting experience to hear from Dr.Genadi about his involvement with Hindi during formative years of his career. It was evident from his speech that even if Hindi has failed to emerge as national language of India, it has emerged as an International language like its counterpart Spanish and English.
His insights proved to be an eye-opener for huge crowd which had gathered there to listen a foreign visitor throwing light on worth of dealing in Hindi! After all, despite constitutional obligations Hindi has failed to get status of national language. Even in routine life of an average Indian enjoying upper middle class stature Hindi enjoys position of illegitimate wife! Indians have beaten Englishmen in exhibiting their love for Victorian ideals and, of course, for English. Besides Dr. Genady, listeners also had a wonderful opportunity to hear Israeli students pursuing Hindi language course at Tel Aviv University. Offir Mizrahi, Tal Gorsky, Matan Massika, Yakir Dahari, Alexandra Fer and Adi Fischer who were visiting various parts of India to understand the essence of Hindi in more refined manner had so many interesting tales to narrate regarding their experiences which they gathered during their current visit.
Dr Genady Shlomper, who is credited with introducing Hindi in Israeli Universities, loves to visit India so as to enable his students have first-hand-experience of Indian culture. That in his eyes would make his students grasp the intricacies associated with Hindi language in a better way. Informing about the curriculum associated with Hindi he said that at initial stages more stress is laid on making students familiar with script and grammar rules. The students who wish to pursue Hindi more seriously can get enrolled in third year of three-year graduation course. At this stage it needs to be informed that a student has to learn at least one Asian language as one of the subjects in first two years. However, he made it clear that government does not get involved in framing the curriculum. Above all, the students who wish to learn languages are primarily guided by career concerns instead of being charmed by the intrinsic beauty of ay language. Interestingly, Hindi is easy to grasp but once Israeli students become face-to-face with grammar the enthusiasm gets a big jolt!
Dr. Genady, who got fascinated with Hindi since Tashkent days, said Universities in Russia in those days had no course specifically meant for Hindi learning. However, Urdu was being taught as one of the languages. He had no other option left other than to select Urdu. In those days there were also no books for learning these languages and students had to rely on lectures delivered by Professors in class. Finally, during one of his visits to India he managed to get hold of books related with Hindi. One of the reason he selected Hindi was that in eyes of his mentors it provided greater opportunity for career growth. Even in our times as India is on the verge of emerging economic superpower, learning Hindi widens the scope of landing your dream job. More and more foreign companies are entering in Indian markets to promote their brands. That means increased role of translators in the grand scheme of things primarily controlled by Capitalism!
Dr Genady finally moved to Israel from Russia to ensure a better future for himself. Ironically, students accompanying Dr. Genady had some bitter truths to share pertaining to materialistic world in the process of unfolding their love for Hindi. Yakir Dahari, a die-hard fan of Hindi movies, hit hard at the prevalent corruption in Israel. Citing India’s war against corruption, led by Anna Hazare, Yakir informed that youths in Israel have also waged a war against corrupt institutions, which had resulted in ouster of influential people from public domain. Adi Fisher, a married Israeli student, says that living a decent life has become a herculean task. She has delayed the birth of child so as to ensure better days! In fact, costly living standards have forced the youths to share the home built by their parents since owning a separate house in limited income is virtually impossible. In lighter vein, Alexandara’s sweet gestures on Bollywood numbers along with other Israeli students gave clue about the rocking presence of Indian movies in distant lands! It was an unique experience to see them singing a gem from classic era: Babuji Dheere Chalna Pyar Mein Zara Sambhalana!
Israel continues to inspire Indians in one more way. Its aggressive stance against countries trying to sabotage its sovereignty appeals a lot to sentiments of Indian people who wish India to adopt similar line of action. Dr. Genady had to face barrage of questions in this regard much against his desire to be above controversial issues. He was interested in being seen as a professor involved in promotion of Hindi instead of being seen as a political analyst. He cleverly avoided all such disturbing questions but not without mentioning that not all Israelis agree with tough stand of Israel government against enemy nations. There are serious differences making it clear that opinion of people differ from the ones who rule the government. Whatever be the truth, Indian students who had gathered to interact with Dr. Genady were keen to know from him the elements that have gone into the making of an average Israeli committed to defend Israel at any cost! The questions from students give a clue about it. One student asked: Are students trained that way from the beginning? Another asked: Is the curriculum framed that way which ensures the rise of ferocious nationalists?
Dr. Genady is convinced that Hindi is going to strengthen its impact in coming days. It’s going to make its presence felt in a big way in International arena. What he does not realize that in India it’s losing its charm. Newer distortions like “Hinglish” and mindless aping of global values have made Hindi attain an object of ridicule in fast-growing middle class. It’s really unfortunate that Indians feel more pride in speaking wrong English than speaking flawless standard Hindi. That’s the reason why speaking courses in English are hot favourite among Indian students. It’s amazing that even after so many years of India’s independence the Central government is clueless about true status of Hindi in India. It continues to create ambiguity between “national language” and “official language”! The southern states continue to see introduction of Hindi not as something inspired by love for country but something arising of politics of language! That makes it obvious that foreign scholars like Dr Genady Shlomper might be a source of inspiration to embrace Hindi in a substantive way, the will to respect Hindi has to come from Indians alone. Indians alone need to develop an atmosphere conductive for growth of Hindi in significant way both in Indian landscape and in foreign lands.
Gorakhpur: A City That Showed Israeli Students Ideal Merger Of Cultural And Literary Values (Photo Feature)
Journeys, whether long or short, always teach you something. For writers like us they are the best means to rise above writer’s block. Last month I happened to visit Gorakhpur, situated in underdeveloped eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, to attend a seminar organized by Aavartan Magazine devoted to quality research pertaining to social and environmental concerns. This research journal in the past has published excellent papers which have revealed lesser known facets of critical issues. This time Aavratan organized a seminar in coordination with Deen Dayal Upadhyay University situated in Gorakhpur. The seminar was dedicated to promotion of Hindi- the official language of India. The star attraction of the event was the presidential speech by Dr. Genadi Shlomper, who happened to be Hindi Instructor at East Asia Department, Tel Aviv University, Israel.
It was a pretty interesting experience to hear from Dr.Genadi about his involvement with Hindi during formative years of his career. His insights proved to be an eye-opener for huge crowd which had gathered there to listen a foreign visitor throwing light on worth of dealing in Hindi! After all, despite constitutional obligations Hindi has failed to get status of national language. Even in routine life of an average Indian enjoying upper middle class stature Hindi enjoys position of illegitimate wife! Indians have beaten Englishmen in exhibiting their love for Victorian ideals and, of course, for English. Besides Dr. Genady, listeners also had a wonderful opportunity to hear Israeli students pursuing Hindi language course at Tel Aviv University. Offir Mizrahi, Tal Gorsky, Matan Massika, Yakir Dahari, Alexandra Fer and Adi Fischer who were visiting various parts of India to understand the essence of Hindi in more refined manner had so many interesting tales to narrate regarding their experiences which they gathered during their current visit.
The photo feature specifically deals with places which I came to visit along with Israeli delegation comprising of students. We were mainly interested in seeing places around Gorakhpur rich in cultural terms. That included Gorakhnath Temple, Kushinagar associated with cremation of Gautam Buddha and Maghar which marks the spot of Kabir’s cremation. Gorakhpur has literary significance as well since great literary personalities like Firaq Gorakhpuri and Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan ‘Agyeya’ were associated with this city. Ageyeya was born in Kushinagar district.
Overall, it was a rewarding trip since it enlightened both head and heart. It’s time to let pictures tell the whole story about the various episodes of this beautiful journey. Interestingly, Dr. Genady was reluctant to tour this city since the place lacked desired cultural value. However, at the end of visit, he appeared to be overwhelmed after witnessing glorious facets of Indian history at such isolated places in this region especially temple and tomb of Kabeer standing adjacent to each other!
Must Not Miss This Article In Hindi To Know More About This Indo-Israel Connection 😛
I have no hesitation in admitting that Allahabad (ancient name Prayag) redefined my beingness.It made me down-to earth, allowing me to view life in its true shades. Although I tried my best to capture all the shades of Allahabad, I am sure I would have missed some beautiful locations. I hope future writers would explore these untouched places in a colourful way. However, in the last part of the photo feature, I have shifted my attention from modern landscape of Allahabad to areas which still remind of the ancient times. Infrastructural bottlenecks prevented me from using state-of-the-art technology in capturing the images and that made me bit depressed. However, now in the aftermath of the publication of photo features, I feel pretty satisfied that I still came to do some good work. These photo features are a tribute to great city Allahabad- my birthplace. A city that taught me how to emerge successful in rising above contradictions to have glimpse of the Absolute!
P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.
Many find Allahabad a very tough place to live an honourable life. That’s because even though it came to enjoy a wonderful divine legacy, it never ensured a desired vibrancy for average souls. It never created any scope for living a truly fun-filled life, being all the time involved in dry intellectual activities. Lack of proper encouragement on the part of city towards its vast pool of talented brains have now given way to brain drain sort of affair. Many great souls remained an unsung hero in this city. However, what’s amazing is that it keeps on producing great souls at a regular interval! In nutshell, it’s a city of true beauty, real romance and mysticism. The city teaches you how to remain true to life in a real way, making it very clear to any conscious soul that life is not a bed of roses and it is meant to discover new mysteries of nature. Naturally, average souls running after money, fame, beautiful girl, big house, big car and many other cosmetic affairs would always feel disappointed to be part of this city. Having said that, I hope this city learns to truly honour its exceptional souls and also learns to be bit more blissful!
P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.
Allahabad: A City Wedded To Realism (Photo Feature Part One) Allahabad: A City Wherein Global Salutes The Local (Photo Feature Part 3)
(These are excerpts from the speech delivered by Arvind K.Pandey at Jagat Taran Girls Degree College, Allahabad, on January 12, 2014 in a programme organised by Kritisankalpa Society to celebrate birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Other notable speakers who expressed their views on this occasion included Swami Nikhilatmananda, President, Ramakrsihna Mission, Allahabad; Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand; Justice. Palok Basu (Retd.), Allahabad High Court; Dr. Milan Mukherjee; Devendra Tiwari and Senior Advocate Ashok Mehta.)
Today we find that youths are at the receiving end of so many challenging issues.The transition phase has introduced them to complex living patterns, which has left them high and dry. They not only remain the most exploited lot but also remain frustrated and depressed. That’s because pressure to perform is at its peak in materialistic times. They are unable to choose right means of survival. Worse, imposition of outdated patterns of living by the silver hairs has made youths a sorry figure. Against this backdrop, the values shared by Swami Vivekananda seem to be last ray of hope as they infuse within the being supreme confidence and positive feelings.
Swami Vivekananda truly recognized the potential of youths. He always believed that “strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone” can change the face of globe. “A hundred such and the world becomes revolutionized.” However, when we look at the state of affairs prevalent in their lives, it leaves any thinking soul quite worried and sad. Very recently, police entered inside the campus of Allahabad University and students got beaten black and blue with laathis as if they were hardcore criminals and not innocent students. If you hear about the experiences of these youths, you would be in great pain to hear about their exploitation. Acharya Manu rightly states that silver hairs alone do not constitute wisdom but in Kaliyuga the white hairs have become confirmed sign of knowledge! No wonder they are always in conflict with younger generation. They are more often than not involved in quashing the innovative spirit of youths, leading to dissipation of enthusiasm from the lives of youths.
Swami Vivekananda believed that each soul is a “potentially divine soul” but misguided silver hairs with their outdated notions have turned these younger souls, bubbling with optimism, into a potentially destructive soul. Swami Vivekananda possessed a revolutionary spirit who had dared to ask uncomfortable questions from older lot. He rightly believed that “each generation should be inspired afresh” and “men should not be taught to imitate a personal ideal, however great”. One of the fatal errors committed by older generation is that it tries to impose its views all in name of sharing experience.
Some of the well-made flicks like Three Idiots, Rang De Basanti, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and Paan Singh Tomar, to name a few, capture well the conflicts generated by old minds in the lives of youths. It’s evident that optimism and energy found in youths deeply impresses any conscious thinker of Vivekananda’s stature interested in creating new order of things.” My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions.” It’s another thing that in a nation which prefers argumentative tradition-something highly praised by Amartya Sen-the youths get tamed on one pretext or another.
The lives of youths seem to have got trapped in ills of modernity. Or, why else are we seeing advertisements related with prevention of AIDS on National Youth Day? Isn’t this sad reminder of the fact that there has been erosion of values among the youths? Or is this indicative of fact that things have gone out of control since what was once upon a time treated as immoral has gained some sort of acceptance in Indian society? Whatever it is, it indicates crisis of values. We also need to accept that priorities of youths have changed and their role models have also changed. Their role models are the ones which do not inspire them to be do good and be good. They are the ones which encourage them to earn name and fame within short span of time. So what’s the role of a spiritual powerhouse amid this new set of perceptions?
Even if we take into account new changes that have hit the lives of youths, there is still much space left for spirituality. That’s because materialism cannot give them real peace of mind. It cannot quench the thirst which exists inside our soul. No wonder youths have been hit hard by giant dragon called depression. Let’s also not forget that India is land of discovering inner peace. It’s not the land to multiply external source of happiness. And so likes of Swami Vivekananda would always be influencing our lives. They are the ones who keep us above from the realm of negativism. Youths are depressed because external world has limited means of satiating one’s desires, wherein seekers are more than suppliers! On the other hand, the inner world is infinite in nature and the competition to own this inner world is less. So people in race of inner peace have greater chances to remain happy than the majority which is in the race to conquer external world.
Swami Vivekananda’s views will always remain relevant among youths since they enable the youths to rectify their approach towards life. They rejuvenate our dull spirit, by making us shift attention from the external world to inner world and in the process this great truth gets revealed: “The aim of life is to realize God…He alone is real and everything else is false…Religion is realization.” And once you attain realization you come to feel every moment that” all power is within you, you can do anything and everything.”
P.S.: This post also appeared in Northern India Patrika On January 18, 2014.
I curiously awaited the screening of the movie “Ship of Theseus“, which had managed to elicit great remarks from leading directors of Indian cinema landscape. The film festival in Allahabad, organised by Dainik Jagran, provided me an opportunity to watch this movie. In eyes of Shekhar Kapoor, the movie marked the arrival of “a brilliant new filmmaker” while Shyam Benegal could not resist himself from stating that it’s a “rare film that engages your mind, emotions and senses in equal measure providing the viewer a cinematic experience that is both hugely entertaining and stimulating”. The movie was inspired from the dilemma whether or not the object remains same if its components undergo total replacement. In this movie the promising young director, Anand Gandhi, has interconnected three different short stories, each dealing with a different issue, but underlying theme remains the same. The first one dealt with visually impaired photographer, who lost her intuitive ability to capture striking images after a successful cornea transplant operation. The second story depicted an ailing monk, questioning life and death via his ongoing fight for rights of animals meant for conducting experiments during preparation of medicines. The third and the final story highlighted corrupt practices prevalent in medical world, wherein a stockbroker tries to place in dock persons involved in organ trade racket.
I am not the sort of person to go entirely by the rave reviews by big names from the world of cinema. In fact, even the sentiments of well-known directors fail to impress me. “Seeing is believing” has always been the principle which defined my approach, especially while anticipating the worth of a movie. And thus, contrary to the general consensus, I found the acting of Aida El-Kashef ( Aliya in movie as visually impaired photographer) and Farza Khan (Aliya’s live-in-boyfriend in the movie) absolutely horrible. The exhibition of emotions was synthetic and loud. Great movies do not begin that way. The agony that should have hit her, in the aftermath of loss of her intuitive abilities, never got reflected in her mannerism. The saving grace came in the form of crispy thought provoking dialogues: “Does reality exist when no one is looking?” It’s the deep concerns which the characters portray compensates the poor acting.
The movie gained substance with the arrival of crazy monk Maitreya (Neeraj Kabi). Not only humour element got elevated but even the thematic shortcomings got balanced due to superb acting skills demonstrated by Neeraj Kabi and Vinay Shukla ( Carvaka in the movie). This part of the movie successfully conveyed that contradictions rules the lives and a perfect life is healthy assimilation of contradictions. A person should not be too rigid while pursuing noble cause since it comes in the way of fulfillment of goals. It might also limit one’s ability to make better choices. The rigidity displayed by Maitreya is in the eyes of Carvaka- the lawyer who believed in learning arguments of both the sides- was not very different than fundamentalism exhibited by a suicide bomber! This lawyer, follower of Pastafarianism, induces great deal of pragmatism when he tries to create a fitting place for the contradictions. Anyway, Maitreya does impress us all when he places reasons above crude sentimentality!
Well, it’s crude sentimentality which always makes its presence felt in Indian movies. It’s not always the case that movies devoid of melodramatic elements manage to evoke mass attention. The average Indian cinema lover’s connection with melodrama is so intense that a director’s take on critical issue without this element is akin to self-goal in football! Anand Gandhi, at least, need to be credited for the fact that he manages to tell the story for Indians without being in awe of sentimentality! The last scene of the story showing the monk’s decision to live the life fully proves one thing quite well that healthy compromises for an elevated cause is not a bad thing. Well, the monk didn’t talk of Krishna’s Bhagvad Geeta but I feel the realization of monk is on par with view of Lord Krishna who in Bhagvad Gita stated that “every profession is world is tainted by some flaw”. So the summum bonum is: Healthy compromise should not prick the conscience!
The stockbroker’s case in the movie is pretty interesting but I need to differ from the reviews which have appeared in mainstream media and elsewhere that humour element in this part delight us. That’s not true. The humour appears as some sort of forced entry into a well structured plot. It also baffles me that reviewers have ignored some greater aspects related with this part of the movie wherein an young stockbroker trails the missing recipient of the stolen kidney! The reviewers failed to remember the heated conversation between stockbroker and his maternal grandmother, who happens to be progressive thinker, confined to ideological orientations spread in progressive literature churned out by the leftist. The impression she generates, and which irritates this guy working for American companies, is that one can pursue a noble cause only when one is in tune with such literature. The young stockbroker hits hard at her this “fallacious notion” when he tries to ensure justice for the poor labourer. The another myth which gets shattered ( and I really found it pretty interesting) is that fight for greater cause leads to its perfect attainment. Ask a real life hero and you would realize that he/she often feels cheated. The people for whom he/she comes to fight often leave their saviour in the lurch. The stockbroker wanted justice in real terms for this unfortunate labourer whose kidney got stolen for a rich foreigner ( the recipient). The labourer retracts from his promises after his petty interests get fulfilled. The protagonist has to remain contend with limited achievement.
In real life also we find that similar dilemma occurs. For instance, the moment one tries to make the purpose of education an extension of values, one has to face stiff resistance for all quarters of society, which feels that only purpose of education is to earn huge money, no matter if it means adoption of unethical means. The film does not end with a specific message but it does symbolically shows via the passage through the cave that life is full of immense possibilities, which allows nurturing of different perspectives. Hope we come to choose the one which best serves the cause of not only humanity but also our own personal causes close to heart!
Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission is a constitutional body, which has been assigned the task to make selections in various governments department at a State level. One expects it to discharge its duties in impartial and sound manner. However, of late, this prestigious constitutional body has become like a caged pigeon in the hands of its incompetent officials, who are acting at the behest of political masters. The latest reservation policy row provides insight into the mindset of officers working at this prestigious office. The implementation of caste-based quotas at the preliminary level of many important examinations, mainly to benefit certain “caste”, without worrying about the collateral damage caused by it is an ominous sign. It’s supposed to act in neutral manner so as to ensure that the selections take place in a fair way. However, the new mantra for it seems to be that “foul is fair”. The appeasement of political masters is more important than selection of meritorious candidates through right process.
This government agency some decades back enjoyed a good reputation of conducting examinations, and later, making final selections in honest way. It had such an impressive track record that many other government agencies sought its help in making proper selections in their own departments, granting it the authority to conduct examinations. However, the scenario inside the office has changed dramatically in last few years, especially in the regimes of Bahujan Samjwadi Party and Samajwadi Party- the political parties which were in control of Uttar Pradesh in last few years. Their casteist approach demolished the reputation of this prestigious body. In their regimes, the key positions went to officers who played havoc with the selection process.
The students who ensured that controversial reservation policy gets scrapped are absolutely right in demanding that a high level inquiry committee should be formed to take note of the irregularities made in selections during last few years. The students need to be appreciated for their act of seeking relevant information in this regard under Right to Information Act. At present two officers from Yadav community are holding key positions in this office. Isn’t it highly shameful that students now treat Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission as ” Yadav Selection Commission”? Most of the bright students after completing the graduation go in for examinations conducted by Public Service Commission since selections to most of the the key administrative posts are made by it. Don’t these corrupt officials realize that by making selections in such arbitrary manner they are causing irreparable damage? First, they are destroying the future of genuine applicants, and second, they are paving way for incompetent people to act as government servants in future. What sort of decisions such government officials would make who got selected through such flawed process?
The reservation was introduced by makers of the Constitution for a specific period to enable marginalized castes attain a dignified position in the society. The sentiments of people, who introduced reservation, were really aimed at the welfare of weaker sections of society. However, that’s not the case now. It’s the most effective tool to destabilize societal structure. It’s the instrument to remain in power. It’s a weapon in the hands of dirty political minds to ensure that they remain relevant in political landscape. It’s high time courts and conscious citizens teach fitting lesson to corrupt political leaders and bureaucrats, who are demolishing the image of constitutional bodies.
कविताओ में बहुत ताकत होती है विचारो के प्रवाह को मोड़ने की, उनको एक नया रूख देने की। ये अलग बात है कि कवि और कविताओ की आज के भौतिकप्रधान समाज में कोई ख़ास अहमियत नहीं, इनकी कोई ख़ास “प्रैक्टिकल” उपयोगिता नहीं। लेकिन उससे भी बड़ा सच ये है कि कविताओ की प्रासंगिकता सदा ही जवान रहेंगी। कवियों को समाज नकार दे लेकिन उनके अस्तित्व की सार्थकता को नकारना समाज के बूते के बस की बात नहीं। उसकी एक बड़ी वजह ये है कि कवि और कविताएं इस क्षणभंगुर संसार और पारलौकिक सत्ता के बीच एक सेतु का काम करते है। ये समाज के विषमताओ के बीच छुपे उन जीवनमयी तत्वो को खोज निकालते जो सामान्य आँखों में कभी नहीं उभरती। इसी वजह से कम से कम मुझे तो बहुत तकलीफ होती है जब कविताओ और कवियों को समाज हेय दृष्टि से देखता है या उपयोगितावादी दृष्टिकोण से इन्हें किसी काम का नहीं मानता। खैर इसे कुदरत का न्याय कहिये कि उपेक्षा की मौत मरने वाले कवि और लेखक भले असमय ही इस संसार को छोड़ कर चले जाते हो उनके शब्द अमर होकर धरा पे रह जाते है। उनके शब्द समय के प्रवाह को मोड़कर नया रास्ता बनाते रहते है। मोटरगाडी में सफ़र करने वाले तो गुमनाम हो जाते है लेकिन जीवन भर गुमनामी और उपेक्षा सहने वाले कवि/लेखक अमर हो जाते है। उनकी आभा धरा पे हमेशा के लिए व्याप्त हो जाती है।
आइये कुछ ऐसी ही कविताओ को पढ़ते है जो गुज़रे वक्त के दस्तावेज सरीखे है।
अदम गोंडवी की ये कविता मजदूरों के अहमियत को पाठक के मष्तिष्क पटल पर वास्तविक रूप से उकेरती है । उनके यथार्थ को यथावत आपके सामने रख देती है। २२ अक्टूबर १९४७ को गोंडा जिले के आटा गाँव में जन्मे इस क्रन्तिकारी कवि ने समय के पटल पर कुछ ऐसी रचनाये रची जो संवेदनशील ह्रदय में सकारात्मक वेदना को जन्म दे देती है। वैसे इस कविता में देश में व्याप्त दुर्दशा का भी चित्रण है लेकिन प्राम्भिक पंक्तिया मजदूर पर आधारित है जिसको पढ़कर मुझे रामधारी सिंह “दिनकर” जी की ये पंक्तिया स्मरण हो आई:
‘‘मैं मजदूर हूँ मुझे देवों की बस्ती से क्या!, अगणित बार धरा पर मैंने स्वर्ग बनाये,
अम्बर पर जितने तारे उतने वर्षों से, मेरे पुरखों ने धरती का रूप सवारा’’
वो जिसके हाथ में छाले हैं पैरों में बिवाई है
उसी के दम से रौनक आपके बंगले में आई है
इधर एक दिन की आमदनी का औसत है चवन्नी का
उधर लाखों में गांधी जी के चेलों की कमाई है
कोई भी सिरफिरा धमका के जब चाहे जिना कर ले
हमारा मुल्क इस माने में बुधुआ की लुगाई है
रोटी कितनी महँगी है ये वो औरत बताएगी
जिसने जिस्म गिरवी रख के ये क़ीमत चुकाई है
बशीर बद्र ने वैसे तो जीवन के कई रंगों का जिक्र किया लेकिन रूमानियत के रंग में डूबी इनकी ग़ज़लों को जगजीत सिंह ने स्वर देकर एक नयी ऊंचाई दे दी।ये ग़ज़ल मैंने पहल पहल जगजीत सिंह की आवाज़ में सुनी जिसे बहुत ही सधे स्वर में जगजीत जी ने गाया है। और अब पढने के बाद बहुत भीतर तक उतर गयी बशीर साहब की ये ग़ज़ल।
सर झुकाओगे तो पत्थर देवता हो जाएगा
इतना मत चाहो उसे, वो बेवफ़ा हो जाएगा
हम भी दरिया हैं, हमें अपना हुनर मालूम है
जिस तरफ भी चल पड़ेंगे, रास्ता हो जाएगा
कितनी सच्चाई से मुझ से ज़िन्दगी ने कह दिया
तू नहीं मेरा, तो कोई दूसरा हो जाएगा
मैं ख़ुदा का नाम लेकर पी रहा हूँ दोस्तो
ज़हर भी इसमें अगर होगा, दवा हो जाएगा
सब उसी के हैं हवा, ख़ुश्बू, ज़मीनो-आसमाँ
मैं जहाँ भी जाऊँगा, उसको पता हो जाएगा
रमाकांत दूबे जी का नाम शायद लोगो ने कम सुना हो लेकिन इनके द्वारा ग्रामीण लोक में बसी आत्मा में रची ये कविताये कही भी पढ़ी जाई अपना असर दिखा जाती है। ३० अक्टूबर १९१७ को जन्मे इस कवि ने अपनी जड़ो का कभी नहीं छोड़ा और आज़ादी से पहले और आज़ादी के बहुत बाद तक जो भी समय ने दिखाया उसे वैसा ही शब्दों में रच डाला। यकीन मानिए इन पंक्तियों को २०१३ में पढ़ते हुए ऐसा कभी नहीं लगा कि इनको चालीस साल पहले रचा गया होगा। इसकी प्रासंगिकता की अमरता पर हैरानी सी हो रही है। यूँ आभास हो रहा है किसी ने चालीस साल पहले ही २०१३ में क्या व्याप्त होगा ये देख लिया था। इसीलिए तो मुझे ये कहने में कोई संकोच नहीं कि कवि संसार में रहते हुएं भी संसारी ना होकर समय से परे रहने वाला एक विलक्षण जीव होता है।
खाके किरिया समाजवाद के खानदानी हुकूमत चले
जैसे मस्ती में हाथी सामंती निरंकुश झूमत चले
खाके गोली गिरल परजातंतर कि मुसकिल इलाज़ हो गइल
चढ़के छाती पे केहू राजरानी, त केहू जुवराज हो गइल
– रमाकांत दूबे
कुछ अच्छी कवितायेँ आप यहाँ पढ़ सकते है: कविता कोष
In the long writing career, spanning over nearly two decades, I got many chances to interact with enlightened minds and share with them a piece of my mind in matters pertaining to critical issues. A long back ago when I was regular contributor for The Statesman’s Viewpoint Column ( Calcutta Edition), I came in touch with Jeremy Seabrook who was then writing for one of its popular columns.
This conversation related with falling standards of education system took place after I came to read his article” Learning Revisited” published in The Statesman on March 14, 2005.
Your write-up is an eye-opener, allowing one to reckon with the hidden facets of education. I am appalled at the manner in which institutions offering so-called gems of knowledge, which in reality are antithetical to creative tendencies lying latent within the recipients, have solidified their base. One reason for it could be that parents are now no longer interested in “value-oriented” teaching methods, simply because it stands in the way of attaining ‘name and fame’. No wonder this could be the reason behind the mind-boggling network of coaching factories, which are making huge profit in the name of offering conductive atmosphere for cracking the entrance tests.
This attitude of parents has brought a sea change in the attitude of present day students, who weigh everything in materialistic yardsticks or, in other words, in rupee:dollar ratio. After all, who has time for values in the fast-paced life of ours! The real quest for supreme knowledge would always remain a distant dream in absence of change of mindset, especially the parents. Well, it’s never too easy to change mindset without giving way to measures mired in transparent means. What has guaranteed failure of projects in this regard has been wide gap between theory and practice besides infrastructural bottlenecks. Let’s realize that mere propaganda is not going to solve this issue.
Unfortunately, this is what both Left and Right wings are used to. Their stances, diametrically opposite to each other, have wiped out the vigour of those wishing to make worthwhile contributions, so much so that if one does not yield to their outdated notions one is bound to invite troubles of all sorts. The message is clear: Rise above ideological fanaticism to stop the degradation of education system, something so imperative to prevent the innocent minds turning into robot.
Vivekananda rightly remarked that ” education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and run riot there, undigested, all life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas”. Will anyone please translate this into reality?
Jeremy Seabrook’s Viewpoint:
Many thanks for your helpful and kind e-mail. Indeed, education has become not an end in itself, noble and worthwhile, but an instrument for material gain and industrial conformism. In this sense, of course, the educational system is only an emanation of the society that produces it, and an expression of the social values and mores of which it is a symptom. Intervention for change involves a complete change in the social and moral structures of globalism-no small thing, but a project we should not abandon simply because of its apparent attainability.
About Jeremy Seabrook:
My first book was The Unprivileged, 1967, the story of my own family, a path breaking oral history from the late 18th century to the 1960s. This was followed by City Close-Up, a portrait, through the words of the people, of Blackburn in Lancashire.
In the 1970s, I wrote What Went Wrong? Working People and the Ideals of the Labour Movement; a book which, when published in the USA, was sub-titled Why hasn’t Having More Made People Happier?
Mother and Son, a memoir, appeared in 1980, and an indictment of Thatcher’s Britain,Unemployment, in 1982.
Work on India and Bangladesh followed, notably, Notes from another India and Children of Other Worlds, a comparison of child labour in nineteenth century London and present-day Dhaka in Bangladesh. My book, Love in a Different Climate, described how male same-sex relationships in India differ from those in the West.
I have contributed to most major newspapers in Britain over the years, and have written for Granta. I am a regular contributor to New Internationalist – which has published three of my books in the last decade, most recently Consuming Cultures: Globalization and Local Lives. I write for Race and Class and Third World Resurgence, based in Penang, Malaysia.
More About Jeremy Seabrook:
“He became an associate honorary fellow at the University of Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies 1995 to 1998 and an associate at the Institute of Race Relations, UK, from 2004 onwards.
He has made several documentaries for BBC radio and TV on social, environmental and developmental issues.
Since 1963, Seabrook has written for publications including: New Society, the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, New Statesman, New Internationalist, Race and Class, Third World Resurgence, Third World Network and others.
He has also written over 40 books, including;
Travels in the Skin Trade – looking at the psychology of western men who travel to southeast Asia for sexual adventures (Pluto Press).
A World Growing Old – the implications of an ageing population, north and south (Pluto Press).”
Courtesy: The Guardian
The Statesman ( Kolkata Edition)