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By Ila Garg
Prosperous at one time, the Hindi language is now slowly meeting its downfall. And so are the Hindi poets…
Today, with teenagers running after western trends and blindly imitating them, Hindi literature is left in a downtrodden state. The youngsters are constantly moving away from older traditions.
Hindi, as a language, has lost its essence. No longer are we able to regularly recall the names of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Dharmveer Bharti, Sumitranandan Pant, Sahir Ludhianvi, Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, and many more such legends.
Hindi poets are no longer read and respected. Many of us lack even basic knowledge about these poets, let alone their struggles and the poetic pearls that they weaved over the years.
Hindi poets and their journey
- Ramdhari Singh Dinkar – For a poet born before Independence, he had the required rebellious tone in his poetry. His patriotic compositions were looked up to. During the Emergency, Dinkar’s famous poem: ‘Singhasan Khaali Karo Ke Janata Aaati Hai’ was widely recited. His contribution to the freedom struggle and to the Hindi literature is exemplary and yet his glory is fading in the light of English poetry.
सदियों की ठंढी-बुझी राख सुगबुगा उठी,
मिट्टी सोने का ताज पहन इठलाती है;
दो राह, समय के रथ का घर्घर-नाद सुनो,
सिंहासन खाली करो कि जनता आती है।
- Dharmveer Bharti – A poet and a social thinker, Bharti wrote till his last breath. His plays brought him to the limelight. Engaging in social commentary through his plays was his expertise. He wanted to reflect upon the society and contribute towards directing it to the path of reformation.
‘Andha Yug’ is the most famous of his plays. The masterpiece is structured on the events of Mahabharata, covering the events of last day of the war.
- Sumitranandan Pant – He was a progressive poet and had a philosophical bend of mind. He started writing as a child. Panth was a humanist and wrote with a realistic approach towards life. His love for nature often found its mention in his creations. Memories too, played a very important role in his journey as a poet.
बिदा हो गई साँझ, विनत मुख पर झीना आँचल धर,
मेरे एकाकी आँगन में मौन मधुर स्मृतियाँ भर!
वह केसरी दुकूल अभी भी फहरा रहा क्षितिज पर,
नव असाढ़ के मेघों से घिर रहा बराबर अंबर!
- Sahir Ludhianvi – A popular Bollywood lyricist of his time, he was always a poet at heart. His reputation as a poet came handy in shaping his career as a lyricist. His creations had a flavour of binaries. He never talked about life in isolation with the concept of death. This was because he felt that death was an integral part of life, it is something that gives life its meaning. He saw things in their entirety, and that gave him an edge over the other writers of his time. His poetry was thus, well appreciated by critics.
Teri duniya mei jeene se toh behtar hai ke mar jaaye,
Wohi aansuu wohi aahen wohi gham hai jidhar jaaye,
Koi toh aisa ghar hota jahan se pyaar mil jaata,
Wohi begaane chehre hai jahaan jaaye jidhar jaaye,
Arey o aasmaan waale bata iss mei bura kya hai,
Khushi ke chaar jhonke gar idhar se bhi guzar jaaye.
- Suryakant Tripathi Nirala – Nirala was a poet who emerged out of a life of misfortunes and tragedies. He suffered a great deal and yet he had the courage to make a path for himself. He was a regular participant in Hindi Kavi Sammelans. He was a rebel, both in form and content, that’s why he wasn’t easily accepted as a poet at first, and was even ridiculed at times. He was strongly against social exploitation and injustice and his writings conveyed his emotions.
दलित जन पर करो करुणा।
दीनता पर उतर आये
प्रभु, तुम्हारी शक्ति वरुणा।
Why is Hindi losing its grip?
The answer to this is very simple. Everywhere we go, we are required to converse in English. Our national language Hindi is considered unsubstantial during interviews. Almost all tests require proficiency in English.
In schools, children are encouraged to learn English and speak the language fluently. Today, we feel proud when we say that we are weak in Hindi or act like we have no connection with the Hindi language. With the young generation who are the guardians of old customs and traditions being so disheveled, we can only imagine the future of our cultural roots. This is indeed alarming!
Harivansh Rai Bachchan has rightly traced the fast paced life of the modern world:
जीवन की आपाधापी में कब वक़्त मिला
कुछ देर कहीं पर बैठ कभी यह सोच सकूँ
जो किया, कहा, माना उसमें क्या बुरा भला।
Today, no one wants to read in the first place, and even if they are forced to read something, they will never choose a Hindi poem. This is an evidence of how Hindi has been made to be synonymous with disgrace. Moreover, English texts are believed to be ‘easy reads’.
Who is to be blamed for this situation of the Hindi poets?
Present status of Hindi language and poets
The language which represents India is now conveniently pushed to the back lanes, alleys, and gutters. The young generation cannot seem to accommodate it to their changing lifestyle. Our custodians are disillusioned by the charm of West while Hindi poets are now trapped in their incompetence.
The readership plays a significant role in the triumph of a language but here, Hindi is failing. Its inability to attract enough readers is leading to a decrease in the number of writers and poets who pen their feelings in Hindi.
The future of Hindi poets therefore lies in the hands of masses. Till the time readers don’t show enough compassion towards Hindi poetry, the Hindi poets will remain clutched in shackles, unable to take the magnificent Indian culture ahead.
Hindi poets can no longer retrieve their lost place in people’s heart. They hold no significance in a world where the past glory of Indian culture is forgotten. Culture and language walk hand in hand. If one is weakened, the other can never tread the path of progress.
Hindi language and Indian culture have together become stagnant and soon losing their splendour.
Scope of revival
Yes, we can still get back our past glory. But like always it is easy to destroy a thing, what is difficult is to recreate it. Will we be able to do it? Are we willing to do it?
If we believe in the importance of Hindi poets and if we have faith in our old traditions, we must go back to the roots unless it’s too late. We can make the curriculum more interesting, implement interactive means of poetry recitation in classes, encourage students to talk about the lost demeanor of Hindi poets, and also address the good points of the language.
If the ancient tradition of Yoga can be made international, Hindi can achieve heights too. All we have to do is BELIEVE 🙂
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India