By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, Mar 14: If language is a system of communication used by a particular country or community, the million dollar question is: Are those officially teaching or conducting seminars or convocations only popularizing and helping growth of Hindi?
Did the three-day Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (HSS) conference conducted in Rajiv Gandhi University even without involving media not give that impression?
The conference in this state would have hold more relevance had the organisers involved non-Hindi speaking known Hindi writers or poets and/or chosen some of them of even gaon bura, known for administering justice in this state, for Hindi award.
New Delhi had undoubtedly failed to give required developmental focus to this frontier state of the country after post-Chinese debacle, an outcome of lopsided security paradigm, resulting in inadequate infrastructure development. This inadequacy failed to meet the aspirations of patriotic Hindi speaking tribal people that had called for radical introspection to change the focus. This was a foregone conclusion.
Interestingly, Rashtra Bhasha Prachar Samiti delegates during an event at Naharlagun a decade ago had lauded Arunachal as one of the best Hindi speaking states in North-East India. Moreover, Sahitya Akademi’s effort at JN State Museum here on 29.03.11 had presented literary potpourri involving noted national level poets as well the budding ones of this literature-poor tribal state.
Assamese Advisory Board convenor Dr Lakhinandan Bora had lauded the state for producing many a noted writers, like YD Thongchi, Lummer Dai and Mamang Dai besides anthropologist Dr Verrier Elwin, saying the event would go a long way in promoting state’s literary mosaic.
Sahitya Akademi president and famous poet Sunil Gangopadhyaya had said the Akademi has been facilitating interstate poets’ meets as literature has the strength to weave the multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic people in one thread called India.
Language has a set pattern, Akademi secretary and famous Kannad poet Agrahar Krishnamurthy had said quoting Mamang (who refers to ‘souls of rivers’ in her writing) as different patterns help articulation and creativity.
There is a general misconception about the NE as being insurgency infested, but the region’s uniqueness centers around love as the main theme of literature, said Akademi’s Kolkata regional secretary Ram Kumar Mukhopadhyaya. Thongchi getting the Akademi award for his Assamese novel Maun Oth, Mukhar Hriday (Silent Lips, Talking Heart) proves that Indian language is one, though written in different scripts, he had opined.
Arunachal, with its rich folksongs, folklores, songs and dances, has enough depth and variety to encourage creative writing, drama, fiction, poetry, novel, etc, said lone Sahitya Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Arun Sharma, a Padmashreeshree award, and had urged Arunachalees to break new grounds though creativity having direct bearing on the society.
The state has a rich oral literature, lack of a common language proved a drag in the growth of literature, Thongchi had said.
APLS members — Jamuna Bini (Hindi), Amitabha Choudhury (Bengali), Ajanta (Assamese), Krishna Basu (Bengali), Serphew Nimachaw (Indian English), Rupak Chakrabarty (Bengali), Pradeep Kumar Behera (Oriya), Pinaki Thakur (Bengali), AK Pandey (Hindi), Sibashis Mukhopadhyaya (Bengali), Goge Bam (Hindi), Nguri Shanti (Hindi), Taku Tayu Stephen (English), Silpi Datta (Assamese), Swarnali Biswas Bhattacharya (Bengali), Morpi Angu(Hindi), Jaydev Basu (Bengali), Sangita Thapa (Indian English), Srijato (Bengali), PK Mohapatra (Oriya), Chiranjib Basu (Bengali), Kenyir Kamdu (Hindi), Joseph Messar (Hindi), Nabjit Deori (Assamese) and RN Koley (Bengali) — had recited their poems to receive honourarim from the Akademi.
APLS under Thongchi’s guidance has been conducting multi-lingual meet of poets & writers across the state for the hidden literature lovers to surface and join the mission “anek bhasa boleywaly alag alag raheneywaly Bharatiya ek hey” (Multi-lingual Indians living in different life styles are one).
Thus, is it not time for HSS to realize the common adage -Kahan ja rahey ho kaha tera manjil? – to widen its coverage and impact?
By Pradeep Kumar