Poems of Prof. Randhir Singh

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Few people know that apart from political thinker, Prof. Randhir Singh, like many Marxists earlier was a poet as well Though he wrote poems in Punjabi during year 1947-49 only and published only 25 poems in collection-‘Rahan Di Dhudh’-Dust of the Paths- out of many, yet these poems are of high artistic quality. Many of these poems are created by the pain of partition and some of these are very touching like-‘Lahore Nun Salam’-Salute to Lahore. It seems Prof. Randhir Singh loved Lahore as he completed his formal education and began his political activities in Lahore itself, he spent one odd year of his prison life also at same prison in Lahore, where his hero Bhagat Singh remained incarcerated. He had to leave Lahore at the ripe age of 25+ years and he began his teaching career at Delhi camp college after partition.

I had translated seven of Randhir Singh poems in Hindi, which were published in Shabadyog in year 2007 and in other journal. As some friends like Manmohan has wished to read these poems, I am posting these in this blog post-

Randhir Singh books (2)

Randhir Singh poems-Hindi Translation-Chaman Lal (1)

Randhir Singh poems-Hindi Translation-Chaman Lal (2)

Randhir Singh poems-Hindi Translation-Chaman Lal (3)

Randhir Singh poems-Hindi Translation-Chaman Lal (4)

Randhir Singh poems-Hindi Translation-Chaman Lal (5)

 

 

 

On Peasant Suicide Reports in The Tribune-My response

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http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/694013/The-Tribune/TT_16_January_2016#page/12/2

Tribune letter-16-1-16

‘This is full letter to The Tribune-These stories should come in Punjabi Tribune also, so that victims could read their own tragic tales!
For the last few days, The Tribune is carrying field reports on peasant suicides in Punjab prominently, which brings out the humane aspect-the tragedy of human lives-of these unfortunate happenings, which were otherwise just reported as anonymous numbers. I must record my appreciation of The Tribune and its young reporters-Vishva Bharti, Amninder Singh and Sanjiv Bariana, who are doing these most significant and unusual stories, which were earlier done only by P Sainath. I am sure P Sainath will feel vindicated to see that some young reporters are following his leads on India’s most tragic social phenomenon in the era of liberalization, which created 100+ billionaires in this liberal economy in the name of development, but at the cost of three lakh+ peasant suicides in 15 years or so. And the tragedy is unending, everyday there is news of suicide of peasants in many states, including Punjab. Irony is that in this era of ‘Deshbhakti’, everyone is charged with fever for 5, 6, 7 Jawans ‘martyrdom’, but there are no tears, no discussants on 24%7 TV shows, for those, whom in 1965, an humble Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri has given equal status with Jawan, by saying-‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’! Who is there to bother about this ‘kisan’, who was called ‘Anndata’-the caretaker of providing food, without which no Jawan can fight?
The Tribune stories are presented with passion and concern for the peasant-70% or so stake holder in country’s economy and with objectivity of the journalist. I wish that The Tribune continues with these stories and later bring these out in a book collection to be sent to all members of Parliament, if it could shake the conscience of some of them and bring a tear or two, as these stories had in eyes of a supposedly ‘Detached Academic’ like me!
During my Mauritius stay in 2009, I had visited a Monument, which was built in memory of those Indian labour, who used to commit suicide from that hilltop, not being able to bear the tortures of their life conditions in early 20th and late 19th century. Would one think about building a monument in memory of these three lakh and growing martyred peasants of 21st century India?!’

‘For the last few days, The Tribune is carrying field reports on peasant suicides in Punjab prominently, which brings out the humane aspect-the tragedy of human lives-of these unfortunate happenings, which were otherwise just reported as anonymous numbers. I must record my appreciation of The Tribune and its young reporters-Vishva Bharti, Amninder Singh and others, who are doing these most significant and unusual stories, which were earlier done only by P Sainath. I am sure P Sainath will feel vindicated to see that some young reporters are following his leads on India’s most tragic social phenomenon in the era of liberalization, which created 100+ billionaires in this liberal economy in the name of development, but at the cost of three lakh+ peasant suicides in 15 years or so. And the tragedy is unending, everyday there is news of suicide of peasants in many states, including Punjab. Irony is that in this era of ‘Deshbhakti’, everyone is charged with fever for 5, 6, 7 Jawans ‘martyrdom’, but there are no tears, no discussants on 24%7 TV shows, for those, whom in 1965, an humble Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri has given equal status with Jawan, by saying-‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’! Who is there to bother about this ‘kisan’, who was called ‘Anndata’-the caretaker of providing food, without which no Jawan can fight?
The Tribune stories are presented with passion and concern for the peasant-70% or so stake holder in country’s economy and with objectivity of the journalist. I wish that The Tribune continues with these stories and later bring these out in a book collection to be sent to all members of Parliament, if it could shake the conscience of some of them and bring a tear or two, as these stories had in eyes of a supposedly ‘Detached Academic’ like me!
During my Mauritius stay in 2009, I had visited a Monument, which was built in memory of those Indian labour, who used to commit suicide from that hilltop, not being able to bear the tortures of their life conditions in early 20th and late 19th century. Would one think about building a monument in memory of these three lakh and growing martyred peasants of 21st century India?!’

Peasant Suicides-Biggest Tragedy-Unwept, Unsung-through 20 Tribune reports

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Peasant suicides is the most tragic happening in India since the beginning of 21st century….every day reports from all states…three Lakhs…suicides….and unending tragedy continues…but no effect on our pig skinned politicians..bureaucrats….sadly not even on democratic organisations….The Tribune is carrying every day reports from field..taking forward P Sainath yeoman mission to record and document this biggest tragedy of post 1947 India…A poem in England could shake British conscience in early Industrial revolution to change the lives of workers…but. When the conscience of war monger ‘Bharat Mahan’- India Great will awaken and it will learn to respect Jai Kisan…and not all the time chant Jai Jawan..mind Jawan will not survive without Kisan.

As per P Sainath-the best reporter on peasants, peasant suicides had crossed three lakh marik in 2014 itself, he gave exact official figures in September 2015 as two lakh 96 thousand plus-

https://psainath.org/the-slaughter-of-suicide-data/

http://psainath.org/maharashtra-crosses-60000-farm-suicides/

This is first story of Field Reports from The Tribune on peasant suicides in Punjab. Beginning 11th January Monday Tribune is carrying these must read stories of biggest tragedy of Punjab and India. Series continues and today’s story is already shared on wall. Shall be putting all links together in myblog-Random Thoughts-My letter on these stories has been published today in Tribune, but in edited form, sharing both forms of letter in separate post. Kudos to The Tribune and its reporters- Vishav Bharti, Amaninder Pal and Sanjiv Singh Bariana for these highly relevant stories! Out of total 20 reports maximum six are by Vishav Bharti, followed by four of Amninder Pal and others.

First report-Vishav Bharti

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/689581/The-Tribune/TT_11_January_2016#page/2/2

Second report-Amaninder Pal

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/690453/The-Tribune/TT_12_January_2016#page/2/2

Third Report-Amaninder Pal

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/691324/The-Tribune/TT_13_January_2016#page/2/2

Fourth Report-Sanjiv Singh Bariana

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/692341/The-Tribune/TT_14_January_2016#page/2/1

Fifth Report-Vishav Bharti

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/693287/The-Tribune/TT_15_January_2016#page/2/1

Sixth Report-Sanjiv Singh Bariana

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/694013/The-Tribune/TT_16_January_2016#page/2/1

Seventh report-Praful Chander Nagpal-17th January

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8231020

Eighth report-Amninder Pal-18th January

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8230994

Ninth report-19th January-Gurdeep Singh Mann

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8230958

10th report-20th January-Sushil Goyal

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8230927

11th report-21st January-Vishav Bharti

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8227985

12th Report-22nd January-Archit Vats

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8348299

13th report-22nd January-Kulwiner Sandhu

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8272904

114th report-23rd January-Vishav Bharti

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8272904

15th report-24th January-Vishav Bharti

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8272904

16th Report-25th January-Amarjit Thind

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8337811

17th Report-29th January-Vishav Bharti

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8400019

18th Report-30th January-Amaninder Pal

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8460005

19th Analytic report-Sarabjit Dhaliwal-31st January

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8365275

20th Analytic report-Kuljit Bains-1st February

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/708428/The-Tribune/TT_01_February_2016#page/2/2

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/8460043

 

 

 

Loss of Indian Literature-Viren Dangwal and Pankaj Singh

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Pankaj Singh

 

What a sad news posted by Ajay K. Mehra at JNU First Decade page of facebook–Poet Pankaj Singh is no more-a shock—will take time to accept it….Now so many friends have written over it, I have also to admit,  that Pankaj is no more. When I had joined JNU as student in 1977 or even before started trying for it since 1976, ManMohan and Pankaj both were popular among JNU community as poets. Both had written sharp poems criticizing Indira Gandhi and her emergency regime. Pankaj later went to London in BBC as journalist. He was fond of travelling and stayed in Paris also for few years. During my student days in Periyar hostel he would stay for weeks together and we both sleeping on rooftops in summer days. We shared lot of our dukh-sukh as we had many common friends as well. He had a zeal for living and his last activity was joining campaign against intolerance against writers and society in general. He supported award returnee writers and stood in solidarity with them..his passing away so suddenly is saddening…

Pankaj Singh was a student of JNU in School of International Studies during 1972-75, before I joined, but he stayed mostly in JNU after leaving his formal studies. He worked as PRO in Rajsthan University for few months and then returned to Delhi. He had married with Padma or Padmja, herself a poet and later Congress activist, perhaps it was also a love marriage, but did not last very long. Padma or Padmja perhaps was once elected as Congress MLA also from Bihar, they probably had a son from the marriage. During his JNU days, beautiful women were fascinated towards Pankaj Singh, as he was romanticist to the core. He had friendship with a French woman, who was in India in those days, later he stayed with her in Paris for some  time, before shifting over to BBC London Hindi service. He was a good conversationalist in Hindi and English both, apart from being a good poet as well, like a Lord Byron of Hindi. After his return from London, probably he had developed friendship with Savita Singh, Hindi poet and faculty member in a Delhi college and later in IGNOU. They married and I had lost regular touch with him, though we have many chance meetings in Delhi, as and when I was visiting Delhi from Patiala or later when I joined JNU s faculty member in 2005.

Pankaj Singh was known for his temperamental behavior also and in few cases he had beaten up the persons who clashed with him. First such talked about case in literary world was of Arvind Kumar, then who was owner of Radhkrishan Prakshan. I don’t now remember what was the issue, but it was talk of the town then. He was a good poet but not very prolific. He remained left activist throughout but not affiliated with any party or group. He remained more on radical left side and participated in their protest meetings in the field of literary and cultural world as well as on civil rights issues. Like Kumar Vikal in Chandigarh, Pankaj also had wide contacts among influential people. In JNU, he was very close to my class fellow Suresh Sharma, but they had fallen out at some stage.

Pankaj left suddenly at the age of 67 and prior to him another eminent Hindi poet Viren Dangwal left at the age of 68. His going was not sudden, he fought with cancer for many years and set an example of resistance with cheer. Viren was very gentle and friendly and I had met him first in Shahjahanpur in 1989, when I was invited there for a function of Pash and Bhagat Singh. I had few pleasant meetings with him, one at Braille, on a visit to that place and perhaps Viren took me around also to some monuments. I could not meet him during his last days of suffering at Delhi as I had left the city, but perhaps spoke once on phone, he was as cheerful as ever.

200px-Virendangwal

With the loss of Viren Dangwal and Pankaj Singh, Hindi literature has suffered a big loss. Democratic  movement has equally lost sincere activists.

Ramashankar Vidrohi, another Hindi poet related to JNU left on 8th December quite suddenly, collapsing while demonstrating with students in OccupyUGC movement. Ramashankar had joined Centre of Indian languages for doing MA in Hindi way back when I was still a student. He had come with his wife and was given married hostel. Somehow he did not complete his degree, but continued to stay around JNU, first with his family, his wife was working for bread and butter, but Vidrohi was not doing any thing to earn for family. Later he started living alone on JNU campus with every morning having bedding on his shoulder. He developed into a popular poet on campus after I had left JNU and when I rejoined as faculty in 2005, Vidrohi used to wish me, but we never spoke too each other. JNUSU and AISA supported him and he used to sleep in hostels and later in JNUSU office and used to eat at dhabhas or hostel messes.

JNU had some rebel personalities, who lived in JNU without being its student or remained student for a while, then lived on. During my student days, there were Ibne Bhai, known for his melodious singing, Dilip-once a SFI activist, later wanderer, died, Dr. Baljit Ustad-victim of obsessive involvement emotionally and got mentally sick, stayed for few years then returned to Patiala to live with his parents but with schizophrenia, he did not return to JNU and no news these days. He got infatuated with one of his teachers. Then Gorakh Pandey-the fine poet and PhD in philosophy, radical activist of JSM, got infatuated with one of student and got schizophrenic, recovered but committed suicide in his hostel. Anand from German centre, was involved with some of student, but could not pull on,left studies and became wanderer, bringing out pamphlets every now and then, radical writings. These days he is also seen very little, he was Akshya Bakaya’s friend. These persons on JNU campus has shown campus to be humane one, which took care of these wayward without disowning or hating them. Sometimes administration tried to be tough, but then students and faculty would stand by them and save them from harassment. Whether this humaneness of JNU is going to survive or not in coming days, it is to be seen.

यशपाल: जिन्होंने कलम को बनाया अंग्रेजों के खिलाफ क्रांति का हथियार-One minute read

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http://hindi.thequint.com/india/2015/12/26/profiling-yashpal-an-author-a-freedom-fighter#.Vn4AIxXh2fg.facebook

http://xp2.zedo.com/jsc/xp2/ff2.html?n=3294;c=34;s=1;d=9;w=300;h=250

भारत की आजादी के लिए सैकड़ों-हजारों क्रांतिवीरों ने आहुतियां दीं और अपने-अपने तरह से विरोध दर्ज किया. कोई लाठी के साथ क्रांति में शामिल हुआ तो कोई अहिंसा के विचारों के साथ.

लेकिन यशपाल तीसरे तरह के थे, उन्होंने कलम को अपना हथियार बनाया.

क्रांति का सफर

यशपाल का जन्म 3 दिसंबर 1903 को फिरोजपुर में हुआ था, जहां उनकी मां एक शिक्षिका थीं. यशपाल आठवीं कक्षा में पढ़ाई के दौरान ही राष्ट्रवादी आंदोलन के प्रभाव में आ गए थे. दसवीं कक्षा तक आते-आते तो उन्होंने भाषण देना और सफेद कुर्ता-पायजामा पहनना शुरू कर दिया था.

इसके बाद की उनकी शिक्षा-दीक्षा गुरुकुल कांगड़ी में हुई और यहीं से उनका मन आर्य समाज के नैतिकतावाद से उचाट हो गया. बाद में जब उन्होंने लाहौर के नेशनल कॉलेज में दाखिला लिया, जहां उनके साथी भगत सिंह, सुखदेव और भगवती चरण वोरा जैसे लोग थे.

नेशनल कॉलेज में यशपाल क्रांतिकारी बने, और 1932 में गिरफ्तार होने तक क्रांतिकारी ही बने रहे. यशपाल ने भारत के ब्रिटिश वायसरॉय की ट्रेन में 23 दिसंबर 1929 को बम लगा दिया था. बम से हुए धमाके में वायसराय तो बच गए, लेकिन कई अन्य लोग मारे गए.

इस घटना के बाद वह 6 साल से भी ज्यादा समय तक जेल में रहे और 1938 में यूपी की कांग्रेस मिनिस्ट्री ने उन्हें रिहा किया. हालांकि इसके बाद भी उन्हें अपने गृह-प्रदेश पंजाब जाने की मनाही थी.

लेखन से जुड़ाव

यशपाल ने जेल में ही हिन्दी में कहानियां लिखनी शुरू कर दी थीं और कहानियों का उनका पहला संकलन 1939 में उनके जेल से बाहर आने के बाद प्रकाशित हुआ.

जेल से छूटने के बाद यशपाल ने लखनऊ को ही अपना ठिकाना बनाया और वहीं से हिंदी में ‘विप्लव’ और उर्दू में ‘बागी’ नाम से पत्रिका निकालने लगे.

विप्लव को इसके उग्र लेखों की वजह से बैन कर दिया गया. विप्लव का चंद्रशेखर आजाद पर निकाला गया संस्करण पाठकों के बीच खासा लोकप्रिय हुआ था.

एक नजर डालिए यशपाल पर बने इस डॉक्यूमेंटरी पर.

आजादी के बाद के साहित्य को परिभाषित किया

यशपाल नागरिक अधिकारों की लड़ाई भी लड़ते रहे और आजादी के बाद भी जेल गए. वह एक दमदार लेखक थे और दुनिया भर में घूमे थे.

उन्होंने कुल मिलाकर 12 उपन्यास लिखे, जिनमें से ‘झूठा सच’ को उनकी सर्वश्रेष्ठ कृति माना जाता है. यह उपन्यास भारत के विभाजन और उसके बाद की घटनाओं पर आधारित है.


इसके अलावा यशपाल ने 300 से ज्यादा लघुकथाएं भी लिखी थीं. वहीं कई किताबों और तीन यात्रा संस्मरणों को भी उन्होंने अपनी कलम से कागज के पन्नों पर उतारा था.

उनके उपन्यास ‘मेरी तेरी उसकी बात’ के लिए मृत्यु से कुछ ही दिन पहले उन्हें साहित्य अकादमी अवॉर्ड से नवाजा गया था. 26 दिसंबर 1976 को 73 साल की उम्र में यशपाल ने इस दुनिया को अलविदा कह दिया.

(लेखक चमल लाल, जवाहरलाल नेहरू यूनिवर्सिटी से रिटायर्ड प्रोफेसर हैं और शहीद भगत सिंह और यशपाल की जीवन पर रिसर्च से जुड़े रहे हैं.)

 

ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਇਨਸਾਨੀ ਦਿਮਾਗ ਦਾ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀਕਰਨ Posted On December – 19 – 2015 ਗੁਗੀ ਵਾ ਥਿਓਂਗੋ ਚਮਨ ਲਾਲ (ਪ੍ਰੋ.)*

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http://punjabitribuneonline.com/2015/12/%E0%A8%AD%E0%A8%BE%E0%A8%B6%E0%A8%BE-%E0%A8%B0%E0%A8%BE%E0%A8%B9%E0%A9%80%E0%A8%82-%E0%A8%87%E0%A8%A8%E0%A8%B8%E0%A8%BE%E0%A8%A8%E0%A9%80-%E0%A8%A6%E0%A8%BF%E0%A8%AE%E0%A8%BE%E0%A8%97-%E0%A8%A6/

 

Posted On December – 19 – 2015

ਗੁਗੀ ਵਾ ਥਿਓਂਗ

ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦੇ 250 ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਸੱਤ ਅਰਬ ਵਸਨੀਕ ਕਰੀਬ  ਸੱਤ ਹਜ਼ਾਰ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਹਨ। ਭਾਰਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੀ 3000 ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਹੋਂਦ ਮੰਨੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ। ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ 22 ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਸੰਵਿਧਾਨਕ ਤੌਰ ’ਤੇ ਕੌਮੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਦਰਜਾ ਰੱਖਦੀਆ ਹਨ ਅਤੇ 24 ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਸਾਹਿਤਕ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਦੇ ਤੌਰ ’ਤੇ ਮਾਨਤਾ ਪ੍ਰਾਪਤ ਹਨ। ਸਾਹਿਤ ਅਕਾਦਮੀ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ 24 ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਦੇ ਲੇਖਕ ਨੂੰ ਹਰ ਸਾਲ ਇਨਾਮ ਨਾਲ ਸਤਿਕਾਰਦੀ ਹੈ। ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਕੁੱਲ 250 ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਇੰਨੀਆਂ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਹੋਣ ’ਤੇ ਵੀ ਸ਼ਾਇਦ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਇਹ ਜਾਣ ਕੇ ਹੈਰਾਨ ਹੋਵੇ ਕਿ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦੇ 60 ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ 40 ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ। ਮਤਲਬ ਸੌੌ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਕੰਮਕਾਜ ਦੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਦਾ ਦਰਜਾ ਸਿਰਫ ਦੋ ਹੀ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਕੋਲ ਹੈ। ਕਰੀਬ 20 ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨ ਸਪੇਨੀ ਅਤੇ ਇੰਨੀ ਹੀ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਅਰਬੀ ਹੈ।  ਸੌ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਜਾਂ ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ ਹੋਣ ਦਾ ਕੀ ਰਾਜ਼ ਹੈ? ਕੀ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਸੌੌ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਕੋਲ ਆਪਣੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਹੀ ਨਹੀਂ, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਉਹ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਦਰਜਾ ਦਿੰਦੇ? ਇਸ ਦਾ ਰਾਜ਼ ਹੈ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਵਿੱੱਚ ਕਈ ਸੌ ਵਰ੍ਹਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦ, ਜਿਸ ਦਾ ਸ਼ਿਕਾਰ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਅਤੇ ਏਸ਼ੀਆ ਦੇ ਮੁਲਕ ਹੋਏ। ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਆਰਥਿਕ ਸਰੋਤਾਂ ਦੀ ਲੁੱਟ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ-ਨਾਲ ਸਿਆਸੀ ਗੁਲਾਮੀ ਦਾ ਸ਼ਿਕਾਰ ਬਣਾ ਕੇ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰਕ ਵਿਰਾਸਤ ਵੀ ਖੋਹੀ ਗਈ। ਖਾਸ ਕਰ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਦਰਕਿਨਾਰ ਤੇ ਬਰਬਾਦ ਕਰਕੇ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਥੋਪੀਆਂ ਗਈਆਂ। ਇੰਗਲੈਂਡ ਦੇ ਕਬਜ਼ੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਰਹੇ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਅਤੇ ਫਰਾਂਸ ਦੇ ਕਬਜ਼ੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਰਹੇ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ ਦਾ ਗਲਬਾ ਸਥਾਪਤ ਕਰਕੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਸਥਾਨਕ ਕੌਮੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਛੜੀਆਂ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਗਿਆ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਦਾ ਮਾਧਿਅਮ ਨਾ ਬਣਾ ਕੇ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਅਤੇ ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ ਦੀ ਮਾਨਸਿਕ ਗੁਲਾਮੀ ਵਿਚ ਜਕੜਿਆ ਗਿਆ।
ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦ ਦਾ ਆਰੰਭ ਸਪੇਨ ਦੇ ਕੋਲੰਬਸ ਅਤੇ ਅਮਰੀਕਾ ਲੱਭਣ (ਭਾਰਤ ਦੇ ਭੁਲੇਖੇ ਵਿੱਚ) ਅਤੇ ਪੁਰਤਗਾਲ ਦੇ ਵਾਸਕੋ ਡੀ ਗਾਮਾ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਭਾਰਤ ਲੱਭਣ ਨਾਲ ਹੋਇਆ। ਦੋਵੇਂ ਲਗਪਗ ਇਕੋ ਸਮੇਂ 1498 ਦੇ ਨੇੜੇ-ਤੇੜੇ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਥਾਵਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਪੁਹੰਚੇ। ਸੋਲ੍ਹਵੀਂ ਸਦੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਪੇਨ ਤੇ ਪੁਰਤਗਾਲ ਦੀ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਤਾਕਤਾਂ ਵਜੋਂ ਝੰਡੀ ਰਹੀ। ਦੂਜੇ ਦੌਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਤਾਰ੍ਹਵੀਂ ਸਦੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਇੰਗਲੈਂਡ, ਫਰਾਂਸ ਤੇ ਹਾਲੈਂਡ ਨੇ ਏਸ਼ੀਆ ਤੇ ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦ ਸਥਾਪਤ ਕਰਨ ਹਿੱਤ ਜ਼ਬਰਦਾਸਤ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ਾਂ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਰਦਾਰੀ ਲਈ ਆਪਸੀ ਲੜਾਈਆਂ ਵੀ ਹੋਈਆਂ। ਭਾਰਤ ’ਤੇ ਤਾਂ ਸਤਾਰ੍ਹਵੀਂ ਸਦੀ ਦੇ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ੂਵਿੱਚ ਹੀ ਇੰਗਲੈਂਡ ਦੀ ਨਿਗ੍ਹਾ ਟਿਕ ਗਈ ਸੀ ਤੇ 1600 ਵਿੱਚ ਉੱਥੋਂ ਦੇ ਵਪਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਈਸਟ ਇੰਡੀਆ ਕੰਪਨੀ ਬਣਾ ਕੇ 1612 ਵਿੱਚ ਹੀ ਸੂਰਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੋਠੀ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਪੈਰ ਫੈਲਾਉਣੇ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਸਨ। 1617 ਵਿੱਚ ਤਾਂ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਉਦੋਂ ਦੇ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਦੇ ਬਾਦਸ਼ਾਹ ਜਹਾਂਗੀਰ ਨੂੰ ਖੁਸ਼ ਕਰਕੇ ਵਪਾਰ ਦਾ ਪਰਵਾਨਾ ਤਕ ਹਾਸਲ ਕਰ ਲਿਆ ਸੀ। ਇਸੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਏਸ਼ੀਆ ਦੇ ਹੋਰ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਵੀ ਕਬਜ਼ਾ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਘਮਸਾਨ ਜਾਰੀ ਸੀ ਤੇ ਅਨੇਕ ਮੁਲਕ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਕਬਜ਼ੇ ਹੇਠ ਆ ਚੁੱਕੇ ਸਨ। ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਵੱਲ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਨਿਗ੍ਹਾ ਉਨ੍ਹੀਵੀਂ ਸਦੀ ਵਿੱੱਚ ਹੀ ਗਈ, ਪਰ ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਦੇ ਲਗਪਗ ਸਾਰੇ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਕੁਝ ਹੀ ਸਾਲਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਇੰਗਲੈਂਡ, ਫਰਾਂਸ ਤੇ ਹਾਲੈਂਡ ਨੇ ਕਬਜ਼ਾ ਜਮ੍ਹਾ ਲਿਆ ਸੀ। ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਕਬਜ਼ਾ ਬਰਤਾਨੀਆ ਨੇ ਕੀਤਾ, ਜਿਸ ਕਰਕੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਸਾਮਰਾਜ ਇੰਨਾ ਵੱਡਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਉਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਦੀ ਸੂਰਜ ਡੁੱਬਦਾ ਹੀ ਨਹੀਂ।
ਬਰਤਾਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਕਬਜ਼ੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਇਕ ਸਿਰੇ ਤੋਂ ਦੂਜੇ ਸਿਰੇ ਤੱਕ ਦੇ ਮੁਲਕ ਸਨ। ਦੂਜੇ ਨੰਬਰ ’ਤੇ ਫਰਾਂਸ ਨੇ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਕਬਜ਼ਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਉਸ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਹਾਲੈਂਡ, ਪੁਰਤਗਾਲ ਤੇ ਸਪੇਨ ਦਾ ਨੰਬਰ ਹੈ। ਸੱਠ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਤੇ ਚਾਲੀ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ ਦਾ ਹੁਣ ਵੀ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਕੰਮਕਾਜ ਦੀ ਰਾਜ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਹੋਣ ਦਾ ਇਹੋ ਰਾਜ਼ ਹੈ। ਸੌੌ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਅਫਰੀਕੀ, ਏਸ਼ਿਆਈ ਤੇ ਦੱਖਣੀ ਅਮਰੀਕੀ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਕਬਜ਼ੇ ਬਾਅਦ ਉੱਥੋਂ ਦੇ ਆਰਥਿਕ ਸਰੋਤਾਂ ਦੀ ਲੁੱਟ ਤਾਂ ਹੋਣੀ ਹੀ ਸੀ, ਇਹ ਮੁਲਕ ਸਿਆਸੀ ਤੇ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰਕ ਗੁਲਾਮੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਜਕੜੇ ਗਏ ਤੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਵੀ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕੋਲੋਂ ਖੋਹੀਆਂ ਗਈਆਂ, ਕਿਉਂਕਿ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਕੰਮਕਾਜ ਦੀ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨ, ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ, ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ ਜਾਂ ਡੱਚ ਬਣੀ ਤੇ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਪ੍ਰਣਾਲੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਹ ਵਿਦੇਸ਼ੀ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਜਾਣੀ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਹੋਈ, ਖਾਸ ਕਰ ਉੱਚ ਵਿੱਦਿਆ ਖੇਤਰ ਵਿੱਚ। ਨਤੀਜੇ ਵਜੋਂ  ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਵਿਕਸਤ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੇ ਖੇਤਰ ਤੋਂ ਪਰਾਂ ਧੱਕ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ।  ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦ ਦਾ ਸ਼ਿਕਾਰ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ ਸਿਸਟਮ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਹਾਕਮਾਂ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ, ਜਿਵੇਂ ਭਾਰਤ ਦੀਆਂ ਪਹਿਲੀਆਂ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀਆਂ 1857 ਵਿੱਚ ਹੋਂਦ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਈਆਂ। ਜ਼ਾਹਿਰ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਉਸ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਸਥਾਪਤ ਕਾਲਜ ਤੇ ਇਹ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀਆਂ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਮਾਧਿਅਮ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਉੁੱਚ ਵਿੱਦਿਆ ਦਾ ਕੇਂਦਰ ਬਣੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਬੰਗਾਲੀ ਵਰਗੀਆਂ ਵਿਕਸਿਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਦਰਕਿਨਾਰ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ। ਇਹੋ ਕੁਝ ਏਸ਼ੀਆ ਤੇ ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਦੇ ਬਾਕੀ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਵਾਪਰਿਆ।
ਸੌ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਵਰ੍ਹੇ ਜਾਂ ਕੁਝ ਘਟ ਵੀ ਜਿਹੜੇ ਮੁਲਕ ਇਸ ਉੱਚ ਵਿੱਦਿਆ ਸਿਸਟਮ ਤੇ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ-ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ ਆਦਿ ਦੇ ਅਸਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਰਹੇ, ਉਹ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਹਾਸਲ ਕਰਨ ਬਾਅਦ ਵੀ ਫਿਰ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ-ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ ਆਦਿ ਦੇ ਅਸਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਰਹੇ, ਉਹ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਹਾਸਲ ਕਰਨ ਬਾਅਦ ਵੀ ਫਿਰ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਉਸ ਪੱਧਰ ’ਤੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਲਿਆ ਸਕੇ, ਜਿਸ ਪੱਧਰ ’ਤੇ ਆਜ਼ਾਦ ਰਹੇ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਚੀਨੀ, ਰੂਸੀ, ਜਰਮਨ, ਜਪਾਨੀ, ਅਰਬੀ, ਸਪੇਨੀ ਆਦਿ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਿਗਿਆਨ ਤੇ ਤਕਨੀਕੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀਆਂ ਮਾਧਿਅਮ ਇਹ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਓਨੀਆਂ ਹੀ ਸਮਰੱਥ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਜਿੰਨੀਆਂ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਜਾਂ ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ ਸਨ। ਏਥੋਂ ਤੱਕ ਕਿ ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਦੀ ਸਵਾਹਿਲੀ, ਭਾਰਤ ਦੀਆਂ 15 ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਉੱਨਤ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਵੀ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਤੋਂ 50-60 ਵਰ੍ਹੇ ਬਾਅਦ ਵੀ ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਿਗਿਆਨ ਖੇਤਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਬਰਾਬਰ ਨਾ ਪਹੁੰਚ ਸਕੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਅੱਜ ਵੀ ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਿਗਿਆਨ-ਤਕਨੀਕੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਲਈ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਜਾਂ ਫਰਾਂਸੀਸੀ  ’ਤੇ ਨਿਰਭਰ ਹਨ। ਹਾਲਾਂਕਿ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਸੰਗਰਾਮ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਵਿਕਾਸ ਪ੍ਰਮੁੱਖ ਮੁੱਦਾ ਸੀ, ਪਰ ਸਾਡੇ ਸਿਆਸੀ ਨੇਤਾਵਾਂ ਨੇ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਮਿਲਣ ਉਪਰੰਤ ਆਪਣੇ ਜਾਤੀ ਤੇ ਸੌੜੇ ਮੁਫਾਦਾਂ ਕਾਰਨ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਦੇ ਮਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਬੁਰ੍ਹੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਉਲਝਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਦੇ ਆਪਸੀ ਅੰਤਰ ਵਿਰੋਧ ਖੜ੍ਹੇ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੇ। ਜਿਸ ਕਰਕੇ ਕੁਝ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਈ ਖੇਤਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਹਿੰਦੀ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਬਾਕੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਉਵੇਂ ਹੀ ਖਤਰਾ ਮੰਨਣ ਲੱਗੀਆਂ ਜਿਵੇਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਨੂੰ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਸੀ। ਇਸ ਨਾਲ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਦੀ  ਲੰਬੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਲਈ ਪੱਕੀ ਸਰਦਾਰੀ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਤੇ ਹੁਣ ਤਾਂ ਸ਼ਾਇਦ ਇਹ ਸਰਦਾਰੀ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਜ਼ੁਬਾਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮੁੜ ਕੇ ਮਿਲੇ ਵੀ ਨਾ।
ਇਹ ਹਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣੀ ਮਾਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜੇ ਸਾਡੇ ਪ੍ਰਸੰਗ ਵਿੱਚ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜੇ ਬੁੱਧੀਜੀਵੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਕੀ ਫਰਜ਼ ਹਨ? ਕੀ ਇਸ ਹਾਲਤ ਨੂੰ ਸਵੀਕਾਰ ਕਰਕੇ ਚੱੁਪ ਕਰਕੇ ਬੈਠ ਜਾਣਾ ਜਾਂ ਇਸ ਤੋਂ ਵੀ ਵੱਧ ਖੁਦ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੇ ਸਮਰੱਥ ਹੋਣ ਕਾਰਨ ਆਪਣੇ ਜ਼ਾਤੀ ਫਾਇਦੇ ਲੈਣੇ ਅਤੇ ਮਾਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੇ ਨਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਦੰਭੀ ਹਾਅ ਦਾ ਨਾਅਰਾ ਮਾਰਦੇ ਰਹਿਣਾ, ਪਰ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਨੂੰ ਬਾਕੀ ਉੱਨਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਦੀ ਪੱਧਰ ’ਤੇ ਲਿਜਾਣ ਲਈ ਕੁਝ ਨਾ ਕਰਨਾ ਠੀਕ ਹੈ? ਜਾਂ ਇਸ ਵਿਗਿਆਨਕ ਸਿਧਾਂਤ ਨੂੰ ਅਮਲੀ ਰੂਪ ਦੇਣਾ ਕਿ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਹਰ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਹਰ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਗਿਆਨ-ਵਿਗਿਆਨ ਨੂੰ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਉਣ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਮਰੱਥ ਹੈ, ਪਰ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਉਸ ਪੱਧਰ ’ਤੇ ਲਿਜਾਣ ਲਈ ਤਕਨੀਕੀ ਸ਼ਬਦਾਵਾਲੀ ਦਾ ਵਿਕਾਸ ਤੇ ਵਿਗਿਆਨ ਦੇ ਹਰ ਖੇਤਰ ਜਿਵੇਂ- ਮੈਡੀਕਲ, ਇੰਜੀਨੀਅਰਿੰਗ ਜਾਂ ਤਕਨੀਕੀ ਵਿਸ਼ਿਆਂ ਲਈ ਉੱਚ ਵਿੱਦਿਆ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਲਾਗੂ ਕਰਨ ਹਿੱਤ ਯੋਜਨਾਬੱਧ ਤਰੀਕੇ ਨਾਲ ਕੋਸ਼ਿਸ਼ਾਂ ਕਰਨੀਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਈ ਵਿਕਾਸ ਦੇ ਉੱਚ ਵਿੱਦਿਆ ਦੇ ਖੇਤਰ ਤੇ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ/ਅਦਾਲਤੀ ਕੰਮਕਾਜ ਲਈ ਹਰ ਪੱਧਰ ’ਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਦੇ ਇਸਤੇਮਾਲ ਲਈ ਮਜਬੂਰ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਹੰਭਲੇ ਮਾਰਨੇ?
ਏਸ਼ੀਆ ਤੇ ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਦੇ ਅਨੇਕ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਸਮੱਸਿਆ ਦਾ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਮਿਲਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਆਪਣੇ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਾਹਮਣਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਇਸ ਲਈ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਹੋਰ ਮੁਲਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਅਜਿਹੇ ਤਜਰਬਿਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਵੀ ਸਿੱਖਣਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਹੈ। ਇਸ ਮਸਲੇ ’ਤੇ ਦੁਨੀਆਂ ਭਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਕੰਮ ਕੀਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਸਿਰਜਣਾਤਮਕ ਲੇਖਕ ਤੇ ਵਿਦਵਾਨ ਗੁਗੀ ਵਾ ਥਿਓਂਗੋ (Ngugi Wa Thiong) ਨੇ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਸ਼ਾਇਦ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਗੁੰਗੀ ਦੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਕੰਮ ਅਤੇ ਵਿਚਾਰਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਉਦੇਸ਼ ਲਈ ਮਦਦ ਮਿਲੇ। ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦ ਖ਼ਿਲਾਫ਼ ਭਾਰਤ ਅਤੇ ਕੀਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਅਨੁਭਵ ਵੀ ਮਿਲਦੇ-ਜੁਲਦੇ ਹਨ। ਇਸ ਲਈ ਮਾਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਦੇ ਹਿੱਤ ਲਈ ਸੰਘਰਸ਼ ਵੀ ਮਿਲਦਾ-ਜੁਲਦਾ ਹੈ।
ਗੁਗੀ ਵਾ ਥਿਓਂਗੋ ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਦੇ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਪ੍ਰਸਿੱਧ ਲੇਖਕਾਂ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਇਕ ਹਨ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਦਰਜਾ ਨਾਇਜੀਰੀਆ ਦੇ ਨੋਬੇਲ ਇਨਾਮ ਜੇਤੂ ਲੇਖਕਾਂ- ਚਿਨੁਆ ਅਚੇਬੇ ਅਤੇ ਵੋਲੇ ਸੋਯਿੰਕਾ ਦੇ ਬਰਾਬਰ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਉਸ ਨੂੰ ਨੋਬੇਲ ਨਾ ਮਿਲਣ ਦਾ ਕਾਰਨ ਉਸ ਦੇ ਜੁਝਾਰੂ ਵਿਚਾਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ। ਗੁਗੀ ਦਾ ਜਨਮ ਕੀਨੀਆ ਵਿੱੱਚ 5 ਜਨਵਰੀ, 1938 ਨੂੰ ਹੋਇਆ ਅਤੇ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਬਚਪਨ ਦਾ ਜੇਮਸ ਗੁਗੀ ਸੀ, ਜੋ ਬਰਤਾਨਵੀ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ ਕਰਕੇ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਸੀ। ਬਾਅਦ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣੀ ਅਫਰੀਕੀ ਕੌਮੀ ਚੇਤਨਾ ਨਾਲ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਆਪਣਾ ਨਾਂ ਬਦਲ ਕੇ ਗੁਗੀ ਵਾ ਥਿਓਂਗ ਰੱਖਿਆ। ਗੁਗੀ ਦਾ ਟੱਬਰ ਕੀਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਸੰਘਰਸ਼ ਵਿੱੱਚ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਸੀ, ਉਸ ਦੀ ਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਤਸੀਹੇ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਗਏ। ਗੁਗੀ ਨੇ ਯੂਗਾਂਡਾ ਦੀ ਮਾਕ੍ਰੇਰੇ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ ਤੋਂ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਬੀ.ਏ. 1963 ਵਿੱਚ ਕੀਤੀ ਅਤੇ ਕੰਪਾਲਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਹੀ 1962 ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ  ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਨਾਟਕ ‘ਦਿ ਬਲੈਕ ਹਰਮਿੱਟ’ ਖੇਡਿਆ ਗਿਆ। ਉਸ ਦਾ ਪਹਿਲਾ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਨਾਵਲ 1964 ਵਿੱਚ ਇੰਗਲੈਂਡ ਵਿੱਚ ਲੀਡਜ਼ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਪੜ੍ਹਾਈ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਛਪਿਆ-ਵੀਪ ਨਾਟ ਚਾਈਲਡ (ਰੋ ਨਾ ਬੱਚੇ)। ਪੂਰਬੀ ਅਫਰੀਕਾ ਦੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਵੀ ਲੇਖਕ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਲਿਖਿਆ ਇਹ ਪਹਿਲਾ ਨਾਵਲ ਸੀ। 1965 ਵਿੱਚ ਛਪਿਆ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਦੂਜਾ ਨਾਵਲ ‘ਦੀ ਰਿਵਰ ਬਿਟਵੀਨ’ ਕੀਨੀਆ ਦੀ ਇਨਕਲਾਬੀ ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਲਹਿਰ ਮਾਉ ਮਾਉ ਬਾਰੇ ਸੀ। 1967 ਵਿੱੱ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਅਗਲਾ ਨਾਵਲ ‘ਏ ਗਰੇਨ ਆਫ ਵਹੀਟ’ (ਕਣਕ ਦਾਾਣਾ) ਛਪਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਨਾਲ ਹੀ ਉਹ ਫੇਨਨਵਾਦੀ-ਮਾਰਕਸਵਾਦੀ ਵਿਚਾਰਾਂ ਦਾ ਧਾਰਨੀ ਬਣ ਗਿਆ। ਫਰੇਂਜ਼ ਫੇਨਨ ਦੀ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਿੱਧ ਕਿਤਾਬ ‘Wretched of the Earth’ ਦਾ ਅਫਰੀਕੀ ਲੇਖਕਾਂ ’ਤੇ ਬੜਾ ਜ਼ਬਰਦਾਸਤ ਅਸਰ ਸੀ। ਇਸ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਹੀ ਗੁਗੀ ਨੇ ਆਪਣਾ ਇਸਾਈ ਨਾਂ ਜੇਮਸ ਨੂੰ ਛੱਡ ਕੇ ਦੇਸੀ ਅਫਰੀਕੀ ਨਾਂ ਗੁਗੀ ਵਾ ਥਿਓਂਗੋ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਖਣਾ ਛੱਡ ਕੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਮਾਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਗਿਕਿਯੂ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਖਣਾ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕੀਤਾ।
1976 ਵਿੱਚ ਕੀਨੀਆ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਾਹਿਤ ਦੇ ਅਧਿਆਪਕ ਤੌਰ ’ਤੇ ਗੁਗੀ ਨੇ ਇਕ ਨਾਟਕ ਗਰੁੱਪ ਬਣਾ ਕੇ ਗਿਕਿਯੂ ਵਿੱਚ ਨਾਟਕ ਲਿਖ ਕੇ ਖੇਡਿਆ, ਜਿਸ ਤੋਂ ਕੀਨੀਆ ਦਾ ਉਸ ਵੇਲੇ ਦਾ ਰਾਸ਼ਟਰਪਤੀ ਤੇ ਬਾਅਦ ਵਿੱਚ ਰਾਸ਼ਟਰਪਤੀ ਅਰਾਪ ਮੋਈ ਇੰਨਾ ਨਾਰਾਜ਼ ਹੋਇਆ ਕਿ ਗੁਗੀ ਨੂੰ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਗ੍ਰਿਫਤਾਰ ਕਰਕੇ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਵਿੱਚ ਬੰਦ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਗੁਗੀ ਨੂੰ ਇਕ ਸਾਲ ਕੈਦ ਵਿੱਚ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਅੰਤਰਰਾਸ਼ਟਰੀ ਦਬਾ ਕਰਕੇ ਰਿਹਾਅ ਤਾਂ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ, ਪਰ ਉਸ ਦੀ ਨੈਰੋਬੀ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰੋਫੈਸਰ ਦੀ ਨੌਕਰੀ ਬਹਾਲ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਗਈ। ਗੁਗੀ ਨੂੰ ਅੰਤ ਮੁਲਕ ਛੱਡ ਕੇ ਜਾਣਾ ਪਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਅਮਰੀਕਾ ਦੀਆਂ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀਆਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਬੜਾ ਨਾਮਣਾ ਖੱਟਿਆ।
ਆਲੋਚਨਾ ਨਾਲ ਸਬੰਧਤ ਵੀ ਕਈ ਕਿਤਾਬਾਂ ਲਿਖੀਆ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਗੁਗੀ ਦਾ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਚਿੰਤਨ ਵੀ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹੈ। 2004 ਵਿੱਚ ਦੋ ਦਹਾਕੇ ਬਾਅਦ ਉਸ ਦਾ ਨਾਵਲ ਛਪਿਆ- ‘Wizard of the Crow’ ਜੋ ਕਿ ਗਿਕਿਯੂ ਤੋਂ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਨੁਵਾਦ ਸੀ, ਤਾਂ ਉਸ ਦੀ ਬੜੀ ਚਰਚਾ ਹੋਈ ਸੀ। ਗੁਗੀ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਕਈ ਰਚਨਾਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਆਪ ਹੀ ਗਿਕਿਯੂ ਤੋਂ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਨੁਵਾਦ ਕੀਤਾ, ਪਰ ਸਿਰਜਨਾਤਮਕ ਰਚਨਾਵਾਂ ਲਈ ਉਸ ਨੇ ਮਾਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਖਣ ਦੇ ਅਸੂਲ ਨੂੰ ਨਹੀਂ ਤੋੜਿਆ, ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਰਚਨਾਵਾਂ ਲਈ ਗੁਗੀ ਨੂੰ ਕਈ ਅੰਤਰਰਾਸ਼ਟਰੀ ਇਨਾਮ ਵੀ ਮਿਲੇ।
ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਦੇ ਦੂਹਰੇ ਚਰਿੱਤਰ ਬਾਰੇ ਗੁਗੀ ਕਹਿੰਦੇ ਹਨ ਕਿ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਨਾ ਸਿਰਫ਼ ਸੰਚਾਰ ਦਾ ਮਾਧਿਅਮ ਹੈ, ਇਹ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕਰਨ ਦਾ ਮਾਧਿਅਮ ਵੀ ਹੈ। ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਅਤੇ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਗੀ ਅਭਿੰਨ ਮੰਨਦੇ ਹਨ। ਮਾਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ  ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਖਣ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਗੀ ਅਫਰੀਕੀ ਕੌਮ ਅਤੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਾਮਰਾਜ ਵਿਰੋਧੀ ਸੰਘਰਸ਼ ਦਾ ਅੰਗ ਮੰਨਦੇ ਹਨ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਇਸੇ ਸੋਚ ਨੂੰ ਅਪਣਾ ਕੇ ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਨਸਲੀ ਤੇ ਖੇਤਰੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀ ਜੂਲੇ ਤੋਂ ਮੁਕਤੀ ਦਿਵਾਈ ਜਾ ਸਕਦੀ ਹੈ।

-ਲੇਖਕ ਜੇਅੈੱਨਯੂ, ਦਿੱਲੀ ਦੇ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਕੇਂਦਰ ਦਾ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਪ੍ਰੋਫੈਸਰ ਹੈ।
  ਸੰਪਰਕ: 096464-94538

Letters on article-27-12-15-Punjabi Tribune

ਇਨਸਾਨੀ ਦਿਮਾਗ ਦਾ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀਕਰਨ

20 ਦਸੰਬਰ ਦੇ ‘ਨਜ਼ਰੀਆ’ ਪੰਨੇ ‘ਤੇ ਪ੍ਰੋ. ਚਮਨ ਲਾਲ ਦੇ ਲੇਖ ‘ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਇਨਸਾਨੀ ਦਿਮਾਗ ਦਾ ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦੀਕਰਨ’ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਬੜੀਆਂ ਭਾਵਪੂਰਤ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਸਾਂਝੀਆਂ ਕੀਤੀਆਂ ਹਨ। ਬਸਤੀਵਾਦ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਹੋਏ ਸਾਡੇ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰਕ ਅਤੇ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਈ ਹਰਜੇ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਾਇਦ ਕਦੇ ਭਰਪਾਈ ਨਾ ਹੋ ਸਕੇ। ਆਜ਼ਾਦੀ ਦੇ ਐਨੇ ਸਾਲਾਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਵੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਪੱਖੋਂ ਅਸੀਂ ਗ਼ੁਲਾਮ ਜ਼ਹੀਨੀਅਤ ਦੇ ਮਾਲਕ ਹੀ ਹਾਂ। ਮਾਤ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਬੰਧ ਵਿੱਚ ਜੋ ਨਿੱਗਰ ਉਪਰਾਲੇ ਕਰਨੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ, ਉਹ ਸਾਡੇ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਵਿਭਾਗਾਂ ਜਾਂ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤੇ। ਅਸੀਂ ਸਿਰਫ਼ ਹਾਅ ਦਾ ਨਾਅਰਾ ਮਾਰ ਕੇ ਸੰਤੁਸ਼ਟ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਹਾਂ।
ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਸੂਖਮ, ਮਾਛੀਵਾੜਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ (ਲੁਧਿਆਣਾ)।

(2)

ਪ੍ਰੋ. ਚਮਨ ਲਾਲ ਦਾ ਲੇਖ ਪੜ੍ਹਨ, ਵਿਚਾਰਨ ਅਤੇ ਅਪਣਾਉਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਹੈ। ਨਿਰਸੰਦੇਹ ਕੋਈ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਕੇਵਲ ਸੰਚਾਰ ਦਾ ਮਾਧਿਅਮ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਸਗੋਂ ਉਹ ਜਨ ਸਾਧਾਰਨ ਦੇ ਧਰਮ ਅਤੇ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰ ‘ਤੇ ਵੀ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ। ਉਸ ਦੀ ਸ੍ਰੇਸ਼ਟਤਾ ਸਹਿਜੇ ਸਹਿਜੇ ਦਿਲੋ-ਦਿਮਾਗ ‘ਤੇ ਅਸਰ ਕਰ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਉਸ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜਿਆ ਧਰਮ-ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰ ਆਦਰਸ਼ ਪ੍ਰਤੀਤ ਹੋਣ ਲੱਗਦਾ ਹੈ। ਅਜਿਹੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਵਿਦੇਸ਼ੀ ਹੋਣ ਦੀ ਸੂਰਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਉਸ ਜਨ ਸਮੂਹ ਦਾ ਮੂਲ ਧਰਮ-ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰ ਸਹਿਜੇ ਸਹਿਜੇ ਬਿਨਸਦਾ ਅਤੇ ਅਪਣਾਈ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜਿਆ ਸੱਭਿਆਚਾਰ ਵਿਗਸਦਾ ਰਹਿੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਜੇ ਅਸੀਂ ਅਜਿਹੀ ਸਥਿਤੀ ਤੋਂ ਬਚਣਾ ਹੈ ਤਾਂ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੀਆਂ ਭਾਸ਼ਾਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਹਰ ਪੱਧਰ ‘ਤੇ ਸੰਚਾਰ ਦਾ ਮਾਧਿਅਮ ਬਣਾਉਣਾ ਹੋਵੇਗਾ ਅਤੇ ਬਦਲਦੀਆਂ ਲੋੜਾਂ ਲਈ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਵਿਕਾਸ ਕਰਨਾ ਹੋਵੇਗਾ।
ਪ੍ਰੋ. ਦਾਤਾਰ ਸਿੰਘ, ਸ੍ਰੀ ਮੁਕਤਸਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ।

Jawaharlal Nehru’s interlude at Jaitu and Nabha-fun and suffering!

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Autobiography   Nabha Railway station (13)  Police St. Jaitu-FIR against Nehru kept-1923 (15)  Police St. Jaitu-Nehru kept-1923 (9)

Jawaharlal Nehru’s interlude at Jaitu and Nabha-fun and suffering!

                                                                          Chaman Lal*

Punjab had been in turmoil since 13th April 1919 Jalianwala Bagh massacre at Amritsar. It had shaken the nation and the world at that time. But the later years were of no peace either. In 1920 a big Gurdwara reform movement was launched by Sikhs through Akali party, which came into existence for this purpose in that very year end. At that time Dera culture, as one can see today in Haryana and Punjab, was prevalent in Punjab Gurdwaras, which were controlled by Udasi Mahants. Faithful Sikhs were upset at their non religious conduct. Gurdwaras were captured by these faithful Sikhs under the aegis of Akali party or Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. Their movement was so peaceful that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Congress party in general was quite impressed and were appreciative of the movement.

First such major movement called ‘Morcha’ was launched at Nankana Sahib, birth place of Guru Nanak, the Gurdwara there was under the control of Mahant Narain Das. Sikh jathas were going to Nankana Sahib every day, which used to cross from Bhagat Singh’s village Chak No. 105, Lyallpur Bange, about 45 kilometres away. Bhagat Singh at the age of 13+ years used to serve the crossing jathas with food. On 20th February 1921, inside Nankana Sahib Gurdwara a faithful Sikh Lachhman Singh was burnt alive while more than hundred others were massacred by Mahant’s guards. There were Morchas in Guru Ka Bagh near Amritsar in 1922 and at Jaitu in 1923, where Jawaharlal Nehru went along with K. Santhanam and Acharya A T Gidwani on 21st September 1923 to see this peaceful Morcha by Sikhs.

At Jaitu Gurdwara Gangsar Sahib was taken over by Akali supported faithful Sikhs. Jaitu, a small town of now about forty thousand population, which fell under Nabha state at that time, was ruled by Raja Ripudaman Singh, who was a nationalist and supportive of Gurdwara reforms, he had worn even black turban as protest to support reform movement, as was done by young Bhagat Singh during Nankana Sahib Morcha. Upset at Raja Ripudaman Singh’s nationalist conduct, British colonial govt. forced him to abdicate in his minor son Pratap Singh’s favour in order to control the state through a British administrator. Akalis launched a Morcha in favour of reinstatement of Raja Ripudaman Singh, who was exiled to Dehradun. The king was deposed on 9th July 1923 and in August Morcha at Jaitu started. Akhand paths (Continuous recital) of Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh scripture) began, which was interrupted by British police on 14th September, followed by large number of arrests. Situation became very tense and Nehru reading about in Delhi decided to come down to Jaitu. As per K. Santhanam’s memoirs, Jawaharlal Nehru, K Santhanam and Acharya Gidwani all came by same train in different but third class compartments to Mukatsar, skipping Jaitu station, because they could be arrested on arrival at Jaitu railway station, which was directly connected by train to Delhi. Mukatsar was not part of Nabha state, all three were welcomed by Akali activists and taken on horse backs to Jaitu, some miles away. At the entrance of Jaitu, they were confronted by state police and told that they will be arrested if they enter Jaitu town boundaries. They were already inside Jaitu, so they were arrested, handcuffed-Nehru and Santhanam in one handcuff and Gidwani with a police officer in another handcuff. At Jaitu police station, they were lodged in a small cell till evening, when after filing of an FIR, they were sent to Nabha by night train without opening their handcuffs. They reached Nabha by early morning of 22nd September and were put in a cell at district Jail. K. Santhanam in his memoir-‘Handcuffed with Nehru’ has graphically described the conditions of their arrest:

“As soon as we arrived at the place of Satyagraha, we were greeted by a police officer who served an order upon Jawaharlal asking him and his two friends to quit the State immediately. We told him that we had not come to participate in the Satyagraha and after seeing it for some time we would be going away in a day or two. But the officer demanded whether we were ready to quit by the next train from Jaitu to Nabha and from thence to our place.

We refused and we were immediately arrested. As a safety precaution, I was handcuffed with Jawaharlal and Gidwani was handcuffed with a policemen and we were put in a miserable branch line train and taken to Nabha where we were lodged in a separate and secluded part of the jail which was constructed with mud walls. The room itself was 20 feet by 12 feet and both walls and roof were built with mud and the flooring also was of mud.

The other gate was permanently locked and even the sentries were not allowed to speak to us. At stated times, food consisting of chappathis and dhall was put in our cell and no arrangements were made for our bath. Our clothing also was not given to us. Mud was falling from the roof all the time.

Jawaharlal was highly irritated at this treatment and he found vent to his irritation by sweeping the floor every half hour and trying to keep the room clean. Gidwani and myself were more amused than angry.” (http://www.yabaluri.org/triveni/cdweb/handcuffedwithjawaharlalapr96.htm)

Jawaharlal Nehru, who published his ‘Autobiography’ in 1936 and revised in 1942 wrote a chapter-‘An Interlude at Nabha’ in the book. Nehru had also wrote graphic account of that experience:

“We were kept the whole day in the lock up and in the evening we were marched to the station. Santanum and I were handcuffed together, his left wrist to my right one and a chain attached to the handcuff was held by the police officer leading to Gidwani, also handcuffed and chained brought up the rear. This march of our down the streets of Jaitu town reminded me forcibly of a dog being led on by a chain. We felt somewhat irritated to begin with, but the humour of the situation dawned upon us and on the whole we enjoyed the experience. We did not enjoy the night that followed. This was partly spent in crowded third class compartment in slow-moving train, with I think, a change at midnight, and partly in a lock up at Nabha. All this time, till the forenoon of next day, when we were finally delivered up at Nabha Gaol, the joint handcuff and the heavy chain kept us company. Neither of us could move at all without the other’s cooperation. To be handcuffed to another day and for a whole night and part of a day is not an experience I would like to repeat.” (An Autobiography, Jawaharlal Nehru. Allied edition 1961, pages 110-111)

But their harrowing tale had just begun. Nabha jail gave them nightmares. In Nehru’s own words-“In Nabha Gaol we were all three kept in a most unwholesome and insanitary cell. It was small and dump, with a low ceiling which we could almost touch. At night we slept on the floor, when I would wake up with a start, full of horror, to find that a rat or a mouse had just passed over my face.”(Same, page 111)

They were not produced before a magistrate for 2-3 days and when they were finally produced ‘Gilbertian proceedings’ (In Nehru’s words) went on for many days. The judge was uneducated as per Nehru, who neither knew English or even Urdu, the court language. Whatever applications Nehru and his comrades gave, the judge did not pass any order on them. When he would next day come with some noting or order, Nehru thought it was written by someone else in advice from British administrator, who was controlling the state. The case was dragging for many days and getting no news of Jawaharlal for many days, his father Motilal Nehru had to approach Viceroy about it. He was initially not even allowed to meet them by state’s British administrator, later when he met also, he could not render much help, as Nehru and friends were not defending themselves in the case, which was their political policy in such cases.

Nehru and friends were thinking that they were being tried for violating the state orders not to enter the town, for which they could not be sentenced to jail for more than six months. Suddenly one evening they were kept late in the court till 7 p.m, when it was revealed that they were being tried for conspiracy too,  for which they could be sentenced to two years jail term. For instituting conspiracy case Nabha state needed fourth person, so an unknown Sikh in Nehru’s words, was added to these three accused. At that point of time, lawyer in Nehru woke up and he was stirred-in Nehru’s own words, ‘The case was a totally false one, but decency required some formalities should be observed’!(Same, page 112)

Nehru underlines the peculiar facets of judicial system in feudal states at this juncture. Conspiracy case was tried by another judge, who as per Nehru was ‘more educated and intelligent’! Nehru and his friends were totally fed up with the judicial process and did not want to take part in the proceedings, however seeing the feudal state oppressive machinery, they could not stay strict to their resolve. They asked for an outside lawyer, it was denied to them. They gave statement listing all the facts, which was completely ignored. They were brought to court every day, which was a ‘temporary escape for them from the foul cell in gaol’! (Page 112). In the meantime they were approached by Nabha’s British administrator to ‘express regret and give an undertaking to leave Nabha’ to get released! Nehru demanded an apology from administrator for what they were doing to them, rather than express regrets!

After about a fortnight, the trials came to an end. First magistrate brought a bulky judgement written in Urdu, which was not given or read to them, only informed that they have been given maximum sentence of six months in that case of violation of orders. Second judgement in conspiracy case was also pronounced same day, sentencing them to eighteen months or two years! No copy of the judgement was given to them despite demand for filing a review petition.

At this juncture Jawaharlal Nehru made some pertinent observation of feudal state’s functioning! He observed that magistrate was treated as dummy by police and often disobeyed. Magistrate was afraid of both police and in high-profile case like of Nehru, from accused side also! While Pandit Motilal Nehru could do nothing to help them, he deputed young lawyer at that time, later cabinet minister in Nehru’s government-Kapil Dev Malviya(K D Malviya), who was tried to be robbed of his papers in the court by police as per Nehru’s account! Jawaharlal Nehru observed that feudal state’s collaboration with British colonial government resulted in acquiring the evils of both feudalism and colonialism, making it more tyrannical and autocratic. The worst part of this tyranny came out in case of ‘unknown Sikh’, which Nehru later came to know that ‘he was a ‘Komagatamaru’ ship related person, who came out of long imprisonment in that case. Komagatamaru ship’s return to India was marked by massacre at Budge Budge Ghat in Calcutta on 29th September 1914, whose centenary is being observed these days officially and unofficially in Punjab and Kolkata. The name of man perhaps was still not known to Nehru, but even after Nehru-Gidwani-Santhanam release, as their sentence was suspended same evening of the judgement, by the administrator and their externment order from the state was passed, Komagatamaru related prisoner had to spend two years of extra jail sentence for Nehru-Gidwani-Santhanam’s entry to Nabha state! Though Nehru did not forget him after release and he followed up his case, which as per Nehru was further taken over by Gurdwara Prabhandak committee.

The fall out of Nabha episode was that all three brought typhus germ from jail and all had to go through a bout of typhoid fever after their return. Nehru wanted to get the sentence quashed by challenging it, as a lawyer he knew, it could be used against them at any later point, if they wished to enter Punjab. And it did happen so, as Acharya Gidwani was invited by Gurdwara committee few months later, when actually in the same Morcha which continued and on 21st February 1924, was fired upon at Jaitu, in which according to Sikhs, more than hundred person were killed, but official records count 19, whose names are on display at Tibbi Sahib Gurdwara in Jaitu. Acharya Gidwani tried to help the wounded of police firing, but was pounced upon by state police. Gidwani was arrested in earlier suspended sentence and was to suffer for almost a year at the hands of Nabha state police, before his release could be secured after his broken health! In Nehru’s words-‘Gidwani’s arrest and confinement seems to me a monstrous abuse of executive authority’ (Page 115). Nehru wrote in protest to same earlier British ICS administrator about this treatment of a man giving succour to the wounded, who shamelessly defended his action, but without providing Nehru the copy of order, which he demanded for legal recourse. Here Nehru is at his philosophical best, when he self critically examines his conduct. Nehru says that he wanted to go to Nabha and seek same treatment as meted out to Gidwani by power arrogated British administrator, as ‘loyalty to a colleague seemed to demand it’. However he did not go at the dissuasion of many friends. Nehru in introspection of his conduct admits honestly-‘I took shelter behind the advice of friends and made of it as a pretext to cover my own weakness. For after all it was my own weakness and disinclination to go to Nabha Gaol again that kept me away, and I have always felt a little ashamed of thus deserting a colleague. As often with us all, discretion was preferred to valour.’ (Same page 116-concluding sentence of a touching memoir)

Condition of Jaitu and Nabha monuments

                  Since Jaitu had been centre of Praja Mandal movement and produced freedom fighters like Seth Ramnath, even today 90+ years freedom fighter Master Karta Ram is on the roads to demand preservation of Jaitu police station cell as monument, where Nehru was kept for few hours, before being sent to state headquarter Nabha. Incidentally Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi visited Jaitu, where Nehru spent only few hours, but not Nabha, where he had to spend two weeks in worst jail conditions. No government of free India made any attempt to erect a memorial at these places. At Jaitu police station copy of FIR is displayed, but at Nabha, even the cell, where Nehru-Gidwani-Santhanam had to spend two weeks, no more exists as the district jail was demolished either before 1947 or after. One plaque is on display in different jail, now called high security jail of Punjab, which records the period spent in Nabha jail by three prisoners-from 22nd September 1923 to 4th October 1923. A demolished structure of cell exists in Hira Park Nabha, where Punjab Congress Chief Minister Beant Singh got a statue of Jawaharlal Nehru installed in 1992 and a children’s park constructed around. However nothing was done to maintain the demolished cell, despite most of the time Nabha has elected Congress MLA in assembly. Nabha falls in Patiala constituency from where, more times than others, Patiala ‘Maharaja’ and ‘Maharanis’ from Congress party, had been elected as MP, yet none paid any attention to Nabha Nehru monuments. Only on 14th November 2014, to mark 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, Aam Aadmi Party MP from Patiala, Dr. Dharamveer Gandhi visited the place and announced three lakh rupees grant from his MP fund for renovation and upkeep of this monument.

  • Chaman Lal is retired Professor from JNU, was associated with Central University of Punjab at Bathinda. His latest publications include ‘Understanding Bhagat Singh’ and Shaheed Bhagat Singh:Dastavezon ke Aaine Mein in Urdu from Publication Division, Govt. of India.He can be contacted at-prof.chaman@gmail.com Mob.096464945

Nehru-Autobiography excerpts (2) (1)Police St. Jaitu-Nehru kept in this cell-1923 (17)Gurdwara Gangsar Jaitu (5)List of Sikhs maryred on 21st February 1924 at Jaitu by police firing at Gurdwara Tibbi SahibWith Ripudaman statue Nabha-13-9-14Pt. Nehru statue at  Nabha jail cell area (12)Dharamveer Gandhi MP observing Nehru cell in Nabha

Poems By Mandakranta Sen

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 Mandakranta Sen is young Bengali poet, who received Sahitya Akademi young writers award few years ago. I had not read her poetry, partly due to not knowing Bengali. She is only writer from Bengal who returned her award and with rightful indignation. She is active participant in Bengal’s democratic movements in solidarity with workers and peasants. She was kind enough to share her fifteen Bengali poems in English translation with me and I am sharing these here with her permission. Her collection of poetry in English translation is also likely to come in few months. I am not connoisseur of literature, much less of poetry, despite translating Pash and Patar’s poetry in Hindi from my mother tongue Punjabi, still I can say that these poems have touched me. She has assertion as well as sensitivity of humanity in her poems and a strong women’s voice also. We came to know each other as we became co-returnee of Sahitya Akademi awards with other writers. But I have been enriched by her poetry and could not resist to share it on my blog to further share with blog readers. Hope you will also like it.

 Mandakranta Sen00004--doyouknowpng-Mandakrantamandakranta-655x360

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. OFFERING  /    MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

Not even a grain of salt, you only have your wish

Cook with your tears, girl, tear is also saltish

Make a full course of menu, a full course of suffering

Sour dream, sweet envy, oh please don’t miss a thing!

Keep it to the east, to the south some lemon to taste

Keep wind to the north, a sleeping oven to the west

Now the ritual is done, shut all the doors and pray

The time has come, girl, today is the ultimate day —

Don’t let him run away from these offerings you’ve made

Onto the dish of God, girl, serve your own bloody head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. THE WIND   /      MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

Wind is blowing

Wind was blowing.

 

With that wind, the pyre glowed brighter

Everything that could be burnt, was burnt.

 

Gradually, the fire quenched, so also the wailing.

Having eaten up the ashes, the river wiped its face and lay down.

 

Strangely, even then, pervading the whole universe,

Wind was blowing …

 

A stupid, deaf and dumb, blind, motherless wind …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. KALI : THE DARK GODDESS  /    MANDAKRANTA SEN 

 

1.

She has opened a window in between her brows, and then

Sparkled her sharp forehead, sculpted out of stone

Darkness and light slip down the steep day and night

 

From her arrogant lap, she puts down with all her might

The newborn demolition-day — the crippled hate-child of her own

Clusters of blood … flesh … and brain …

 

2.

Her altar is blatant and bare

Inside the palms folded together, froths up a lust

Rage becomes pure touching the wine … things change …

 

Ever since her birth she hid in her loin all the deepest revenge

Placenta, a red hibiscus with stalk, is severed by the midnight’s thrust

And the lethal mantra … hitting … and hitting right there

 

3.

These are her favourites: young men’s handsome skulls, chalky white

One part sex with one part affection mixed in an earthy goblet

A fierce lamp’s reflections, broken and all over the place …

 

Right from her girlhood, — curious, thoroughly shameless —

She’s known love as an intelligent doubt till date

Creation-Existence-End is nothing but masturbation. Quite.

 

4.

Yes, they give her a high:

A breast that’s dextral, a navel that blossoms day by day

A vagina whose petals are arranged like that of clitoria — dark blue

 

A finger more shapely than a penis — which also gives a clue

By piercing the eye — about how to move the lamp to pray

… And eye means — yes, the third eye …

 

 

 

5.

She has to cook and eat her own flesh, otherwise she too starves

On a dark moon’s tongue, frozen moonlight still shines

So do the marks of reckless bites and bruises

 

Right below the crematory, when the last piece of firewood chooses

To burn out after an ultimate jump, inside the vault of the shrine

With her teeth she chews her soul —which, with her nails she carves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. PERPETUAL  /    MANDAKRANTA SEN          

 

Keeping awake on the mountains’ chest

Is the old abode of the clouds

 

Sky stoops over to read his own text

Like an author — content … and … proud

 

They, who are awake on the mountains today,

Will they fall asleep tomorrow?

 

‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ — they say

But the sky will be as blue as sorrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. FULL MOON: AN UNTIMELY ONE  /    MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

Ever since that afternoon,

Even the pale moon looked to be lost in a trance

 

She— who had stopped menstruating

From the eighth day of previous dark fortnight

 

At the corner of her mouth, traces of drug,

Or poison, still can be found

 

 

What made her think that inside her bloodstream

Still she could take such a chance

 

With a faint retching sound, the entire roof was

Flooded with vomit, moonlight

 

Warm milk filled her ancient breasts that

Aren’t anymore that round

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. THE WITCH   /  MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

She who writes poetry in the middle of the night

With her hair undone — is a witch

 

After everyone‘s asleep, she soaks in the clear moonlight

On a netherworld’s roof — don’t know which!

 

Secretly she roasts, then eats, the pulpy sadness

Plucked from the crown of her head

 

Climbs up her throat — no, not any lyric of love and caress

Rather, an acidic belch-like moon instead

 

As soon as it dawns, she conceives the sun

Getting to the full-blown advanced stage by noon

 

Bathing with her young dad, she beats up the water in fun

— A young woman, struck by the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. THE DARK FORTNIGHT: A PRESAGE /    MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

From the west to the east, inside my head

The moon floats … the moon sinks … dead …

 

Putrefied moonlight sticks to its frame

Even today. But the moon is not to blame —

 

It’s me who have chopped it to death in my brain

Insanity splashed, and my skull got stained …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. FIRE   /   MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

Scattered household. A crude smell hangs in the air.

I know what you think … I think that too —

Something is burning in there.

 

Though I’m reluctant to find out what really burnt.

I’m not looking for the thing you call cure —

That’s the best disease I’ve earned.

 

Carrying the signs of that ailment all over my frame

I’m wandering through the alleys. At the windows up there

People are dying with shame.

 

They’re asking me : Don’t you remember what you’ve lost ?

I’ve lost bits of straw. Meagre fuel. Yet

Fire still smolders beneath the frost.

 

Thus you get the smell. And you query about what burns where

One by one you gather to have fun

At the busy crossings … and crowded squares.

 

Now she must’ve learnt her lessons, they say to each other and boo

Over there the fire, treating friends and foes alike —

Burns down your house too !

 

It burns and burns. Then breaks down to ashes. Well, let it be.

To set fire to Nero’s palace … just a bit later

You too will come and join me.

 

 

 

 

 

9. LEFT & RIGHT   /   MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

Don’t want to call. Still … please wait a bit.

Worship hall to your right, to the left is a red-light street.

 

Which one do you desire ? Think man, think real hard —

Here are the two worlds smeared with menstrual blood.

 

Don’t want to leave you. But that’s the inevitable course.

Alter of Goddess to the right, to the left a colony of whores.

 

Where do you desire to go ? Think man, think, and tell me

Where would you find your blood-smeared happiness’s key ?

 

Don’t wanna tell you. Yet for truth’s sake just let me tell

You’ve heaven on your right, on your left,well, you’ve got hell

 

You think you can manage both the sides ? Very smart !

 

I am your Goddess, man, believe me, I am your tart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 SIN / MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

I met him again

 

I knew it would happen one day or other

 

Not looking at him, I kept my face smiling

Not looking at me, he kept his face annoyed

 

Maybe he remembered nothing

 

Maybe

There is no sin as big as remembrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. CIVILIZATION / MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

In between your and my love

There grew a civilization of dumbs

 

So delicate to touch

 

It can be shattered into ruins

If we only sigh together …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. SATISFACTION / MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

O please bring down the ghost

From my head

As I say this, simultaneously

I put my head itself onto your feet

 

And sitting near you, I see,

Like home-made Dahi

Like tasty pickled Khichri

 

With much satisfaction

You are eating my

 

Fermented brain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO SWIM ? / MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

I can give up wearing jeans

If you say so, by all means

I will easily be another woman

The girl who loves you, she can

Never be with unoiled short hair

(you told someone somewhere)

Well, I will be unknown to me

From tomorrow, if you be

With myself, at your feet

I will undress and spread out my blue  Dhanekhali —take it

I will blow in the wind all my manly quirk

I believe it will work

If I can become a stream

 

Boy, do you know how to swim ?…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. NIGHTMARE / MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

Without sleep all night, yesterday she became blue

Today, she took off her head and placed it on the pillow

Getting the slightest sleep’s clue

 

The rest of her body

roams around the rooms, cornice, rooftop, here and there

And her head weeps seeing a horrible nightmare

 

It sees, some persons, are carefully trying to fix

Her head with her trunk with love and venom mixed

 

At the end her body and head become glued

 

Nowadays, her head as well

doesn’t get a little sleep’s clue …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15.

 

POEM AFTER WAR  /  MANDAKRANTA SEN

 

So many times we have been devastated

See, yet we have not got used to it

Still it is so painful, how we suffer every time

From every ruin, see, from the death

We are returning to our time of birth

Returning with much labour, crawling

 

So many times, so many times we die

See, yet we do not believe in death

In the war-field, we grope for faces, fallen faces

O faces of my parents, faces of my children, come on, wake up

The war is over. Before the next one

We will make homes again

Will fall in love once more—

Burying weapon, will grow corps

In the fields up to horizon

 

So many times we`ve been burnt down, drifted away

Still we do not believe in ruin

We never forgot after all the destructions

 

How the civilization goes on

How mankind wins …

 

 

 


My response to Bihar election results

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Heartiest congratulations to the people of Bihar for once again proving its democratic credentials and not getting swayed by false and deceptive Hindutva-Moditva trap. Significance of Bihar results is more than Delhi election results. Bihar is one of more politically aware state and much bigger in size. 1974 JP movement, of which Lalu-Nitish are product, changed the course of Indian political discourse. In a way Bihar results are more like 1977 post emergency Loksabha election results. This time overall conditions of country are no less than emergency conditions minus press censorship. Hindutva bullying has been much worse than emergency period gundagardi of Sanjay Gandhi goons. Just for returning awards, a most decent protest by writers/scientists/film world people was made out to be an act of ‘anti nationalism’! We have been abused like anything by RSS-Hindutva trolls on social media. No consideration has been shown to 87 year old PM Bhargava, Padam Bhushan award returnee, 88 year old Nayantara Sehgal, she was subjected to abuses more for being niece of Pandit Nehru than for being a writer, 90 year old Krishna Sobti. Like in Hitler’s Germany of 1933, Hindutva trolls ran ‘Book burning’ campaign of award returnees. We were taunted to be thrown away to ‘Pakistan’, an enemy country for Hindutva trolls, not for people of India, we were also told to go to Hafeez Saeed in Pakistan. What does that meant, to be killed by Pakistan armed forces, or to be killed by Pakistani Bhindrawale Hafeez, as was revolutionary Punjabi poet Pash was killed by Bhindrawale men in India! South Asia is not like Germany in Europe, from where writers could migrate. Here there is no scope of migrating to any other country. The people of Bihar have resoundingly and loudly have ‘made the deaf hear’, as Bhagat Singh had done to the Britishers in 1929! Left front has not done well,but even three seats won by CPI(ML), as part of left front, finds no mention in media, while one seat of HAM, 2-2 seats of Paswan LJP or RSLP do find mention. Congratulations to left front also for marking at least presence in worse of conditions of marginalization of the left! Although left has marginally improved this time,but their loss is substantial. At one time CPI and later CPI-ML used to be impressive force in Bihar assembly and in Parliament elected from Bihar. This time even six party left alliance could not impact the elections much. As CPI-ML has some base intact, so they could score three seats. There is need to build a stronger left movement in Bihar, which can help in reviving left movement in North India. At one time Punjab also used to be stronger base of left in assembly, now completely marginalized. 

Some stray comments on face book-

Not sure about Pakistan, but earlier The Hindu state and now a secular state-Nepal must have celebrated early Diwali yesterday and may be continuing bursting crackers at the massive fall of its tormentor-Hindutva-Moditva!

Modi did prove right at least in one thing-Bihar will celebrate two Diwalis this year- on 8th and on 11/12th! But he gave this chance to not only Bihar,rather to whole of India…..!

Some links to good analysis-

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/biharverdictatributetomyfather3aakhlaq27sson/articleshow/49717718.cms?from=mdr

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/7175149

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/7173410

http://epaper.tribuneindia.com/c/7175154

Two letters by 41 writers on award return issue-issued on 1st November 2015

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Shri Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari,

President, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi

Dear Mr Tiwari,

We have learnt from media reports that a resolution was passed by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi on October 23, 2015 to condemn the shocking murder of Professor M.M. Kalburgi, and to support the right to freedom of speech of every writer in India. This is an urgent matter at this moment of spiralling hatred and intolerance.

The statement could have come earlier; but now that it has come, we urge you to build on this resolution to rethink how the Akademi can truly support its constituency of all writers in India and, by extension, the people of the country. As writers, we strongly feel that the Akademi can play a real and positive role by being independent and autonomous; and by responding to the situations in a strong, humane and robust manner.

We have read in media reports that the Akademi appeals to us to “take back” our awards and/ or our positions in the Akademi. Whatever each writer decides, may we jointly appeal, in turn, that the Akademi reinvent itself to connect with the India we writers, our readers, and our fellow citizens live in?

Yours sincerely,

  1. Adil Jussawalla
  2. Ajmer Aulakh
  3. Ananya Guha
  4. Anil Joshi
  5. Arup Kumar Dutta
  6. Ashok Vajpeyi
  7. Atamjit Singh
  8. Baldev Sadaknama
  9. Bina Sarkar Ellias
  10. Chaman Lal
  11. Damodar Mauzo
  12. Darshan Buttar
  13. Datta Naik
  14. Easterine Kire
  15. Ganesh Devy
  16. Githa Hariharan
  17. Gurbachan Singh Bhullar
  18. Jaswinder
  19. K. Satchidanandan
  20. Keki Daruwalla
  21. Krishna Sobti
  22. Kum Veerabhadrappa
  23. Mandakranta Sen
  24. Mangalesh Dabral
  25. Manmohan
  26. Mitra Phukan
  27. Mohan Bhandari
  28. Nayantara Sahgal
  29. Pargat Singh Satauj
  30. Patricia Mukhim
  31. Pradnya Pawar
  32. Rahman Abbas
  33. Rajesh Joshi
  34. Sara Joseph
  35. Shashi Deshpande
  36. Shubha
  37. Surjit Patar
  38. Uday Prakash
  39. Waryam Sandhu
  40. Xonzoi Barbora

Open letter from writers

Through this open letter, we address everyone, from the President of India to the child who has just learnt to read and discover the world around her.

Many of us writers have spoken up, in one way or the other, whenever our country has been at a point of crisis. But in recent times, we have seen an assault on certain facets of our day-to-day living, from attacks on the scientific temper to physical and often fatal attacks on citizens.

In response, over the last few weeks, several writers returned awards and resigned from their positions in the Sahitya Akademi; or issued statements of protest about the encouragement to intolerance which will have an adverse effect on our polity as well as on the relationship between castes and communities. Our concerns involve more than any one institution such as the Sahitya Akademi. The all-pervasive concern is with safeguarding the constitutional rights of each and every citizen to live as she chooses. This, we see, is being violated every day with old divisions such as caste becoming deeper and more violent; with new divisions being created to shrink the space for discussion and debate; with educational, cultural and other institutions being weakened further by censorship and fear of debate; and worst of all, the idea of India – the idea our freedom fighters envisioned – being distorted into a homogenous India, with its diversity torn apart.

We will continue to express our concerns in as many ways as we can, and in as many voices as possible. We appeal to all citizens of conscience to join us and keep our idea of a plural, tolerant, diverse and argumentative India alive.

Yours sincerely,

  1. Adil Jussawalla
  2. Ajmer Aulakh
  3. Ananya Guha
  4. Anil Joshi
  5. Arup Kumar Dutta
  6. Ashok Vajpeyi
  7. Atamjit Singh
  8. Baldev Sadaknama
  9. Bina Sarkar Ellias
  10. Chaman Lal
  11. Dalip Kaur Tiwana
  12. Damodar Mauzo
  13. Darshan Buttar
  14. Datta Naik
  15. Easterine Kire
  16. Ganesh Devy
  17. Githa Hariharan
  18. Gurbachan Singh Bhullar
  19. Jaswinder
  20. K. Satchidanandan
  21. Keki Daruwalla
  22. Krishna Sobti
  23. Kum Veerabhadrappa
  24. Mandakranta Sen
  25. Mangalesh Dabral
  26. Manmohan
  27. Mitra Phukan
  28. Mohan Bhandari
  29. Nayantara Sahgal
  30. Pargat Singh Satauj
  31. Patricia Mukhim
  32. Pradnya Pawar
  33. Rahman Abbas
  34. Rajesh Joshi
  35. Sara Joseph
  36. Shashi Deshpande
  37. Subha
  38. Surjit Patar
  39. Uday Prakash
  40. Waryam Sandhu
  41. Xonzoi Barbora