Alvida Professor Mohamad Hasan

Standard

In the morning around seven got a sad phone call from Dr. Roshan Ara Begum, wife of Prof. Mohd.Hasan that he passed away last night in a hospital,where he was under treatment.Prof. Hasan was not keeping good health since many months now,he has become very weak at the age of 84 years,but his mind was ever alert.During my student days in JNU-1977-82,I enjoyed good relations with him,he was chairperson of the centre during 1977-79 and was always fair to students.After I joined back JNU as faculty member in 2005,I contacted Prof. Hasan again.He had retired long ago,but was made Professor Emeritus,but he rarely came to campus,not even in centre committee meetings, of which he was a member.He was victim of centre’s divisive politics and was never given the respect he deserved as scholar.Even Deanship of the school was denied to him partly from centre’s inside faculty politics.Yet he worked quietly.He published my translations of Pash,Surjit patar and Lal Singh Dil,major Punjabi poets in Urdu translation,done jointly with Qiser Shamim during my student days, in his highly acclaimed Urdu literary journal-‘Asri Adab’.
During my Chairmanship of the centre,I wanted to restore his dignity and honor, so the first Prem Chand memorial lecture I got delivered from Prof. Hasan on 31st July 2008,immediately after I took over.Prem Chand,being both Hindi and Urdu progressive writer, was most apt for memorial lecture at our centre,which remained confined to both Hindi and Urdu for 30 long years.Later, on second foundation day of Centre of Indian languages, started being celebrated again by me from year 2008, on 28th October 2009,we honored Prof. Hasan from our centre.Dr. Roshan Ara Begum received honor on his behalf, as he was too weak to come.but he was too happy at centre’s acknowledgment of his role. As he could not come to the centre, we the all faculty members of centre had planned to go to his house to meet him,but before we could reach him, he left on a journey, to which every one leaves at some time,but not to meet again.Prof. Hasan’s two sons are settled abroad,one in USA,who could not even arrive for today’s funeral service,other settled in Dubai,did arrive in time for performing rituals.His only daughter teaches history in Jamia Milia Islamia Delhi.His widow Dr. Roshan Ara Begum, herself is M A in Persian and Urdu and PhD in Urdu.
Prof. Hasan authored/edited nearly 75 books in Urdu and English.Govt. of India’s publication bureau has published his book in English on poet Iqbal.his books on Ghalib,Iqbal,sociology of literature,history of Hindi literature in Urdu, apart from his plays and novels are quite well known in literary circles.Though he remained associated with CPM’s writers organization-‘janvadi lekhak sangh’, he remained aloof from petty politicking of literary world.He always remained a serious kind of scholar, away from frivolities.Alvida my respected Professor Mohamad Hasan,we shall always cherish your memories.

Laugh as much as you can,if it is natural laugh,so much the better

Standard

Generally these days,you see a group of old people taking laughing exercises in the mornings in parks in various cities.This is a good exercise,yet many people find it difficult to laugh artificially,they try to it like a yogic exercise.If you have to identify some defining difference between human beings from other living creature in nature,then one crucial difference is human being’s development of brain and separation of hands,with development of language.Further is human being’s capacity to laugh and cry.Some animals like dogs and some birds do express their emotions through certain vocal sounds,but it is human beings alone, who can laugh heartily or even cry at the time of deep sorrow with overflow of tears from eyes.incidentally tears do come at the time of extreme joy too.But it is the real laughter coming from inside you with the feeling of joy, which can keep one mentally healthy, though it is equally true that such real moments of real joy are very few in life.Largely life is full of problems,troubles ,irritations and in between people try to create some occasions to be ‘happy’.The idea of happiness and joy is different for different people,depending upon their values and mental make up.One person’s happiness could be other one’s irritation and vice verse.Noise coming from any temple,Gurdwara or masjid could be very irritating to persons like me and it could give satisfaction to many.People feel happy at gorgeous marriages, building huge houses,buying all kinds of luxury and consumer items, yet persons like me would be more happy to find a rare book, beautiful song or film or in some fascinating natural site-be it a hill, sea or some such quiet location.
Yet inward joy should express itself in physical expression of laughter also,which makes body lighter.During my student days in JNU, I was known for my laughter,which was loud( which I don’t get now even with life despite being more comfortable);ideally laughter should be such that it should shake your belly and it should be infectious, making others also laugh.No harm if a group of people together laugh on some take for 2-3 minutes continuously without trying to control the urge to laugh, which is really good for physical health as well.But the so called civilization and culture norms teach you to not to laugh truly.Like other controls,these values teach the children from schools to ‘smile’ and not laugh.And forming this habit to ‘smile’ and not laugh, slowly develops into artificiality and people forget to laugh,the natural urge is killed by ‘civilizational smile’.Then in old age doctors tell them to do ‘laughing exercises’ to keep body healthy.The so called neo liberal competitive society, first make you machines, working like machine for uninterrupted hours, not having proper rest and sleep for even minimal of six hours,consequentally creating multiple health disorders and then taking to Doctors for quick expensive treatment.The vicious cycle of working like ‘donkey machine’ to earn handsome money, without having anytime for natural living-proper sleep,rest, mental relaxation through satisfactory emotional gratification, which include-enjoying nature,listening/watching aesthetically pleasurable creations through ‘ear for music’ and ‘eye for beauty’,or reading what you like and having people in your family and circles,with whom you really share emotions and ideas at same wave length. You ‘buy pleasure’ by your ‘donkey work’ money like eating in 5 stars, watching ‘dances’ etc. there,going for expensive sponsored world tours without developing aesthetic ears and eyes.This ‘bought pleasure’ keep you hollow inside and it can not make you heartily laugh like an ordinary worker or peasant laughing at even rude or crude jokes cut at some occasion.So your destination is Doctor, counselor and psychiatrist, to whom you pay as handsomely as handsomely you earn by loosing the natural order of body.You spend a lot to collect fat on your body by eating in 5 stars and pay more to doctors and swamis to cut that fat.It comes to mind Baba Nanak’s wise saying–‘Baba bahuta khana khushi khawar/jis khadhe tan pidiye man mein chalhi viqar'( Oh Nanak, gluttony is joy spoiler/such food which cause physical pain and gives rise to bad thought in mind).
But for having even natural order and real joy and laughter,one need to train the mind from childhood itself or later in life by experiences or by acquiring practical knowledge of life. For instance emotional parasitism and emotional possessiveness can be as damaging to mind and body as the denial of
emotions by getting into vicious money earning controlled life.Among children itself,emotional attachment leads to emotional security as well, but if attachment leads to ‘dependence’ or in other words ’emotional parasitism’, not acquiring the quality of standing on one’s own feet emotionally, then it could be as problematic as the other disorder.In other words, even emotionality needs guidance by rationality.In today’s world, working people everywhere can not live like feudal joint families, together all the time.One has to learn live separately with occasional togetherness,yet feeling emotionally secure,which make them perform their individual and social duties regularly,whether studying or working.But feudal possessive attitude can make even a child ’emotional parasite’,i.e. dependent upon the presence of someone,whom the child is attached, to be with him or her, in order to perform normal study or work.With elders it is even worse, such possessiveness make the life hell.
There are no easy solutions to the emotional and mental problems of present day social set up almost every where in the world, yet laughing,even if is not natural based on joyfulness in life,even as acquired quality,it is better to laugh.Sometimes as a phrase also, it is good to ‘laugh over the things’.
The other end of laughter and of joy-the sorrows and tears are as valuable human quality as the capacity to laugh.People having natural tendencies preserved would cry and shed tears at the time of sorrows in life.As the civilization and culture makes people control the joy and laughter, same way it makes them control sorrows as well.those who forget to laugh in joy, they also forget to cry and shed tears in sorrows, which means they have lost their most specific human sensitivity of laughing and crying.That too affect their physical and mental health,if pain is not released ,it gets suppressed somewhere in unconscious or subconscious.I have seen many people, who did not laugh or cry in their active life, they cry too much in their evening of life, ironically as they have not paid attention in their active life to laughs and tears of even their close ones, so their is no one to see and share their tears in their evening of life and the one day the light goes off without making any impact on others.
So it is better to preserve the habit of laughing and crying ,like preserving your physical health by various means of diet,exercise etc.Perhaps much money, time and energy would be saved,if these qualities remain intact and body and mind would create more for near ones as well as for society.Ameen!

Public Library movement as part of Democratic movement

Standard

If one travels around India, one would find many such libraries, which were established during freedom struggle to spread consciousness of national movement against British colonialism Not only libraries, many national schools and colleges were established to provide alternative education with stress on national heritage. Dwarka Dass Library and National college Lahore were some such institutions established during 1920’s. Kashi Vidyapeeth Benaras and another in Ahmedabad were also such. In my own town Rampura Phul in Bathinda district of Punjab, Public Library was established by people active in national movement.If any one institution can be given credit my my mental liberation from traditional yokes of thought, I will name Public Library Rampura Phul, though later in life, I have got the chance to know some of the best libraries of the world like Nehru Memorial Museum and Library to Indian Institute of Advanced Study Library Shimla. Marwari Library in Delhi and many more are shining examples of library movement in India.
This time I visited Begusarai district of Bihar to deliver lectures on Bhagat Singh and Dr. Ambedkar on 13th and 14th April,These were hot days, but pleasant part of the whole trip was to visit two libraries established by democratic movement. One Viplav Pustkalaya, Godhargaon near Begusarai and another comrade Chandershekhar smark pustkalaya Beehat village near Brauni town, close to Begusarai.While Viplav Pustkalaya(Rebellious Library) in Godhargaon was established in 1986 by Communist Party of India(CPI), so was Com. Chandershekhar memorial library in Beehat recently. On my way back to Patna, saw one such library in Fatuha town established in 1944.
Libraries play a major role in spreading consciousness among people in small towns and villages for changing the society.Knowledge is the most effective tool to prepare people for change and libraries provide space for that.For leftist movement in any Asian country, perhaps elsewhere too, establishing libraries and providing good books and infra structure there, is the task of democratic movement.Ghadar party activists established Desh Bhagat yadgar Hall and library in Jalandhar in 1960’s. Shiv Verma, close comrade of Bhagat Singh and life convict in that case established Shaheed Smark library in Lucknow in a college and school run by Durga Bhabhi. Thakur Ram Singh another revolutionary comrade of that movement, who passed away at the age of 104 years at Agra recently, established Bhagat Singh memorial library in Agra. Even some good intentioned Police officers established Paash Library in police lines Karnal in Haryana in memory of slain policemen by Khalistanis.
At Beehat village in Bhagat Singh memorial function I spoke about Jallianawala Bagh’s Khooni Baisakhi(Bloody Baisakhi of 1919), along with talking about Bhagat singh’s philosophy of national liberation. I announced there that I am committing my royalty on 10 plus books on revolutionary freedom movement in Hindi, Punjabi and English to these 6-7 libraries established in memory of revolutionaries. It was a simple gathering of five hundred plus ordinary working people of the area, including some women, who listened to me for more than one hour in pin drop silence.They later expressed the desire that they wanted to listen me more. It was my 41st lecture in memory of Bhagat Singh, starting from 2006, 75th martyrdom anniversary of Bhagat Singh. It seems that kind of narrative style I had developed during this period, goes well with the audience in villages, towns and big cities as well.
Next day in the same place, I spoke on Dr. Ambedkar memorial function organized by same Student Club of Beehat ,under influence of CPI.Here I spoke on the need of inter caste and inter religious marriages at wide level as task of democratic movement to weed out the poison of casteism and communalism from society, which was the advise of Dr. Ambedkar as well Chandereshwari Singh, President of Bihar AITUC was the spirit behind these functions.Though with CPI, he seems to be quite radical. Photographs of Che Guvera were on display along with Indian revolutionaries photos and he spoke also about Che Guvera feelingly. Shatrughan Prasad, two times CPI member Parliament from the area was also present and in fact, he took me to Viplav Library Godargaon later. He had earlier invited me to Patna in year 2007 or 08 in a big function attended by Com A.B.Bardhan, Gen. Secretary of CPI.
In Viplav Library Godhargaon, statue of Bhagat Singh welcomes you at the entry. At the square towards library, a huge full size statue of Chandershekhar Azad has come up recently.In adjoining building, statue of Prem Chand and poet Meera Bai is there.Collection of books and pictures of writers is fantastic in the library. Many eminent personalities have visited this library if far flung area of Bihar. Bihar has better reading habits than all other states of North India and among Hindi or Urdu speaking states.
I shall attach some photographs of libraries later to this note or in a separate album.

On demise of Naxal leaders

Standard

On demise of Naxal leaders

One more Naxal movement leader P.V Rao passed away at 78 due to cancer.He is the third major leader to pass away after Prof. Harbhajan and Kanu Sanyal.While lot of media attention has been paid to demise of Kanu Sanyal and understandably so, partly due to the circumstances,which gave a spice to bourgeois media to damn the movement,partly due to his heroic image at the beginning of movement in 1967.But what mainstream media has missed about is that though Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jungle Santhal were the initial heroes of Naxal movement, but there were others as important as these.The strongest impact of naxalite movement was felt in Andhra Pradesh, where the stalwarts of Communist movement, having background in great Telangana struggle like Trimala Nagi Reddy, D V Rao and C P Reddy,Pyla Vasudev Rao etc. had joined the movement.The struggle between mass line propounded by T.Nagi Reddy and DV Rao and Charu line in Sreekakulam, which is forerunner of today’s Maoist movement took place in Andhra Pradesh only.There were other tall leaders in other states also, like SN Singh in Bihar, Shiv Kumar Mishra in UP,Ram Piara saraf and Krishan Dev Sethi in Jammu&Kashmir, Nagbhushan Patnaik in Orissa,Baba Bujha Singh,80 year old Ghadarite and Prof. Harbhajan Singh in Punjab etc.Many of these stalwarts had Parliamentary background also with them T. Nagi Reddy had been MP, as well as MLA, Saraf and Sethi were MLA’s in J&K.So there were not just one Trimurthi,but were many in different parts of the country. In Andhra among early Maoists, there were Satyamurthi, Panchadi Krishanamurthi,Subba Rao Pannigrahi,Satyam, almost all killed by police in so called encounters. Best literary and cultural activists also came from Andhra Pradesh.Stalwart of Telugu literature Sri Sri joined Naxalite cultural movement, followed by Varvara Rao, Volga,Ghadar like personalities. In Punjab major writers of today are product of Naxal impact-Pash, Waryam sandhu, Gursharn Singh, Ajmer Aulakh, Lal Singh Dil and Sant Ram Udasi and so many others as well.In Bengal, Mahashweta Devi and her son Nabarun Bhattacharya are also aligned to Naxal movement inspired cultural activities.In Hindi Kumar Vikal, Alok Dhanwa and Katyayni etc. have their inspirations in Naxal movement.
Movement which has nothing to do with Naksalbari town, as nothing happened there started from Prasadjot village near Naxalbari, where in revenge of one police officer killed on 24th May 1967 by peasant activists, eleven poor people, including nine women and one six month old child was killed by brutal police action on 25th May 1967 and then the name was given to the movement as ‘Naxalbari movement’ more by media, later accepted by state and movement both.This is also a fact that movement had its seeds of split in the very beginning and by 1968, clear splits had taken place between Charuites and mass line propagators like Nagi Reddy most importantly, others took to mass line in due course were SN Singh, Chandra Pula Reddy and many others, including close comrades of Charu Majumdar like Kanu Sanyal.Jungle Santhal the another hero, killed himself by drinking.Mohan Ram, the earliest chronologist of the movement, gave the title of his book as-Naxalite Movement-Split within Split’.The bitterness among different Naxalite groups was no less than with their collective bitterness with CPI or CPM.Yet all groups together had larger following than perhaps CPI had.Slowly all groups except like PWG led by K Sitaramaiah in Andhra Pradesh returned to traditional mass organizations of peasants, workers, students, youth etc. Only difference from CPI or CPM was that these considered themselves more radical in approach, which perhaps these were,but no unity even among different ML groups mass organizations as well.All had their area of influence and in some areas like in Bihar they fought as violently with each other as with state.After the emergence of CPI(Maoist), clear demarcation has emerged between different ML groups with Maoist stream.
Today almost the first line of Naxalite movement leaders are passing away one by one, partly due to age factor, partly with police repression. Baba Bujha Singh was ,a Ghadarite patriot was killed in encounter during early Badal regime in 70’s at the age of 80.Shiv Kumar Mishra passed away few months ago at 90+,his autobiography-Kakori se Naxalbari Tak published in Hindi.Mishra was inspired by HRA and HSRA of 30’s. T Nagi Reddy, though brother in law of former President Sanjeeva Reddy, died in jungles of Andhra living underground in Emergency.Thousands of people have turned up for his creation, even during Emergency.His book ‘India Mortgaged’ is study of imperialist economic invasion of India.Suniti Ghosh’s books provide very objective study of India as well as of Naxalite movement in general.
Naxalite movement is at crossroads today.Many in Bengal like Ashim Chatterjee, Santosh Rana, Khoken Majumdar, Azizul Haq etc. are more in ideological struggles. Sushital Roy Chaudhary, Soren Bose, Suniti Ghosh etc. also contributed and are contributing in ideological field.Two trends are clear-one acting on mass struggles, almost most of the groups are now following this trend, even if they continue believing in armed struggle in principle. Kanu Sanyal, PV Rao and Prof. Harbhajan represented mass line groups only. However Maoist line, which has roots in Charu Majumdar’s original line of annihilation has developed into strong organization.Perhaps for clarity purpose,Maoist and Naxalite terms should be now differentiated into two different ideological streams. One which believes in armed struggle as long term proposition, but practices mass line for present, should be called as Naxalite stream and the other which practices armed struggle of whatever kind with controversial interpretation of revolution, should be termed as ‘Maoist’.Technically also those groups which use Marxist Leninist or ML in brackets to CPI(ML) like liberation ,new democracy, occri, uccri or so many should be called in general as Naxalite groups and those which use Marxist Leninist Maoist or just Maoist in brackets like CPI(Maoist), they should be called just Maoists and not Naxalites. For Government it suits to mix up the two, as it uses the term to crush even peaceful mass movements being spearheaded by different ML groups like Kalinga adivasi movement against displacement in Orissa, but for democratic movement and even for ML groups it is desirable to differentiate the two terms to fight state repression better.Parliamentary leftist parties like CPI, CPM, Forward Bloc and RSP should at least show this much of honesty to differentiate the two trends, which they themselves know quite clearly.