Thoughts on Bhashadoot Samman

UPDATE 15 Sept, 10:45am(IST): With great respect for the work done by the Hindi Academy, Delhi: Due to the reasons stated here, and because of other developments that have recently come to light, I have decided to decline this award. I will not be accepting it when I am in India next month.

UPDATE 2 16 Sept, 8:20am(IST): I have been asked if the allegations of political interference in this award played a part in this decision. While I don’t see the need for me to comment more on this than I already have, yes, they did, because they amplified the concerns I outline below.

I was recently contacted by officials in the Delhi Government and the Delhi Hindi Academy, who informed me that I had been selected as a recipient of the inaugural भाषादूत सम्मानbhashadoot sammaan – awarded for service to Hindi language and literature. This award was presented yesterday at a Hindi Diwas ceremony at the Hindi Bhawan Sabhaghar. While my duties in Australia prevented me from attending this event, I am honoured to receive this award, and thank the officials at the Hindi Academy for considering me. Continue reading


Hindi Divas

A quick note for Hindi Divas, and some links for your enjoyment.
As part of their Hindi Divas coverage, BBC Hindi has featured me in several videos this week.

The first is Agyeya’s poem जो पुल बनाएँगे 

जो पुल बनाएँगें
वे अनिवार्यत:
पीछे रह जाएँगे
सेनाएँ हो जाएगी पार
मारे जाएँगे रावण
जयी होंगें राम ,
जो निर्माता रहे
इतिहास में
बंदर कहलाएँगे
~ अज्ञेय
Those who construct bridges
will be left behind.
Armys will cross
Ravan will be slain
Ram will be victorious
All those builders
will go down in history
as monkeys

Latrobe University Hindi students performed Safdar Hashmi’s poem for youngsters, किताबें करती हैं बातें

I absoluty love Shubham Shree’s piece “Poetry Management.” The more I look at the more think about formal features of poetry: meter, alliteration, and the like, and I wonder if she hasn’t expertly written a piece that relies heavily on these features while appearing to shun them. The original text is available here. Daisy Rockwell’s translation is excellent. 

The BBC series concludes with Vinod Kumar Shukla’s हताशा से एक व्यक्ति बैठ गया था

And finally, here’s a recording of a Laprek — लघु प्रेम कथा–written by Girindranath Jha. I’ve previously written about the Laprek genre here

Happy Hindi Divas! हिंदी दिवस की शुभकामनाएँ!

Today is Hindi Divas, which marks the adoption in 1949 of Hindi as the official language of the government of India. Continue reading

एक कविता

‘विश्व हिंदी सम्मेलन’

मंच पर
नेता ही नेता बैठे हैं ।

वहाँ से दूर
       मधुशाला में
कविता लिख रहे हैं
देश के साहित्यकार ।

~ डॉ इयान बाबू