Monday, September 18, 2017

आ. शिवपूजन सहाय : १२५ वीं जयंती वर्ष
९ अगस्त, १८९३-२०१७

आ. शिवपूजन सहाय की स्मृति में उनके परिवार के द्वारा संस्थापित 'आ. शिवपूजन सहाय स्मारक न्यास' ने इस पूरे वर्ष में कई प्रकार के कार्यक्रम प्रायोजित किये हैं | वर्ष १९८५ में आ. शिवजी के विशाल साहित्यिक संग्रहालय में संग्रीहीत पत्रिकाओं का मैक्रोफिशिंग यूं.एस. लाइब्रेरी ऑफ़ कांग्रेस की ओर से किया गया था जिसकी एक प्रति नेहरु मेमोरियल लाइब्रेरी में भी दान की गयी थी| उसकी एक विवरणिका जिसमें किस पत्रिका के कितने अंकों के मिक्रोफिश वहां उपलब्ध हैं उसकी विस्तृत सूची वहां उपलब्ध है उसके पृष्ठों के चित्र यहाँ शोधार्थियों की सुविधा के लिए क्रमशः  दिए जा रहे हैं| इस तरह की और सामग्री एक सिलसिले से यहाँ प्रस्तुत की जाएगी|इस ब्लॉग पर भी शिवजी और उनसे सम्बद्ध पूर्व में प्रकाशितसामग्री पढ़ी जा सकती है| (देखें नीचे सूची) नयी सामग्री भी अब नियमित रूप से यहाँ उपलब्ध रहेगी| आप अपनी टिप्पणी और सुझाव यथास्थान अवश्य अंकित करें और आवश्यकता हो तो नीचे दिए  ईमेल या फोन अथवा पत्र से संपर्क करें|  

      सभी चित्र : कॉपीराइट - आ. शिवपूजन सहाय स्मारक, न्यास

      न्यास के विषय में तथा शिवपूजन सहाय  और उनकी रचनाओं के संग्रह 'शिवपूजन सहाय साहित्य-समग्र' के विषय में  जानने के लिए इसी ब्लॉग की पूर्व की सामग्री OLDER POSTS पर क्लिक करें|

       -डा. मंगलमूर्त्ति, सचिव, आ.शिव. स्मारक न्यास

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 Other Important blogs

Sahitya Samagra : 5 Oct 2010 / On Premchand: 26 May 2011 / Has Hindi been defeated by Shivpujan Sahay : 7 Dec 2011 / Memoirs on Prasad and Nirala : 25-26 Oct 2012 / Shivpujan Sahay Smriti Samaroh: 27 Jan 2014 / On Amrit Lal Nagar: 18 Aug 2014 / On Bachchan : 27 Nov 2014 / On Renu: 3 Mar 2015 / On Trilochan: 1 Apr 2015 /Odes of Keats + Shantiniketan: 25 May 2015 / Premchand Patron Men: 3 Aug 2015/  Suhagraat: Dwivediji's poem: 13 Nov 2015/ Dehati Duniya: 8 Aug 2016/ Three stories of JP: 6 Jul 2016/ On Neelabh Ashk: 24 Jul 2016/ Dec 25 2016: Anupam Mishra: Paani ki Kahaani : 2017:  July 10: Doctornama: memoirs of Shivpujan Sahay
Sep 2 : Has Hindi been Defeated by English

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Acharya Shivapoojan Sahay

125th Anniversary Memorial Publication: 1


Shivapujan Sahay

Translated by
Mangal Murty

[ Only months before his death, Shivapujan Sahay, wrote an article ‘Kya Angrezi se Hindi har gayee?’ which was published by thefamous Hindi poet and writer, Dharmveer Bharati, in the epochal Hindi weekly Dharmyug (July 1, 1962). Bharati was running a series of articles on this burning language issue of the time, and had requested Sahayji for his views on the matter. The relevance of the question is all the more substantial now when things seem to have gone beyond control, with Hindi being pushed behind and discarded increasingly at every step. The full Hindi article, which appeared in a heavily edited form in the journal, excluding the first two introductory paragraphs, is being presented herein English translation for the first time. The original Hindi article is available in volume 3 of the Shivapujan Sahay Sahitya Samagra ( 10 volumes) recently published. – Translator]

Our national leaders love their power, and not Hindi. We, the Hindi people, could have easily taught these autocratic leaders a good lesson through the ballot boxes if we really had a united
force. Unfortunately we don’t have that. Even the capable and popular Hindi newspapers which could have actively sustained a movement in this regard are owned by capitalists. No competent leadership for the movement either was allowed to develop. Rajarshi Tandon was ousted primarily for his championship of Hindi’s cause.Left alone, Seth Govind Dasji also has become powerless.

Hindi has been deliberately hamstrung and crippled by having English as a burden on its shoulders. The whole Hindi world is deeply discontented by the government’s Hindi policy. The idea of promoting a foreign language in an independent nation for nurturing national awareness is a clear sign of the government’s lack of foresight. The thought of national integration sans an Indian national language is merely a fool’s paradise. Even emotional integration can never be achieved by devaluing the native Indian languages. The enthronement of English through the disregard of the chief Indian languages is a grievous blow to our nationalism.

As our national language, Hindi can fully serve as the language of governance, with the mutual cooperation of all its sister Indian languages. But instead of strengthening and augmenting this natural capability of Hindi, the idea of according supremacy to English is a totally antinational endeavour – a clear mockery of democratic norms in a great republic like ours. But unfortunately, we have absolutely forgotten what Gandhi had so consistently taught us – the method of compelling even the mightiest government to conceding our demands. We also seem to have lost the capability to use the unassailable weapon which he had given in our hands to bring a government back to the right path; otherwise our own government wouldn’t have been able to indulge in such willful acts. If we had genuine concern for our language, such injustice couldn’t have been forced on us. Regrettably, even the supporters of regional languages would not arise and proclaim that all our constitutionally approved languages can join hands amicably in managing all the linguistic needs of governance. There is no need to offer the crown to English. But sadly, the regional language supporters also are happy to cut off their noses to spite Hindi’s face. It is as if the whole well of the nation itself is polluted with cannabis [‘bhang’].

Hindi has always helped in the spread of all the regional and local languages
on a nationwide scale. It has rid them as far as possible of their ‘frog-in-pondism’. Even so, all those who are intolerant of Hindi’s progress are happy to find their antipathies succeeding. Indeed, it
is a matter of outright misfortune for a great nation like India. And when we look at the language policies of our neighbouring countries it appears to be all the more disgraceful. It shouldn’t
be so mortifying to say that though the English are gone, their progenies still remain with us. Countries that gained their independence after India are managing their affairs in their own
languages quite well. But a gigantic nation like India which is historically, culturally and civilizationally much older to them can unabashedly profess to the world that it cannot work with its own native language.

It’s a matter of the greatest astonishment that even our best educationists, politicians, and leaders crying hoarse with their nationalist slogans, would not care to look towards Asian nations like China and Japan, but rather gaze fixedly towards England. How exhilarated our erstwhile ‘white masters’ must be feeling to notice this ‘slave mentality’ in the Indian people’s consciousness! The headache of a Pakistan that they successfully gifted us would, perhaps, cause only a faint smile on their lips, but the spell that they have cast on us through their language, English, would surely make them burst in laughter! The soul of that far-sighted Macaulay must be laughing its heart out on our myopic vision. Our heart bleeds as we say this, but it is like banging our heads against a stone wall if we try to emphasise the integral relationship between our culture and language in a country, the heart of not one of whose leaders is charged with a national spirit.

Numerous ambitious plans are being put forward by our government for the expansion and advancement of Hindi. Various efforts to promote Hindi like publication of books and magazines, translation programmes, book distribution, institutional grants, regional seminars, note-writing in Hindi, etc are being made, but the perpetuation of English has thrown cold water on all that. The Hindi people are not mere children to be diverted by toys and dolls. Whatever ambitious projects are being implemented by the government for the propagation of Hindi, the blind devotion towards English has put paid to them all. Our heads bow down in shame to find our populist government pleading for the inexorability of English. But those who now rule us, who hold the reins of
government in their hands, it’s their logic that must be seen as impeccable. It’s an eternal principle that the power of governance can be held only in an iron fist. Even so, there can be no
authoritarianism in a democratic set up. But had this been a reality, the vox populi of the Hindi-speakers would not have gone absolutely unheard. One has a distinct feeling of contrition in calling
oneself the citizen of a country which holds its language and script to be incapable of national use and shows its helplessness by accepting the efficacy of a foreign language for its domestic purposes. In fact, according to a rustic adage: whom to swear by, when both the husband and the son are equally dear; the government is as much our own as is Hindi – that’s the biggest problem. The tyranny on our own by our own is truly insufferable.

It would be quite relevant here to quote rather extensively from an article published in the famous Bangla weekly Desh. In its 17 February, 1962 issue, the Head of the English Department of
the Yadavpur University and an eminent Bangla litterateur, Shri Buddhadeva Bose has written a heart-touching account of his travel to Japan. The lines are quite eloquent in themselves.

“The part of Japanese life that has left its deepest impress on my mind is the position of English there. The Japanese are not proficient speakers of English. Even among the intellectual elites, the learned and the scholarly, it is rather rare to find a person who can freely talk in English for long. What
is more interesting is that they don’t even try, or don’t even consider it worthwhile, to try overmuch. Among the ordinary people, most would use the same kind of workaday English; that is, they would mostly remain within a limited perimeter of workaday use of English. Beyond that, they would have
no use for another language. I found many ladies always carrying a pocket English dictionary in their vanity bags; if they don’t understand an expression they would sooner browse into their dictionary. Even university Deans who taught English or French literature would generally respond only with a mystifying smile, without any apparent sign of having understood or not, the questions I put to them.

“ I think this last observation of mine would turn the brows askew of many of our countrymen – ‘How is that possible, teaching English, but not conversing in it?’ But the straight answer to this is that from the primary to the highest levels of education the medium of instruction there is solely
Japanese....Literature, science, engineering – everything in Japan is taught through the mother tongue. Textbooks and examinations are done in mother tongue only. Criticism, scholarly writing
and knowledge discourse – all done in the mother tongue. Commerce, administration,
government affairs, disquisition, jurisprudence are all carried only in the mother tongue. That is to say, Japan has consistently been following the most natural, vigorous, and world acknowledged system of language use. But it doesn’t mean that they have turned their back on the world; scholars would frequently publish their researches in French, German or English. And yet they would always encourage foreigners to learn their language, Japanese. Many reputed journals would publish their
papers in Japanese with an abstract in English just to attract attention of foreign scholars....For their interest in foreign literature and knowledge, they are always ready to learn a foreign language with
seriousness, and would also teach it to their students, but it hardly occurs to these teachers and their students that they would also be expected, or are proficient enough, to talk freely in that language. Presently, it seems, the older generation is drawn towards English due to American influence; but even so, it is inconceivable for the Japanese that culture or education are in any way dependent on English....

 “In our country India, English is all too important. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that among all the countries where English is not a native language, the highest proficiency in the use of English is to be found in India....It’s true that a handful of our countrymen have the same degree of proficiency in using the English language as is possible for a non-native user ( though there still would be a limitation). But it is also not true that we have any special advantage in the world as a consequence of this unnatural situation. Of course, English is of much use to us as our only window to the world. It has some special value for us because, generally, the world’s winds blow on us through
this window alone.... But the main issue is whether it is desirable for English to have the kind of stranglehold that it has come to have on us. How can I call it proper when I find that in the whole world we are the only unfortunate people worshipping the stone idol of a foreign tongue – not benefiting from its true spirit, but only wildly exulting with its outer form.

 “Whenever foreigners come to India they are paid due respect. Some of them would even mix in our society, or spend years and even their whole life here. But they wouldn’t bother to learn much of our language except a dozen or so of our words which they would only have to use with the servants. But in Japan nothing is possible without using Japanese –neither business, education or studies, nor marriage or settlement there. This is the main reason behind Japanese literature being translated into many languages even now. There are full-fledged departments of Japanese language in many American universities. That is only because it is imperative to know Japanese before establishing any kind of relationship with them. By our sheer subservience to English, we are not allowing our own language to raise its head in pride, and this is why our inner thinking - our heart’s voice has not been able to reach out to the world.

 “Has Japan retrogressed in any field because of keeping away from English? Is it that we are more conversant with the wealth of world knowledge? I feel sad to say, it’s just the opposite. Not only in science, but in literature too, it is they who are the ‘world citizens’, and we are the ‘provincials’. It is, indeed, paradoxical, that the English which we consider as our window on the world, has only obscured our own world from us!

 “The view of the Japanese about translated [world] literature is that just as it can be done into English, so also into Japanese. If it’s not possible to read it in the original, it is much better in their own language Japanese. If translation [of world literature] is possible into English, it is equally possible in Japanese.

“Japan is an ideal answer to the question : whether the mother tongue can be the medium for higher education in India? Ideal because Japan also is an Asian nation, and its rise in Asia has been phenomenal. One reason for this, certainly, is that even the most updated knowledge in the west is dis   seminated in Japan through its mother tongue. In spite of its substantial assimilation of the best in the west, it has never committed the suicidal error of the slavery of a foreign language. It is often stated that though literature and such other subjects can be taught in the mother tongue, but for science and engineering education English is inescapable. Yet who are more advanced in the fields of science and engineering [or technology] – we the English-knowing Indians, or they, the mother tongueeducated Japanese? What Mahatma Gandhi had called a ‘slave mentality’ – we have still not been able to shed it off. And the proof of this lies in our helpless, miserable enchantment with English.”

No comments seem necessary on the above-expressed views of a well-known scholar of English, but regarding his last sentence, it must be added that Mahatma Gandhi’s language policy and national reconstruction policy were conveniently put on the back-burner; only his name continued to be utilized as a talisman on the ballot box. It’s a great misfortune that Mahatmaji’s blessing hand is gone forever from over Hindi’s head, otherwise our nation wouldn’t have had to face this humiliation.

As for the question of Hindi’s battle for victory or defeat with English, it’s only a matter of the victory or defeat of the mindset. If the mindset is defeatist, there is defeat, of course; but if it’s victory-spirited, it is victory ultimately. The mindset of the Hindi speakers is surely never defeatist, nor can Hindi be ever defeated. But as is the wont of our destiny-makers, Hindi can never win in this battle against English. It is only to their [dis?]credit that even after a self-rule of fifteen years they have not been able to build up sufficiently the strength of their centuries-old national language. If they had harboured true Indian nationalism in their hearts, English wouldn’t have secured the enviable position of a darling second spouse. But it is these same people who have forced Hindi’s defeat at the hands of English. This thorn in the Hindi speakers’ flesh would keep agonizing so long as English continues to grind its corn on the chest of Hindi. After bruising the hearts of millions of Hindi speakers with utmost cruelty, the big drum of India’s ancient heritage is being beaten all around the world. It’s a matter of unbearable pity!

 What is more amazing is that those occupying the seats of power also consider themselves to be great linguists. They who are totally ignorant of its riches are, in fact, trying to weigh the worth of Hindi. One among them would even brag that there is nothing at all in Hindi literature, and another would profess that all 14 languages are national languages. They speak from the peaks of the Himalayas and their assertions resound throughout the land. But who can hold their tongue? It is these same people who are complicating the issue and spoiling the atmosphere. If the whole truth were to be revealed, lots of unpalatable facts would also come out in the open. But now it would hardly help or harm the cause of Hindi either to reveal or hide the truth. The pennant of English is firmly fixed on the fort of Hindi. And the soul of Hindi is fled from that fort.

From now on, I think, we should put all our energies into preparing Hindi for the future campaign. At the same time, we must earn the goodwill of the well-wishers of our other Indian languages. But before whom can we play our lute, singing of Hindi’s power and the wealth of its literature? Better would it be for us all to join hands in enriching and strengthening our Hindi language and literature. Acharya Ramchandra Shukla in his book Goswmai Tulsidas, while considering Tulsi’s devotional tradition, has aptly observed – “The richness of Hindi poetry in Sur[das] and Tulsi is not because of their high recognition in the royal [Mughal] court; instead the high recognition in the court is the result of that literary richness. That rich literary heritage is the product of Sur and Tulsi, and they themselves are the products of the development of that devotional ethos, the foundation of which is firmly laid down by Rama and Krishna.”

Acharya Shivapujan Sahay (1893-1963) was a close associate of Premchand, Jayashankar Prasad and Nirala, and is highly regarded as one of the foremost writers of modern Hindi prose. He is well known for his novel ‘Dehati Duniya’, a pioneer work in Hindi regional fiction, and as one of the greatest editors after Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi. He edited several famous Hindi journals like ‘Matwala’, ‘Madhuri’, ‘Jagaran’ and ‘Himalaya’ as well as Premchand’s ‘Rangbhumi’, ‘Dwivedi Abhinandan Granth’ and Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s ‘Atmakatha’. His complete works ‘Shivapujan Sahay Sahitya-Samagra’ in 10 volumes, edited by Dr. Mangal Murty, have been published recently. He was awarded Padmabhushan in 1960. He passed away in Patna in 1963.

Published in HINDI (Hindi Language Discourse Writing, July-Sep. 2011)