In India, every critic is a marxist critic emboldened with a great historical and contextual entitlement. And this gives rise to a very judgemental practice of literary criticism that discounts the oeuvre of any author and starts to cast doubts on their ideologies, religion, cultural background, political affiliations etc. And, in turn, we cannot know much about the work but we know much about the author before we decide whether we should read a book or not. Most of the time, likely is the case, we tend to decide whether to read or not on the very basis of the author’s profile rather than the merits or demerits of the book. Is it good? You will need to ask yourself. I will need to ask myself. We will need to ask ourselves.
I have raised this issue because, after a careful examination of Hindi Literature, I have noticed that the poetic genius that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was has not been given due place in the history of Hindi literature in India. Was it after some serious consideration or just because of the fact that Atal Ji was a political leader who represented a political party that did not sync with the ideology of those who, mostly, chronicled literature and dominated the literary scene. In English literature, the scene is no different. It is likewise.
For instance, Shashi Tharoor, in spite of his not-so-remarkable literature, is considered a great novelist and Atal Ji, a warrior with words and a great master of linguistic prowess in Hindi has not even been given a respectable place in the calendars or chronicles of Hindi literature. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poetry was, by no means, second to any of his contemporaries in Veer Ras and, in fact, he was the only poet who could produce poetry that could stir not only the mind and heart but also your vocal cords. Listen to him reciting any of his poems and you will understand what am I trying to convey.
His poems could easily have found space in the syllabuses of universities and colleges, schools and high schools in India had he been a leader of a different party. However, his poetic genius has been ignored and subdued just because of his political affiliations and it is not good in any way! Poets like him are born very rare and now that a government at the centre is of the same party that Atal Ji once represented, we can only hope for the best for his poetic genius as well as the language.
By Samridhi for BookWorm Reviews