Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’
Some persons believe in work without making hype of it. They work really hard and put in their best efforts to realize their dreams. Their destination is far away from personal achievements and rather they go on contributing for a noble cause without indulging self into it. For them only work is worship.
Although the world is abundant with those who take each and every step with all calculations for encashing their each movement but still there are those real devotees also who focus on their mission rather than self goals.
Inderjeet Kesar is such a dedicated man who has been serving mother tongue Dogri for a long time now. He had made up his mind of getting one book published every year and the pious effort has been going on continuously without a break since 1998. Within a span of 22 years he has given 22 books to regional literature which is really a commendable job and needs all appreciation.
It was only in 2018 that his contribution to Dogri Literature was acknowledged when he was conferred with prestigious Sahitya Academy Award for his critically acclaimed Dogri Novel “Bhagirath’. Although he is of the opinion that the encouraging words of his readers matter him most as only this is the boost that inspires him to work even more and more thus quenching his thirst for literature. In literary circles, the critics are found commenting upon that Kesar should have got the Sahitya Academy Award much earlier. But it’s never too late if recognized at any time. The fact remains that he never felt low after being rejected the prestigious honour on numerous occasions but every time he emerged even more strong thus showing his concern for the ecstasy that he derives from his writings rather succumbing to politics prevailing in art arena.
Kesar was born on October 09, 1946 at Katra town of District Reasi but came to Jammu during childhood. After passing out Higher Secondary, he joined Government service and during service period he continued his studies as a private candidate also as he knew that only higher studies could pave way for a respectable job. He retired as Deputy Secretary to J&K Government.
He had been interested in writing right from his childhood. With the passage of time it became his passion. Initially he started with poetry and then took to other forms of expressions too. He has written novels, short stories, essays, songs and poetry. His creative pursuits include six novels __ Sarbandh, Matreyan, Moorto, Jaul, Bhagirath, Muns , Twelve Poetry Collections__ “Phull Khirde Reh” , “Kungali Aas” , “Sookham Kyari” , “Saula Chann” , “Manai Da Chanhan”, “Nimma Nimma Hassa”, “Cheten Da Chanan” , “Aunkar Pyar Di” , “Bakhre Bakhre Rang”, “Do Ruttan” , “Phirdiyan Ghirdiyan Chhamman” , “Hirkhi Pounga:r” , a Devotional Song book__ “Jot Jagai Darbar” , two Short Stories, “Likhat” , “Dosh” and a book on Essays being entitled “Soch Tarangaan”
All his creative works were well received by the literary fraternity and critics also.
One of his novels, ‘ Matreyan’ was prescribed in B.A. syllabus for more than a decade and another novel’ Moorto’ replaced “Matreyan” from 2019 academic session with one more novel ‘Jaul’ into syllabus for M.A. students. His Novel, Matreyan has been translated in Sanskrit by Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (Deemed University) Kot-Bhalwal.
In a conversation, he stated that he was deeply moved by militancy in Kashmir and that was the time that he thought of penning down a novel. It became his obsession that he wrote more novels thereafter and ultimately his well known fiction work “Bhagirath’_ a novel won him Sahitya Academy Award-2018.
Kesar has translated Rabindra Nath Tagore’s two books – Bal Sahitya Part-I and Part-II in Dogri for Sahitya Academy and has also edited and compiled two books for Sahitya Academy i.e. ‘Dogri Geet’ and ‘Dogri Ekanki’. He has been a regular participant as a poet and in other literary programs, discussions for All India Radio Jammu and Doordarshan Kendra Jammu.
For his literary contributions, he has been honoured by different Government and Non-Government organizations. The major ones include Sahitya Academy Award, 2018 , Sahitya Shree ‘ Samman by Nami Dogri Sanstha , Sahitya Dogri ‘ Samman by Siya Ram Sehgal Parivar , ‘Duggar Rattan’ Samman by JK Channel etc.
Inderjeet Kesar remained Member, Advisory Board (Dogri) in Sahitya Academy for five years from 2008 to 2012 and is also the Member of the Executive Committee, Dogri Sanstha, Jammu.
What I wish to convey through this column is that, the literary persons like Inderjeet Kesar have been a role model for those writers who get depressed when despite deserving they get trapped in politics governing literary forums and don’t get acknowledged for their literary works. Instead those who form a part of a lobby get recognized through different honours which may shatter the confidence of particularly those writers, who write only with an intention of outcome of their creative contributions.
Honestly speaking, the fact remains that one who can’t excel in a creative field thus aspires for materialistic pursuits. Such fields offer solace that cannot be described in words. The ecstasy one experiences while working with innovative ideas can be felt only. When such a feel gets corrupted with result orientated endeavors then the so called achievements might be the talk of society and become a part of history but don’t offer a feel that an innovative man aspires for. However no one can deny the talent being accredited for long and Kesar is an example of it.
While sharing his views on threat to existence of mother tongue, he expressed his concern about ill treatment towards Dogri language by Dogras themselves. We may have complaints with Government on certain issues but will have to settle the issues being faced at individual levels also. Although it’s a fact that the regional languages have been suffering from the cultural invasion of other languages and English has been a major threat to our Dogri language, but we will have to blame ourselves for it. Still there is time that we mend our ways and all due respect should be paid to mother tongue.
Yes, of course. Dogri is the identity of Dogras. We should realize it before it’s too late. The literary personalities like Inderjeet Kesar are an asset to Dogri who have been enriching the treasure of Dogri Literature with a mission for survival of mother tongue. We should get inspired from them.
Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’