Lalit Magotra: A Man with a Mission

Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’
He sees dreams. He sees dreams only to convert those dreams in to reality. He knows that it’s not so easy, but he has the guts to put in his best. With a positive attitude and keeping focused on the target he has a firm belief that efforts do yield results.
Amazingly, targets are achieved but what is the foremost requirement are the commitment, dedication and devotion towards the cause that matters.
He is a man with a mission.
His mission is to serve mother tongue DOGRI by inspiring others to be a part of a movement to win past glory. He knows that mother tongues all over the world are suffering for survival for being ignored by their own. He knows that genuine and honest efforts are the need of hour and he is at fore front to fight for a cause.
Lalit Magotra was born on November 18th’1944 at Jammu in the family of Late Smt. Shiv Raj and Late Sh. Lok Nath Magotra. Right from his childhood he had an inclination to reading and writing. But he was excellent in academics as well. He completed Physics from Kashmir University and did his Ph.D. in Physics (High Energy) from Jammu University in 1974.
Amazingly, on professional front he has worked as an Assistant Director Forensics Laboratory, Professor and Head of Department of Physics Department and Computer Sciences Department, Dean Faculty of Sciences, Jammu University but despite all his busy schedules in University and his research oriented works for which he had to be at abroad on regular intervals, Lalit Magotra has always managed to extract time to quench his thirst for literature and that has been his passion since long.
He is a prolific Dogri writer having seven books to his credit in Dogri and one in Hindi. His outstanding literary works like collections of Dogri Short stories entitled “HELLO MAYA” and “JAMEEN” were awarded as Best Book Awards by J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages in 2000 & 2011, his collection of essays “CHETEN DI GALIYAN” won him prestigious Sahitya Academy award in 2011, ” DOGRI SAHITYA_EK NAZARSANI” a critique written by him is of much importance for research scholars and literature lovers,” ANGINIT GASS” , a collection of poems in Dogri language has been critically acclaimed work for the contents therein and unique presentation , “SHABAD SE MOUN TAK”, a collection of his own translation of his own Dogri poems has helped him to reach to broader canvas of Hindi literature lovers and has succeeded in casting an impression with his thought provoking, amazing and captivating poetry of class. His stories, poems, essays and research papers have been a valuable treasure to Dogri literature and are being published regularly in different newspapers and magazines including J & K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages’ DOGRI SHEERAJA, SADHA SAHITYA, NAMI CHETNA etc. and have been translated into different languages also.
As a celebrated writer, Convener Dogri Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi New Delhi for two terms and long stint as president, Dogri Sanstha, Jammu_ A pioneer organization working for welfare of Dogri language, Lalit Magotra has contributed and is still contributing to such an extent that pivotal role he has played and is playing will always be registered in Golden Pages of History of Dogri Literature.
It is pertinent to mention here that he had been a wonderful actor in his teens and has played main roles in a number of stage plays. He was the co-writer of theatre play ” JEENE KI QAID” . Although with the busy professional career he could not continue as an actor for want of time but still he did not let the spark for writing to die. Rather, it ignited more and more with the passage of time fortunately for Dogri Literature also that quite a good number of books and creative writing by him has enriched the treasure of Dogri Literature.
For his exceptional contributions in the field of literature, he has been honored and awarded by different Government and Non Government organizations that includes ‘State Award’ by erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir and has been recipient of senior fellowship in literature of Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India.
He had /has been a member of Press Council of India, Central Committee J & K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, Advisory Council to Governor J& K State and several other Government and Non Government organizations.
Lalit Magotra had been actively associated with the movement that led to inclusion of mother tongue Dogri in 8th Schedule, a dream come true for all Dogras. But he has contributed even more after that thus inspiring the young generation to give due regards to mother tongue and contribute to its literature. There are so many who owe a lot to him for guiding them in literary arena. The regular programs organized by him under the banner of Dogri Sanstha, Jammu or even Sahitya Academy, New Delhi when he was convener Dogri Advisory Board have helped a lot in the movement for inspiring Dogras to speak mother tongue and reaching to the remotest of areas thus providing platforms to discarded talents. At different literary and social platforms he is always advocating for preserving our rich culture, traditions and language that mark our identity as a Dogra. If we are ignoring our mother tongue then we are endangering our identity which should be a grave concern at least to Dogras.
He is a wonderful speaker. It is always a privilege to listen to him on varied aspects of culture & literature in particular. As an inspiring writer and an activist for promotion of mother tongue Dogri, he has been a role model to so many. He knows the art of presenting his view point convincingly and the listeners are spell bound. His recitation of poetry is a treat and inspiration to young talents. They should learn from him how to present with a conviction when your literary works need be supported by your own voice delivery.
He is of the opinion that although today we have the privilege of having our mother tongue Dogri in 8th schedule and being one of the five official languages of UT of J & K, but struggle has not ended here. Rather we need to be more watchful and focused for our rights and goals. Implementation of Government orders on the ground is a tough task which has been experienced in recent past. We have to keep our eyes wide opened and be on alert mode to grab any opportunity to work for welfare of our mother tongue Dogri thus preserving our cuture, traditions and heritage. It’s like ensuring our existence in this vast world.
While concluding, I would like to add that prolific writer and intellectual like Prof. Lalit Magotra is an asset to any literature and society.
His energy level is an inspiration for many, his commitment should be a lesson for all.