Sahitya Akademi Award Vijay’s Dogri ghazals bag honour

Sahitya Akademi Award Vijay's Dogri ghazals bag honour

O P Sharma
The prestigious annual Sahitya Akademi Award in Dogri for 2023 has gone to Vijay Verma, noted literary figure, for his long Dogri poetry book entitled: “Daun Sadiyan Ek Seer”. The Sahitaya Akademi, a National organisation has been honouring writers and poets since 1970 for their outstanding literary work contribution for enrichment of Dogri language and its literature. It is noteworthy to mention that the Dogri is now one of the Indian languages and making steady move ahead with literary works by leading writers making it vibrant.
Vijay Verma is a renowned Dogri poet, author, translator and broadcaster. He was born to Dina Nath Verma and Krishna Devi on April 13, 1962 in a tiny village Seri Panditan, in Jammu district and from early age of literary bent of mind started penning poetry during the school days. Mr Verma served as Senior News Reader-cum- Translator for Dogri at All India Radio and has worked in Akashvani Bhavan, New Delhi and also AIR, Station, Jammu. He writes in his mother-tongue, Dogri as well as English and Hindi.
Gifted Pen
Mr Verma has already bagged “The Best Young Dogri Poet” award of J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in the year 1994 and has six books to his credit including “Daun Sadian Ek Seer” which is single largest Dogri Ghazal book with 721 couplets.
It may be noted that the coveted Sahiyta Akademi Award is in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque, a shawal and a cash prize of Rs one lakh which is given to all the recognised Indian regional languages. This year’s award will be presented to the awardees at an impressive award presentation function to be held on March 12, 2024 at New Delhi.
The awards recommended by distinguished Jury members were approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi which met under the chairmanship of Madhav Kaushak, President of Sahitya Akademi and the decision was announced on December 20,2023 .
Long Ghagal
This award-wining longest Dogri Ghazals( 721 couplets) book : “Daun Sadiyan Ek Seer” has been published by Bookman, Ashok Vihar, Phase-3, New Delhi and released by Duggar Manch at Gurah Salathian, Jammu by renowned Dogri writer Mohan Singh during 2021. It is also available on-line. This literary work encompasses the long journey of Ghazal as a whole and the Dogri language in particular covering nearly two centuries.
While interacting with me, immediately after the announcement of the Awards , the poet Vijay Verma expressed high appreciation for this high honour and added ” it is really a recognition of our mother-tongue Dogri, which is a living language and has bright future with the latent talent and dynamism of the present budding writers and the next generation. When asked “why seven hundred and twenty one couplets”, Mr Verma’s reply was Dogri language has vast talent and potential as also it is our identity and dignity. He told that journey of Ghazal from Arabic, Perisan to Urdu, Dogri and other Indian languages has different timelines. Dogri Ghazal genre started from fifth decade of 20th century and continues till date. So my these seven hundred and twenty one couplets vividly touch the subject and win award. This is writer’s sixth book of creativity.
Unique Expression
This Ghazal presents unique blend of traditional flavour of linguistic richness and the innovative imagery. No doubt, this is a wonderful gift from Vijay Verma to mother language Dogri and its literature as also to other Indian languages. Even in Forewords, a vast scenario of Ghazals has been presented that universally are accepted as a genre of peace, love and brotherhood. This shows Dogri Ghazal has a rich tradition and public taste.
This 120-pages book is a magical treat for the readership of Dogri poetry who can enjoy flavour of imagination and typical words with wide-range vocabulary. Its satirical pursuits and their range definitely “touch the head and heart” but also cheerfully give out the realities of life. In poet’s words : “I am ardent believer to express my literary and linguistic enthusiasm with delicate touch of experimentation expecting new spring enlightening the intellectual side of our society. After general experiences in different time zones, this ghazal book deals with almost all issues concerning mankind in the social, economic, cultural, and in linguistic spheres.
Gradual Growth
The journey of poetry compositions goes through the mirthful events of life but has exciting and enlightening spirit for betterment ahead with lessons of the past and inspirational futuristic endeavors. It is uncommon in Dogri that a poet through this genre with rich words and suitable treatment covers poetic journey and transmits the emotions about global humanitarian issues concerning common man and experiences of societies. While discussing ghazal book, it was also elaborately explained by the poet that technical side and semantics are important pillars of this genre, ghazal that has now covered its journey from the “Darbars to common masses in modern society.
This poet has broken the shackles of taboos and limitations by writing record-breaking long ghazal in Dogri, so far. This is the longest ghazal in Dogri as also many Indian languages till date which is in fact a matter of pride for everyone, as claimed by Vijay Verma. The poet has quoted Rumi with spiritual fragrance of ghazal and told one couplet has two lines i.e. two misras which constitute ghazal with it’s metre and tough rhythmic path. Poet likens these to two worlds, two strong shoulders carrying the worlds of humanism with a benign message to the world for co-existence without discrimination or uneven perceptions in different horizon.
Poetic Message
This ghazal book has a great message for all times and all readers can relish the wonderful taste of rich Dogri words, their fragrance, range and horizons of abundant imagination. This book of Dogri poetry has been finely printed with good get-up on quality paper and attractive style keeping the readers absorbed in its narration. Dogri readership will go through it with pleasure and profit.
Vijay Verma has joined the galaxy of prominent Sahitya Akademi awardees in Dogri literature and become ” Doyens of Dogri” who enrich the Dogri language and its literature with the solid literary contribution. Still much more literary work is expected from this gifted writer and poet.