William Shakespeare, the great Bard, as he is called, is known as a library in himself.He has composed about 37 plays, 154 sonnets and some other poems. His plays comprise comedies, tragedies and histories and reveal the versatilility of his talent.The world of Shakespeare strikes chords in readers of every age, sex and nationality.His plays have been translated into almost all the languages of the world and many films have been made on their themes.But till recently, nobody had made any effort to translate his play into Dogri when Madan Gopal, a diehard fan and an ardent admirer of William Shakespeare created sensation by translating his famous historical play’Julius Caeser’into Dogri in 2014.
The Dogri version of this classic has been catalogued in the University of Birmingham and Stratford, his birthplace.He has tried to use such phrases,words and dialogues as bring the emotions, sentiments, intrigues etc used by Shakespeare .The play has a 64 page enlightening preface, probably the longest to any work in Dogri, by the legendery Professor and Shakespearean Scholar, Luxmi Narayan Sharma who has dwelt at length and given a vivid picture of Shakespearean times and art, as also English vs Dogri which can help the non native readers grasp the true theme. This preface is a goldmine for those who are interested in Shakesperean literature.
The Dogri version of this Shakespearean classic is a valuable addition to the Dogri literature and as, Prof Lalit Magotra puts it, Dogri literature without Shakesperean literature in Dogri was like a ‘bride without ornaments’. The book has been received by Jammuites.
Mr Padha also added the Dogri translation of ‘Othello’ in 2017 which has been appreciated by the literary and social circles of Jammu.This play is a tragedy in which jealousy is the key note and Othello kills his beloved queen, Desdemona and feeling repentant of his gruesome act, finally commits suicide.These two plays, like other plays by Shakespeare, have enriched English language by adding such phrases as ‘Et! Tu! Brutus,’Cowards die many times before their death’,’But for mine own part, it was Greek to meet from Julius Caeser and ‘Men in rage strike those that wish them best’,’O, beware, my lord,of jealousy,”How poor are they that have not patience’,’I kissed thee ere I killed thee: No waybut this;Killing myself, to die upon a kiss’.etc.which have become a part of everyday language.
The Dogri version of these plays produced after such a hard labour, need to be read by every Jammuite to have a view of Shakespearean art and appreciate it in an era of Globalisation. Sometimes, it is the translated version of a work of art which becomes more popular than the original, especially among the people who use and speak the language into which the play has been translated.
The copies of the Dogri version should be supplied to libraries at state, district and tehsil level to afford an opportunity to the people to read and appreciate Shakespearean literature. These plays should also be presented in Dogri at District level in schools and colleges so that the spectators can watch these plays in their native language and get motivated to write, translate and promote Shakespeare’s literature in their own language.It will be a befitting tribute to the greatest dramatist the world has ever produced.