The name of the ‘rashtra kavi’ (national poet) Dinkar has appeared in media and this time not for any posthumous award or celebration of any anniversary. It relates a complaint or grievance by Dinkar’s 80-year-old daughter-in-law Hemant Devi and grandson Arvind Kumar Singh against Sushil Modi’s nephew for forcibly occupying a part of the late poet’s house, Dinkar Bhavan, on Arya Kumar Road near Machuatoli in Patna.
Few years ago I was in Patna and staying with Janardan, my relative and friend of Kankarbag As usual in morning walk I had gone up to the house. When I asked someone about Dinkar’s house, a person indicated his finger towards an unassuming house. I had expected it to be a property under some institution or government as well maintained and well preserved museum of Dinkar’s literary manuscripts and belongings. Instead when I thought of entering its open door I got scared thinking someone may charge for trespassing his in his personal property. I just couldn’t go in that. Why do we treat our writers so shabbily? I have seen the fate of Premchand house in Lamhi on TV sometimes. That also gives the same impression. Why are the Hindi states so poor in respecting their great sons whom even the whole world respects? Why can’t the state or some rich men from the state take the task of building a memorial grad enough to match the personality of the poet and author of great literary creations such as Urvashi, Rashmirathi, Parashuram ki Pratiksha, Kurukshetra and Snaskriti ke Char Adhyaya?
I remember how Dinkar made a speech on Marina Beach when JP Narayana was ill. “O God! Please take me away and give JP a longer life.” Interestingly JP survived but Dinkar fell ill and died.
I did also read an article written by Harridans Rai Bachchan on Ramdhari Singh Dinkar in Dharmyug of Dharamvir Bharati era. While talking about his achievements of his life, Dinkar had told the senior Bachchan, “I married sixteen girls of the family. After I got Rs 1 lakh award of Bhartiya Gyan Peeth, the boys’ fathers started saying that now Dinkar is lakhpati so they can expect good dowry.”
Recently, I wrote in my facebook that the credit of Rahman’s ‘Jai Ho’ was first time used in Rashmirathi. Those are the first two words of the famous book. Dinkar’s forceful negation of caste system in Rashimirathi is something to be noted and respected.
‘जय हो’ जग में जले जहाँ भी, नमन पुनीत अनल को,
जिस नर में भी बसे, हमारा नमन तेज को, बल को।
‘क्षत्रिय है, यह राजपुत्र है, यों ही नहीं लड़ेगा,
जिस-तिस से हाथापाई में कैसे कूद पड़ेगा?
अर्जुन से लड़ना हो तो मत गहो सभा में मौन,
नाम-धाम कुछ कहो, बताओ कि तुम जाति हो कौन?’
‘जाति! हाय री जाति !’ कर्ण का हृदय क्षोभ से डोला,
कुपित सूर्य की ओर देख वह वीर क्रोध से बोला
‘जाति-जाति रटते, जिनकी पूँजी केवल पाषंड,
मैं क्या जानूँ जाति ? जाति हैं ये मेरे भुजदंड।
Can’t Bihar government, some other interested agency, an institution or individual acquire the house from the family if it has gone poor enough to maintain its glory at proper price and convert it in a memorial befitting to the name of Dinkar?