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Poems of identity and the self

By July 27, 2018No Comments

Source : The Hindu

Jashn-e-Nau Bahar mushaira saw young poets raising contemporary issues through lucid expression

Poetry is a medium of expression that unites people irrespective of age. The opening edition of Jashn-e-Nau Bahar mushaira organised by Jashn-e-Bahar Trust at the India Islamic Cultural Centre was an endeavour to provide a platform to the young poets, breaking the rigid linguistic boundaries and filling the perennial gap between generations. The event was different from a conventional mushaira. Here the focus was not on romantic ghazals, instead poets touched upon contemporary issues like LGBT rights, women liberation and gender equality. The participating poets included Sabika Abbas Naqvi, Gaurav Tripathi, Husain Haidry, Qais Jaunnpuri, Ramneek Singh, Mudita Rastogi, Azhar Iqbal, Abhishek Shukla and Vipul Kumar.

“Women need to come forward with a new form of expression. To challenge structure is to subvert the idea of male dominance,” said Sabika Abbas Naqvi. Inspired by the writings of Fahmeeda Riaz and Kishwar Naheed, Sabika questions the society through her poetry. Women liberation and gender equality are the subjects that her writings revolve around.

“When a man describes the beauty of women through metaphors, it is widely acclaimed and appreciated but when a woman tries to take control of pen and writes about herself; it’s often branded as obscene,” remarked Sabika. Being a gender rights activist, Sabika is trying to break stereotypes through her poetry. “Mera kajal mere zehen ki chingari se jale, tumhare bade bade fatwo aur paymano ki raakh se bana hai”, recited Sabika Abbas, a couplet from her poem ‘Kajal’. She is currently working on her new poem, ‘Har Mard Naseehat Deta Hai’ (Every man gives advice).

Azhar Ali, who by profession is a finance manager, has been a part of Rekhta for the past three years. “It is really appealing to see youth joining the mushairas. I was surprised to find out that more than 80% of the audience were people belonging to the age group of 20 to 25,” said Azhar Ali.

With a motive to unite people through poetry, he writes in Hindustani so as to remove the linguistic divide prevailing in society. Speaking about Hindi and Urdu, Azhar Ali said, “Siyasat ne in dono zubaano ko alag alag naam de diye hai. Asal mei ye ek hi zubaan hai” (Politics has created this divide between these two languages; otherwise they are one).

Need for co-existence

“In order to exist, Hindi and Urdu have to co-exist”, stated Mudita Rastogi, a young poetess from Delhi. With rebellious attitude of youth towards separation as her theme, Mudita creates ghazals in such a way that the youngsters could identify with them. Having no background in Urdu poetry, she started reciting her work at open mic events. “My inspiration is life and I think poetry is something that comes to you unannounced,” remarked Mudita.

Qais Jaunpuri and Gaurav Tripathi focussed on socio-political issues. Whereas Ramneek Singh and Husian Haidery displayed their keen observation when they talked about ordinary things in day-to-day life “Sheher matrix mein badal gaya hai, jungle bache nahi hai. Na jane kis ke darr se humne sheher ko CCTV ke shamiyano se dhak diya hai,” recited Ramneek, from his poem “Sheher matrix mein badal gaya hai.”

Earlier, Kamna Prasad, the founder of Jashn-e-Bahar Trust, explained the crux of the programmed through beautiful lines, “Chalo chaman mein chale zikr-e-nau-bahar, phoolon ka naama likhein zindagi se pyaar karein.

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