Friday, March 4, 2011

अमिताभ बच्चन साहिब ने भी इस प्रयास को सराहा और पूरा सहयोग देने कि इक्षा जाहिर कि थी

एक नजर  इधर भी, 
अमिताभ बच्चन साहिब ने भी इस प्रयास को सराहा 
और पूरा सहयोग देने कि इक्षा जाहिर कि थी 

Lata Mangeshkar's letter
Farouque Sheikh's letter
The Hindu
Dainik Hindustan
The Indian Express
The Hindustan Times
Dainik Bhaskar
Sahara Time
The Times of India
The Statesman 
Rajasthan Patrika

आन्दोलन:एक पुस्तक से यानि अँधेरे कोठरी में एक रोशनदान

आन्दोलन:एक पुस्तक से यानि अँधेरे कोठरी में एक रोशनदान, मैंने नहीं, लोगों ने कहा. एक सार्थक प्रयास, एक ऐसा प्रयास जिसे किसी ने सोचा नहीं, किसी ने किया नहीं. ऐसा भी हों सकता है. एक किताब किसी कि जिन्दगी में थोड़ी तबदीली ला सकती है. आइये, साथ बढे, कुछ करें, किसी के लिए  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

यह आन्दोलन:एक पुस्तक का चौथा प्रयास है. शहीदे-आज़म उधम सिंह के वंशज को एक नई जिन्दगी देना

जीत सिंह, जो शहीदे-आजम उधम सिंह के पौत्र है और एक गुमनामी जिन्दगी जी रहे है पंजाब के संगरूर जिला में, इस पुस्तक से हमारी कोशिश है कि वे एक नए जिन्दगी कि शुरुआत करें. यह पुस्तक अपने आप में अनूठा इसलिए है कि इसमें २५ ऐसे वंशजों कि खोज है जो आजादी के ६५ वर्ष होने पर भी गुमनामी जिन्दगी जी रहे है. आज से ९२ वर्ष पहले १३ अप्रील १९१९ को जल्लिंवाला बाग कांड हुआ था और उसके २० वर्ष बाद १३ मार्च १९४० को उधम सिंह ने डायेर को मारा था. 

Jeet Singh, grand son of Shaheed-e-Azam Udham Singh works as a
daily wage worker in Sangrur in Punjab
Jeet Singh's elder son with his wife
Jeet Singh's younger son
Shaheed-e-Azam Udham Singh
Michael O'Dwyer
Historical well inside Jallianwala Bagh where hundreds of innocent Indians
including men, women and children were killed on
Vashakhi day on April 13, 1919 
Just as the economic health of a nation is known by the state of its infrastructure and the level of the nation’s civility is known by its music, the health of a nation can be known by the state of its youth.

Youth is the trustee of posterity. The investment, both moral and material, that a country makes in the skill development of the young human resources can, therefore, be a great indicator of the future of the nation. It is the avenues provided by the state-- of creativity, innovation and enterprise-- that enable the youth to realize its fullest potential.

No country in the world today embraces the extraordinary mixture of ethnic groups, the multiplicity of languages, the varieties of topography and climate,and the fascinating richness of food, dress, culture and religion as does India.

An ageless civilization, India has been the birth place of at least four religions, a dozen different traditions of classical dance, more than 85 political parties and 300 ways of cooking potato!

In the last 15 years, India has transformed itself from a lumbering elephant to a leaping tiger in the field of Information Technology, an area in which it is fast emerging as the Asian superpower.

But the the history of India as an Independent Nation is also known by the sacrifices made by its youth. India remained under foreign rule for almost 300 years. It emerged on the world scene as an independent State after an arduous and prolonged struggle. Supreme sacrifices were made by the youth of India to secure this freedom.

Be it Bhagat Singh or Khudi Ram Bose or Chandra Shekhar Azad, the sacrifices they made to free India from the clutches of the British imperial rule remain unmatched. These martyrs went to the gallows without even a wrinkle on their faces, such was their resolve and determination.

We have come a long way since India became independent on 15th August 1947. But it is ironical that the present generation of India does not even know how many young people and freedom fighters laid down their lives for the sake of the country. Even more ironical is the fact that not even five percent population of this huge nation actually remembers those who died during the freedom struggle.

No wonder then that the late President K R Narayanan lamented the apathy of our countrymen towards the unsung heroes of our freedom struggle during his visit to Cellular Jail by saying that “Nobody, especially the present generation, can imagine the hardship, the torture they have gone through and the ultimate sacrifices they made during such an arduous journey. If we can transmit to the new generation of Indians, at least a little bit of their patriotism, their flaming nationalism, their courage, their capacity for sacrifice, then we would have done something significant today”.

He was also appalled to see that the decrepit state of the Jail that should actually have been a national memorial worthy of a pilgrimage.

“It is important to realize that these revolutionary freedom fighters have not been given the honour and respect due to them, in keeping with their sacrifices. It is the government’s moral responsibility to see that their issues and outstanding tasks are taken up”.

There are examples galore of the neglect the late president talked about but here is a glaring one, of Batukeshwar Dutt.

Dutt contracted tuberculosis after he came out of jail but participated in the Quit India Movement of Mahatma Gandhi and was again jailed for years. After India gained independence, he married Ms. Anjali in November 1947. Dutt outlived all his comrades.

On his return to Delhi after India’s Independence, Dutt went to see the prison where Bhagat Singh and he were imprisoned. He saw that a hospital was being constructed there. Seeing the plan of building, the engineer told him where the prison cell was located.

A small play ground had taken the place of the cell in which he was imprisoned. Young children were playing badminton there. When the game got over, one of the boys asked Dutt, “You were watching us play. Are you also interested in this game?”

Dutt replied, “I am not fond of this game. But I was observing this play ground; some time ago, this was the spot of a prison cell where Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt were imprisoned.”

Hearing this, one of the boys asked: “Who were Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt?”

Dutt’s answer was a stunned silence.

He died on July 20, 1965 in New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) after a long illness. He was cremated in Hussainiwala near Firozpur in Punjab where the bodies of his comrades Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were also cremated many years before.

He was survived by his only daughter Mrs. Bharti Bagchi. Today, Mrs. Bharti (Dutt) Bagchi is living in near anonymity in Jakkanpur area of Patna, as a senior professor in the department of economics of Magadh Mahila College, Patna University.

How ironical it is that in every nook and corner of our cities, the statues and memorials of sundry politicians are erected, annual functions too are held with huge fanfare in their memory and remembrance but the people who died for the nation have been confined to the memory of their equally neglected heir!

How ironical it is that even artists and film stars, who have enacted the roles of these real-life heroes on the silver screen, should find their way into parliament through nominated seats while the heroes have been wiped out from the nation’s memory!

No government has taken the trouble to even find out the relatives of those freedom fighters and their present condition. Not even a single NGO has ever thought about it.

The least one would expect any government to do is to identify the families of these heroes and to give them a pride of place in all national functions. Needless to say, their education and medical care should be the responsibility of the state. As President Narayanan said, “it should be our solemn duty to show that we are truly grateful for all that they did for us”.

Given the character of the present-day politicians, it is, perhaps, foolish to expect any of them to take up the cause of the forgotten heroes’ families.

This book – Forgotten Indian Heroes & Martyrs : Their Neglected Descendants-1857-1947 - fills the gnawing gaps in the nation’s memory about the forgotten heroes of the freedom struggle and their families living in anonymity or penury.

It’s a well-researched and unbiased history of these unsung heroes and their descendants, a very valuable work that should inspire the generations to come.

The authors spent more than 18 months locating the 25 descendents of the post-1857 freedom fighters. This book is an eye-opener about the fate of these families as also about how India treats its heroes.

Through this book, Shivnath Jha and his wife Neena have once again proved that idealism is not dead among Indian. journalists and that intellect is a wealth that can be shared generously to enrich others.

I salute their indomitable spirit and their determination to plough the lonely furrow despite all odds, obstacles and hardships. They have repeatedly proved their they are made of different mettle and they reach their goal even in the midst of worst kinds of trials, travails and troubles.

हमारा तीसरा प्रयास सुल्ताना बेगम के लिए

हमारा तीसरा प्रयास: प्रधान मंत्री पर किताब बनाकर सुल्ताना बेगम कि स्थिति को उजागर करना और यथा संभव एक संभ्रांत सामाजिक जीवन प्रदान करना. लोकमत समाचार पत्र के मालिक विजय दरदा साहिब ने आर्थिक मदद कि और सुश्री ममता बनर्जी ने रोजगार दी. सुल्ताना बेगम भारत में अंतिम मुग़ल बादशाह बहादुर शाह ज़फ़र कि प्र-पौत्र बधू हैं और हावरा के एक झुग्गी में रहती है  
The then union minister for corporate affairs Mr. Salman
 Khurshid flanged with GIC-Re chairman Sri Yogesh Lohia,
 Neena Jha and Shivnath Jha releasing the book
Prime Ministers of India:Bharat Bhagya Vidhata
-1947-2009  in New Delhi on April 1, 2010
Sri Salman Khurshid addressing the media after the
release of the book in the national capital
Neena Jha and Smt. Sultana Begam
Shivnath Jha with Smt. Sultana Begum at her slum
in Howrah
Shivnath Jha talking with Sultana Begum at her Shibpur
slum in Howrah in West Bengal 
Sultana Begum at her tea shop in Shibpur in Howrah

Sri Vijay Darda, MP and owner of Lokmat
Group of newspaper flanked with Sri Rajiv Bagchi,
 Resident Editor of The Hindustan
Times handing ovber a draft of Rs. Two lakh
 to Smt Sultana Begum in Kolkata
on May 2, 2008
What The Indian Express said

It is said that some are wise while others are “otherwise” and it takes a lot of pain and efforts to bewordly -wise, especially in journalism.

At a time when the Fourth estate is fast becoming “fourth-rated Estate “and when watch-dogs have started becoming tail-wagers, holding forth those lofty ideals of journalism has become all the more difficult.

At a time when “soldiers of pen” have started assuming the role of “pen- pushers” with a price tag on most of their columns and comments, and at a time when more than 67000 publications and 56 TV news channels have started becoming signposts of ‘views’ than of ‘hardcore news’ with alarming regularity, pursuing journalism in its purest form has become mere on a premium than otherwise.

At a time when most of the members of our country have started taking pride in turning “trivia into titanic” and  injecting the venom of crime, sex and sleaze as daily doses for this generation both in print as well as on tube, it is all the more difficult to report on serious and sensitive matters confronting this country.

At a time when some self-professed champions of freedom of Press have no qualm or gumption in terming rural reporting as “sexy”, it would be anyone’s guess if a journalist’s reports on wails and woes of the rural masses would indeed find a place of prominence in any mainstream daily newspaper or national news channels.

It is in this context that the creation of ‘Shivnath and Neena Jha’ in the form of a book titled “Prime Ministers of India” comes as an oasis in desert.

It is in this context that the untiring and unflinching effort of a scribe towards doing something different through “Andolan - EK Pushtak se” needs to be seen and hugely appreciated.

Imagine the extraordinary brilliance of an 11 year old boy who chose Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s Madhushala as the spark to ignite and illuminate his future path.

Imagine the state of mind of a student of class VI from T.K. Ghosh Academy Patna who understood the message of ‘Madhushala’ in a Vedic way that one could always reach his goal by adopting the right means and working his way up hard through sheer determination, dedication, passion and discipline.

Imagine the spark in the eyes of a boy from an ordinary background who stole Rs.5 from his father’s currency box, bought newspapers from them at a bus stand and eared Rs.9.60 after 4 hours of toil.

Imagine the “dream to become a journalist” by a young boy who started his career neither from Dallas nor Doon but as a stranger for Telegraph by MJ Akbar and from there he never looked back. This is one of the most glittering examples of how sheer determination can make an ordinary man a Marshall. !

Known for his uncanny knack for looking for “news” in those areas and arenas where others treated them as trivia, Shivnath has been of the most well known journalists in the country with the distinction of having worked under Editors like Vir Sanghvi, H.K. Dua, C.R. Irani, Prabhu Chawla and Sekhar Gupta. Some of his investigative reports in both Telegraph and Indian Express could easily be hailed as the” finest in the history of contemporary journalism”.

In my 28 years of journalistic career through both print and electronic media, I have rarely seen a scribe with such fierce sense of courage and conviction.

There were a few occasions when he threw away his job and tossed up his resignation at the face of the Editor when he realized that he would not be able to compromise on his convictions and commitments. And that made him all the more hard and steady in his resolve and this book is yet another land mark of that path of struggle with a nerve of steel and the determination of a spider.

But then Shivnath has always been quite different from the lot, full of grit and guts and he always dares to plough through those furrows where others are dithering.

His passion for breaking new grounds and exploring those areas where others feel exhausted has taken him into a journey of an extraordinary kind along with his illustrious wife, Neena Jha.

The first chapter of such journey was the monograph on Shahnai legend Ustad Bismillah Khan which not only established him as a ‘crusader for a cause’ but also won him wholesome praise and appreciation from various quarters. Interestingly, he dedicated this book to newspaper hawkers and three of his journalist friends – Sanjeev Sinha, Ranjan Jha and Anju Sharma who died in a plane crash with senior Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia.

The second milestone in his journey was the discovery in June 2007 of Mr. Vinayak Rao Tope, the third generation descendant of Tatya Tope, a frontline leader and a martyr of 1857 Indian Mutiny. Shivnath and Neena, not only identified and rescued him but also ensured a job for two daughters of Vinayak Rao Tope in Container Corporation of India through the help of then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.

This book is perhaps his " magnum opus," aimed at rehabilitating and re-locating Sultan Begum, the great grand daughter of hero of 1857 Mutiny – Bahadur Shah Zafar who is languishing in Howrah locality of Kolkata and earning her livelihood by selling tea.

This book is indeed unique in many ways.

1. Apart from extraordinary layout and printing, it contains signatures of all prime ministers in page no 15 and I am sure, not many people in this country would have seen it all at one place. Many people would still remember signatures of Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi and even Rajiv Gandhi but perhaps would not be able to quickly recognize signatures of most of other prime ministers.

2. This book has a fair amount of sprinkling of those landmark speeches made by our prime ministers on most crucial moments of Indian political history. The most prominent is the midnight speech of Pandit Nehru and his most famous line” At the stroke of midnight hour when the world sleeps, India would awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance”

3. This books also contains some rare photographs of our prime Ministers in different moods and occasions as that of Dr Ambedkar and is indeed a visual treat.

4. Professor Bipan Chandra has done justice to his essay on the architect of modern India, Pandit Nehru and Sunil Shastri’s account of his illustrious father, late Lal Bahadu shastri is illuminating. Mani Shankar Aiyar has his own imitable style while writing on Late Rajiv Gandhi while Salman khurshid is equally fascinating and fabulous while writing on Dr Manmohan singh.

On the whole, this book is a great treasure trove for this generation of viewers as well as for those who would like to delve into the sands of time and recall those historical moments of this nation and those Captains who were at the helm then.

One can question a generous display of photos of Mr Subrato Roy of Sahara and Mr Ashok Chavan of Amity with various Prime Ministers but then that is the price a journalist has to pay in lieu of publication, endorsement as well as advertisement. But that in no way, takes away the credit of both Shivnath and Neena for such a painstaking effort and bringing out such a Marvellous book.

(Ajay Nath Jha was Consultant to Speaker and Lok Sabha television)

हमारा दूसरा प्रयास: विनायक राव टोपे को ढूँढना और उन्हें एक प्रतिष्ठित सामाजिक जीवन देना

हमारा दूसरा प्रयास: विनायक राव टोपे को ढूँढना और उन्हें एक प्रतिष्ठित सामाजिक जीवन देना. यह आन्दोलन एक पुस्तक द्वारा रचित दुसरे पुस्तक "लालू प्रसाद: इंडिया'स मिराकिल" से संभव हों पाया 

Vinayak Rao Tope, grate grand son of Tatya Tope,
the front line leader of 1857 mutiny, the first war of independence
Shivnath Jha, Neena Jha and their son Master Aakash Jha
 with the family of Tatya Tope (wife Smt. Saraswati Devi,
daughters Pragati and Tripti and son
Aashutosh at their house in Bithoor in Kanpur in June 2007
Union Railway Munister Lalu Prasad granted
employment to Vinayak Rao Tope's daughters
 Pragati and Tripri in Container Corporation of India
 on July 4, 2007 on the initiative taken by Neena and Shivnath
 to rehabilitate the descendants of forgotten heroes and martyrs.
People of India including the people of Bihar have innate talents and qualities which became dusty under the foreign rule which discredited the Indian institutions and Indian thought processes in order to perpetuate their ownpolicies and thinking with a view to exploiting the Indian resources.Under an independent regime, the innate qualities and thought processes of Indians including those in Bihar are coming to the surface shaking the dust which was settled on it and have demonstrated the world that India can become a resurgent economic power and also be an engine for re-ordering the world thought processes for the good of humanity.All these energies have to be garnered and gathered with able and adept leadership who understands the indigenous psyche of India at its grass-roots and makes everyone an essential partner in development.It is a great hope for India that a person who rose from abysmal poverty can change destinies given the right environment and right initiatives and Lalu Prasad has amply demonstrated the same. Lalu Prasad symbolises social justice and is a virtual mirror image of the down-trodden.

Moved by the plight of fourth generation descendants of Tantya Tope, a frontline leader and martyr of the 1857 Uprising, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today acted as a Samaritan, offering jobs to two daughters of the family in the Railways.

''Pragati and Tripti, the two daughters of Vinayakrao Tope who is the grandson of Tantya Tope, have been given employment in Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR) in Kanpur,'' Mr Prasad told reporters.

In a sudden turn of fortunes for the family languishing in extreme poverty and squalor, Mr Vijay Darda, a Rajya Sabha member and owner of Lokmat Group of Newspapers, announced financial assistance of Rs five lakh for them.

Company Affairs Minister Premchand Gupta chipped in with an announcement that the house of Tantya Tope at Bithur, 37 km from Kanpur, would be turned into a memorial. A life-size statue of the martyr would also be installed there.

The announcements for providng succour to the family were made at Rail Bhavan, where Vinayakrao Tope, his wife Saraswati Devi, daughters Pragati and Tripti and son Ashutosh were also present. Pragati is a teacher in the Laxmibai School on a salary of Rs 600 a month. Tripti, a graduate, is still unemployed. Mr Prasad also announced that efforts had been made to release the pension of Vinayakrao's father, which had been suspended since last six-seven years.

Taking action on a plea initiated by “Andolan:Ek Pustak Se”, Mr Prasad said Tantaya Tope played a stellar role during the First War of Independence. ''It is now the duty of the country to repay to the family of those who sacrificed their lives for the country's freedom, especially in view of the the ongoing celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the 1857 Uprising.

'' The Railway Minister also hailed the efforts of the Delhi-based couple Neena Jha and Shivnath Jha, who have launched a nationwide movement "Andolan Ek Pustak Se" two years ago to protect those who brought laurels to the nation.

''We have also decided to provide financial support to Vinayakrao and provide higher education to his children through the sale proceeds of the books -- a monograph on Ustad Bismillah Khan, India Calling and another on Lalu Prasad:India's Miracle,'' the Jha couple said.

Vinayakrao Tope now sells grocery items but earns a pittance -- not enough for the sustenance of the entire family. He opened a small grocery shop in January last year. Earlier, he was able to get some food from his 'jajmans' (masters) by conducting religious ceremonies for them.

Expressing his gratitude to Mr Prasad, he said the bounty for the family was ''unexpected.'' ''In the past, many leaders, including former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, visited us but they gave us only assurance. For the first time, something concrete has happened to the family,'' he said.

In May 1857, when the political storm was gathering momentum against the British rule, Tantya Tope fought along with Nana Saheb Rani Lakshmibai. He was tried by a military court and despatched to the gallows on April 18, 1859.

Beginning of the movement आन्दोलन:एक पुस्तक से

August 21, 2006 09:00 IST (PTI):

Ustad Bismillah Khan: 
On the shore of the ocean of music

On India's first Republic Day, Ustad Bismillah Khan had enthralled audiences with a sterling performance from the ramparts of the Red Fort. But fate did not allow the shehnai maestro to fulfil his last wish, that of playing at India Gate.

The man who mesmerised generations of Indians with his mellifluous music wanted to make the performance a memorable one. But a concert at the venue, scheduled for August 9, was cancelled due to security reasons.

The 91-year-old Bharat Ratna awardee, said to be single-handedly responsible for making the shehnai a famous classical instrument, had earlier alleged he had been denied the opportunity to play at India Gate because he was a Muslim. However, Khan was quick to point out he never faced any hurdles on account of being a Muslim.

"Music has no caste. I have received love and affection all over the world. The government has given me all the four highest civilian awards in the past five decades," he said. Khan was born on 21 March, 1916.

His ancestors were court musicians in the princely state of Dumraon in Bihar and he was trained under his uncle, the late Ali Bux 'Vilayatu', a shehnai player attached to Varanasi's Vishwanath Temple. Where others saw conflict and contradiction between his music and his religion, Bismillah Khan saw only a divine unity.

Even as a devout Shia, he was also a staunch devotee of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of music. During his long and fruitful career as an artiste, Khan enthralled audiences at performances across the globe. He was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, the Tansen award as well as the Padma Vibhushan.

In 2001, Khan became the third classical musician to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. He was also bestowed honorary doctorates by the Benares Hindu University and Shantiniketan. The maestro played in Afghanistan, Europe, Iran, Iraq, Canada, West Africa, USA, USSR, Japan, Hong Kong and almost every capital city across the world. In Khan's words, music was an ocean and he had barely reached its shores even after 91 years.

Despite his fame, Khan's lifestyle retained its old world charm and he continued to use the cycle rickshaw as his chief mode of transport. A man of tenderness, he believed in remaining private and said musicians were supposed to be heard and not seen. He was critical of today's musicians and said they only craved instant success.

Bismillah Khan has often been credited with taking the shehnai from the marriage mandap to the concert hall. He single-handedly pioneered the conversion of a mundane ceremonial instrument into one capable of expressing a range of human emotions and musical nuances. His long career and eminence assured him of a busy performance calendar as well as the highest fees. However, he was not very well off in his last days as his joint family of 60 members literally lived off him.

In 2003, he had to appeal to then prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee to sanction a gas agency to his grandson. Life for an ailing Khan was far from easy. Hardpressed for money and after repeated pleas to the central government for financial assistance, Vajpayee granted him 'delayed aid' of Rs 5 lakh.On August 3 this year, Khan was given a cheque of Rs 2.51 lakh on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Varanasi.

Four years ago, when he did not have money and resources to meet the cost of his needs, the then government arranged for his performance at Parliament Annexe, where Khan had to virtually give a charity show for his own benefit. It was then that Delhi-based couple Neena and Shivnath Jha, who had launched a programme to protect musicians, academicians and artists who brought pride and laurels to the nation and rehabilitate the descendants of forgotten heroes and martyrs, thought of bringing out a monograph on the life and art of the Ustad to extend financial support to him.

Their movement gained a victory of sorts after the centre allowed Khan to play 'Tune India' from the India Gate to pay tribute to the 'unsung heroes of World War-I and for the global peace and security'. However, fate did not allow the Ustad to fulfill his desire. His other wish, to perform at Darbhanga, where he had spent a considerable period of his early days, also remained unfulfilled.
The Ustad was identified with the shehnai but found the greatest fulfillment in singing bhajans to children. "The applause that I get from children when I sing the bhajan Raghupati Raghav Rajaram gives me the greatest fulfillment," Khan had said in 2004 while performing at a cultural programme in New Delhi to mark Gandhi Jayanti. Khan said it gave him tremendous satisfaction to know that at least some of the children will remember the 'old man' for the song that he sang for the same.

(Shivnath Jha, Neena Jha and their son Aakash Jha showing the ornamental copy of the Monograph on the Ustad on January 26, 2006 to the Ustad at his Sarai Harha house in the Temple town - Benaras. It was the beginning of the movement Andolan Ek Pustak Se.