Raha releases Group Capt Randhir Singh alias Kunwar Viyogi’s Sahitya Akademi Award winning book ‘Ghar’
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC Arup Raha unveiled former Group Captain Randhir Singh’s Hindi translation of Sahitya Akademi award winning book ‘Ghar’, on October 9, 2016, at Akash Air Force Officers Mess, Zakir Hussain Marg, New Delhi.
While paying tribute to the Dogri writer, Raha said that it’s an honour for the Indian Air Force that former Group Captain Singh is the first and only air warrior till date to have received the national literary honour. During a media interaction, Raha congratulated Singh’s family members on the occasion and expressed hope that the Dogri poet’s work could be translated in more languages so that it reaches a wider audience.
Singh’s daughter and founder of Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust Poonam Singh Jamwal, thanked the Indian Air Force for honouring Kunwar Viyogi and said that the occasion was very special and relevant, especially because it was the Air Force week and the sons of India are at the border, fighting to protect their country.
“We all know what our soldiers are going through and the nation has to stand by them all the moral support possible. For Mr Raha to come forward and put works of Kunwar Viyogi- the soldier and poet at centre stage are commendable.”
Jamwal further said, “We have very talented soldiers and it’s only the best who join the Armed Forces. Most beautiful aspect is that the Armed Forces give you the respect and environment thus allowing you to pursue your talents. Today when a soldier dawns all the stars and fights a battle, he is all out and dedicated to doing that. But when he is not preparing for the battle, he is pursuing his other interests equally and today everything has come out so beautifully because my father Group Captain Randhir Singh was an excellent soldier and dedicated his life to Air Force. On top of that, he was a fine poet India has ever produced. He could be the next Shakespeare of India. Sahitya Akademi has translated his work in Hindi and Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust wants to take his work across India. Next step will be to have his work translated in English and take it across the globe.”
Group Captain Randhir Singh, who wrote under the pen name of Kunwar Viyogi, is the only Air-warrior in the history of Air Force and Sahitya Akademi to be bestowed with most prestigious national literary honour in 1980. He wrote prolifically in English and Urdu, but his best works are in Dogri.
He was an experimentalist poet and had also written sonnets – a first in Dogri literature and claimed to be the only writer to have the largest body of work in Indian literary scene with 200 published and 600 unpublished sonnets. This earned him the sobriquet – ‘Father of Dogri sonnets’.
Singh was commissioned in the IAF in flying branch as a navigator. Having served in various transport squadrons, in 1990, he took premature retirement upon the untimely demise of his wife. At the time, he was serving as the TAC Commander at Jodhpur.
Upon retirement, he worked as the editor at Kashmir Times – an English Daily newspaper in Jammu. As the president of Dogri Sanstha, Kunwar Viyogi, he also worked actively to promote Dogri literature.
To celebrate the life and works of the Dogri writer, Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust, held its week-long inaugural activities at Jammu from Sep 9-16, 2016. The aim was to promote and popularise the Dogri language and make it sustainable and cause-worthy.
The Utsav was a collaborative effort of Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust, the University of Jammu and cultural organisations like Dogri Sanstha, Jammu, Sahitya Academy, New Delhi and J&K Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages.
‘Kunwar Viyogi’ received Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 at the age of 40 for his book of long Dogri Poem titled ‘Ghar’. He used ‘Ghar’ (Home) as a peg and strung together 238 four lines verse embracing a wide variety of subjects and ideas and feelings into a long poem. It was quite a unique composition that managed to weave all the nuances of our worldly existence and its context and axis being the Home (Ghar). It presented something new to literature not only in Dogri but in Indian literary horizon, a fresh deep thought was introduced and in such lyrical precision and balance. ‘Ghar’ is used as a symbol of the centre of life, our hopes and fears, anxieties, achievements and failures, dreams and also a symphony of love.
- Event Place : Akash Air Force Officers Mess, New Delhi
- Date : 09-10-2016
- Time : 12 : 00 PM
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