logo   

वि दे ह 

प्रथम मैथिली पाक्षिक ई पत्रिका

मानुषीमिह संस्कृताम्

ISSN 2229-547X VIDEHA

विदेह नूतन अंक A PARALLEL HISTORY OF MAITHILI LITERATURE

 विदेह

मैथिली साहित्य आन्दोलन

Home ]

 

India Flag Nepal Flag

(c)२००४-२०२०.सर्वाधिकार लेखकाधीन आ जतए लेखकक नाम नहि अछि ततए संपादकाधीन।

 

वि  दे  ह विदेह Videha বিদেহ http://www.videha.co.in  विदेह प्रथम मैथिली पाक्षिक ई पत्रिका Videha Ist Maithili Fortnightly e Magazine  विदेह प्रथम मैथिली पाक्षिक ई पत्रिका  नव अंक देखबाक लेल पृष्ठ सभकेँ रिफ्रेश कए देखू।

 

GAJENDRA THAKUR

RAJDEO MANDAL- THE POET, THE NOVELIST/ PARALLEL HISTORY OF MAITHILI LITERATURE

Issue No. 88 (November – December 2019) of Muse India at http://museindia.com/Home/PastIssue displays Maithili literature in a very poor light. Moreover, it wrongly claims to be a representative review of the entirety of Maithili Literature. In actuality it was a representation of the so-called “dried main-drain” of Maithili Literature, in line with the Sahitya Akademi, Delhi. It is expected that Muse India will correct itself by announcing an issue exclusively devoted to the parallel tradition of Maithili literature. *—*Editor
 

T.K. Oommen writes in the 'Linguistic Diversity' Chapter of 'Sociology’, 1988, page 291, National Law School of India University/Bar Council of India Trust: "...the Maithili region is found to be economically and culturally dominated by Brahmins and if a separate Maithili State is formed they may easily get entrenched as the political elite also. This may not be to the liking and advantage of several other castes, the traditionally entrenched or currently ascendant castes. Therefore, in all possibility the latter groups may oppose the formation of a separate Maithili state although they also belong to the Maithili speech community. This type of opposition adversely affects the development of several languages."
 

T.K. Oomen further writes: “… even when a language is pronounced to be distinct from Hindi, it may be treated as a dialect of Hindi. For example, both Grierson who undertook the classic linguistic survey of India and S. K. Chatterjee, the national professor of linguistics, stated that Maithili is a distinct language. But yet it is treated as a dialect of Maithili”. (ibid, page 293)

 

1

RAJDEO MANDAL- THE POET, THE NOVELIST

The constant shedding of Tears

-Maithili poem by Sh. Rajdeo Mandal - from his anthology of Maithili poems "Ambara"

Out of the eyes of my beloved

tears like a river

always keep flowing

and in that water of tears

people plunge

some feel cold

and some feel hot

some say wow!

and some feel bad.

but my blind-deaf accomplice

does not care,

her tears always keep flowing

but from some time her tears have stopped coming out

now perhaps she has emptied herself of tears

or

is she storing it !?

Verse is  not apopular genre.it is appreciatedby a few. For a language like Sanskrit, the volunteers who are engaged in its popularisation, are using simple Sanskrit for it. They translate short stories and novels from other Indian languages into simple Sanskrit. But here translation of verse into Sanskrit is not done, because verse is read by none. A language, the number of whose speakers are so little that a need has been felt for organisation camps for its spoken form, translation from verse into that language is considered misuse of energy.

In Maithili the situation has become so grave that if we envisage a situation where there are no villages left, the number of speakers of this language would become a small number. People would speak in Maithili only in seminars and sittings. Thje need has already been felt for pronunciation and vocabulary enrichment classes even for the authors and singers of Maithili.

Then what is the purpose of writing verse in this language, i.e., Maithili? What is the purpose and what is the need for it? People write verse due to paucity of time, as the other genres require devotion of more time. The situation becomes even more grave when people gives the reason for writing verse in this way.

In this situation the happenings of the neighbourhood, personal ambition, derogatory remarks on others and the travelogue, all these have become the subject matter of verse. But why not use prose for these kind of subjects? The short stories are transformed into drama form for the purpose of staging it. But what is the purpose of converting prose into poem?

The answer is both obvious and simple who know the so-called dried main-channel of Maithili literature. The readers of the converted poems are only the partisan-critiques. And writers of those great poems themselves throw eulogies on themselves as they have understood the call for self-sufficiency in this way. Why to depend to others for it? They write long prefaces in prose and add it to their collection of verses, declare ther verse as great and path-breaking!

Who will understand the value of creation of verse?The personal worldly experiences, if it is not allowed to percolate deep down, would not be able to become a great poem even though it may remain in rhythm. The spiritual and other-worldly thinking, howsoever non-concrete would still be not able to mesmerise, if that is not able to meet the worldly and make itself relevant, even though it may remain non-rhythmic and may even subscribe to a particular partisan-grouping or even with the use of crutches of ideology. The essential needs of man are food, clothes and housing. And after that the spiritual thinking and related needs. When Buddha asked that all those people wo were participating in the festivities know the eventuality of death and if they do how can they participate in those festivities? Likewise the modern Maithili poets, when they find the base of their language-culture and economics missing behind their feet even then they refuse to accept that truth and then they try to insert the –isms to the national-international happenings into their poems, they want to create a patronising literature for the depressed classes and the natives, they want to become benefactor and so it fails to have a cutting-edge.

But when Rajdeo Mandal writes:

From the percolating blood drops

The earth has become freshly-bathed

The bird then asks

Asks from its heart

In the incoming heavy and pitch-dark night

Would our species survive?

, then it goes into our blood and the blood starts running fast. The species of the poetics of the poet or the species of that word? No partisan-critiques nod of self-obsessed preface is required for this poem. No groupism or crutches of ideology is required for this creation.

So the poem needs excellence. It requires base of language and culture. It does not want imported plots and subjects, which is imported to do favours to the poem. It also does not need the imported emotion, which would be a superficial attempt for searching for the disappearing language, culture and dwindling economy, which has gone missing beneath its feet.

Good poem can be written on any subject, it can be written on the anxiety of Buddha regarding future of mankind, for consoling the heart also otherwise people will have to go to the pseudo-preachers. For the language, culture and economy base also, otherwise we will have to start camps for Maithili soon. The transmigration of imagery isalso required, otherwise we will have to create an artificial atmosphere for the poet and for their poems we will have to arrange stage, a stage-camp will have to be organised for his artificial vocabulary and ideology. And people would have to be trained for it. The poets of the so-called mainline of dried-drain are just doing that.

The rhythm and ups and downs of Maithili language, the cultural and professional superiority of its proletariat brimming with confidence having all kinds of professional and cultural skills, the superiority of its cooperative living style, cultural conservatism, polity, daily affairs, social values, morality, economic situation and adaptation in the flood ravaged economy, religion and philosophy all should be the subject of Maithili literature. And if that does not happen it would become one-sided, it will get entrenched after getting lopsided, would become dead fit to be framed and put onto the wall.

To create poetry is a necessity, a literary urge for creation for fulfilling it. When the people of Mithila would go to the camps for learning Maithili language, then can only we start questioning the need of writing poems and creating all type of verse forms. Only then we should discuss the futility of writing poems in Maithili. And that day must not come, for that thew poets would have to remain alert. And so is Rajdeo Mandal and that is why “Ambara” a collection of poem written by him has become the best collection of its genre in the first decade of the 21st Century.  His collection of poems “Vasundhara” is the next step. The excellence of verse created by Rajdeo Mandal isbecause of its foundation, the foundation of language and culture. The excellence is because he does not and have not to import the contents of hissubjects. He does not import emotions either, you will not find any of these. The expressions of his imagery lies in the rich vocabulary that he possess. To create poem is the only way left for Rajdeo Mandal. He has to create poem, it’s a literary hunger and essentiality of his literary existence. The emotions are poured out in spinning rhythm and becomes his poetry.

“Rahab Ahink Sang”- (Will remain with you only)- From “Ambara”

Crying, calling

My throat dried

The lips dried

As if I was thirsty

The corpses all around

Are laughing at me

Nobody is listening to my voice

Where has went

My society

It was necessary to break

The conservatism

Turning of direction

For the future

You all are yourself the greats

Move forward and leave the squabbling

No interruption will be able to stop it

I have not done any big crime

Hey respected you, come here

Do not get angry

I will not break any law henceforth

I will not bother any of you now-on

Keep your kingdom

I donot want the headgear the throne

I will not change my colour anymore

I will be with you all only peacefully.

 

RAJDEO MANDAL- THE FICTION WRITER

“Paro” of Nagarjun-Yatri, notwithstanding the unanswered question whether it was written originally in Maithili or was a translation from Hindi into Maithili by the author himself, did depict first hand account of Maithil Brahmin caste of his contemporary times. He did depict the socio-cultural situation of the period. The novel “Hamar Tol” (My quarter of the village) by Rajdeo Mandal is a first hand account of “Dhanuk” caste of Mithila and has been written in thesetting of the socio-cultural situation that this caste is peculiarly placed in. He inserts everything in it, the belief, which are sometimes not rational, social reform, love, hate, hope as well as disappointment. There was a void after Lalit, the mainstream, as it is called, writers of Maithili language got themselves into a maze due to their chosen subjects. The dark enveloped the literary scene wherein they found the exit tough the going-on impossible. The “Hamar Tol” of Rajdeo Mandal purifies the account of the second-hand account or description of Lalit in “Prithviputra”; and as a result the parallel movement of the stream was able to take along the main course of literatureand moved it forward and relevant.

The author, being a realistic writer, has been forced to make the ending a tragical one. He refuses to see some struggles, or is not able to see, or nobody is able to see it. But he gives details of those struggles too.

“Everyone left in a hurry.

There began a fight between the crow and the Myna. That fight remained unseen, only the tree saw it. And the tree saw many more things, but yet the tree remained silent”.

The complexity and perplexity of that silence refined and presented owing to the first hand experiences of those unseen things, this novel has secured its position in the literary history of Maithili literature.

2

A PARALLEL HISTORY OF MAITHILI LITERATURE

1

FESTIVAL OF LETTERS OR FESTIVAL OF SHAME

SAHITYA AKADEMI AND the DOWNFALL OF INDIAN LANGUAGES (IN SPECIAL CONTEXT OF MAITHILI LANGUAGE)

When Maithili was recognised by the Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters- of India) way back in 1965, Late Ramanath Jha stated that his Maithili language is saved now (Maithilik Vartman Samasya, Ramanath Jha).

He was wrong on this on two counts. What he referred to was applicable, if it was applicable at all, only to the part of Maithili speaking area, geographically located in India. Maithili is spoken, natively, in India and Nepal both. After treaty of sugauli (ratified in 1816), which was in the aftermath of Anlo-Nepalese war of 1814-16, the hilly regions were incorporated in British India, including Nepalese speaking Darjeeling Area. Similarly in 1816 and 1860, the Britishers ceded some Terai region to Nepal. As a result part of Maithili speaking Area, which were earlier ruled by Malla Kings (when Maithili was official language of the region), was ceded to Nepal. Even today some Maithili scholars (!!) refer to the golden period of Maithili in the period of “Nepali (!!)” Malla Kings (Ramanath Jha, Introduction to Maithili Sahityak Itihas by Dr. Durganath Jha “Shreesh”).

Ramanath Jha himself admits that during his visit to “Vir Library” of Nepal (Kathmandu) he came to know about the Nepal legacy (his monograph on kirtaniya natak, which he wrongly presents as Kirtaniya Nach) in respect of Maithili. So he cannot be blamed for his lack of knowledge in this respect. He was wrong on the second count also, and this second count was an artificial creation. He began a tradition of elitism and conservatism in Sahitya Akademi, as a first convener of Maithili language. The tradition which got stronger and stronger in the last 55 years of its Existence of Maithili in that Akademi. So he ensured that the liberal writers, like Sh. Harimohan Jha, attacking casteism and conservatism did not get the award, even though the year 1967 went unrewarded and the Ist award in 1966 was given to a non-literary book in Maithili (academic book of Philosophy!!!).

He himself was casteist, conservative and confused. The inter-caste marriage in Panji was well known to him, and it was apparent that the great navya-nyaya philosopher Gangesh Upadhyaya married to a “Charmkarini” and was born five years after the death of his father. But he informed it to Sh. Dineshchandra Bhattacharya in a distorted way. Sh. Dineshchandra Bhattacharya writes in the “History of Navya-Nyaya in Mithila”-

“The family which was inferior in social status is now extinct in Mithila…Gangesha’s family is completely ignored and we are not expected to know even his father’s name.”, and he writes further that all these information was given to him by Prof. R. Jha. So how would this casteist-conservative-confused would allow the award to be given to Sh. Harimohan Jha. So the Sahitya Akademi saved Maithili Language by recognizing it, as asserted by Prof. R. Jha, was wrong on those two counts.

Now come to Nepal, the Prajna Pratisthan and other organizations often recognize Indian Maithili writers, but Sahitya Akademi of India does not recognize Nepalese Maithili writers, be it the Seminars or the poets meet, be it anthology of poems or prose published by the Akademi. Regarding treatment of Nepalese Maithili writers by Sahitya Akademi Sh. Ram Bharos Kapari “Bhramar” laments that there is demand in Nepal that they should also not award Indian Maithili writers/ publish them in their anthologies as reciprocity demands this.

The narrow mindedness of the Maithili advisory board of the Indian Sahitya Akademi has its origin in the organizations that is recognized by Sahitya Akademi, the basis of which is extra-literary credentials. These are pseudo organizations running on paper, political organizations or casteist organizations pocket-run by a few. The complete list is:

MAITHILI LITERARY ASSOCIATIONs (!!!) RECOGNIZED  by SAHITYA AKADEMI

01. The Secretary, All India Maithili Sahitya Samiti, Tirbhukti, 1/1B, Sir P.C. Banerjee Road

Allahabad-211 002;  02. The General Secretary, Akhil Bharatiya Maithili Sahitya Parishad

C/o Dr. Ganapati Mishra, Lalbag, Darbhanga-846 004; 03. The Secretary, Chetna Samity, Vidyapati Bhawan, Vidyapati Marg, Patna-800 001; 04. The Secretary, Mithila Sanskritik Parishad, 6 B, Kailash Saha Lane, Kolkata-700 007; 05. The Secretary, Vidyapati Seva Sansthan, Mithila Bhavan Parishar, Darbhanga-846 004; 06. The Secretary, Centre for the Study of Indian Traditions, Tantrabati Geeta Bhavan; Ranti House, Ranti, Madhubani-847 211

What is the literary credential of Centre for the Study of Indian Traditions?  Chetna Samiti and Vidyapati Seva Sansthan are casteist political outfits, vehemently displaying casteist attire of a great ancient poet, whose caste is still uncertain (VIDYAPATI), but who was certainly not Brahmin. All India Maithili Sahitya Samiti became non-existent even during the lifetime of Late Jaykant Mishra, same is the case with Akhil Bhartiya Maithili Sahitya Parishad.  Mithila Sanskritik Parishad has done a crime through an investiture ceremony of the great Vidyapati, they tried to convert Vidyapati and “Maithili” language as the language of only the Brahmins. When these non-existent organizations exercise voting powers granted by Sahitya Akademi and chose a convener, it is not a coincidence that for the successive times only conservative people among the Maithil Brahmin caste, are chosen. The complete list is:

1. Ramanath Jha, 2. Jaykant Mishra, 3. Surendra Jha Suman, 4. Sureshwar Jha, 5. Ramdeo Jha, 6. Chandranath Mishra Amar, 7. Vidyanath Jha Vidit, 8. Veena Thakur, 9.Prem Mohan Mishra and10. Ashok Avichal.

The result is now for everybody to see. The complete list of Sahitya Akademi awards (till 2019) is:

Total booty distribution- 50 times, Maithil Brahmins- 42 times, Kayasthas- 6 times, Rajpoots- 3 times; Others- 0 times !!!

The result is not on the basis of quality of the books but solely upon the caste based other considerations and the disease has its root in the faulty seedling that the Sahitya Akademi of India found through the faulty literary associations.

What were the objectives of setting of this Akademi.

Sahitya Akademi was established (National Academy of Letters to be called Sahitya Akademi) by Government of India resolution No F-6-4/51G2(A) dated December 1952 “to set high literary standards, to foster and co-ordinate literary activities in all the Indian languages and to promote through them all the cultural unity of the country; to promote good taste and healthy reading habits, to keep alive the intimate dialogue among the various linguistic and literary zones and groups through seminars, lectures, symposia, discussions, readings and performances, to increase the pace of mutual translations through workshops and individual assignments and to develop a serious literary culture through the publications of journals, monographs, individual creative works of every genre, anthologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, who's who of writers and histories of literature.”

The Akademi boasts of publishing “one book every thirty hours” and holding "at least thirty seminars every year” at regional, national and international levels, “ along with the workshops and literary gatherings-about 200 in number per year”.

The Akademi recognises “ Besides the twenty two languages enumerated in the Constitution of India”, English and Rajasthani as languages.  24 language Advisory Boards have been constituted by Sahitya Akademi “to render advice for implementing literary programmes in these 24 languages”.

The Akademi gives prizes in 24 languages recognised by it for original and translated works. It gives “ special awards called Bhasha Samman to significant contribution to the languages not formally recognized by the Akademi as also for contribution to classical and medieval literature”; “It has also system of electing eminent writers as Fellows and Honorary Fellows and has also established fellowship in the names of Dr. Anand Coomaraswamy and Premchand”.

FESTIVAL OF LETTERS (SHAME)!!!!

In February every year, Sahitya Akademi “holds a week-long Festival of Letters; It begins with the ceremony to present the Akademi's Annual Awards for creative writing”.

In February every year there is need to examine whether Sahitya Akademi is fulfilling its objective, whether Sahitya Akademi is aware of the rich cultural and linguistic variety prevalent in India.

On scrutiny it is revealed that Sahitya Akademi believe in “forced standardisation of culture through a bulldozing of levels and attitudes” and it is not “conscious of the deep inner cultural, spiritual, historical and experiential links that unify India's diverse manifestations of literature”.

The Akademi boasts of publishing “one book every thirty hours” and holding "at least thirty seminars every year” at regional, national and international levels, “along with the workshops and literary gatherings-about 200 in number per year”.  If we see the data in respect of Maithili it comes out that every year around 12 books should have been published in Maithili and the Maithili writers might have attended 30 seminars every year at regional, national and international levels and might have participated in 8 literary gatherings every year. The number of Maithili books published by the Akademi is pathetically low, and when we see the assignments, through which these books get artificially prepared (be it translation, anthology or monograph), then the people getting these assignments are often related to the members of the advisory board (as the answer to RTI application by Sh. Vinit Utpal brings forth). The quality suffers, as a result there is no readership.

How this Akademi failed? And why this Akademi failed? And what action should be taken against the Akademi for its intentional failure?

Firstly, Akademi is not the name of a man or woman. Akaemi or its member of advisory Board consists of persons, and if the group of persons is failing the Akademi, that language itself is to blamed! But again the language is not the name of a man or woman. So, the people speaking that language are to be blamed for the failures of the Akademi. Really!!

Even if it is partially true, the Sahitya Akademy cannot shirk from its responsibilities. How an advisory committee can be considered representative of Maithili speaking people (even that of India), when the Convener of that language is nominated by six organisations (recognised by the Sahitya Akademi for reasons best known to it), having no remote connection with literature. Sahitya Akademi sowed seeds of Acacia and expecting Mango fruit. Having said that it is also true that the Akademi or any organisation can transform itself, but only when the conservative people representing these find pressure from the literary fraternity, change themselves or are replaced.

What is the solution?

The literary fraternity has already taken initiative by establishing parallel Sahitya Akademi awards and parallel literary meets. It should be taken further. All legal means should be explored to take the Akademi to task. On all available forums, the fact be made clear that the literature being prepared by Sahitya Akademi through assignments, are not grammatically correct, that it is not upto mark and are of inferior quality. On all available forums, it should be made clear that the thin, casteist looking (quantatively and qualitatively) and pale Maithili literature, that is being shown by the Sahitya Akademi of India to the world, has no readership or respect in its native speaking area of India and Nepal. And that Maithili has moved itself not because of Sahitya Akademi but in spite of it.

Demand

The six organisations representing Maithili should be derecognized with immediate effect and an inquiry initiated to ascertain its genuineness. A committee should be set up to scrutinize the work done by the Sahitya Akademi (in respect of Maithili) in the last 55 years. The awards should be kept in abeyance till results of the inquiry are made public and corrective steps are taken.

2

THECELEBRATION BEGINS

Videha Ist Maithili Fortnightly International e-journal has e-published more than 300 issues till date. Meanwhile We will enumerate the problems faced and solutions found by us. The Journey began in the year 2000 at yahoo geocities- the first words on internet in Maithili was written by me on the yahoo geocities sites (now yahoo has discontinued geocities) towards the end of 2000 when I suffered a major accident which kept me confined to cretches for nearly one and a half years. But that perhaps shaped my destiny. I could concentrate on my Maithili writings and on my research on Tirhuta Manuscripts. On 5th July 2004, the first blog in Maithili came (gajendrathakur.blogspot.com) as "Bhalsarik Gachh", which was rechristened as Videha ejournal from 1st January 2008. From Ist January 2008 it came to be published as a fortnightly journal. The 1st rechristened issue brought the story of life and creations of a forgotten Maithili poet Late Ramji Choudhary (1878-1952).

Till eighth issue of Videha the columns on Music, Mithila Painting, Children column, Learn samskrit through Maithili got strengthened. Moreover the projects on digitalisation of Maithili Classics and Panji Manuscript-leafs got started. The searchable dictionary (Maithili-English_Maithili) was designed and strengthened. From eighth issue a latest unpublished Maithili Play of Nachiketa "No Entry Maa Pravish" began its e-publication in Videha. Nachiketa, the greatest dramatist of Maithili Literature was silent for the last 25 years, so far as drama was concerned.  

Technology has two aspect, bad (its chances of misuse) and  good (its good use). It is a great leveller, it challenges status quoist forces. It is applicable in all areas of knowledge. So a school going children today has more clear understanding of the universe and atoms than the Aryabhata or Sir Issac Newton had. After mass scale use of printing education and literature expanded its wings, but only after the "Internet and electronic trasformation of tools of knowledge", it has became universal, it has jumped geographical boundaries. All shackles unfurled, the weak links of the chain were identified, the chain which tried to capture knowledge, which tried to thwart  its expansion, started breaking down. And the greatest beneficiary became the Maithili Literature. What is Videha, nothing, its only its commitment to Maithili Language, that helped it expand its base, and Videha became the means that was able to bind together the Maithili speaking areas in both parts of the boundary (India & Nepal). Videha gave Maithili a batch of committed writers, a batch of committed readers. It challenged status quoist and casteist forces. It challenged confused writers, who were using Maithili as a tool to ride the ladder of Hindi. The lack of criticism, the lack of teeth in criticism was the reason that some writers and dramatists were using Hindi-Mix Maithili for cheap popularity, they were using derogatory language for the so-called lower castes of their society (some were finding plea in Natyashastra- when even the modern-day Samskrit Drama is not using Prakrit etc.!!), and for their mimicry those castes started keeping distance with this kind of literature. And once the confusion of the confused thinned, a new type of awakened literature, stage and drama (top-class) became the norm.

Videha is getting regularly some excellent brains. Since its inception Videha, the idea factory, is dependent upon them. So far as their versatile qualities are concerned, people associated with Videha are different. All are known for their perseverance and resilience. All are known for their hard work. All are known for their quality work.  All are known for their discipline. And above all, all are committed; committed to Maithili and to the Mithila. The cumulative force resulted in a natural revolution. A revolution in the field of Maithili Literature, art, music, craft, stage and drama. The only International e-journal in Maithili started this quality movement in Maithili. Nothing less than world standard was acceptable. The awards were instituted to recognize the parallel field of Maithili Literature, art, music, craft, stage and drama. Only the best were selected, there was no scope for the second best.  The participation of readers in the decision-making processes was encouraged. The readers got full access to the digitalised Maithili Literature. More than 500 Maithili books and around 11000 palm-leaf mithilakshar manuscripts were digitalised and were made available online under "Videha Archive" section of www.videha.co.in  (and the number is increasing everyday). The audio-video-paintings-photographs were archieved, all these archieved "art and lifestyle" of people of Mithila were then placed online. The Videha Archive ( http://www.videha.co.in/new_page_15.htm )  is a unique gift to the world.

So what is the ideology of people associated with Videha. Is it a collective thinking? No, of course not. In Videha all are welcome. Here all are welcome to discuss their respective ideology. Having said this, it needs emphasis that there are some basic human principles where no compromise is possible. The casteists, those having genetic superiority complex (which is another name of inferiority complex), the practitioners of plagiarism, those who are unable to take part in a healthy discussion and persons who are not able to withstand criticism on their creation, Videha is not a platform for them. Ideology of people associated with Videha may have different tinge, it is not necessary that all should toe to the line taken by any member of the editorial board. Videha believes in individuality of ideas and the editorial board never imposes its ideology upon its members. At the same time it is being emphasized that each member of the Videha editorial board has strong ideological leaning, the ideology of humanism is practiced by all.

Videha-Maithili Literature Movement has its roots in year 2000 when I started making Maithili Websites on yahoo geocities. After Yahoo Closed geocities these sites were automatically deleted. However the early form of Videha "Bhalsari Gachh" was started on 5 July 2004, http://www.videha.com/2004/07/bhalsarik-gachh.html  and it is the earliest presence of Maithili on the internet. Videha and its vibrant members did their utmost in translating lacs of words on wikipedia and they successfully opposed the nomenclature "Bihari Languages" http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2011/05/bihari-wikipedia-is-actually-written-in.html (Gerard M accepted the role of Umesh Mandal, the co-editor of Videha, go to Grerad M's blog and click the Dasipat Aripan photo from Videha archive (Preeti Thakur)   placed at his blog, you will reach http://videha.co.in/). In Google translate/ wikipedia localisation drive, in Tirhuta and Kaithi script research and in the localisation of Braille in consonance to Maithili Language, Videha shouldered the responsibility as a pioneer in technology viz-a-viz Maithili Language. It was pioneer in many respects. It started for the first time a Maithili Websites Aggregator at http://videha-aggregator.blogspot.com/, first braille site in Maithili, first mithilakshar site in Maithili among others (total list available at http://www.videha.co.in/new_page_15.htm and http://www.videha.co.in/feedback.htm ).

Videha has organised several dozen Maithili book fairs till date. The 16th Videha Maithili book fair was held at Sagar Rati Deep Jaray, Patna on 10-11th December 2011 and the 17th Videha Maithili book fair was held at Guwahati, on 22-23 December next year at the Vidyapati Parv organised by Mithila Sanskritik Samanvay Samiti. The detailed list of all the venues (datewise) are available at http://esamaad.blogspot.com/2011/11/blog-post_4803.html. Videha also organised a parallel Sahitya Akademi Kavi Sammelan, besides awarding parallel Sahitya Akademi prizes, as corrective measures, as the awards and Kavi Sammellans of Sahitya Akademi were awarded/ organised in a unilateral manner where merit took a beating. Videha has, thus, fulfilled its obligation by interfering into the murky affairs of government organisations. Videha cannot remain a silent spectator, be it plagiarism or copyright violations. So the authors like Pankaj Parashar, Ashok Sahu, who were engaged in lifting others articles/ stories/ poems were banned after verifying the sources and target writings. 

Literature in translation is a major issue with Videha. Lack of translation in America resulted in Americans lagging behind in quality literature. We practise literature in translation in both directions- from Maithili into English and from other languages into Maithili. So far as translations from other languages into Maithili are concerned English, Nepali, Sanskrit and Hindi act as buffer languages in the process. Direct translations into Maithili are limited; and it is done directly only from English, Sanskrit, Hindi, Nepali and Bengali, although there are some exceptions. So far as question of translations from Maithili into other languages is concerned, directed translations are again limited; and it is again done directly only into English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali and Nepali, barring some exceptions.   Videha contacted some notable personalities of class literature, took permission and translated those literature into Maithili. Most of the time English was used as a buffer language and translation work from English, Hindi, Konkani, Telugu, Gujarati, Oriya, Kannada, Nepali and Telugu into Maithili was completed; and these works were regularly published in Videha. Maithili novels, poems and short stories, on the other hand, were translated from Maithili into English and were published  on a regular basis in Videha.

VIDEHA became a Maithili Literature movement? No, VIDEHA was from the day one a Maithili Literature movement. Many established misconceptions got cleared through VIDEHA. The well known facts, the not so obvious plot of some people to kill Maithili through its twin institutions the Sahitya Akademi and the CIIL was unearthed. The Right to Information came in handy.Sri Vinit Utpal asked for information from Sahitya Akademi through his RTI application dated 23.09.2011 (file no. RTI-125) and sought information on "Assignment assigned by Maithili Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi under the convenership of Sri Vidyanath Jha 'Vidit'”. The information included proposal received, proposal rejected and proposal kept in abeyance." The statutory mandatory information supplied by the Sahitya Akademi unearthed a vicious circle of Maithili speaking so-called litterateurs, hell bent upon making Maithili a language- "of the Maithil Brahmin, for the Maithil Brahmin and by the Maithil Brahmin". More than 90% of the assignments went to the friends, relatives and acquaintances of the 10 member Maithili Advisory Board. No assignment to Sh. Jagdish Prasad Mandal, Sh. Rajdeo Mandal, Sh. Bechan thakur (the greatest Short-story-novel writer of Maithili, the greatest Living poet of Maithili and the greatest living Maithili dramatist; respectively), Sh. Umesh Paswan, Sh. Umesh Mandal, Sh. Ramdev Prasad Mandal "Jharudar", Sh. Durganand Mandal,Sh. Sandeep Kumar Safi or to Sh. Anand Kumar Jha. When each and every member of the Maithili advisory board is hand in glove with the Sahitya Akademi to kill Maithili language then where lies the hope? The demand for Mithila state by these people will see that 10 Maithil Brahmin families would loot the Mithila state. Then where lies the hope? Here lies the hope. Sh. Bechan Thakur has created a parallel Maithili stage and theatre, a slap on the existing slapstick humouristic Maithili theatre. Sh. Umesh Paswan is a discovery of the Parallel Sahitya Akademi Poetry festival organised by Videha. Sh. Jagdish Prasad Mandal, Sh. Rajdeo Mandal, Sh. Jharudar, Sh. Sandeep Kumar Safi and Sh Umesh Mandal have pumped their energy, wealth and time for our Maithili Language. This language will live...proofs are given below:-

The Google translate

http://www.google.com/transconsole/giyl/chooseProject

then Wikipedia translate:

http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Special:Translate?task=untranslated&group=core-mostused&limit=2000&language=mai

http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Project:Translator

http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Project:Translator   http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Maithili     http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Special:Translate?task=untranslated&group=core-mostused&limit=2000&language=mai   http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wp/mai   http://translatewiki.net/wiki/MediaWiki:Mainpage/mai

http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2011/05/bihari-wikipedia-is-actually-written-in.html  )

[Monday, May 09, 2011

The #Bihari #Wikipedia is actually written in #Bhojpuri

This is the kind of article that has many people's eyes glaze over. It is about standards, scientific documents and it is about languages most of my readers have never heard about. For the people that do speak one of the languages that are considered Bihari it is extremely relevant and it has implications for Wikipedia.

This is information provided by Umesh Mandal that explains about the "Bihari group of languages" in relation to the Maithili language:

Kellogg (1876/1893) and Hoernle (1880) regarded Maithili as a dialect of Eastern Hindi; Beames (1872/reprint 1966: 84-85), regarded Maithili as a dialect of Bengali, Grierson has done a great service to Maithili language, however, he erred when he gave a false notional term of "Bihari" language, after that western linguists started categorizing Maithili as a dialect of "Bihari" language; although there is nothing known as "Bihari Language" and both Maithili and Bhojpuri are spoken in Bihar (of India) as well as in Nepal.

Umesh is working on the localisation of MediaWiki for the Maithili language and as this language is currently in the Incubator, the language committee does its due diligence and tries to understand if Maithili can have a place in the Bihari Wikipedia. The information provided by Umesh makes it quite clear: "no".

This still leaves us with the misnomer that is the Bihari Wikipedia. Apparently the language used for the localisation and the articles is Bhojpuri. Bhojpuri has the ISO-639-3 code "bho".

Are you still following all this? Ok, there is one question I am not asking: How about the Kaithi script?

Thanks, GerardM]

Excerpt from a Maithili e-journal published as PDF (from Videha 2011: 22; Videha: A fortnightly Maithili e-journal. Issue 80 (April 15, 2011), Gajendra Thakur [ed]. http://www.videha.co.in/ ."Gajendra Thakur of New Delhi graciously met with me and corresponded at length about Maithili, offered valuable specimens of Maithili manuscripts, printed books, and other records, and provided feedback regarding requirements for the encoding of Maithili in the UCS."-Anshuman Pandey.] ।

TIRHUTA UNICODE See the final UNICODE Mithilakshara Application (May 5, 2011) by Sh. Anshuman pandey http://std.dkuug.dk/JTC1/SC2/WG2/docs/n4035.pdf at Page 23 the Videha 80th issue (Tirhuta version) is attached"Figure 11: Excerpt from a Maithili e-journal published as PDF (from Videha 2011: 22" and at Page 12 Videha is included in References Videha: A fortnightly Maithili e-journal. Issue 80 (April 15, 2011), Gajendra Thakur [ed]. http://www.videha.co.in/. and role of Videha's editor is acknowledged on Page 12 "Gajendra Thakur of New Delhi graciously met with me and corresponded at length about Maithili, offered valuable specimens of Maithili manuscripts, printed books, and other records, and provided feedback regarding requirements for the encoding of Maithili in the UCS." ]

The Maithili Speaking area is shrinking. It is shrinking due to a conscious-subconscious policy of the Governments of India and that of Nepal; and the situation became critical due to  invasion of Hindi and Nepali media and the biased educational system in Maithili speaking areas, and also due to the large scale migration that has happened in one single generation. The question of Hindi saw to it that Vajjika, Angika and now Thethi, Surjapuri etc. languages should get the tacit support of supporters of Hindi, first in the name of religion and second in the name of caste . Through this they did not support Vajjika, Angika, Thethi or Surjapuri; but they tried to weaken Maithili, which ultimately resulted in the weakening of Vajjika, Angika, Thethi and Surjapuri. For all this, the Maithili speaking people, more so the officials (I will explain it later on), are also responsible, as they themselves tried to delimit Maithili within the two castes and four districts. All others people and areas, than these, were considered northern, southern, eastern and western deviations of so-called pure Maithili, that was fictitiously considered as being spoken by these Maithil Brahmins/ Karna Kayasthas of Madhubani, Darbhanga, Saharsa and Supaul districts. For the last 45 years the officials, yes I call them officials, the officials of the Maithili Department of Sahitya Akademi, did not try to accommodate the people outside this fictitiously delimited domain.    But the major problem lies somewhere else. The slow poisoning was given in many disguises, be it the faulty top-heavy education system, which neglected primary and middle school education through the Mother Language Maithili, or be it through the concept of dialect, which initially conveniently declared languages like Maithili as dialects. The elementary education through Maithili was a non-started because the Maithili books published by the Bihar State Textbook Publishing Corporation Limited seemed to be in Avahatt, it was not fit for children. Further the authors and subjects selected for these books had the casteist bias. Maithili became a tool for caste based politics, as once Hindi had been a tool for religion based politics. Still these officials, of Maithili Department of Sahitya Akademi, are residing in their own built ghetto, bereft of any thinking or vision. Another reason for the present plight of Maithili is the policy undertaken by the tax-collectors of Mithila (permanent settlement Zamindars of Kornwallis), whom the sycophants call King or the great king (Raja/ Maharaja) or Mithilesh (King of Mithila), actually these were mere tax collectors, the right for which were given to the highest bidders on a permanent basis; and there were not one such Mithilesh (tax collectors), but many within the borders of Mithila. These tax collectors employed mostly those two castes from four districts in their merchandise venture, and as the selection was based on sycophancy, so the work suffered. So they imported the lathiyals from outside Mithila region. The masses of Mithila suffered blow from the double-edged weapon. First, from their own people who did not consider them as their own and second they got looted from the outsiders. Now after sometime these outsiders, the non-Maithili speaking people, found it convenient to declare the masses (not belonging to the two castes from four districts) as non-Maithili speaking people, and the officials/ sycophants from those two castes from four districts tacitly agreed to it. Now these outsiders, the non-Maithili speaking people, formed a majority in many places of Mithila, and they led the rumour that Maithili, like Samskrit, is a upper-caste phenomenon, and thus they legitimized their anti-Maithili stance (all these facts have been brilliantly dealt with in the Maithili Novels of Sh. Jagdish Prasad Mandal) and they propagated the case of Hindi, first on the basis of religion and second on the basis of caste. But why our own people fell in their trap, why these tax-collector Maharajas did not consider the masses of Mithila as their own, and imported the perpetrators to loot their own masses? The simple answer is that, merit took a downward leap in auction based tax collection rights allocation.

We started from one and reached number three, then thirty and now three hundred!! and we are growing…... and are 300 not out, and are creating a grand history.   http://www.videha.co.in/ Videha Ist Maithili Fortnightly e Journal  ISSN 2229-547X has e-published its 300th issue recently. When I began this venture in the year 2000 with a samsung TV net appliance, and when the existing http://www.videha.com/2004/07/bhalsarik-gachh.html was posted on 5th of July 2004, I moved all alone. Then on 31st January 2007 I suddenly thought to include the public, as after some ground work I was ready for it. I decided to e-publish Videha, and did publish it, on a fortnightly basis, the first issue that came on 1st January 2008 tried to include all the previous posts.

From all corners of this planet earth the people tried to change the destiny of Mithila and Maithili. Now Sh. Ashish Anchinhar, Sh. Munnaji (Manoj Kumar Karn), are part of our team; and together we are 300 not out now. With 300 plus issues, 30,000 pages of Maithili literature (100 lac words corpora) creation and 11000 Tirhuta manuscript transcription we maintained 50000 word Maithili-English vocabulary database. Now we are 350 strong, with 350 authors.

Videha has faced challenges and has withstood it. We never shirk from any question and/ or problem. The question of state of Mithila is one such question which often comes calling. We are in favour of the states of Mithila within the sovereign borders of India and Nepal. We are in favour of Mithila. But which type of Mithila, that type that we had during the Zamindari Raj, where means of sustenance and avenues of existence remained limited for a few castes? Or that culture that existed within "Aryavarta-Indian Nation newspaper" and other Industries during that Raj. All of these got galloped by a dozen family of Mithila mostly from a single caste!!  No, we are not in support of that Mithila, that Mithila where Maithili would be swallowed, as it is being swallowed by the Sahitya Akademi and the CIIL, swallowed by another dozen families. We are not in favour of that Mithila where the proceeding of the legislative assembly would be held in language other than Maithili. Till the misgivings of the people of Mithila is addressed, we cannot support any Mithila state movement. So the people striving hard for Mithila state should sit on protest before the advisory board members of the Sahitya Akademi/ CIIL and sing patriotic songs in front of their houses; and pressurise them to not to misuse government funds by unscrupulously awarding functions of Akademi outside Mithila and not to misuse the power of assigning translation and other rights to themselves and to those people who are hell-bent upon destroying our language. The RTI application by Sh. Vinit Utpal http://esamaad.blogspot.com/2011/11/vinit-utpals-rti-application-dated.html has thwarted an attempt to strangulate Maithili, but if the supplementary work is not done the sinister design would re-surface again. We request the Maithili advisory board members of Sahitya Akademi to immediately return their assignments taken in their own name and in the name of the members of their family. Otherwise pressure should be mounted to force this 10 member Maithili Advisory Board members to voluntarily resign from their membership in the larger interest of Maithili.   So what is our answer viz-a-viz demand of Mithila state: its a categorical Yes.

The technology centric venture called Videha became a success. The native speakers of Maithili reside in Bihar (of India) and in South-East Nepal. The net connectivity had been very poor in these areas. Then how the authors, new and old, started using unicode for writing for Videha. The Nepal Side of Mithila had been using Preeti, Kantipur, Himala etc. fonts, the Kolkata Maithils had been using the Marathi fonts and the rest had been using the fonts based on old remington keyboard. All these three types of fonts are ASCII fonts. We researched into these fonts and provided font converters to our Nepal based authors. We also provided phonetic and remington based unicode writers to all Maithili authors, who asked for it. We asked the authors that they may send their creations in any font, but at the same time we encouraged them to use unicode fonts. The technical support that we provided resulted in numerous receipt of typed entries from persons like Sh. Gangesh Gunjan, who in earlier stages had been sending their creations in their own handwritings. As Sh. Gangesh Gunjan was well versed in remington keyboard typing, so he made great use of the remington unicode typewriter. He sent that software to some of his friends too and he was courteous enough to intimate about this to us, although there was no need for that. Sh. Saketanand also used that software and sent his short-story कालरात्रिश्च दारुणा in unicode, and it was published in one of the issues of Videha. The technology centric venture called Videha became a success because we made it simple and intelligible at a time when even the technologists were not sure about the future of this unicode. The virtual medium was being seen with anxiety by the literary fraternity, the copy-paste system of theft was rampant in those days. But we assured the authors that with Videha they may rest assured that the copyright thief's would not be spared, while at the same time we were firm, that only for fear of misuse of technology we should not stop our venture midway. With internet and technology the geographic barrier became non-existing. The end of problem of distribution in Maithili literature became possible due to our technology-friendly attitude and it proved a boon for our Maithili language. And it made the technology centric venture called Videha a success.... It is success of the parallel Maithili literature movement.

 

अपन मंतव्य editorial.staff.videha@gmail.com पर पठाउ।