Sunday, June 17, 2007

Storm in Hindi blogosphere & Shah Alam camp stories (Gujarat riot victims)

Renowned Hindi author Asghar Wajahat's book 'Main Hindu huuN' is a collection of stories that mainly address communalism and other social issues.

The last chapter titled 'Shah Alam Camp ki ruuheN' is a series of ten mini stories and a few of them were posted in some blogs, which have caused a stir.

Bloggers not familiar with Wajahat, felt that the writer was identifying himself with the trauma of Muslims alone [Is that wrong when the stories are in the context of Gujarat riots?]

First read translation of one of the stories:

When night descends on Shah Alam camp, the children don't fall asleep. They wait for the spirits of their dead parents...Siraj asked his mother, 'how are you?', She looked happy. Now I am a spirit, a soul, nobody can set me afire...Siraj said, 'mother can I become like you?'

A few Hindi bloggers are supporters of Sangh ideology also [I have no problem with that personally though, everybody is entitled to his views) but when it comes to literature, the level of debate should be a bit more serious and things must be put in perspective.

Veteran blogger Ravi Ratlami has now posted the entire series of mini-stories on his blog here. If you can't read devanagari is excerpt of one of these mini-stories:

...saaraa camp jab so jaata hai to bachche jaagte haiN, unheN intezaar rahtaa hai apni maaN ko dekhne kaa....abba ke saath khaana khaane ka....'kaise ho Siraj'. Amma kii ruuh ne Siraj ke sar par haath pherte hue kahaa.
tum kaisii ho amma?

maa khush nazar aa rahii thii, bolii, Siraj, ab main ruuh huun..ab mujhe koi jalaa nahin sakta
'Amma kyaa main bhii tumhaari tarah ho saktaa hun?'

Another one:

Shah Alam camp mein aadhi raat ke baad roohen aati hain. rooheN apne bachchoN ke liye swarg se khaanaa laati haiN. paani laati haiN, davaayeN laati haiN aur bachchoN ko detii haiN. Yahii wajah ahi ki Shah Alam camp mein na to koi bachcha nanga bhuka rahta hai aur na bimar.

yahi wajah hai ki Shah Alam camp ab bohat mash'huur ho gaya hai. Duur Duur mulkoN mein uskaa naam hai. Delhi se ek baDe netaa jab daure par gaye to bohat khush ho gaye...aur bole 'yeh to bahot badhia jagah hai..yahaan to desh ke sabhii musalman bachchon ko pahunchaa dena chahiye'.

The leader who came from Delhi to inspect it, was delighted to see the Shah Alam camp and said, 'All Muslim kids of the country should be brought here.

शाह आलम कैम्प में आधी रात के बाद रूहें आती हैं। रूहें अपने बच्चों के लिए स्वर्ग से खाना लाती है।, पानी लाती हैं, दवाएं लाती हैं और बच्चों को देती हैं। यही वजह है कि शाह कैम्प में न तो कोई बच्चा नंगा भूखा रहता है और न बीमार। यही वजह है कि शाह आलम कैम्प बहुत मशहूर हो गया है। 

दूर-दूर मुल्कों में उसका नाम है। दिल्ली से एक बड़े नेता जब शाह आलम कैम्प के दौरे पर गये तो बहुत खुश हो गये और बोले, 'ये तो बहुत बढ़िया जगह है. . .यहां तो देश के सभी मुसलमान बच्चों को पहुंचा देना चाहिए।'

Meanwhile, the controversy over Blog Aggregator Narad removing a blogger from its database and banning him for 'offensive' language has also caused a major controversy.

Pratirodh, the Resistance, protests 'Narad, send us also to jail' here. And do read this post by Masijeevi here.

Was Rahul's language derogatory or it was in the tradition of (aughar parampara). Ravi Ratlami has again written a post about this censorship here under the title 'there is life beyond Narad'. Though many like Epandit (here) support Narad's move.

The question is that whether an aggregator has the right to ban a blogger's post.? May be they have. It's an ideological issue as well, whether heavily pro-RSS writings can pass off easily while leftist/ultra-leftist thoughts are curbed. Yes Narad is a big platform and may be it is the owners' prerogative to remove a blogger.

But aren't there other options for a reader who gets offended. He can flag the blog post. He can post his comment against it. Nasiruddin at Dhai Akhar writes here. It seems the blogger (Rahul) has removed the post from his blog (bajaar) now.

Whatever. Indian English blogs don't seem to have taken much notice of the scene in Hindi blogosphere. The world of Hindi 'chittha' (blog) has indeed become fascinating. There are serious issues that are discussed and there are bloggers who have got social concerns.

Many of them are from small towns in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and other states unlike big English bloggers who are mainly from metro cities. The Hindi bloggers are more emotional, write passionately and are eager to discuss the issues.

Either it is the voice of Narad team members like Jitendra Chaudhary, Sanjay Baingani, Fursatiya or the dissenters, their writings are much more addictive. When they write, these bloggers pour their hearts out. Seems Hindi blogging has surely come of age. My mother tongue is Urdu. And that's why I do relate to the Hindi blogs quite easily.

With Google making it easy to write in devanagari script, Hindi blogging scene is only going to hot up further in coming days. A few controversies may, in fact, help in the Hindi blogosphere as it can send both the blog-dadas and general bloggers into the introspective mode.