Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Maithili Archives

The present articles are based on some crucial subjects of Mithila,Mithila is an ancient land of knowledge and wisdom despite this its glories have came under the partiality by state and their own representatives,so,the plight of Mithila does not get what it deserves in present times.I also requeing (praying) for the soul of great peoples leader Bhogendra Jha,eminent scholar Jaykant Mishra and a very sad demise of a young journalist from Janakpur Uma singh,which shattered the conception of humanity.Now have the matters....


Maithili society is primarily agrarian one whose custom and rituals are concentrated in its villages and all cultural uniqueness represented through their practices provides a rich base at litrary stuffs,hence most of litrary works may be attributed to the rural scene and rural peoples of Mithila. History of Maithily literature is one of the oldest among Indian languages and their historicity and perfection makes its position on top of lingual hierarchy.So,stratification becomes inevitable in present context because most of novels in maithili were written in twenteenth century.
1950's onwards to 1970's might be called the golden period of Maithili.In this phase of Maithili writing reached to zenith.It will be worthwhile to mention here that;these literary production were mostly written by stalwart novelists like,Harimohan Jha,Rajkamal Chaudhary,Lalit,Baidyanath Mishra 'Yatri'(Nagarjun) and Fanishwar Nath 'Renu'.

Among these novelists Fanishwar Nath Renu though never written any Maithili novel but his writing was so full with Maithil inferences that is becomes imperative to mention his name among Maithili literaturer;broadly,writing in any language may be classified in two types,one which is written originally in that particular languages and second,though written in other language but their genuine concern makes it an ingredient part of that particular language.
Maithili literature of twentieth century shows great concern for rural life and depicts their original life style and behaviour through the writings in different literary forms like poetry,Drama,Stories,Novels,Satire,Travalogue etc. However here we focusing on rural cohesion in Maithili noveles.

Work of Harimohan Jha may be considered as jewel of Maithili language and literature,his work enables a new style of writing which seems to be satirical in lingual expression but very meticulous and critical in meaning that fights with prevailing orthodoxy in Msociety. Harimohan Jha wrote most of his novels in his twenties when he was still pursuing university education in city,but he never lacked the original rural contents in his novel.'Kanyadan' and 'Duragman'is his two prolific work which set the trend in Maithili literature.
Next name in this series is Rajkamal Chaudhari, whose attitude and work were distinct from his contemporaries,as he was immensely inclined with complex cognition of human,in his center of writing, an individual possessed a strategic place and unlike the Hindi writing his Maithili characters have much belonging to rural life.

Though in his Maithili novel'Andolan(movement),'centered on mass struggle in city life but his prime characters and their distorted fortune arises from the rural back drops.Maithili stories written by Rajkamal Chaudhary have much rural cohesion than his novels. Lalits's prithviputra(son of soil)'is a high profile work in Maithili literature consist with lucid delineation.Plot of this novel revolves around the common rural scene of Mithila ,which haves peculiarities like,joint family system,property conflict,belonging towards roots,despair,optimism etc.
The novel's illustrate the shift in Maithili society and its impact on age-old social structure of villages where now class antagonism leads to conflict of interest and ultimately deviates the social fabrics.

Maithili contents reached to the crux of acclamation through the work of Baidyanath Mishra 'yatri'or Nagarjun;as he was popularly known in Hindi circle.The writing of 'yatri' is much diverse in contents and form,but one thing is common throughout his writing is that he never let slipped the rural contents and cohesion's from his creative motives.Though 'Baidyanath Mishra 'yatri' was so tasteful for traveling that he got the title of 'yatri'with his name,but in his novels we can see the abundant stillness and preservation of rural contents.
He had great attachments with rural Mithila and it is honestly reflects in his work like;Paro,Ugratara(Godess),Navturia(New Generation),Balchanma etc.
Baidyanath Mishra'yatri'had immense influence of Sharat Chandra Chatopadhyaya;like him he focused on rural milieu and enriched the Maithili literature,he was a farsighted scholar and a great visionary whose every work has a great bearing for rural social structure.

Through'Paro' to 'Balchanma' leads as distortion to revolt and coming to 'Navturia' he became able to provide a new optimism on account of young generation from this emerging successors,he expects more democratic behaviour,so his entire gamut arises in very own rural atmosphere.
Fanishwarnath Renu done most of his work in Hindi except two short stories and some other pieces in Maithili,but his every work has Maithili affliction and he never dissociate himself from Maithili background.Two of his magnum-opus work'Maila Anchal(Fading corner of sari)' and 'Parti Parikatha(Tell's of infertile land) are the most remarkable depiction of rural scenes in any language.In his initial days of writing Renu's,work regarded as region specific literature due to deep rural cohesion of his work,though later the same critics contempt their own judgments about his writing after detailed disclosure.

Overall tenure of these five authors influenced the creativity level in Maithili like never before ,so this was the golden phase in Maithili literature.In later phase Dhumketu had shown same excellence through the most detailed novel in Maithili'Mor Par(on turning)',to some extant successors like Mayanand Mishra,Shailendra mohan Jha,Prabhas Kumar Chaudhary,Jeevkant,Analkant,Tarananda viyogi etc kept this trend alive through their work and they deserve praise for problem centric writing with focussing on challenges like, flood problem,migration,poverty,cross cultural changes etc.So,even in today's writing in Maithili,village is still at center and this trend could be a matter of relief for those who still care for real Mithila.


In recent time, FM as a tool of mass media left its influence throughout the Mithilaanchal, it may not be exaggeration if their role may be perceive of pathfinder and oasis in desert.Though Mithilanchal is geographically situated amidst two neighboring countries like China and India but its cultural affliations weaves the threads of ancient Maithili culture and to some extant keeping alive its dynamicism.
In essence, no doubt the sentiment of Maithili culture is not a fragmented identity despite having political misrepresentation.Only this is diverse political regulation which makes a lot of difference in the cultural activism of North and South Mithila.Mass media as a tool of dynamicism can be best assessed in terms of interest pursued by the respective civil society.

It is soul of interest being pursued by the respective civil society.It is a sole level playing field which can lessen the unnecessarily intervention by political authority and pave the way of creativity.In case of North Mithilanchal current state of the civil society is immensely influenced by the cultural aspiration of marginal and slightly above the marginal middle class whose contribution have been largely ignored so far,despite their age old cultural practices which constructively caused for the survival of custom and rituals in these terrain.
It will be worthwhile to mention that the prevailing functioning of electronic media is still in their infancy in context of Mithila region.In case of southern Mithila/Indian side, the programming is strictly confined with few hours of slot at Darbhanga radio station and occasional coverage by the regional centre of Doordarshan where tracing even a bit of innovation may not be less than a nightmarish day dreaming.

In this despairing situation arrival of FM radios in mid &late 90's in Janakpur and neighbouring parts might be considerd as pannecia for cultural activism in North Mithila.In later course mushrooming of more and more channeles in Maithili equally influenced the and filled the gap or emptiness of innovation in the region and shortout the endural inertia.
Through nineties to till now Nepal consistantly passess through the socio-political turmoil which squalid its impression and create a sense of urgency among citizens.Madhesi community as it is called by original inhabitants is largely constituted by the Maithili speaking population which have their own strong cultural tradition that largely differs from upper Himalayan culture,so,these cultural differences leads to marginalization of of Madhesi peoples.So,their political marginalization created a sense of cultural urgency,later which constituted through the base of FM channels in Janakpur and Kathmandu, further its opened a new chapter.
The landslide victory of Madhesi Janadhikar Foroum (MJF) and Madhesi Democratic Party(TMDP) in currently held constituent assembly election in Madhesh region is very alluring outcome of such cohesion of these communication agencies, which play pivotal role in submerging the political and cultural aspirations on some stage,now we have to see the performance of these political parties in coming months how honestly they will deal with the trusts of their peoples. In every society communication plays decisive role and as likely Mithilanchal is also not an exception though responsibility bearing varies in different societies but fortunately Maithili FM Radio have attained great responsibility towards the cultural upheaveling and tracing of a glorious benchmark besides it also successfully cope with the prevailing cultural pollution in region and to some extant diminished their havoc.

It is said that the womens possess great capacity of cultural preservation,so their inclusion and active participation is creating a new mass base now whose positive result is being quite visible.Urban composition of Mithila is basically confined to the district headquarters,they situated near the rural hinterland ,so,cultural fabrics never chock them from cultural mainstream albeit in last two years due to effects of abrupt migration and macroeconomic changes ,tastes have badly influenced.
In such circumstances impact of cultural pollution started to alienate some section from their cultural practices and here I see the unmatchable potential role of these cultural FM how they cope with these deviating practice and save Mithilanchal from the wave of vulgarity and nonsense entertainment.
In recent time,during my extensive traveling,I found amazing growth of listnership of these FM Radio broadcasting from Janakpur and Kathmandu,which sharpening the peoples interest in their own folklore,folk arts and other cultural practices which way surely leads it to global standered of recognition and enhanced the performance and creativity.

Unlike the conception about FM Radio,here they playing the role of avant garde or,we should call it playing the role of 'NAVTURIA' in the emergence of cultural awakening of in Mithila.Exploration of an unexplored rich tradition is certainly a noble innovation if its responsibility bearing completely shared with ethics and belongingness to their culture.Despite being an ancient tradition, Mithila faced large scale of cultural erosion due to political and social marginalization of its cause which hampered the development of Maithili language and culture.
Culture can be best served by the practices and for cultural practices entitlement is the most vital factor.Here community Radios are playing the crucial role in spreading cultural message to young generation whose consciousness now shaping in their own cultural horizon and they are overcoming from sense of alienation.

Generally Mithilanchal upfront with many grave problem and to cope successfully with its practices;we must land our support to progressive communication agencies.
Maithils are celebrative in temprament,and if they reinventing their cultural and utilize these spirit in strenghtening their genuine voice,this will be a welcome step.Afterall even in a hungry belly drenched to the half body during the disastrous time(Flood is perennial disaster in this region) may feel less remorse by listening Jat Jatin,Sama Chakeva,Domkachh and songs of Vidyapati. At last DESIL VAYNA IS STILL SUBJAN MITTHA(Mother tongue seems sweetest to all) and I hope nobody will have disagreement from my opinion.....


'Sada vasant rahe Mithila me...'this age old folk song of Mithila meticulously explores the feeling of the poet whose narration was the outcome of prosperous and aesthetic scenario of contemporary Mithila and this impression was able to construct a happy future outline of motherland.Generally Maithils(both human and allied resources)are accustomed for celebrative life style and thinking ,theirs justification may derived from countless festive occasions ;nonposessiveness and liberal impression of Maithilis provides a healthy boost for this tradition,besides this hundreds of folktales that derives from cultural life also gets sound impetus from these conserving Maithils.
Through ages cultural elements playing pivotal role in information of social structure of Mithila,that short of cultural flow transmitted dynamicism in historical development.this should be regarded as prime characteristics of Maithili culture.

But in present scenario such cultural consciousness increasingly deviating from traditional pattern of life style,though the condition may be not regarded uniform throughout the Mithilanchal.Here we can see towards the north Mithila/Terain region of Nepal where participation of youth strengthening the cultural affiliation in society,that is a matter of relief and optimism. Here the debate foccused on south Mithila/Indian side,where a lot of desperation lucidly presents in socio-cultural behaviour of peoples.
This back drop to a large extant can attributed to the youths who increasingly alienated from their own cultural fabrics.Migration is a major problem behind such havocking scene.Prolonged political misruling is also essentially responsible for such desperation because basic facilities are not at par with the other states,so this trend get naturalize in further course.

Though in modern economy,migration is not a matter of surprise if the migrant is equipped with technical and professional skills.In case of north Bihar,now this trend becoming more problematic and leads to level of mass migration.Unavailability of opportunities fueling this trend in very bad manner.Heavy industries have very scarce appearances inside the Mithila and here enterprising impacts are largely demonstrated through the middle and small scale industries whose production are based on agricultural raw materials.
In last two decades even these feeble industrial structure have been considerably diminished and its impact on agriculture and allied sectors felt devastating.Closure of sugar mills especially hampered the corp cycle inside the region,a major cash corp sugarcane is no longer remain a viable option for farming,which hampered the financial condition of marginal farmers and laborers.

Despite this Maithil farmers greatly upfronted with the grim situation and shown distinct response than the farmers of vidharba and vijaywada.Any how Maithil farmers let prolonged their struggle,may be this temperament arisen from long political partiality and insensitivity of political representatives.Such insensitive political representation detracts this area from sound observation of national media.consequently problems of Mithila never placed what it worth to deserve.
So,causes of Mithila to large extant forgotten for a long time.So,common folks became silent observer with their crumbling destiny and consciousness.
Maithil villages once stuffed with prosperity now seemingly turned into center of desperation.Looking on whole problems which arises from lack of opportunity in this area,gives ample reason why this terrain fall in the vicious trap of exodus.

So,emancipation of Mithila,it is urgentally needed to strengthen the infrastructure and create adequate opportunity in this area;this initiatives must by taken by government,NGOs, and individuals without any partiality in execution.In present times it is very hard to believe for young generation that once the districts of Madhubani,Darbhanga,Saharsa and entire Mithilanchal were blossoming with the sports and cultural activities;contemporary newspapers and magazines like,Aryavart,Mithila Mihir etc.used to lend prime coverage of such cultural activities.
Maithil villages were equally participating in such activities with high passion.I came in contact with the members of a contemporary(mid ninety sixties) football team,they provided me a thrilling information of their achievements which seems to be incredible today but it was a true claim that renowned club of Bengal consisted with some players of renowned Muhhamedon sports club was defeated in a tournament hosted in village Loha Kapsiya,which is quite enough for revealing contemporary passion and festivities attached with the sports culture.

Presently sports and allied activities standing on the verge of gloomious decline inside Mithilanchal and that continuously breaking the traditional perspective in this regard.Peoples of Mithila being great fond for folk songs,music,drama,painting etc,must be given accolades for their great deal in preserving the tradition intact and developing world class Mithila Art despite facing insensitive institutional responses on varied level.It is usually said inside the Mithilanchal ,every bit of action is festive in this land and it is common seen throughout year by celebrating festivals,these Maithil shows great interest for such occasions from where they can harness their cultural interest through stage performance and reaching to the maximum peoples.
At regular interval such cultural programmes were quite helpful to maintain healthy cohesion in social relationship and this bases provided the positive inspiration for new ideas and information.

In present time,Maithil society consistently inclined towards a transformation which is moving towards an isolated framework of social structure ,may be it change the hundreds years of social pattern which would certainly harm its original character.Today Mithilanchal is facing the problem of leadership,because insensitive leadership super-seeding the genuine problems of this area and this functional handicap may be only removed when their aggrieved concern will form a responsible representatives who will work sincerely to wipe-out the discrepancies in developmental process.
In recent time,Constitutional induction of Maithili language in eighth/8th schedule is a single matter of relief for lingual emancipation and upliftment of morale.However,it is a late justice for an ancient language because Maithili deserves it very initially;anyhow it is an encouraging breakthrough for lingual movement.Here it is worthwhile to say that governance has greater role to play on policy matters which have greater bearing in a democracy.

Though changes in government infused greater optimism and now let us see how much the policy makers will compensate the claim on cultural front.Sometimes it puzzled the mind that backwardness on development front hampers the cultural motivation too?Despite having such rich human resources the land of Mithila still face the marginalization on cultural peculiarities?Its revival must be found through the civic actions of its own peoples.Now the time has reap to form effective civil society and solve the entire burning problems which till now fueling the pain of marginalization.
Through proper civic actions and honest planning it is possible to get back the lost glory of Mithilanchal and fulfill the imagination of a poet'sada basant rahe Mithila me....'it could be a firm belief of any sanguine believer.

Atul Kumar Thakur
10th February 2009
New Delhi

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