Tuesday, September 19, 2017

170919 Wonders of Nepalbhasha Sahitya Nakhaa

Razen Manandhar
It must be around two years and a half I was in Nepal (that is, Khas language) Literary Festival, and I was not only overwhelmed by the craze of the youngsters to their mother language literature but I was jealous also. I was thinking why people of my community were not interested to preserve their language and read literature in their mother language? Helpless and restless, I jotted a fantasy essay, with all satirical elements that I visited a Nepalbhasha literary festival in my dream.

Now, the news came as a pleasant surprise that Nepalbhasha Times, a daily in Nepalbhasha finally was venturing a similar event in near future. I was more than excited. I had a reason to be. I wanted to see writers, readers and other activists coming to the same pedestal, for the same reason and with the same goal - of preserving and promoting our literature.

A meeting was held, may be a month ago and I was also invited. The tentative programme was out; something would have to be changed later, still. I suggested them to make it more inclusive, with more participants from Patan and Bhaktapur. And I took some initiative to promote it, at least from Facebook, which was in my hands and I could reach thousands in seconds.

I read about that historic literary conference, organized by Chwasapasa, in around 1952 in Hanumandhoka. That was indeed grand and historic but I didn't know if that was also a festival or not. Nevertheless, this was really first festival and had to be historic too.

Gone are the days when our previous generation used to devote their whole life for their language and literature in misery, neglecting their career, future or even their children. Now, time has changed, people first give priority to career, "economic status" and socialization before thinking about things like mother language, community etc. In this connection, bringing people from all classes and generations in something prosaic like literature is not an easy task. Even children of many of highly esteemed writers of Nepalbhasha don't speak their mother language. This is bitter reality. Now, in this situation, organizing a literary festival is just little more than a fantasy, I must say. The task was to make it some showy, extravaganza, to attract younger generation with limited budget and human resources, and also to show off, may be, to the Newars who look down at our own mother language and of course, to the people from other community and the state. That was the reason, the historic royal palace of Patan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was chosen, though it was extremely expensive. At least that has to be done, as much as possible.

The day came. It was quite sunny and exciting. Young volunteers of Nepalbhasha Times were busy from early hours. The pedestal was set, chairs with purple covers were arranged and some half a dozen tables were arranged outside for book-stalls, and, of course, some food stalls were also made in the inner courtyard.

The usual dhimey melody echoed in the historic palace. The merry-loving Newars play their drums almost every day, this is not a new thing. But this time, the musical troupe welcomed the two writers and special guests to the courtyard of the 16th century Malla palace, which was heavily modified in the course of restoration.

The formal inauguration took place. Respected Sri Staya Mohan Joshi inaugurated the event. Two lucky books, "The Poster" by Malla K Sunder and "Basanta" by Basanta Chaudhary were released. The former was released by Sarubhakta Shrestha, the chancellor of Nepal Fine Music and Performing Arts Academy and the latter by Satya Mohan Joshi and Chitta Ranjan Nepali, the chancellor of Nepalbhasha Academy.

Malla is a known writer and critic of Nepalbhasha literature, this is his third book, probably. This time he has come up with a theme of the bitter reality of corruption that comes with so-called Nepal's democracy. On the top of it, the well-known industrialist Chaudhary made a history by writing poetry in Nepalbhasha. It was in fact his poetry translated in Nepalbhasha. It is significant that few Nepali (Khas) writers have shown interested to have their works translated in local Nepali languages. And this was his daring and appreciable step. His speech was also equally impressive.

Apart from giving his appreciation for the two books, Joshi also sought people's attention to the historic, religious and cultural significance of Krishna Mandir.

Crowd to get signature from two authors was exemplary. Half a dozen stalls for books were made, but selling of books of Nepalbhasha was as depressing as ever.  We love our language but we don't love our books, I have to say. However, Madan Krishan Shrestha took opportunity to sell his book in Khas-Nepali. And interestingly, those Newar readers, who often frown to buy Nepalbhasha books, were seen buying that Khas book (which was said to be sold at higher price than usual market price). We are all hypocrites.

Quite a long and tedious waiting in the burning sun ended with Prof. Prem Shanti Tuladhar's keynote speech on the history of Nepalbhasha literature. The programme was organized in beautiful, green and historic Bhandarkhal Garden. With shades of tall trees and flovour of Newari cuisine beside the venue, the experience of talking about literature in that atmosphere was quite a new experience for all of us.

Despite of some early criticism in social media, the keynote speech was delivered in Khas Nepali language, with a hope that non-Newars also would join to know about Nepalbhasha's linguistic heritage but, quite ironically, hardly any from out-of-the-Newar community were present in the programme.

I myself had an opportunity to be one of the panelists along with senior writers like Bhushan Prasad Shrestha, Sulochana Manandhar and Dhrubha Madhikarmi; and it was moderated by Suresh Kiran. The topic was future of Nepalbhasha literature. I was asked about new trend of posting poems directly in Facebook. It was quite encouraging that we started the tradition of panel discussion. However, as it happens most of the time in similar situations, the time was short and we had so many things to discuss on this issue. We can say, it opened a door to world of discussion.

Next session was moderated by poet Nabin Chitrakar. The participants were noted writers of Khas Nepali language who belong to Newar community. Panelists were Shreeom Shrestha Rodan, Sneh Saayami and Jaleshwari Shrestha. If I understood it properly, the session meant to ask them why Nepalbhasha literature is not getting momentum in the present day society. It should not have been a place for them to justify why they did not write in Nepalbhasha. However, it gave a platform for Nepalbhasha readers to understand the reality of the "Nepali" literary world for Newar-based writers. They shared their experience of writing in Khas Nepali language. The old question - whether to stick to mother language alone or to try in other languages for the sake of wider readership - rose again.

Then started the long-awaited session - of symposium. A total of 18 writers recited their essays and poems. Among them were Durga Lal Shrestha, Purna Baidhya, Bhushan Prasad Shrestha, Narmadeshwar Pradhan,  Pratisara Sayami, Sudhir Khwabi, Rajani Mila, Shakya Suren, Saurab Shakya, Rajbhai Jakami, Sharad Kasa, Hridaya Prasad Mishra, Kesh Ratna Shakya, Nabin Prakash Shrestha, Raj Sayami, Bharat Maharjan, Suraj Bir Bajracharya and Surendra Tuladhar. We knew it was getting dark and some writers had to go back as far as Bhaktapur. But many of the writers had gone, when it was the time to give away tokens of love to them. All are busy, even poets at symposiums. They have patience just to wait for their turn to recite and earn some customary claps. But they didn't have time to listen to others and learn, or, at least, be inspired.

I was not sure how the participants were selected. What I thought was that some of them should not have been there. And, no wonder, some emerging poets showed dissatisfaction that they were not selected in recitation programme, even those, who did not frequently participated in other symposiums,  showed interest to participate. This was a positive note from the festival.

And finally, as the fresh evening darkened, the band "Kutumba" completed their stage preparation. Unexpected mass gathered at the courtyard, from where, god knows.

Pabira Kasaa and Rita Maharjan added flavour in the crowded audience with some sizzling numbers, mainly by Durga Lal Shrestha. And, finally, the audience was rocked with the traditional drums, played differently by artists of Kutumba. Some popular folk-numbers like Rajamati turned the whole courtyard into a dance floor. Congratulations, the organizers and the participants !

Saturday, September 16, 2017

170915 छाय् मजुल झीगु साहित्यया समालोचना ?

राजेन मानन्धर

छम्ह च्वमि, चाहे नकतिनि च्वःम्ह जुइबिउ चाहे प्रतिष्ठित जुइधुंकूपिं जुइबिउ, वयागु थःगु रचनायात कयाः सुं छम्ह समालोचकं समालोचना यानाबिलकि तिनि व प्रफुल्ल जुइ । झीगु साहित्य ख्यलय् थ्व अनूभूति तसकं हे म्हो च्वमिपिन्सं जक कायेखनाच्वंगु दु । आः झी दक्वस्यां धयाच्वना, नेपालभाषा साहित्य ख्यलय् समालोचना क्वातु मजुल धकाः । अझ धायेगु खःसा समालोचना हे मजू धाःसां मपाःगु अवस्था दु । सिर्जना मदुसा, समाालोचना यानाच्वनेम्वाःल, अले समालोचना मदुसा सिर्जना धिसिलाइमखु धइगु सामान्य नियमयात ध्याक्वय् तयाः झीथाय् मदु धायेम्वायेक सिर्जना ला जुयाच्वंगु दु, यक्व म्हो मेगु हे खँ जुल । तर अथेसां गुकथं साहित्य सिर्जनाय् उर्जा बिइकथं समालोचना वयेमाःगु खः, अथे वयामच्वन धइगु खँय् झी दक्व हे सहमत दु । थन नेपालभाषा ख्यलय् छाय् समालोचना जुयामच्वन धइगु खँय् चिहकलं दुवाले ।

साहित्यया अभावय् समालोचनाया विकास जुइफइमखु — संख्यात्मक विकास ला जुइगु संभावना मदयाच्वंथाय् हानं गुणात्मक विकासया खँ ल्हायेगु नं अप्रासंगिक हे जुइ । छखे साहित्य सिर्जना जुयामच्वना सा उगु हे साहित्यया नं माःकथं माक्व समालोचाना जुयाच्वंगु खंकेफयाच्वंगु मदु । 

मदु धाये धाःसा झीगु साहित्य ख्यलं झिम्ह झिंन्याम्हसित समालोचक धकाः हनातःगु दु । दु धायेधाःसा उमिसं दछिया छपु धकाः हे समालोचना धायेबहगु लेख च्वयाः पिथनाच्वंगु दइमखु ।  समालोचना धायेबहगु छिटपुट लेखयात बिचाः मयायेगु खःसा आः तक खनेदुकथं नेपालभाषा साहित्यया बारे समालोचनाया सफू झिदँया दुने खुगू पिदनी । निदँया छगू सफू पिदनाः उकिं सुयात गुकथंया मार्गनिर्देशन याइगु जुइ झी समालोचकपिन्सं । व हे नं अप्वः धयाथें न्हापा समालोचना च्वखँ च्वयातःगुया मुना जुयाच्वनी । अले व नं न्हूगु समालोचनाया सिद्धान्त बिइगु वा समस्त साहित्य ख्यःयात लँ क्यनीगु स्वयाः छगू अमुक कृति वा सफूया बारे थम्हं च्वयागु भूमिका वा प्रतिक्रिया जुयाच्वनी । झीके दूगु थुलि हे मखुला ? 

आःया अवस्थाय् सामान्यतः सामालोचनाया संख्यात्मक विकास थथे खनेदु । प्रत्येक साहित्यिक कृति पिदनीबलय् छगू कृतिया छपु समालोचना नं वयाच्वंगु मदु । छम्ह सर्जकं थःगु कृतियात वालाः छपु सुनां नं समालोचना च्वयाः पिथनाबिल धाःसा वं थःत अपवाद वा भाग्यमानी धायेमाःगु अवस्था दु । थन च्वमिं हे अनुरोध यानाः अले सिरपाःया प्रलोभन, सफूया रुपय् व प्रतिक्रिया पिदनी धकाः ग्यारेन्टी कयाः च्वकातःगु लेखयात सम्मिलित मयाना । 

च्वमिपिनिगु अनुपातय् समालोचकपिनिगु ल्याः धाःसा पुनर्जागरण कालय् नं पतिंचाय् ल्याःखायेत मगाः, आः नं उलि हे जक । झीत गाःसां उपिं हे समालोचक, मगाःसां उपिं हे समालोचक । समालोचनाया ज्या याकेमाल धाःसा लुमंकेत झीथाय् उलि हे जक दु । छम्ह सबल व निर्भिक समालोचकया मिखाय् जब तक व कृति लाइमखु, उकिया मू सामान्य ब्वँमिं सिइमखु । छगू कृतिया मू ब्वमिया न्ह्यपुइतक थ्यंकाबिइगु ज्या हे समालोचकं याइ । तर झीथाय् गन मालेगु अज्याःम्ह समालोचक आः ?

न्हापा सामालोचक धकाः नां कायेकाच्वंपिं आः गुलिं भौतिक रुपं हे तापाना छ्वत, गुलिं भौगोलिक रुपं तापाक्क च्वंवनेमाःगु वाध्यताया कारणं झी लिसे दयाः नं झी लिसे मदु, अले गुलिस्यां समालोचनाया ख्यलय् थःत स्थापित यायेधुकाः नं आः सहित्यपाखें तापानावंगु अथवा समालोचनाय् च्वसा दिकाबिइधुकूगुलिं च्वमिपिं द्यापं च्वनाच्वनेमाःगु अवस्था दु । नापलाके मफइपिन्त बाहेक भौगोलिक रुपं जक तापानाच्वंपिन्त यदि उसाँय् बल्लाःसा व नुगलय् मस्याकेगु छुं यायेफुसा वय्कःपिन्त थौं झीगु साहित्य ख्यलय् वय्कःपिनिगु अभावया महसुस याकेफत धाःसा झीसं लिगना हयेमफयेमाःगु मदु । थ्व अत्याधुनिक संचारया इलय् छपाः सफूया इलेक्ट्रोनिक कपि वय्कःपिन्थाय् मिनटभरय् हे थ्यनी । थःगु जीवन नेपालभाषा साहित्यया ख्यलय् पायेधुंकूपिन्सं झीत उलि ला तिरस्कार यायेफइमखु । अनंलिपा आः समालोचना ख्यलंं तापानावंपिन्त ला झन् हे सःते अपुइ । बस, झी ब्वमिपिन्संं मनंतुने जक माःगु दु । 

मेखे च्वयेगु सैद्धान्तिक अध्ययन, प्राविधिक ज्ञान व साहित्यिक हैसियत दुसां अले इलं लानाः नं न्हापा बांलाक हे समालोचना यानाच्वंपिं तकं आः निष्कृय जुयाः च्वनाबिउगु नं खनेदु । उकिया नं निगू प्यंगू कारण दयेफु । न्हापां, वय्कःपिन्सं नेपालभाषाया छुं भविष्य मखन जुइ । च्वः नं मदु ब्वं नं मदुगु भासय् न्ह्यपु नायेकेगु पलेसा खय् वा अंग्रेजी भासय् ज्या याःसा ध्यबा नं दइगु अले कदर नं दइगु धइगु मनसायं नेपालभाषाया साहित्यय् समालोचना मयासे मेगु भाय्या कृतिइ अध्ययन याःवनेगुपाखे ध्यय्चूगु जुइफु । च्वमिपिं गुम्हं प्रतिस्पर्धा खनाः ग्याःपिं जुयाच्वनी, गुम्हं प्रतिस्पर्धा मदुथाय् रोमञ्च मखनीपिं जुयाच्वनी । गुलिं नेपालभाषाय् यक्व प्रतिस्पर्धा मदयाः थन अःपुक्क सम्मान कायेदइ धकाः मेथाय् मवँसे च्वनाच्वनीपिं दयेफुसा हानं नेपालभाषा ख्यलय् न्ह्यागु च्वःसां प्रतिस्पर्धा मदइगु जुयाः मेगु तब्यागु ख्यलय् प्रतिस्पर्धाया रोमाञ्च अनुभव यायेत वंगु नं जुइफु । 

गुम्हं न्हापा तसकं अध्ययन यानाः समालोचनाया ख्यलय् धिसिलाःगु थां जुयाः नं आः समयसापेक्ष अध्ययन यायेमफयाः न्हून्हूगु साहित्यिक धार व साहित्यिक सिद्धान्तलिसे परिचित जुइमफयाः आः थः अपडेट मजू धइगु खनेदइ धइगु ग्याःचिकुं च्वयेगु त्वःतूपिं नं जुइफु । 

साहित्यया विकासक्रमय् आरोह अवरोह वइगु स्वभाविक खः । अले साहित्यय् न्हूगु खँ मखनेवं न्हापा प्रशंसा यानावयाच्वंगु विधाया विकासयात कयाः न्हापा थम्हं यानातःगु अध्ययनयात हे फातापुइकीगु अवस्था खनेदयेवं आः व विषयय् न्हूगुकथंया वा समयसापेक्ष नकारात्मक खँ ल्हायेगु उचित जुइमखु भाःपा समालोचना ख्यःपाखें तापानावंगु नं जुइफु । 

मेगु समालोचना धइगु ख्यः हे जस स्वयाः अपजस फयेमालीगु जूगुलिं सुनां नं छुं च्वःबलय् विशेष यानाः समालोचना फयेमफुम्ह च्वमिं बिउगु आघात सहयाये मफयाः थ्व ख्यलय् लिफःतुलाः मस्वःगु नं जुइफु । थ्व दक्व सम्भावनाया खँ जक जुल, सुं समालोचकं थथे जुयाः समालोचना यायेगु त्वःता धकाः घोषणा याःगु खने मदु, सुनां नं थः नुगलय् स्याःगु खँ गनं नवाःगु लिपिवद्ध जूगु अपवाद बाहेक ।

व स्वयाः दुखद व भयावह अवस्था ला थन दु कि न्हापा निर्भिक जुयाः च्वइपिं समालोचकपिं हे आः सत्य च्वल कि सर्जक तंचाइ, इवि तइ वा व्यक्तिगत सम्बन्ध स्यनी धकाः ग्यानाः यःसां मयःसां तारिफ यानाः च्वयाः सरल जीवन हनेगु याःगु तकं खनेदयाच्वंगु दु । भाषा साहित्यया बारे दुग्यंक अध्ययन नं यानातःगु दयाच्वनी, समालोचना यायेत माःगु सैद्धान्तिक ज्ञान नं दयाच्वनी, न्हियान्हिथं पिदनाच्वंगु सफू व मेमेगु प्रकाशित सामाग्री नं स्वयाच्वनी, साहित्यीक मुनाय् थ्यनाच्वनी, दक्वलिसे खँ नं ब्याकाच्वनी । तर सुनां छु स्तरीय च्वयाच्वन, सुयापाखें मखुगु ज्या जुयाच्वन धइगु दक्व सिउसां अज्याःगु खँ सुयातं मकँसे नुगलय् दुने तालं ग्वयातइ । 

आः थुलि जुइधुंकाः नं झी साहित्यकारतय्सं नेपालभाषा ख्यलय् समालोचना विधाया विकास सुनां याइ, गथेयानाः जुइ धकाः तक नं बिचाः याःगु खनेमदुनि । मेमेगु विधाय् जूसा गोष्ठी, सेमिनार छकः निकः सां जू , तर समालोचना गथे जुइमाल धकाः गोष्ठी जूगु न्यने मखंनि । सुं च्वमिपिन्सं नं सुयागु समालोचना स्तरीय जू अले सुयागु मजू धकाः सहलह याःगु अले समालोचनया प्रत्यालोचना याःगु धइगु आः न्यनेतकं मदयेधुंकल । अले समालोचना क्वातु मजुइकं सिर्जनाया विकास जुइमखुगु खँ झी दक्वस्यां सिउगु हे जुल । थज्याःगु अवस्थाय् झी दक्व साहितयय् मतिनायाइपिं छवाः जुयाः साहित्य दुग्यनेत सामालोचना माः धइगु वाः चायेका थुकिया विकास यायेत क्वातुकगु पलाः मछित धाःसा थ्व ख्यः ह्वयावइगु खनेमदु , थ्व ख्यः दन्न मच्वनेगु धइगु साहित्य सिर्जनाया ख्यः हे खिउँइगु खः ।
Published in Nepalbhasha Times on 2017 09 15

Thursday, September 14, 2017

पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषलाई फोहोर सरह नफालियोस्

भूकम्पबाट भत्किएका काठमाडौंका पुरातात्विक महत्त्वका सम्पदाका अधिकांश भग्नावशेष काठमाडौँको टुँडिखेलमा लगेर थुपारिएकोमा ती पुरातात्त्विक महत्वका अवशेषलाई फोहोर फाले जसरी बिनारेखदेख मिल्काउन लागिएको भन्ने थाहा पाएपछि हामीले काष्ठमण्डप पुनर्निर्माणका लागि अभियानका तर्फबाट हिजो मिति २०७४/०५/२८ को दिन टुँडिखेलमा हाल रहेका पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषको व्यवस्थापन कार्यको अवलोकन गरेका थियौँ | उक्त स्थानमा रहेका अमूल्य तथा महत्त्वपूर्ण पुरातात्विक वस्तुहरु नष्ट हुने गरी हेलचेक्य्राइँपूर्ण र अनुत्तरदायी कार्य भइराखेको देख्दा हामी सम्पदा प्रेमी मर्माहित र स्तब्ध भएका छौं | यहाँ थुपारिएका वस्तुमा काठमाडौँ सहरका महत्त्वपूर्ण पुरातात्विक सम्पदाका अवशेषमध्ये अधिकांश सामग्री पुननिर्माणका क्रममा पुनः प्रयोग गर्न सकिन्छ भन्ने हाम्रो ठम्याइ छ | अगिल्लो दिन हामीले देखेको ढुंगाको ‘ई लोहँ’ (saddle stone) भोलिपल्ट नदेखिएको हुँदा अरु महत्त्वपूर्ण वस्तुहरू पनि हराउने वा नास हुने शंकाले हामीलाई चिन्तित बनाएको छ |

स्थलगत भ्रमणबाट प्राप्त जानकारीअनुसार नेपाल सेनाका जवानहरुले डोजर र ठूला ट्रकको प्रयोग तथा प्रशिक्षणका लागि पुरातात्विक अवशेषहरूको प्रयोग गरेको पाएका छौं भने अर्को जानकारीअनुसार काठमाडौँ महानगरपालिकाको अनुरोधमा नेपाल सेनाले पुरातात्विक अवशेषलाई फोहर बनाई अन्य ठाउँमा फाल्न लागेको पायौँ | पुनः प्रयोग गर्न मिल्ने पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषलाई छानेर अलग राखी बाँकी सामग्रीमात्र अन्य ठाउँमा फाल्न लग्न अनुरोध गर्दा नेपाल सेना र पुरातत्व विभाग दुवैले मानव संसाधनको कमी भएकोले कार्यव्यवस्थापन गर्न नसकेको भन्ने ठाडो जवाफ दिए | मानव संसाधनको कमी भएको हो भने हामी सहयोग गर्न तयार र तत्पर छौं भनी अवगत गराउँदा कुनै किसिमको सकारात्मक जवाफ पाएनौ |

भूकम्पको बेला सहयोग गरी ख्याति कमाएको नेपाल सेनाले समेत पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषलाई प्रशिक्षणको सामान अथवा फोहोर ठानेको देख्दा चिन्तित भएका छौँ | यस्तो सोचबाट नेपाली सेनाले देशका तमाम धरोहरको सुरक्षा गर्न भन्ने जनविश्वासमा धक्का लाग्छ | यस्तो कार्य हुँदासमेत धेरै पटकको आग्रह पछि एक जना कर्मचारीमात्र खटाएर पुरातत्व विभागले पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषको संरक्षण कायलाई उपेक्षा गरेको ठानेका छौं | पुरातात्त्विक वस्तु तथा अवशेषको संरक्षण गर्नुपर्ने काठमाडौँ महानगरपालिका पनि आफ्नो कर्तव्यप्रति सजग भएको देखिएन ।

टुँडिखेलमा थुपारिएका पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषको उचित व्यवस्थापन गर्न सम्बन्धित सम्पूर्ण सरकारी तथा अन्य निकायहरूको पुनः ध्यानाकर्षण गर्दछौं | साथै टुँडिखेलमा अवस्थित पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषको थुप्रोमा हामीले देखेका ढुंगाको ‘ई लोहँ’ (saddle stone), सिंह तथा अन्य सामग्रीको हालको अवस्था र राखिएको स्थानको जानकारी सार्वजनिक गर्न सम्बन्धित निकायसँग माग गर्छौँ | पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषको उचित व्यवस्थापन गर्न कुनै किसिमको सहयोग चाहिएमा यस अभियान सहकार्य गर्न सदैव तयार र तत्पर छ |

हामी सहकार्यको पुनः आह्वान गर्दै सरोकारवाला सबैलाई भन्न चाहन्छौँ - पुरातात्त्विक वस्तु तथा अवशेषको रेखदेखमा सम्बन्धित निकायले हेलचेक्र्याइँ गरेमा पुरातत्वप्रेमी काठमाडौँवासी प्रतिवाद गर्न बाध्य हुनेछौँ |

पुरातात्त्विक अवशेषलाई फोहोर सरह नफालियोस् | धन्यवाद |
वीरेन्द्रभक्त श्रेष्ठ
काष्ठमण्डप पुननिर्माणका लागि अभियान

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

170912 प्रेममोहन सिरपाः “युवराज कुणाल” नाटकया निंतिं

थुगुसीया प्रेममोहन सिरपाः “युवराज कुणाल” नाटकया निंतिं नाटककार परमानन्द बज्राचार्यया जहान कृष्णदेवी वज्राचार्ययात लाःगु दु । थौं छगू ज्याझ्वलय् मूपाहाँ जनकवि दुर्गालाल श्रेष्ठं उगु सिरपाः न्यय्द्वःतका दांलिसें लःल्हानादिल । सिरपाः वय्कःया काय् पवित्र बज्राचार्यं लःल्हाना कयादिल ।

उगुज्याझ्वलय् मदुम्ह मोहनकृष्ण डंगोलं च्वयादीगु उपन्यास नाटक “विकल्प” व वय्कःयानाटक “भृकुटी”या खसभासय् अनुवादया उलेज्या नं जुल । अनुवाद शशीकला मानन्धरं यानादीगु खः । सकलसित भिंतुना ।

Friday, September 8, 2017

Book by Bhawani Tuladhar released

Kathmandu, September 7.

Senior poet Narayani Devi Shrestha today released story book "Hyupaa" by Bhawani Tuladhar amid a function.

Talking about the book, Prof Prem Shanti Tuladhar said that the book has a beautiful portrayal of today society from different perspective and the author has tried her best to be realistic in her write ups.
Writer Bhawani Tuladhar expressed happiness to have come back with the field of literature after some gaps and said that she would keep writing up in future as well.

Poet Narayan Devi Shrestha said that it is praiseworthy that more and more women are coming up in the field of literary creation in these days and the society has also become open to gender discrimination which was rampant some half a century ago.

Former chief of Central Department of Nepalbhasha, Tulsi Lal Singh and cultural expert Chhatra Bahadur Kayastha also expressed their views on contemporary Nepalbhasha literature on the occasion.

From the chair, Subarna Shakya, the chairperson of Nepalbhasha Parishad said that the organizations would welcome more and more emerging writers to publish their books from Parishad.

The program was organized by Nepalbhasha Parishad.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A short introduction to Newa language and literature

Razen Manandhar

Newars are the indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. They are hardworking, have expertise in agriculture, entrepreneurship and architecture. They have been nurturing, exploiting and decorating the valley for thousands of years. They follow four major religions - Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Now, only the two former are seen in practice. They do not belong to any particular ethnic group or race. It is made of different communities who have been living here together and have developed a sense of harmony and unified history, and have made their culture, traditions, religions and myths. 

Nepal has a tremendous treasure of linguistic diversity. This country alone has 123 languages and dialects. One among them is Newa language (once officially named as Nepalbhasha, later turned out to Newa or Newar, and also often misinterpreted as Newari too), which was one of the richest in the region in terms of vocabulary and literature. It has already had large variety of written documents - from books on witchcraft to lyrical ballads around one thousand ago. 

Talking about the language, Newa is the original language of the Kathmandu Valley. It is spoken as native language by Newars of the Valley and now by all Newars, regardless of their geographic location. It belongs to Sino-Tibetan language group and is one among a few of this group, which has rich written history and tradition of writing. A book, named Narada Samhita, of 1380 AD states that this language was called "Nepalbhasha" at that time. Around 800,000 people speak it as their native language, which makes 3.19 percent of the total Nepal's population. Till 1950s it was spoken by 75 percent of the residents.

The date of beginning of writing tradition of Newa language is still uncertain. In around 200 ancient Sanskrit inscriptions, belonged to the period 464-879 AD, many non-Sanskrit words are found, which are found to be near to Newa. A palm-leaf document, found in Okubahal Monastery of Lalitpur, dated 1114 AD, has something which can be called the earliest written form of Newa. This language is seen as the common language of most of ancient palm-leaf books, stone inscriptions, metal inscriptions found in monasteries and temples of 9th to 19th century. Thus, it is an essential tool for those who want to study history of Nepal.

About books, Harmekhala (a book about mystery and witchcraft, written in 1374 AD), is said to be the earliest book found so far, written in Newa. Other examples of old books in this language are Narad Samhita (1380 AD), Amarkosh (1381 AD), Gopal Rajvamshavali (1389 AD). And later, as the time passed the Newars learned to write in creative literary genres too. Tantrakhyan (1518 AD) is said to be the first literary book in Newa. 

Development of Newa goes side by side with the political history of Nepal. Broadly, the Lichhivi dynasty ruled Nepal from 4th to 8th century. And, after going through a dark age and the Thakuri period, the Mallas emerged as the strong ruling dynasty in the 14th century. They are not Newars, as we generally call, but they have immense respect for Newa as well as art, culture and tradition of the Newars. Thus the Newa literature reached its sublime position in the Malla period that corresponds between the 14th century to 18th century. Not only the common people and the nobles, but the kings and queens themselves were involved in writing poems, songs and dramas in that period. It was indeed a matter of pride to be authors in those days in the palace.

Obviously, it was "golden age" for development of culture, art and architecture as well as literature of Nepal Mandala, that is, today's Kathmandu Valley. Thousands of poems, epics, stories, dramas as well as books on history, art, architecture, astrology, medicine and many other topics were written in those days. This is the time when Newars developed as many as 13 scripts to transfer their knowledge into words. Some of the books are still being recited as letters of religion at homes and monasteries, some are preserved in museums and archives, while many were decayed, burned, destroyed and sold to foreigners. Fortunately, many of the books of that era are now well-preserved in international libraries and lots of international scholars are now doing researches on them and revealing the unfathomable treasure of knowledge the Newars had in those days.

King Mahindra Malla (reigned 1560–1574) is regarded as the first poet of Newa literature. Siddhi Narsingh Malla (Patan, 1619-1669), Pratap Malla (Kathmandu, 1641–1674), Ranjit Malla (Bhaktapur, 1722–1769) and Jaya Prakash Malla (Kathmandu, 1746–1750) are other prominent poets from the royal family. 

Later, the tradition of writing drama developed in the palace of the Kathmandu Valley. King Siddhi Narsingh Malla was the first playwright of Newa literature. Ekadashi-brata (1633 AD) and Katti Pyakhan (1641 AD) are some of his finest creations. Parts of the latter are still performed every year in front of his royal palace. A few noblemen in those days were poets and dramatists.

Lot of things changed after the King Prithvi Narayan Shaha invaded Kathmandu Valley in 1768 AD. The cultured Malla kings either had to go in exile or were imprisoned for life. Nepal's development in art, culture, religion, festivals and urban development took an abrupt end with the new dynasty that never tried to respect the identity of the local people. Then started heinous series of conspiracies, assassinations; ambitious noblemen started making illicit relations with queens to come to the power and taking away the national coffer for their personal amusements. Still, a few poets like Sundarananda, Amritananda and Vijayananda continued writing devotional poems.

The situation of Newa and its literature worsened after a series of conspiracies and mass assassinations, in 1846, the power of the king shifted to the Ranas, who took whole of the state power as prime ministers and started raising restrictions in Newar creativity. Despite of the government's restrictions, some kept composing songs at this time too till 1906, when the government declared that any documents written in Newa would be named illegal afterwards. This is the unfortunate and "dark" age of Newa literature. 

That was the time like autocracy. Even when writing anything in Newa was a deadly crime, some writers kept showing love to their mother language anonymously. 

People were prohibited from using their mother language in business and literary creations. Still, it was also time of revival too. The more the autocratic Rana rulers tried to detach the people from their mother language, the stronger the people's love for it turned out to become. 

1909 AD is considered as the beginning of Renaissance of Newa literature. Thanks to the suppression, so to say, a new generation of poets emerged; they were not only writing in their mother language, but were also defying the autocrats. On the top if it, they were in fact laying foundation stone to development of Newa literature that has to flourish one day like this. Their efforts handed over energy to the later generation to galvanize the lost glory of the history and also to explore new genres of literature. 

It was the year 1909, when a priest of Newar Buddhistm, Nisthananda Bajracharya, translated a popular Sanskrit book on Vajrayani Buddhism Ekvimshanti Pragyaparamita into Newa, that is also by developing his own way of printing press and adopting Devanagari script, leaving traditional Nepal script aside. This is how the history was made. Siddhidas Amatya's translation of some chapters of Ramayana into Newa in 1913 was another step. As it was not possible to publish anything like magazine in Kathmandu, Dharmaditya Dharmacharya managed to publish a magazine in Newa, Buddha Dharma wa Nepalbhasa, from Kolkata, India. Jagat Sundar Malla launched a campaign to teach children in Newa in around 1925. Yogbir Singh and Shukraraj Shashtri were other prominent writers of those days.

In that critical situation Fateh Bahadur Singh dared to publish an anthology Nepali Vihar by various poets in Nepalbhahsa, from Betiya, India in 1939. No sooner he brought the copies in Kathmandu, the copies were seized and he was arrested, along with many other poets. Altogether 32 poets and writers were arrested and their property confiscated by the government. Their crime was writing in their mother language, although some were given political charges too. Yogbir Singh, Fateh Bahadur, Chittadhar Hridaya, Kedar Man Byathit, Dharma Ratna Yami, Hari Krishna Shrestha, Purna Narayan etc. were other victims of this episode. While it threw a wave of panic in the society, this very mass imprisonment developed a new energy among the inmates and they started composing poems secretly in the jail. Many of masterpieces of Newa literature were composed there. They were sentenced for life but all were freed in four years, following the changing political scenario.

Lots of things changed after the Rana rulers were ousted from Nepal's political arena in 1950. Even though the government did not announce any official liberation or official recognition of Newa, writing and publication in Newa took some speed. Publication of literary magazines started in this period, which also provided materials frequently for the readers. Publication of daily newspaper Nepal Bhasha Patrika in 1955 was indeed a adventurous step in those days. Establishment of institutions to promote Newa language and literature as well funding for prizes and awards for Newa writers were positive trends at that time.

However, in 1960, the multiparty democracy was restrained and a party-less Panchayat system was introduced by the King Mahendra. Along with many other aspects, it also made the emerging Newa literature suffer. Specially in 1965, the government channel Radio Nepal banned Newa program. The Newa writers organized weekly literary programs as a protest against the government's decision. This eventually developed a new generation of writers in Newa and directed to a new age of commotion, especially in Kathmandu, for conservation of Newa literature. At the same time, this is the period that Newa was introduced to modern literature. Many trend-setting works were written in this time, mainly on the field of modern poetry.

As a result of this, in a way, strong organizations like Nepal Bhasa Manka Khala were formed, which turned out to be literary as well as political organizations to fight against the party-less Panchayati period that raised voiced for language rights too. It was a time when even organizing rallies to celebrate New Year according to the Nepal Calendar was considered as agitation against the system.

The People's Movement reinstated multi-party democracy in 1990. It opened doors to all kinds of literary organizations and also institutions to develop Newa. Everything just boomed after 30 years of suppression of the Panchayati System. But, as the time passed, it also became visible that most of the literary organizations were in fact working as sister wings of so and so political parties. This later developed a sense of detachment among lots of activists from language movement. Later, again, they realized that political right is a must to have their language recognized by the state. May be, the liberation from suppression is to be blamed, the movement for language rights and literary works both faced slackness in energy and velocity in this period. It still does not mean that people stopped writing, publishing or reading in Newa. May be, due to changing time and introduction of TV, the age-old tradition of performing social and political dramas on raised platform in streets also slowly disappeared.

After the People's War of 1996-2006, that has taken lives of 17,000 people, and the new constitution, which has been promulgated recently, the government is seen a little positive to rights of ethnic communities. 

Along the way, no matter how difficult, inconvenient and obstructive the political, economic and social situation is there for development of the Newa, and no matter how other factors are attracting the Newars to abandon their long-earned rights and to be indulged into other like Khas-Nepali or English, the trend to learn, use and develop their mother language is there in veins and brains of the Newars, at least in the Kathmandu Valley. This is the reason that when the government has no support for the Newars, they have around 50 books on literary and other genres are published each year. In literature, books on short stories, novels, poetry, travelogues, biographies and essays are published. Apart from this, books on non-fiction category are mostly related to language, religion, culture and tradition of the Newars. Books from other languages are translated into Newa and vice-versa. Over a hundred schools have introduced Newa voluntarily. It is now studied up to Masters' Degree in the state university. A dozen or so newspapers and magazines and half a dozen news portals are functioning. Around a dozen music albums and similar number films are released every year. This all reflect the people's love and respect for their mother tongue.

And though not recently, it is now seen that Newars, living wherever in this world, are concerned about their language, art, history, religion and culture. There are Newar organizations almost in every country they are living now. Annual gatherings, celebration of festivals, cultural programs, interactions as well as language teaching programs take place frequently. Sikkim is one of the finest examples, where they have successfully got Newa recognized by the state and the bond among the Newars, of all social and economic strata is so strong.

Definitely, the efforts the Newars have so far been making, to revive, reinstate has not been too strong. While there are still elements in the federal republic government, which does not want to see Newars enjoying any of facilities with government support. In addition, in our society also can be found that type of people, who assume that doors to opportunities will be open only once you abandon your langue, culture and identity. And perhaps, this is the reason that those Newars, who live out of the valley, pay little attention to learning and using their language. 

Now, while the language has become a topic of research for national and international scholars, the number of speakers is reducing day by day. So much so, it is now considered as one of the language in-danger by international organizations. However, the situation is also not that much pathetic. May be because of this, a new movement to revitalize the Newa language is growing. Love for their language, dresses, cuisine, songs, books and festival is budding among the youths.

In this connection, after going through the vicissitudes in past millennium, the Newars now are convinced that language is their identity. They are at least convinced that despite of all the hurdles by the government and some negative attitude of the people themselves, the language is growing and there is no chance of its being dead, as some in past decade used to assume. This is the reason that they are more concerned about conservation of their language than any other ethnic community in Nepal. Yes, they are obsessed with this. 

Published in Indrajatra 2017, a Souvenir from Sikkim Newar Guthi, on 2017 09 05

जिगु नुगलय् च्वंम्ह सत्य मोहन

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