In your city: Delhi
Celebrating the tradition of 'adab', one 'mushaira' at a time
“There is a need of a literary revolution," says Kunwar Ranjeet Chauhan, a poet and secretary of the Society of Poetry and Literature which organizes the Jashn-e-Adab festival. “Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu) literature had so much quality once upon a time. The mushairas were thought provoking. Today, they are reduced to lateefebaazi (jokes)."
Chauhan says this generation has forgotten the rich culture of Hindustani. “They don’t know what language they speak. They don’t have the zameen or the zubaan," he says.
To address this issue, Chauhan established the Society of Poetry and Literature and Jashn-e-Adab in 2012, the only privately funded festival to start that conversation at the time. The latest edition of the festival is being held at the India International Centre in New Delhi this weekend.
“There are so many brilliant writers among us but they don’t get the exposure. The idea is to bring them and the established scholars, poets, writers and journalists on the same platform through various literary forms such as storytelling, plays, bait bazi, mushaira and ghazal," says Chauhan.
The latest edition will celebrate, relive and felicitate the contribution of noted poet and writer Javed Akhtar to poetry and literature in India.
Chauhan says he has hosted 50 such festivals in the last five years and with each event, the audience has grown, which highlights the interest of the younger generation in Hindustani literature.
Apart from the discussion on the influence of Urdu on Hindi cinema, the tradition of adab (respect), and Mirzawadi, a novel by Parvez Ahmed that reflects his understanding of Partition and its impact, Ahmed’s thought-provoking play Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hain Tere will be screened. There will also be a recitation of Mirza Ghalib’s poetry by actor Tom Alter and performances by ghazal and sufi singer Kavita Seth.