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Katha U.K.

International Indu Sharma Katha Sammaan 2003

Corruption has pervaded the world of Hindi Literature:

Jagdamba Prasad Dixit

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"Hindi writers are creating literature with their mind set for either getting an award, impressing some critic or may be to reiterate their commitment to a group or party. Groupism has come to stay in the world of Hindi literature. Fake literature is being created and bogus awards and prizes are distributed every year. In this scenario Katha (UK) deserves acclaim for selecting a book for an award purely on the merits of the book." This is what Jagdamba Prasad Dixit had to say as the chief guest for the International Indu Sharma Katha Samman-2003 programme held at the Nehru Centre in central London. He further went on to say "Great literature stems out of pain, suffering and loneliness. And in that the short stories of S.R. Harnot stand tall as his characters not only suffer poverty but also are humiliated by their own people."


Shri P.C. Haldar, Minister-Coordination, High Commission of India,  in his capacity as the Chair of the programme said appreciated the yeomans work done by Katha (UK) in the field of Hindi literature in the United Kingdom. He said that he has been involved with the work of Katha (UK) for over three years. Katha (UK) has provided a common platform to the writers from India as well as United Kingdom. He reminded Bhartendu Vimal that when writers create novels like Sonmachhli, they have to be ready to face death threat. According to him a writer is a very responsible element of the society.

Dr. Satyendra Srivastava provided a new dimension to the art of stage-management by his pithy comments.


In the beginning Tejinder Sharma, the General Secretary of Katha (UK) welcomed the audience and a one minute silence was observed to pay homage to the memory of Bhishma Sahni, Harivansh Rai Bachhan, Kaifi Azmi, and Onkarnath Srivastava.


While accepting the coveted International Indu Sharma Katha Samman noted writer from Shimla Mr. Harnot dedicated it to his mother and to the state of Himachal Pradesh and said, " I am thankful to Katha (UK) who have brought the simple and innocent characters of his stories right to the bank of river Thames." He also thanked all the critics, magazines and newspapers who constantly kept Darosh aur anya kahanian in news.

Bhartendu Vimal
PADMANAND Sahitya Sammaan for the year 2003 goes to Bhartendu Vimal for his first novel Son-machhli


Dr. Gautam Sachdev in his scholarly analysis of Darosh aur anya kahanian said, "The stories in Darosh are the stories of struggle of life and specially the struggle of old people and children who through the weapons of old cultural values and an ideal future are trying to take cudgels against corrupt and  selfish society. Harnot has the social realism of Premchand and the language of Fanishwara Nath Renu intrinsically woven together."


Mr. Vikas Swaroop, Counsellor in the High Commission of India, in a very interesting style, introduced Mr. S.R. Harnot to the audience. Deepti Sharma gave an emotional rendering to the story Billian batiaati hain (The cats chat) which was highly appreciated by the audience.


Anil Sharma, the Hindi and Culture Officer at the High Commission of India, while speaking on Sonmachhli, pointed out that we should be able to differentiate between popular literature and cheap literature. The basic requirement of any literature to be termed important is readability. Sonmachhli is immensely readable and its characters and setting is very real. He congratulated Katha (UK) for choosing Bhartendu Vimal's novel for Padmanand Sahitya Samman.


Padmesh Gupta, the editor of Purvaai, nostalgically travelled back to fifteen years and shared with the audience  his association with Bhartendu Vimal. He talked about different aspects of Vimal's personality as a writer, broadcaster, moderator and purohit. Noted radio artist Shri Ram Bhatt, Anjana Sharma, Shabnam and Deepti Sharma presented a dramatic reading of a portion of Sonmachhali.


Bhartendu Vimal, while accepting his award recollected the process through which the writing of Sonmachhli went through. He informed the audience that while the novel was being serialised in Mahanagar in Mumbai, he had received death threats and the names of people and places had to be changed under those threats. He thanked the judges of Katha (UK) for selecting his novel for Padmanand Sahitya Samman.



Mrs. Naina Sharma, the Deputy chairperson of Katha (UK) passed the vote of thanks and also provided tasty food to one and all.


People from media, literature and academics formed the audience. Among those present were Shri Kailash Budhwar, Achala Sharma, Perveiz Alam, K.C. Mohan, Naresh Arora, Virendra Sandhu, Shail Agrawal, Vibhakar Baxi, Ramesh Patel, Ramesh Muradabadi, Ved Mohla, Punjabi writer Amar Jyoti, singer Avtaar Uppal, Manji Patel Vekharia, Shivani  and Mohammad Amin.