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The Modern Beethoven of India

Dr Buddhinath Mishra, much like Ludwig van Beethoven of the West, is the beacon of new light for catapulting Hindi, primarily, and Maithili too, in the process, to the higher pedestals. Unequivocally then, the literary consciousness of Maithils which continues to remain at its infancy, despite being the palanquin bearer of Sanatan values and legacy in ancient and mediaeval India, itself is deeply disconcerting as well as mind numbing, putting a question mark to the collective Maithil Consciousness straddling both India and Nepal where, despite constitutional guarantees of equality, Maithils stand subjugated by the antagonistic pulls and pressure.

Vivekanand Jha Ranchi: Indeed, Mithila in particular and the national in general, after decades of vacuity in its literary firmament, by way of divine benediction, has finally stumbled upon a literary genius whose claim to fame has the solid moorings in strengthening the solidity of literary foundation of the nation: an exponent of Hindi and Maithili. Significantly, Dr Buddhinath Mishra’s Himalayan achievements as literary figure who is revered across the nation and the different parts of the world as the propagator of linguistic finesse of Hindi, stands in tandem with his correspondingly donning of the role of a purveyor of Maithili language as one of its prominent faces. No wonder, Hindi language, which has been purportedly enriched by Dr Buddhinathji’s myriad contribution as a story writer, lyricist, short story teller, as its flag bearer, appears to be at pace with his heartiest desire that Maithili, which despite being one of the oldest languages, the mother of regional languages such as Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, Nepali, Awadhi and so on and so forth, tragically appears to be relegated to the backyard of the nation’s psyche. This is the principal agony of Mithila straddling both India and Nepal.

Dr Buddhinath Mishra felicitating Prime minister Modi.

Appearing first, on Education pe Charcha, and later, on Mithila pe Charcha with me, Buddhinath Babu had unfolded his vision for Mithila in particular, his sanctified birth place as well as that of mine. In fact, dwelling deeply on the pathetic state of Maithils straddling both India and Nepal, the deeper pangs of his pain was apparent from his voice: how Mithila– falling both sides of the border of two different sovereigns –India and Nepal–are bedevilled by the common symptom: The victims of the prejudiced sense of discrimination befalling them; the victims of characteristic serenity, never given to the aggression of their Bengali counterpart, ‘ Dite hobey, dite hobe’, the habitual sloganeering of their Bengali counterpart, exhibiting their attitudinal agility and advanced awakenings towards their sense of entitlements and aspirations. Small wonder then, while Bengal, Odisha and even Jharkhand stands carved out as independent states, the latter from Bihar, ironically, Mithila, despite qualifying on all parameters of the Reorganisation of States Commission, continues to languish inexolicably as the part of Bihar. Thus the very distinctive character of Mithila’s uniqueness as a distinct culture with a holistic language, Maithili, which kept pace with Sanskrit, the oldest language of Sanatan Civilisation, purportedly appears to be losing its salliance, despite being officially recognised as one of the twenty fourth languages of the country, is the stupendous tragedy staring nakedly at the face of Mithila and Maithils.

Buddhinath Babu’s contribution in the field of Hindi literature is simply immeasurable. His myriad contributions in the capacity of modern lyricist where he unveiled new avenues for Hindi literature is certainly ‘pioneering’ in its very manifestation, has lent Hindi an extraordinary charm. With the legion of such creations like, Jal phek re machre( 1983) Jare mein pahar( 2003) Bhikharini(2005) Rituraj aek pal ka( 2013) the editing of anthology of Hindi poems of a millennium, and scores of other sunlit creations. Significantly, his latest creation, Meri Kashi, which was launched by the prime minister Modi, along with the chief minister Yogi Adityanath and the then governor of U.P, Ram Nayak, became a mega hit–more than eight lakh copies of the book already sold. Meri Kashi encapsulates the journey of Kashi since time immemorial. Such was the magnetic impact of the book that Dr Buddhinathji was invited to participate in the oath ceremony of prime minister Modi in 2019. Unequivocally, it was the contribution of immense magnitude for the literary growth of Hindi, the accepted national language of India, for which Buddhinath Babu’s contribution remains engraved in the contemporary history of the nation, the journey of which began from that of Samastipur in Mithila. Small wonder then, the meteoric rise of Hindi at the global level, has scores of writers contributions from varied writers, yet the place of Buddhinath Babu remains spectacular.

Ludwig van Beethoven, a legendary German pianist, born in December 1770 to 1827, was reported to have given a new direction to the Western Music. Having reshaped the direction of the classic music, Beethoven had smoothen the transition of Western Music from that of classical to its romantic dimension. Significantly, his career had been divided into three phases: early, middle and late periods. The early period which is considered to have lasted till 1802, when he was reported to have honed his craft; in the middle phase, his exceptional shaping of Western music, was dubbed as heroic; in the late phase, when he purportedly became more deaf, he refined his musical innovation, its form and expression. Unequivocally, Beethoven remained an immortal figure in the western music to have transformed it completely. Moreover, he soon gained the reputation of a virtuoso pianist. His first famous orchestral work, The first Symphony was premiered in 1800, and his first set of string quartet was published in 1801, his third and fifth Symphonies were published in 1804 and 1808. His first opera, Fidelio was performed in 1805, which was revised yet again in 1814. No wonder, Beethoven was the phenomenal super star in the Occidental world.

Buddhinath Babu, a versatility personified in the literary world, whose melodious voice of his own lyrics, contributing to the rise of Hindi lyrics in the global literary firmament. Significantly, during a visit to Russia, where he took the Indian delegation, suddenly, the elevator developed snags; as the fixing of the same took almost half an hour, Buddhinath Babu began singing his own lyrics, mesmerising the Russian guests who, despite not comprehending the lyrics, steadfastly stood transfixed. With the rampant creations in Hindi and Maithili– Kyou na dai chai aeg, purna Sathharva ma vaisal etc.–Buddhinath Babu’s contributions to both Hindi and Maithili is almost at par with that of Beethoven of the Western World. Incidentally, as the Maithil community is confronted by the lack of credible political leadership in India and Nepal, the intellectual leadership of Buddhinath Babu is the blessings in disguise for Maithils straddling both India and Nepal. It is the most opportune time now to resurrect the cultural and linguistic glory of Mithila and Maithils which is very much feasible now under the intellectual and literary vision of Dr Buddhinath Mishra, a modern Beethoven of Bharatvarsha. Maithili community should avail the priceless treasure trove from him for reviving the fading glory of Mithila and Maithili.

Vivekanand Jha, author of Delhi Beckons: RaGa for NaMo, 56 Inches and The Making of Narendra Modi, Unmaking of Jawaharlal.

Vivekanand Jha, Author of The Living Legends of Mithila, he is an Author, Academician and a Public Intellectual. He is the Convener of Education pe Charcha.

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