Krishna Sobti, the octogenarian Hindi Novelist, is known for her bold writings. She is still active at the age of 91, and it is good to see that she continues to write and take part in Seminars and other activities of her choice. Many literature lovers call her the living legend of Hindi literature. She May be a living legend but she also loves to be in controversies. Sometimes through her actions and sometimes through her statements.
Latest is her dictate to a young writer, Blogger Dr Kaynat Kazi. Dr Kazi has written a well-researched book on Krishna Sobti. Dr Kazi was very happy that she did her first book on one of the greatest Hindi writers. The title of the book, Krishna Sobti ka sahitya aur Samaj, itself suggests what Dr Kazi took into account while writing the book. Till the book was published there was no controversy. It seems Krishna Sobti was happy about this book.
Now the real story unfolds. Dr Kazi planned the book launch at a café in Delhi. The Young lady was very happy because for her it’s like a dream come true. But she didn’t have any idea what is going to happen. She sent the invitation card of the book launch to Krishna Sobti and after receiving the book launch card she erupted like a volcano. The book was to be launched by Dr Sacchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Vijay Kranti, Editor DD. She called up Dr Kaynat kazi and started shouting at her. How dare you plan to get the book launched by the Sanghis.
Krishnaji threatened the young author with dire consequences. It is also being said that Krishnaji told Dr Kazi that if she would go ahead with the book launch with Dr Joshi and Vijay Kranti then she should be prepared to face a court case. She also allegedly threatened with a court case if her name was used anywhere. Kaynat Kazi was intimidated and the book launch was cancelled. Krishna Sobti is known for filing court cases. She slapped a court case in 1984 and asked for a damage of Rs 1.5 lakh on Amrita Pritam when the latter came with abook called- Hardatt ka Zindginama.
At that point of time Krishna Sobti slapped a case of plagiarism on Pritam because she thought that the title was inspired by her acclaimed novel, Zindaginama. The case stretched over a quarter of century. The case lingered over twenty five years and was decided in favour of Amrita Pritam, the Jananpith award winner writer. After losing the case Krishna Sobti tried to place a brave face by saying that the fight was for principle. But still she thinks that Zindaginama was her ‘extensive intellectual property’.
It is irony that Amrita Pritam died before the case was decided. But here also question arises as to how any writer can claim ‘extensive intellectual property’ rights on a word which is used very often and there are dozens of books written in Persian with this title. One of the Guru Gobind Singh’s disciples wrote his biography by this name Zindaginama much before the publication of Sobti’s novel. It seems that Dr Kaynat Kazi feared to take on Sobti and cancelled the book launch programme.
Now we come to the point of Krishna Sobtiji’s objection on certain names and calling them Sanghis. If Dr Joshi and Vijay Kranti are Sanghis, so they don’t have the right to talk on their language’s big writer like Krishna Sobti. If Krishna Sobti hates the Sanghis so much then she should write on the cover of all her books that those who believe in RSS ideology should not buy and read it. But none of her books ever mentioned anything like this.
Krishna Sobti attended a seminar in Delhi around Bihar assembly elections when the so called ‘award wapsi’ movement was on its peak. The organizers of that seminar are now rubbing shoulders with the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and making ground for him for the meeting with intellectuals across the country. It is implied that Krisha Sobti is also part of that move.
Now when you are aligning with a certain ideology or ganging up with those who are against an ideology then it’s right. At the same time, a young writer invited some persons with certain ideology you are enraged. Isn’t it double standard? There is a very famous line of a Salman movie- Tum karo toh rasleela aur ham karen to character dheela. Isn’t the entire episode is like that?
Now come to the untouchability part of this story. If you don’t share your ideas or you don’t argue with other ideologies then loss is yours. By doing this you create your own world and move around that. This world without any other ideology is like a fool’s paradise. Our leftist friends very often live in this type of paradise. It is dangerous for any society where ideological untouchabilty persists. This scenario stops the development of argumentative citizens.
This is the irony of this country that the propagators of leftist ideology never engaged in any dialogue with any other ideology. One can say that they are afraid of the shortcomings of Marxism and did not want to publically accept this. They want the romanticism of the Marxism to be continued so that people could be made fool in the name of ideology. Krishna Sobti intimidated a young writer in the name of ideology. It seems that she thinks that nobody will raise the question than she is grossly mistaken. Questions will be raised on her fascist behaviour in the coming days.