Maithili writers of Patna_ at the house of Mrs. Premlata Mishra ‘Prem’
On 22nd May 2011, I had a brief meeting with Maithili writers assembled at the house of Mrs. Premlata Mishra ‘Prem.’ As I had not much time, I could not listen the assembled 11 maithils but had taken their phone no. and I wished to talk them one by one and write about them.
Mrs. Prem lata Mishra ‘Prem’ is married to Shri Maheshwar Mishra who is resident of vill. Sirsi of Seetamarhi district. She worked as a teacher in a +2 school before her retirement and her husband was working with Road Transport corporation.
She was a radio artist and has written many poems etc. and the monthly ghoshthi was her brain child that writers of any specialty should have interaction. Though I had suggested them to add Maithili in the name of Goshthi ,she told me today that she invites even other language groups’ writers ( Hindi) to that ghosthi. I feel that we Maithils have somehow less self pride and that makes us compromisable on many issues. Our grand organization of Maithils ‘Chetna Samiti,’ did not feel inclusion of Mithila, Maithili or Maithil word in its name though it is intended for them.
Mahamahopadhyay Umesh Mishra had written that if any Hindi compendium asked for a Maithili contribution we should not give unless that is for other Indian language too. On that vein I asked Mrs. Prem whether any bangle writer attends her meeting to which no direct answer came.
I too feel Bhojpuri and Maghi, the dialects of Hindi or Hindi itself (though Magahi is more nearer to Maithili and can be regarded its dialect) which are our neighbours should not be made free to join us at every occasion unless there are some other languages too and that can be Sanskrit and Bangla in the context of Bihar(though many may argue for Urdu but to my opinion Urdu is not a language in itself at least in Bihar where it is ‘Jolhi Maithili’ (as per George Grierson) and may be ‘Jolhi Magahi’ and or ‘Jolhi Bhojpuri.’
We in fact should try to assimilate first the dialects of Maithili like Vajjika as the western Maithili (as said by Grierson) and Angika as the Southern Maithili(though grierson coined ‘cheka-chiki’ but to me that was not a proper word and we should call it Southern Maithili. We should not only call them as a part and parcel of Maithili, let us recommend the books written in those dialects for different Maithili awards- from sahitya academy to Prabodh samman to Jnanpeeth those and other dialects of Maithili should be treated as of standard Maithili texts. There should be some thesises on those dialects and soon we will find that the rivalry which is illogical ends up.
In the same meeting I had touched this point and had questioned as to exact definition of Maithili, Mithila and Maithils though time did not permit me to dilate my views or to listen others- it may be a full day debate.
Many Maithils feel Mithila talk is a political talk but I feel it is a national talk and we can not remain oblivion to the correct position of it, if we are to see the language is respected in home and out and to me nit having a Mithila state is the biggest reason that Maithils talk Hindi in home though not willing to give Hindi an official status in place of English.
I had also hinted in that meeting that ‘kaulik’(based and groomed in family/ families) is good for the preservation of Maithili language during onslaughts, its gate be need to open for all and Maithili organizations need representatives of the society which they are not.
I would have no problem if such organizations declare themselves as ‘maithil Brahman organizations and Maithil kayasth organisations’ and that will usher in maithil yadav/ kurmi/ Dusadh organization etc, and compiling all Mithila and Maithili can go ahead but telling Maithil for all and meaning for Brahmans only(like Diabetes we say in medicine and understand that for Diabetes mellitus though there is ‘ diabetes insipidus’ to). However diabetes simile may be improper here as Maithil Brahams though important segment of Maithil society and culture are in a minority and despite the fact that 2001 census had exploded the myth ( 121 million + speakers of Maihtili) there are not even half of this number who might be of any caste, more so Brhamans,
I asked Premlataji whether the meeting is held rotationwise to which she replied in negative. It may seem good that people are attached to a fixed place but that cannot generate wide number of following and probably it is again a reflection of ‘kaulik’ development of Maithili.
When I enquired more she replied that her ‘naihar’ was Rahika, my block in fact. Well she had a great confidence as she was the first girl student to do matriculation from Rahika school. Rahika has a tradition of Maithili work and in this context I named late shobha Mishra who was very close to Mrs. Premlata too. Shobhaji was not only mother of a great Maithili worker, Girish Chadra Mishra of Ranchi who retired as ED, Of Durgapur Steel Plant but also she herself was a great Maithili writer who had even participated in ‘travelling’ International Maithili Conference of the Antarrashtriya Maithili Parishad at marai, Sirha, lahan and Jankpurdham during April 13-17, 1997.
Rahika is also famous for Chunchun Mishra whom recently we have lost.
I said her that I was under the impression that being run by her many ladies would be there but found none. She told that though Mrs. Sushila Jha( widow of Markandey Pravasi) and also Jyotsan Chadram used to come who I did not know as daughter of Markandey pravasi ) and also Indira Jha (the writer though there is another Indira Jha too at Patna) not Dr. Indira Jha, daughter of Pt. Jaymant Mishra whom only I was knowing. True, Indira is a name of Bhagwati but is there any simile with famous Indira Gandhi?
And when I said her that your brother advocate Umanath Mishra was declared as president, AMP, patna she said that he was younger brother of Buddhinath Mishra? I have just introduction with Buddhinathji of Dehradun and I could not comprehend from Umanthji’s village address of Devdha though it was told to me by Buddhinathji. At least I am sure now the’ kaulik’ tradition of Maithils at Patna will roll the AMP there which finally want to unroll this on the plane of lineage, district, region and caste in Mithila. To me a good work at Rahika/or Madhubani is important but I give greater emphasis on work of Madhubani of Purnea.
Today I could talk with Vijaynath Jha also and asked that his village was not mentioned to which he said that he had purposely avoided because he was from talpurwa of Siddharthnagar district of UP, some 8 generations before his forefather had migrated from village Seema near Madhubani(not Sarbbseema). I know a couple of persons from both Seemas and from this Seema, Dr. D. N. Jha, prof. political science was well known personality. However all his relations are from Mithila and so he could speak Maithili so correctly.
On this point, I find that many non-Brahmanor Krn kayastha castes boys and girls are married outside of Mithila and that is one cause for amalgamation of Hindi in houses. Those castes like Paswans do not marry outside Mithila continue pure Maithili.
However, delving deep, I fond Vijaynath Jha is also embedded with maithil’ kaulik’ traditions; his father –in law was Heeranand Jha’ Shastri,’ famous editor of the Aaryavart
Vijaynath Jha has many books in Maihtili.
I feel this ‘Kaulik’ tradition be continued but ‘genre’ of our Maithili worker need widened and engross whole Mithila.
On this point I had asked in the meeting that as to why Mithila could not produce an Ashapurna devi or Mahashewta..
I requested Mrs. Premlata to join AMP conferences where we are doing at least half day session for Maithilanis. It was quite successful in Mubai conference and I hope at Patna too whenever it is held it will be,
In the meeting were also present Kailash Jha, Dakhara(Benipur0, Binod Kr Jha,Mahathwar(Ghanshyampur), Premkant Jha(pindaruch, Darbhanga), Dinesh Mishra, Dhamiapatti, Jaynagar, Manikant Mishra, Sukhasan, madhepura, and gamesh Jha(who wished to be an AMP worker though came late with Baccha Thakur, ex-IAS who is a great admirer of me. Baccha Thakur will be our patron, AMP, Patna that only I could say before I left the venue quicly for Kumbh meeting.
I had been to Pindaruch and Dhamiyapatti and after talk with them, maybe a second part of this blog may be written.