Literary Revolt against Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

A writer, editor, translator, and activist, Rakshanda Jalil has provided yeomen’s service to the cause of Urdu language and literature. On the occasion of the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, she has put together a volume highlighting India’s creative response to the abominable action against humanity. Trisha De Niyogi talked to her about the motivation and efficacy of this project.

Words Vs Guns…

What are the memories of belonging? Is it important and instructive to remember holocausts like the partition and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre?
Yes, it is very important to revisit times of great pain and suffering, and go back to old memories that have caused immense anguish. Would we do what was done at great human cost yet again? Did the pain, suffering, and sacrifice go to waste? Surely, it ought not to.
The intersection of history and literature allows us to revisit occasions of great historical import. In the past, I have looked at the literature that came out of the First War of Independence of 1857, the Indian participation in the First World War (1914-1918) and the literary responses to it, and the Partition of 1947. Each time, my attempt has been to evaluate how contemporary and later writers looked at these real-life incidents through the prism of literature. This volume is a continuation of that attempt.
You have done a wonderful job of compiling material written on Jallianwala Bagh massacre, both fiction and non-fiction written in various languages. In terms of literary values, how would you evaluate them?
Let me infer to poetry to answer your question about ‘literary values’. Once, poetry was considered the most suitable form for passing down history. Some of our greatest epics came to us in verse. There was a long lull when poetry was thought to be about the softer emotions of life. It took events of great magnitude, for instance, the Jallianwala Bagh incident, to release a burst of political consciousness. Poets writing in different bhashas felt no longer content to sing of the rose and the nightingale. This ‘adventurism’ required a new diction. For these ‘new age’ poets, language became a means, not an end to a creative exercise. Realism crept into the poetry of even those who shied away from labels, or chose not to belong to any school of thought. The poetry included in this book reflects those times and those literary values.
Sometimes some of our centenaries turn out to be celebrations irrespective of the fact that they are solemn moments for expiation and penance. How would you advice the governments to commemorate this painful event?
My friend Ramu Gandhi, the philospher, always used to say in the context of Partition that ownership is very important. Someone has to speak up and take responsibility. Until a collective pind daan takes place, the ghosts of Partition will continue to haunt us. I want to say the same about Jallianwala Bagh… Until full ownership of this terrible tragedy is taken, we will not find closure.

49 thoughts on “Literary Revolt against Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

  1. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I
    realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  2. Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Kudos!|

  3. I truly love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own website and would like to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Cheers!|

  4. That is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.

    Short but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this
    one. A must read article!

  5. Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.

    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  6. You are so interesting! I do not suppose I’ve read anything like that before.
    So good to discover someone with a few genuine thoughts on this issue.

    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a
    little originality!

  7. Hello! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this
    article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  8. Thanks for the tips on credit repair on all of this blog. What I would advice people is to give up the mentality that they can buy now and pay later. As a society we tend to do this for many things. This includes vacations, furniture, and items we want. However, you need to separate your wants from all the needs. While you are working to improve your credit score you have to make some sacrifices. For example you can shop online to save money or you can go to second hand stores instead of expensive department stores for clothing.

  9. After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are
    added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive four emails
    with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove
    me from that service? Cheers!

  10. Just wish to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness in your post is just great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep
    up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and
    please carry on the gratifying work.

  11. I’m really loving the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A couple of my blog audience have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

  12. Thank you for some other informative web site. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I’ve a undertaking that I’m just now operating on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *