IFFCO’s 7th ‘Shri Lal Shukla Memorial Sahitya Samman’ for the year 2017 was given to Ramdev Dhurandhar a versatile Hindi novelist from Mauritius at a gala function in the NCUI auditorium on Wednesday amid a unique audience comprising of co-operators and folk from the world of art & literature.
Dhurandhar who treats Hindi as his mother was overwhelmed with emotion at his grand reception in Delhi on the occasion. “I sow the seeds in Mauritius and reap the harvest in India”, he said thanking IFFCO and the literary stalwarts such as Giriraj Kishor, Nityanand Tiwary, DP Tripathy and others who were in the Selection Committee that zeroed in on him.
I was at a cross-roads during my formative years on what to do-write in Hindi or in French. I chose Hindi as it is my reason detre said Dhurandhar tracing his childhood memories filled with the Indian ethos.
Recalling his meeting with venerated Sri Lal Shukla in the conference of World Hindi Diwas in London in the year 2000, Ramdev said I looked up to him as an icon who writes on the happenings of his times so effortlessly and so satirically ; I wished I could write like him from the perspective of my own country. “I can’t say how happy I am today to receive an award in his name”, Dhuradhar was effusive.
Speaking on the occasion the man who conceived the idea of bringing farming and literature on one platform IFFCO MD Dr U S Awasthi said both literature and farming are today victims of indifference by society. While a farmer fails to get the remunerative price for his produce, a writer fails to earn his living no matter how great a book he may have written.
“If you wish to know the progress of a society just see how it treats its farmers and men of literature and arts”, said Awasthi.
Remembering his father in law Sri Lal Shukla Awasthi said “Not because I married his eldest daughter but because I also know him as a friend and know how his observations hold true till date in India, said Awasthi while applauding the Twitter handler of Sri Lal Shukla which tweets sentences from his writings linking them aptly to truths of present day.
DP Tripathy, who headed the Selection Committee applauded Dhurandhar and said besides his voluminous works, Dhurandhar could easily be called as the greatest writer in the world in the field of short story writing. Applauding IFFCO and its MD Dr U S Awasthi, Tripathy called him the next best MD after Tata Sons Russi Mody that India has produced.
Tripathy also recalled his early days spent with Sri Lal Shukla in Allahabad and shared many anecdotes which beside other things depicted Shukla as a fearless person. Rag Darbari is one of the best classics not only in India but also in the world, he summed up.
Pulling out a character from Rag Darbari named langer who tirelessly fights his case in court, the Chief Guest Giriraj Kishor said langer was a true representative of India.
A rendition of Agyatvas –a novel written by Sri Lal Shukla was also presented on the occasion. IFFCO MD and Joint MD felicitated the artists on the occasion.
The 7th awardee of the Shukla Award is known for his famous work “Pathrila sona” which was published in six volumes and which captures the struggles of Indians who began migrating to Mauritius way back in 1838.
Dhurandhar’s other works include “chotti machali badi machali”, “chehron ka aadmi”, “banate bigarate rishtey” and “pucho is matti se.” “vish manthan” and “janam ki ek bhool” are two anthologies of stories to Dhurandhar’s credit. He has also written satire and short stories.
The IFFCO Literary award was started in 2011 in the name of famous litterateur Sri Lal Shukla and it offers by far the highest amount of Rs 11 lakh in the field of literature. Vidya Sagar Nautial, Shekhar Joshi, Sanjeev, Mithileshwar and Ashtabhuja Shukla and Kamla Kant Tripathy had been the recipients of the award in the past.