Restlessness, Structural Degeneration and Dialogic Possibilities in Contemporary Hindi Poetry: Asad Zaidi, Manmohan and Shubha

On June 4, 2016 by admin

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HumanitiesUnderground had, in March of 2016, initiated a discussion on contemporary Hindi poetry in Benaras, with a group of poets who are composing and thinking right now about the intricacies of the poetic art. In a free flowing discussion, we spoke of contemporary poetry’s current and changing contours, its entrenched legacies and future possibilities, as also the reading dynamics emerging from new reading publics.

This is the second installment, where a different set of poets writing since the 1970s, engage with similar questions and concerns. Asad Zaidi, Manmohan and Shubha, have witnessed momentous political, social changes in the subcontinent and have borne these in their poetry. As they continue to compose art work, they reflect on the markers of contemporary poetic universe in Hindi, bringing to the discussion, some very definite and definitive viewpoints on the relationship between art and social practice.

In these recordings, they also raise significant questions about forms of memorialization and ritualistic gestures in a changed political clime, and how these could mediate trajectories in the future. Are we sufficiently grappling with the moral vacuity, aesthetic stasis, the weakening of solidarities and lack of scrutinizing dialogue/commentary in poetry writing? And finally, there is here, a genuine wish and call for a greater, more robust communication with the younger generation of poets, crucial to the forging of collective struggles against artistic crassness, self aggrandizing egotism and the reactionary tendencies rife in both politics and the lived life.

This is an ongoing debate. HUG wishes to carry and trail this thread in the future too, through other new and fresh interactive sessions.

HUG thanks Rajkumar Kumar for his valuable help with the editing of the video and other suggestions.

Here is the link. Please use speakers or headphones :

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