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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

‘Vigyan Kavi Sammelan’: Taking poetry to the realm of science

  Updated: Oct 14, 2019 22:01 IST
Hindustantimes
         

In an emerging trend, poetry is increasingly being used as a tool to popularise science among the common people.  A testament to this fact, point out some noted science poets, is the frequency with which ‘Vigyan Kavi Sammelans’ are being organised in the country.

Poet Pankaj Prasoon says, “It was just on October 11 that one such poetry session was organised by the Dr Shakuntala Misra Rehabilitation University in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Bhasha Sansthan, the CSIR and the department of science. Noted poets such as Pandit Suresh Nirone, Pandit Sure Nirav, Madhu Mishra, Dr Anirudh Uniyal,  Dr Ravikant Pandey,  Dr Asha Tripathi and Dr Sarvendra Vikram recited their verses there.” Prasoon too recited his poems at the event.

Another such upcoming ‘Vigyan Kavi Sammelan’ will be organised as part of the International Science Festival, which is to held in Kolkata from November 4 to 9. “This annual event is believed to be among the biggest platforms in the country for bringing together students, researchers, innovators, artistes and the general public for celebrating the country’s achievements in science and technology,” says Prasoon, adding that it was great to see various bodies across the country organising science poetry sessions.

‘Freeing poetry from the clutches of romance’

“Today, we can say that we have been able to free poetry from the clutches of romance and take it to the realm of science,” says Prasoon. 

He feels that both world and Indian poetry have largely been about romance. “Such was the trend till I started writing poetry to popularise science among the masses. Having served as a technical officer at the Central Drug Research Institute, I knew I had the knack for writing science poetry. So, I started mixing science in my verses and, to my surprise, my poems became overnight hits, especially among the youth,” says Prasoon.

He credits the popularity of his work to the fact that he has been able to connect science -- perceived to be a difficult subject by many -- with the common people through an entertaining medium like poetry. “I kept on working at injecting a scientific temper in our youths through my writings and by organising workshops. Today, we have reached a stage where we are watching ‘Vigyan Kavi Sammelans’,” says Prasoon.

Kudankulam protests, a trigger

Prasoon says the significance of science poetry first came to the fore after people protested against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu a few years ago. “The department of science approached me to write poetry to clear people’s doubts about the power plant. I penned a book ‘Parmanu ki Chhaon Mein’, which was then distributed in all areas where we have our nuclear power plants,” he says.

Dr Anirudh Uniyal, who also recited science poetry at the October 11 session in Lucknow, says, “If not today, science poetry will surely be a part of the course curriculum in various states in the days to come.”  

Dr Pradeep  Srivastava, known for  the art of scientoons (expression of scientific knowledge in the language of cartoons) says that while Prasoon started the trend of science poetry, now, many more poets were trying their hand at it and finding success. “I am also happy to see other forms of scientific arts coming up -- for instance, scientoons. We should be proud to say that both these trends were started from Lucknow by Lucknowites,” says Srivastava.