Poet Ramdarash Mishra gets Saraswati Samman for ‘Mein to Yahan Hun’
Instituted in 1991 by KK Birla Foundation, the Saraswati Samman is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the country. It carries a cash prize of ₹15 lakh, a citation, and a plaque
Eminent Hindi poet and litterateur Prof Ramdarash Mishra on Monday was conferred the Saraswati Samman for 2021 for his collection of poems “Mein to Yahan Hun”, which covers a gamut of social issues and societal concerns.
Instituted in 1991 by KK Birla Foundation, the Saraswati Samman is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the country. It is given annually to an outstanding literary work published during the past 10 years by an Indian citizen in any language included in Schedule VIII of the Constitution. It carries a cash prize of ₹15 lakh, a citation, and a plaque.
The citation describes the award-winning collection, which was published in 2015, as a sombre expression of the poet. “It is a huge canvas with shades of inner life, societal concerns, communalism, corruption, human perspectives, exploitation of the Dalits, disquieting urban cities, exuberance of the season and climatic concerns: each such topic has intense shades in this collection…” read the citation.
The 31st Saraswati Samman was presented to Mishra at a ceremony in Delhi where eminent writer Prof Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari was the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, Mishra said lived experiences were the foundation of his writing. “The experience I gained from the village is foundational. I spent my childhood and youth in the village. Whatever I gained through my travels is there too, but my heart was always in my village,” he said.
Born in Dumri village in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district on August 15, 1924, Mishra has excelled in different branches of Hindi literature. In a career spanning decades, he has to his credit 32 collections of poems, 15 novels, 30 short stories, 15 books of literary criticism, four collections of essays, travelogues, and several memoirs. He served as an important member of different Hindi consultative committees in various ministries, and retired as a professor from the Hindi department of the University of Delhi.
The recipient of the Saraswati Samman is chosen by a selection committee whose current head is Subhash Kashyap, former secretary general of the Lok Sabha secretariat and a noted constitutional expert.