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Litterateurs hail PM’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ tribute to Neeraj, demand Bharat Ratna for poet  

Hindi litterateurs have expressed delight at Prime Minister Narendra Modi reciting lines from poet Gopal Das Neeraj’s compositions in the 46th edition of ‘the Maan Ki Baat programme’ on radio.

lucknow Updated: Jul 30, 2018 14:55 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Prime Minister Narendra Modi,Mann ki baat,Gopal Dass Neeraj
Gopal Das Neeraj

Hindi litterateurs have expressed delight at Prime Minister Narendra Modi reciting lines from poet Gopal Das Neeraj’s compositions in the 46th edition of ‘the Maan Ki Baat programme’ on radio on Sunday.

In his address, the prime minister said Gopal Das ‘Neeraj’ had a unique style and he connected with the common man immediately. He was someone who connected with all generations , Modi said, adding his works were unforgettable gems , which will live on and inspire many.

The PM recited Neeraj’s lines from ‘Andhiyaar dhalkkar hi rahega’ and ‘Geet akash ko dharti ka sunana hai mujhe’ as a tribute. Modi said he was saddened by Neeraj’s death. The poet passed away at AIIMS, New Delhi, on July 19 after an illness.

Gopal Das Neeraj’s son Shashank Prabhakar, a poet in his own right, said, “It’s not only an honour for Neeraj Ji but for the world of Hindi poetry too. I am glad that the prime minister has recognised his work to the extent that he has mentioned him in his talk on radio.”

Prabhakar also said, “I am thankful to the prime minister for honouring Neeraj ji and Hindi poetry. I think Neerajji will get his due if he is conferred Bharat Ratna for his service to Hindi literature. I have started an online petition to demand Bharat Ratna for Neerajji. It has already registered over 3,000 signatures. I will meet the prime minister with the petition when one lakh signatures are received.”

Noted Hindi poet Mukul Mahan said, “I think prime minister has honoured Hindi with the recitation of the poetry of Neeraj. Neeraj’s contribution to Hindi literature was not only through his writings, but the next generation like Dr Vishnu Saxena and Kunwar Bechain, have attained great success. He created an army of Hindi writers who are carrying his legacy forward.”

He said, “On behalf of the Hindi writers’ fraternity, I demand Bharat Ratna for Neeraj.”

Noted poet Sarvesh Asthana said, “I am delighted that we have a prime minister who respects poetry and literature. We all are elated and request Bharat Ratna for him. This will be the best tribute to his contribution to Hindi literature.”

The prime minister has won respect from poets and writers with this move, said Sarvesh Asthana.

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 14:55 IST