Jashn-e-Rekhta celebrates Urdu writing

Seventh festival of books, film-making, history, and poetry

156
Jashn-e-Rekhta
The 7th edition of Jashn-e-Rekhta organized by the Rekhta Foundation for the preservation and promotion of Urdu literature and the tehzeeb of Awadhi culture worked its magic through ghazals, book discussions, shayari, poetry, qawwali, and Sufi music. Photo IPP

Jashn-e-Rekhta, the festival that celebrates all the facets of the Urdu language across art formats was held in the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi from 2 – 4 December 2022. The 7th edition organized by the Rekhta Foundation for the preservation and promotion of Urdu literature and the tehzeeb of Awadhi culture worked its magic through ghazals, book discussions, shayari, poetry, qawwali, and Sufi music. Literary enthusiasts and the general public turned out in droves over the weekend to celebrate Urdu literature, poetry, and song.

On 4 December, filmmaker Muzaffar Ali released his autobiography Zikr: In The Light And Shade Of Time followed by a conversation with Shabana Azmi. The book delves into his creativity in describing women, touching on his deep connection with Kotwara. Ali has shown deep empathy with women in films such as Umrao Jaan, Gaman, and Jaanisaar. The humanity and modernism of his upbringing are reflected by his desire to purge feminine feudal culture. 

In Zikr, he speaks of the influence of Urdu poets Rumi and Amir Khusrau at an impressionable age. Ali said, “The film aesthetic is a dialog between your soul and eyes which you need to serve 24 by 7.” He said he wrote the book fearing his life would become a rolling stone that gathered no moss. 

Jashn-e-Rekhta
(L-R) Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Suhail Akhtar Warsi and Minakshi Thakur from Westland Publications. Photo IPP

Tracing his rich lineage back to the chaura Rajputs of Gujarat, Ali has researched his ancestors. He also shared his views on the revolt of 1857 where his ancestor, the Nawab of Muradabad was brutally killed by the Imperial government because he supported the first war of Indian independence. 

Azmi ended the conversation by reciting a sher by her father Kaifi Azmi, “Koi to sood chukaye, Koi to zimma le, us inquilab ka jo aaj tak udhaar se hai.” [If only one paid the interest, if only one took responsibility / for that revolution — which even now, seems a debt] – as translated by the editor, poet, and translator Sudeep Sen).

The session was followed by a book discussion on Dhanak Daeera (The Circle, The Rainbow), a translation of the best works of renowned Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi. Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, and Minakshi Thakur from Westland Publications talked about the volume that took six years of grueling work by four translators. Begun in early 2017, the work makes available the poems in three languages – Urdu, Hindi, and English – emphasizing the significance of transparency in poetry. With established translators including Suhail Akhtar Warsi, the book examines the inquilabi shayari of the progressive writers’ movement

The festival provided an opportunity for leading publishing houses for setting up stands for the promotion and sale of Urdu books including translation into Hindi and English. Rekhta Books, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), Manjul Publishing House, Star Publication, Urdu Akademi Delhi, Arshia Publications, Rajkamal Prakashan, Vani Prakashan, Nayaab Books, and Rajpal & Sons were all there. 

The festival was supported by UFlex, Polyplex, Bisleri, Bank of Baroda, SRF foundation, Dainik Bhaskar, APL Apollo Tubes, TCI Foundation, Airtel, Indus Towers, HDFC ERGO, and many others.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here