Dehradun, 5 December 2006
This Tuesday, Derhadun’s town hall played host to a well-attended Jugalbandhi that brought together two of Uttarakhand most eminent poets in the cause of rebellion.
Hosted by the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and the Umesh Dobhal Smirti Trust, Girish Tiwari “Girda” and Narendra Singh Negi traded political poems from the Uttarakhand Movement and beyond, in direct response to the attempts to censor Negi’s hit song, Nauchami Naraina.
Those present and participating included Yugmanch Nainital, the Uttarakhand Mahila Manch, Communist Party of India and the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, as well as members of Uttarakhand’s cultural community.
Interestingly enough, just as the censor board has recommended cuts to various lines in Nauchami Naraina, the BJP has tried to gain mileage from the controversy, but also without the introductory verses that criticized their two year stint in office. Moreover, the sentiment voiced in the song echo the general feeling of the genuine activists of the Uttarakhand movement, hence Negi’s support by the UKD and other progressive parties decrying the infringement on the freedom of speech.
However, the government’s hamhanded way of dealing with Negi has boomeranged, awakening long slumbering Pahari opinion like no other issue since statehood.