Bhopal: Hindi poet Naresh Saxena smells a ‘political conspiracy’ behind the Pulwama terror attack on February 14. Saxena, 80, who was in the city to participate in the Foundation Day function of the Bharat Bhavan, told Free Press that it was ‘widely expected’ that a ‘big incident’ that would ‘change the national political narrative’ would occur before the Lok Sabha elections. It could be either an Indo-Pak war or a communal riot. “What has happened will benefit the current BJP government,” he said.
Saxena, an engineer by training, has written widely for theatre and films as well. Two years back, to ‘protest growing intolerance in the country’ he had returned the National Film Award that he had received in 1992 for directing the Hindi feature film ‘Sambandh’ About Pakistan, he said that hate and violence was the basis of the politics of that nation – both external and internal.
He added that though Pakistan may be involved in exporting terrorism but bombs are not the only way of spreading terror. “Dividing people on religious lines, demolishing mosques and whipping up anti-Pakistan hysteria is equally dangerous,” he said. He wanted to know how construction of a grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya would solve the problems of the ordinary Indians.
Saxena’s anger at the chasm that religion has created between human beings was very palpable. “People never fight with one other. It is the governments and the politicians that make them fight for their own vested interests.” “People around the world are fighting over religion but that can’t solve any problem. It would only create more. “Jo dharma ki rajneeti karte hain woh achchhe log nahin hote…,”Saxena added.
When asked about poetry, Saxena said, “Nowadays, the youth neither know good English nor good Hindi. Indian languages seem to have become slaves to English. Jo Bachche apni matrabhasha likh nahin sakte, unko angrzee zindagi bhar nahi aa sakti….” The high fee charged by quality educational institutions is one of reasons for the decline in the level of knowledge of languages, he said.
“Our Constitution talks of giving everyone an equal opportunity. But the fee of a good English medium school is up to Rs 2 lakh per annum. How many can afford it? Where is equality? What is going on in this country? That is why we have not been able to produce a single Nobel laureate since Independence” the poet added.