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Why Shakespeare Scared Away My Inner Poet, And How Instagram Brought It Back

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By Ajay Jhawar:

featured_image_-_shakespeare_2It’s the way my education system is managing poetry and literature that’s hurting me. I am a growing poet and have noticed myself taking an interest in poetry, ratings, and articles since August last month. I regret that I couldn’t understand it when I was in class eight; I regret that it didn’t like it much back then.

But there is a question that resonated in my mind: How did I suddenly develop an interest in literature, so much that I chose to pen down articles and poems? The answer is not that I have changed. The answer is that I became addicted to reading small haikus on social media, followed by poems, articles, essays and short stories.

It makes sense; I was not interested in poems earlier because the ones I was made to read were above my maturity level. I couldn’t interpret those without the help of my teachers. You can’t be interested in something you don’t understand. But after I started reading simple stuff on the internet – things said simply with or without rhymes that connect with our daily lives – I was fascinated by the way these people penned my feelings, and that’s how I developed an interest in poems.

That’s the way it should have been in my school but, unfortunately, we were made to read the works of William Shakespeare before developing our mind for interpreting simple poems. Of course, that took away my interest. I guess it happened with many students who had the capability of becoming poets.

It’s clear that our education system needs to be reviewed. If the only Indian poet we know about is Rabindranath Tagore, we surely are in need of some more ideals and leaders from our own country. It’s not that we are lagging behind by a narrow margin. If we compare the population of India, we should be the ones to produce the largest number of poets, artists and the best of them. But sadly it’s not the case, the name ruling the internet these days is Christopher Poindexter, others are lagging far behind.

There are poets. Instagram is flooded with them but because of the lack of interest of our society in literature, they are struggling. Indian news tellers are hardly interested in publishing poems. Neither are we informed about any literature competitions. There aren’t even proper magazines dedicated to literature. It’s tough for poets to grow in this situation.

India needs some serious changes in the field of literature. We need leaders, new and alive, who can guide us. We need our media to help us. It won’t be a big deal to dedicate a page for literature if not daily then at least once in a week. And it won’t be a big deal for the Central government to start a magazine for artists, something India needs. The media needs to play its part in developing the interest of the common man in the arts. It isn’t just writers who are being neglected, it’s every form of art. Art is something that can’t thrive without a proper audience. We create to reach out to people. India is lagging behind in this field. It’s my kind request to the ones in positions of power to help us out, to help us grow.

You must be to comment.
  1. Pooja

    I completely agree with this …there are so many students who take engineering or medicine out of pressure and then end up doing photography or blogging. We need a syllabus that values creative stuff. There is so much creative talent in India.

  2. Ajay Jhawar

    I am studying to be an engineer…
    For me its like there isn’t any scope.
    There are pages on facebook, but they usually don’t prefer poetry.
    It just pains me..:(

  3. Indra

    I suggest you go google+. Poetic groups like “Hall of poets” (HOP) not only provide you a good friendly
    platform for reaching your works to thousands, but also you can get published in the e-zine of HOP,
    participate in the contests as well as get a good exposure to international poets.
    In Facebook, there is a great shift of genuine poets these days to a poetic non profit organisation called
    “The world union of poets” (“Unione Mondiale dei poeti”, based on Italy) where you can be a member and
    post as you wish in your country’s “gallery” (group) to get read by poets all over the world. It is a venture
    for world peace, and they do conduct amazing events. The group is just getting established; but it is
    the best place where you get recognised. The poets like “Ernesto Kahan” (recipient of Nobel peace 1985
    also president of International poet Congress), Silvano Bortolazzi (Three time Nobel nominee and Knight
    of Italy) are the leaders. You shall meet amazing poets there; and you can also join them in conducting
    online poetry events.
    “Hall of poets” is also present in Facebook; and the whole group is just wonderful with people loving poetry.
    And it will be relatively more easier and fit for you to join HOP as a member, post your poems there, receive
    feedback and read others as well as get published in their magazine.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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