By Ajay Jhawar:
It’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.