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Literature can help people become better citizens: Deepak Kumar

It is not very often that one comes across a Government official who is a lover of art and culture, a man of letters passionate about writing and also making people aware of the advantages of education and a knowledge of literature. However, when one does come across such a person, one’s curiosity is aroused due to this rare combination. Meet Deepak Kumar, an official in the Uttarakhand Government who believes in giving vent to his creativity along with fulfilling his official role to the best of his abilities. In a quiet corner of the Uttarakhand Secretariat in the Doon valley, in the office of Finance undersecretary Deepak Kumar, The Pioneer had an interesting conversation with him regarding the role of literature in improving people and society.
Expressing his views, Kumar said that it would make a great difference to society if people could love literature and learn all that it could teach.“People are out of touch with this amazing tradition, this great heritage which we call literature. They need to get back in touch with it to become better human beings and citizens. Society is moving towards materialism and becoming too mechanical. People are also turning almost into machines. I feel very strongly about this, as a lover of literature and a writer.” When asked about what he feels about the status of government officials regarding reading, he says that they needed to read much more in order to become sensitive. “I always had an interest in reading and have read masters like Munshi Premchand, Sahir Ludhianavi, Rajendra Yadav and  Gopaldas Neeraj. My restlessness as a person is best expressed in my writing. I have written lyrics as well as short stories in Hindi which are now being published. Reading and writing take up all my free time.” Deepak Kumar believes that the education system should be value –based and impart ethics as well as a love for literature. “Only then can these aspects become part of the personality of our youth and help them become responsible citizens. Self-awareness comes from reading good works of literature and philosophy. In my life, I happened to be alone for a while and this solitude gave me an opportunity for introspection. That was when I realised  that I wanted to write.” He is not just a writer but also a singer and music composer. This has made him turn towards Mumbai and he has started writing lyrics and composing music. He has learnt music from Murlidhar Jagudi.  “My songs are also aimed at creating awareness about social issues, just like my stories are. I give voice to the voiceless, the underprivileged and marginalized people in our society.” Asked about the growing interest of filmmakers in Uttarakhand, Kumar says that compared to some other places, Uttarakhand is a state where filmmakers face little difficulty. “They can get permission easily and on easy terms.  However, what we need to do is to have studios and very good hotels in the areas where they choose to shoot. I think good work is being done in this direction and more will be taken up.” This officer’s dynamism and calmness together create a personality that can be developed only through creativity and thinking out of the box. He has been able to strike a good balance between finance work and literature, between official duties and flights of imagination. The best part is that his writing is deeply connected to society and its burning issues like the rural-urban divide, the helplessness of the poor and sick, the social taboos and superstitions. His feelings for the country are strong too. His message for the youth is that they should acquire a good education and think for the country even while making a career for themselves. “They should have the thought of serving the nation. I feel that this thought is vanishing now. I again say that reading good books is a must for everyone, young or old.” Meanwhile, Kumar is busy with his work and accomplishing his dream of being a writer of meaningful songs and stories.  In fact, he combines the print and visual media by creating videos based on his short stories. His message that awareness about reading should be promoted among government officials needs to be heeded if sensitivity in the administration has to be enhanced. All in all, the conversation turned out to be quite varied and intriguing. It made one think once again of the power of the written word, the power of creativity. Read more posts…
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 | JASKIRAN CHOPRA | Dehradun

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