By Paul Mckenzie
Hindi Diwas is celebrated on 14th September each year in India and overseas as Hindi was
passed as an Official Language by the Constituent Assembly on 14 September 1949. Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia Inc (ILASA) celebrated Hindi Diwas in Sydney on September 2014. They held their annual 2014 Kavi Sammelan, with over 80 people came 13th together to enjoy poetry and literature. The program was supported by the Consulate General of India in Sydney Mr Sunjay Sudhir ji & Mrs Vandana Sudhir. Strathfield Councillor Mr Raj Datta and Hornsby Shire Council Deputy Mayor Mr Gurdeep Singh attended the program. The program started with the lamp lighting by the Consul General Mr Sunajay Sudhir and other dignitaries. The founder and coordinator of ILASA Rekha Rajvanshi welcomed all and informed that ILASA is a national body, which promotes Indian literature, languages and art in Australia and builds a bridge between multicultural Australia and diverse India. Sumathi Krishnan, a classical singer recited renowned poet Kabir Das ji’s Dohas in her melodious voice. Another highlight of the program was the Hindi poetry book release of Sydney based poet Mr Vijay Kumar Singh. ILASA also honoured 84 year’s old veteran artist Ramesh Chandra Alandkar with ‘Life Time Achievement Award for Serving Community through Art’. This is the first time in Sydney when poetry and art came together to create a perfect ambience for poetry. ILASA showcased Gauri Torgalkar Nadkarni’s art work with Indian Australian themes. Poets, who recited poems in the program were- Sonu Sarda, Beema Jaan Youssaf, Vimla Luthra, Ritu Bhamra, Swati Tiwari, Rekha Rajvanshi, Gaurav Kapoor, Ajay Bajaj, Paul McKenzie (who read Banjo Paterson’s Clancy of the Overflow in Hindi), Harmohan Walia, Dr Prabhat Sinha, Kulwant Khurana, Ashraf Shad, Rajeev Kapooor, Rajpal Sandhu, Mranal Sharma, Vijay Kumar, Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Suresh Makkar, Harnam Singh Sandhu, Ravi Singh, Pradeep Upadhyay, Dr Yadu Singh and Dave Passi. Most of the poems were in Hindi but poets of Tamil, Kannada and Punjabi languages were also invited to participate. They translated their work in English or Hindi. These poems were reflected poets’ feelings on politics, philosophy, social problems, loneliness, nostalgia, Life, childhood and patriotism. Nukkad Natak by Abha Kumar and Punam Wahan came as a surprise item. It was based on our migrant experiences in Australia of how we change over time, it was based on parodies of film songs and created humour, audience could relate with it well. Garima Trivedi and Sukhpreet Dhamun along did were wonderful as MCs.
Hindi Diwas Kavi Sammelan 2014 was enjoyed by all the community members present on the occasion. It was truly an evening devoted to Literature and Art. The event could not happen without the generous sponsor support of Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Reliance Home Loans, Fintax Business Services (Vijay Singhal ji), Rajeev Kapoor and Arun Nanda. After the recent success of 2014 Kavi Sammelan, Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia plan to showcase Indian poetry and literature again in 2015. The Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia Inc.(ILASA) is a Non-Profit organisation of language/literature lovers and artists of Indian origin in Australia. Their motto is ‘Our Culture, Our Identity’. ILASA aims to unite authors, poets and artists of Indian regional languages to share, discuss and develop a network within Australia to facilitate sharing of information, skills and opportunities. ILASA will promote understanding and appreciation of various forms of Indian traditional and contemporary arts, literature, music, drama and dance.