Hindi Diwas poetry at the NSW Parliament House

ILASA Poetry Manish Kumar











Manish Kumar”˜Rasik’ with  Minister for Multiculturalism Mr. John Ajaka

Hindi Diwas is celebrated all around the world on 14th of September because the Hindi language (written in Devanagari script) was first adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India as an official language of the Republic of India on 14th of September in 1949. Variety of activities is organized on Hindi Diwas such as Hindi poetry recitation, Hindi drama, essay writing, debate, competitions and discussion on various topics.

This year, parliamentarians of NSW opened their doors to celebrate Hindi Diwas at the NSW Parliament House. Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia (ILASA) Inc.-Rekha Rajvanshi founder of the Indian Literary & Art Society of Australia (ILASA Inc) and Gambhir Watts OAM President of Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan Australia organized Hindi Diwas celebrations at the NSW Parliament House by organizing poetry competition for youth, aged 18-30 years, on September 17, 2015.

The program at the parliament was hosted by Dr. Geoff Lee MP Parramatta, and was supported by the Consulate General of India in Sydney Mr. Sunjay Sudhir and Yuva Australia.

The event coordinator and founder of ILASA Inc. Rekha Rajvanshi said, “This is the first time Hindi Diwas for youth has been organized at the NSW Parliament house.  We have been organizing Kavi Sammalans for adults for the past few years, but we decided to devote Hindi Diwas to youth this time. Our youngsters need to keep our languages and literature alive. We invited young South Asian budding poets to participate in this contest and showcase their talent in two categories:

  1. Reciting self composed poems
  2. Reciting their favourite Hindi poems. We had contestants from Sydney and two contestants came all the way from Canberra too. I am really surprised by the quality of poems they read and they chose meaningful poems to read and performed very well.”

Consul General India Mr. Sunjay Sudhir congratulated organizers and encouraged youth to be the part of such events. Minister for Multiculturalism Mr. John Ajaka appreciated the initiative showed his support to languages such as Hindi. Other dignitaries included Dr Geoffrey Lee MP Parramatta, Mr. Damien Tudehope MP Epping, Ms. Julia Finn MP Granville, and Ms Jodi Leyanne McKay MP Strathfield attended the program. Ms. Jodi said that though she did not understand Hindi she would like the tranlations and enjoyed the way Australian Indian youth recited poetry.

The judging panel consisted of five Hindi scholars and poets Dr. Peter Friedlander, senior lecturer ANU Canberra; renowned Hindi Urdu poets Ashraf Shad; Abbas Raza Alvi; Dr Prabhat Sinha and Dr Shailja Chaturvedi.

ILASA poetry - Participants








Contestants with Consul General Sunjay Sudhir and Rekha Rajvanshi

It was really good to hear these youngsters recite their own creative thoughts in the form of Hindi poetry as well as hear their choice of readings selected from well known poets of India which was equally heartening. Everyone in the audience including the judges were completely mesmerised and impressed with the quality. The contestants not only read but recited with confidence and seem to know the content and the deep meaning of the verses. And when the results were being finalised it was nice to hear exceptional poetry from Ashraf Shad, Abbas Raza Alvi and also Dr Shailja Chaturvedi. All the judges unanimously concluded that every contestant was a winner on the day. Yet some names did emerge on the top out of the 20 contestants who took part. This Hindi Poetry competition established the fact that the  first generation migrant need not worry about Hindi language and its survival in Australia as it will be preserved well if these talented youngsters keep it alive.

First prize winner in self composed poems category was 27 years old Manish Kumar”˜Rasik’, who wrote a beautiful poem ”˜Khamosh Mohabbat’. The second prize winner was 29 years old Akanksha Srivastava who recited ”˜Ban Sako to Insan Ban jao’, the third prize winner was Simran Bargoti whose recited ”˜Pal Pahar Har Rat Din Sath Rahti hun Tumhare’ in her sweet voice. Two consolation prizes winners were 18 years old Divya Joshi, and Vishakha Nagaja, who came all the way from Canberra. Organizers gave an extra appreciation prize to Priyanshi Saxena for her original poem. They all got certificates, medals and cash prizes.

In the second category ”˜Read your favourite poems’ contestants picked popular poetry written by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other renowned poets.     Aakanksha Srivastava came first with poem she read ”˜Ganga Udas Hai’, Ritika Singh”¨got the second prize for reciting Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s poem ”˜Jo Beet Gai so Baat Gai’ and the third prize went to Swati Bansal’s poem was ”˜Koshish karne valon ki Haar nahin hoti’. Consolation prizes were given to Vibhu Behl, who recited ”˜Unchai’ a popular poem of Atal ji and Ananya Soni for reciting “Lahron se Dar kar Nauka Par nahin Hoti’. All the contestants were equally good as judges commented that everyone was a winner’, Vishakha’s poem was in pure Hindi, Divya Upadhyay’s poem on ”˜Maa’ was beautiful.

All the participants got certificates and medals, the winners got cash prizes, sponsored by CEO Multiconnexions (Sheba Nandkeolyar), CEO NRE Coke Arun Kumar Jagatramka , Editor Pardes Express Jugandeep Singh and CPA Harkirat Singh. The event was successfully managed by ”˜A Royaale Event’. Sydney based Indian community organizations’ leaders and poetry lovers enjoyed the poetry evening and its high standard set by our youth.

Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan’s President Gambhir Watts OAM thanked everyone for coming and supporting our language Hindi and literature.

ILASA - Poetry - Gambhir Waats








Gambhir Watts, OAM thanks Mr Ajaka  


No doubt, the Hindi poetry event not only promoted Hindi language and literature in our Aussie land but also brought out best in our youth and filled them with a new confidence and gave them an opportunity to showcase their hidden talent.

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