Kathmandu: Corresponding to Nepal Sambat 1144 Yen Laa Gaa Dvitiyaa, World Newah Organization (WNO) celebrated the 155th birth anniversary of Nepal’s Maha Kavi (Great Poet) Siddhi Das Mahaju (1867-1929) on September 12
The celebration was attended by as many as 50 guests from all over the world.
Renowned poet laureate Mahaju, who wrote in Nepal Bhasa, has dozens of published and unpublished literary works to his credit.
In the presence of senior activist/journalist Malla K Sundar, academician Prem Hira Tuladhar, Lok Kavi Raj Bhai Jakami, and Singer Pabitra Kasaa, the event was attended by guests from various countries including the USA, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands and Nepal.
“The literary event started with Nepal Bhasa poems recited by the students from Jagat Sundar Bwonekuthi, Sushma Ghale, Rabina Shrestha, and Sajagta Manandhar. Their poems generously praised the personality and memorable works of the late poet Mahaju,” the organizer said.
Vice-President of Nepal Bhasa Academy and renowned author Malla K Sundar talked about 70 books written by poet Mahaju, who had to undergo adverse economic conditions and official oppression during his lifetime.
Malla also reminded of Mahaju’s struggle to restore Nepal Bhasa as the popular language and added that poet Mahaju is the appropriate role model for all Newah activists.
A newly released song dedicated to Siddhi Das Mahaju penned by renowned poet Durga Lal Shrestha was played at the event. The song had vocals by singers Pabitra Kasaa, Deepa Maharjan, Amogh Bir Bajracharya, Siddhartha Shakya, Anu Shakya, Sonika Manandhar and Niva Dangol. Prem Hira Tuladhar, former reader at Padma Kanya Campus, presented about the life and times of poet Mahaju whose important works include Siddhi Ramayan and Siddhi Vyakaran.
Tuladhar added that a postal stamp, a street in Kathmandu and statues in public spaces commemorate the late poet Mahaju. Lok Kavi Raj Bhai Jakami shed light on important features of poet Siddhi Das Mahaju’s exemplary works. Poet Jakami suggested that poet Mahaju’s popular line “Bhasa Mwaasa Jaati Mwai” (a race will survive if its language will) is a slogan that is not only important for the Newah people but also for all indigenous people of Nepal. He added that Mahaju was one of the foremost figures to advocate for gender equality as long back as the early 20th century in Nepal.
Praising Mahaju’s belief in the economic independence of Nepal, Jakami recited his poem dedicated to the late poet. The event was conducted by senior journalist Sylvia Rajopadhaya as a special episode of WNO Daily Broadcast over a virtual meeting set live on social media. She also delivered a summary of the Nepal Bhasa speeches in English. WNO President Sanyukta Shrestha gave the vote of thanks to all the participants.