Bard in despair

In commemoration of Bhanu Bhakta, the earliest major poet of Nepali language, Bhanu Jayanti was observed on July 13 throughout the country by organising various cultural and poetry recital programmes. The contribution of this linguistic master, considered the first person to have translated the Sanskrit version of the Ramayana and several other religious scriptures into Nepali language in a style that any ordinary person could understand, marks an era that paved the way for the preservation and promotion of the language that now earns the status of the official language of the nation. In fact, his translations of major

Hindu scriptures and poetry have not only served to promote the language but are considered major contributions to Nepali literature.

Unfortunately, Bhanu Bhakta’s historical home in Ramgha lies in a decrepit state five years after a nearby forest fire engulfed it. Bhanu Birthplace Development Committee, which has been formed to preserve the remnants of the bard’s birthplace, too, remains a silent spectator. At a time when several linguistic minorities are demanding that the State make special provisions for the preservation and promotion of their mother tongues, what can be expected of the government if it did nothing to preserve the memories of its own major early

poet of a language that still stands as the symbol of national unity? It would also constitute disrespect for our language and literature.