Haldhar Nag- an Adivasi and a Padma Shri
“Poetry must have real-life connection and a message for the people.” – Haldhar Nag.
Adivasi- a sector where people doesn’t pay much heed to. They are considered to be the most under developed sector in human race either on the basis of their lifestyle or education. They are the scheduled tribe people who by choice have chosen a lifestyle without modernity and since then the scenario is prevalent. And thus technically they are pre assumed to be a backward class. What exactly is that principle which defines one a second class citizen? But when among this indigenous tribe someone comes out doing something totally unpredictable we just tend to not appreciate it. Among this is a man who with the help of him pen has came out from the pits of poverty to a shining fame. Presenting you Haldhar Nag, who through the words of his poetry is giving wonders by wonders! Once a child labour his poetic journey is nothing less than remarkable.
Haldhar Nag, a 69 years poet first came to limelight when he received Padma Shri- The fourth highest civilian award for his contribution in Odia language in 2016. He was born in poor family of Ghens in Bargarh district of Odisha on 31 March 1950. He soon lost his father at the tender age of 10 and conditions pushed him to work from an early age. He used to work as a local dishwasher in a sweetmeat shop to feed his family. When he saw the rising poverty in the family, Nag chose to quit his studies by the time he reached the third standard. He had worked as a cook for more than 16 years. When he reached adulthood he opened a small stationary shop by taking a loan of Rs. 1000. And by this time he was already famous for his folk songs in the area. That’s exactly how he had lived his life. But what remains hidden is his poetic journey which not many know about. He had a keen interest in writing but due to lack of education he lacked motivation. Things changed when he turned to an anthology written by Jnanpith Award winner Sachidananda Routray for help. And after that what happened is nothing less than a miracle. He wrote is first poem “Dhodho Bargach” and it was published in a local magazine. After that he sent four more poems and surprisingly all were published. The poems were highly appreciated which made him go village to village reciting his poems in front of people. He writes precisely in Kosli language, which is his tribal language. Soon he was bestowed with Lok Kab Ratna. And his endless contribution in writing lead his way to the prestigious Padma Shri. Today, Nag’s Kosli language poetry is also the subject of PhD research by several scholars. Sambhalpur University had also compiled all of his writings into one book, called the Haldar Granthabali-2, and which is used as a part of their syllabus. Till date he has penned 20 epics and has lost the count for the poems.
Surprisingly, the man has also been a part of Bollywood movie titled Kaun Kitne Paani Mein alongside the stars like Gulshan Grover, Kunal Kapoor, Radhika Apte and Saurabh Shukla. His poem ‘letter to Haldhar’ is pure motivation for the people who seeks their own identity. He draws inspiration from anything he encounter on daily basis whether it be deforestation, Hindu mythology or social issues. His writings stores a treasure which is a gift served to the young people so they seek the true meaning of their identity.