A Literature Farmer's Suicide
A Literature Farmer's Suicide3 mins 298 3 mins 298
Sangram Lal (Red rebel) was a firebrand poet during his time. Got an award from Sahitya Academy in 1978, in the post-civil emergency period for his revolutionary literature during the preceding time.
He forgot to marry till he became beyond age. He was not a government officer or a professor of literature, to get a pension after retirement. Neither he was an MLA or MP to get a similar benefit. As he felt to retire he had no other option other than returning to his remote village in Phulbani(Kandhamal). There in his childhood, he became a rebel poet, seeing the oppression and atrocities towards common people by high hands.
His joint family and villagers took care of him. He remained engaged in a plantation in personal and public land. He also loved to teach small children in his village. Children enjoyed his way of teaching loaded with stories. He was happy.
No one from the outer world remembered him till recently.
In recent times, returning or non returning the academy award became a topic in society, one after another, awardees returned their award complaining intolerance to free speech and difference of opinion. A group of digital ghosts of literature in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, formed a committee to contact all awardees to take their views and indirectly pressurize them to return their awards. They met Sangram Lal in his village.
Red rebel had retired in the true sense and was not aware of the current topics. He felt elevated and happy that, he still existed in the literature circle.
After listening to everything, he committed nothing. He behaved indifferently. He was falling short to react.
The committee did not expect it from a person called Red Rebel.
When they insisted, the slept tiger in him got up to tell, "In the name of freedom of expression you young men are killing my freedom". He recited his still remembered poem that once shook the state against civil emergency.
Red Rebel however cooled down himself. His village life taught him to work on the ground reality. From where should he bring one lakh rupees to return. His family lived hand to mouth. It would be a great burden to them in the prevailing drought situation.
The next day however the unkind media printed a twisted story and took great care to send him copies.
Red Rebel became restless. His village folk reacted against it. Their voice did not reach the capital.
He picked up his pen and started writing.
After three days he approached the bank in the block headquarter for a loan of one lakh.
They declined to sanction any such loan, on the ground of uncertainty of return.
He tried to convince them that his poem compilations sell well. As the book got published he could repay. The bank manager politely told, "Sir! Your leftist ideas have no customer today, better to take rest not succumbing to the politics of literature".
He came back shutting up all his renovated ideas.
The next morning, he was found dead on his bed that all people thought to be a natural death, a heart attack of the old. However, the sorrowful bank manager was seen telling himself, "Oh another farmer committed suicide, a farmer of literature although".