Jaipur, Jan 20 (IANS) When a minister romances with literature in public space, the stage sizzles with political drama.
A young man, who described himself as one of the millions of unemployed in India, rushed to the podium Friday evening at the end of Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal’s poetry reading session, pleading with the minister that the government ‘take away the lives of millions of educated unemployed like me, who cannot speak English and hence cannot have access to a decent job in India’.
‘The government should kill young men like us,’ the youth spluttered as he broke into tears on stage.
Sibal, who was reading from his collection of English poetry, was rescued by co-writer and poet Ashok Chakradhar, who said that ‘certain questions cannot be answered.’
An accomplished poet, Sibal writes his poetry on the cell phone. ‘I don’t have the time to sit and write poetry. Whenever I travel, my wife complains that either I am sleeping or writing poems,’ the minister said.
Sibal was also grilled by the audience, mostly students and young professionals, about whether he could deal with anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare peacefully like in his poetry in which he talks of peace and love.
‘I don’t know the peace to peacefully deal with Anna Hazare. Peace can come with dialogue. If you say my way his highway… then there is no peace,’ the minister said.
Sibal said the government did not believe in censorship of internet. ‘No one has banned the internet. I have not taken any step to ban the internet. This government does not believe in censorship,’ he said.
The minister said the world was going through a stage of convulsive capitalism. ‘Capitalism is having convulsions globally and enormous changes are taking place. There is great injustice in the society and a vibrant social media in India. It is the most exciting of times to live in,’ Sibal said.
Sibal writes about everyday life, terror and social realities in rhymed verses.
He shared the stage with poet Ashok Chakradhar and writer Namita Gokhale in a session, ‘The Truth of Poetry and Truth of Politics’.