How did the opening book of the important writer of ‘Women’s Discourse’ in Indian literature come into the discussion? Earlier, let us tell you that Krishna Sobti, one of the most loved writers of his time, fought a battle of self-respect with Amrita Pritam for more than 25 years in court. An anecdote is also worth hearing about his thinking related to the Sangh.
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Zindaginama: Krishna vs Amrita
There was a ruckus about copyright. Majra was that Krishna, born in 1925, wrote a novel, ‘Zindaginama’, which was published in 1979 and was awarded by Sahitya Akademi in 1980. About four years later, Amrita Pritam wrote a biography of a forgotten revolutionary character in the name of Hardatta’s Zindaginama. First, Krishna accused Amrita of literary copying, which did not take long to be dismissed.
One of the classic Hindi novels is written by Krishna Sobti.
After that Krishna objected to the use of the word ‘Zindaginama’ and turned it into a copyright infringement. Krishna said that using such a word tried to take an illegal advantage in publicity, advertising and branding. The matter reached the High Court and in 1984 Krishna claimed compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh.
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For the next 27 years, the case continued in the court and in the meantime, there was a dramatic debate in the court among the well-known litterateurs, on which the literature world was divided into two camps. Some used to give statements on behalf of Krishna and some used to favor Amrita. Khushwant Singh clearly stated in court and letter magazines that how can one claim copyright on a word like ‘Zindaginama’?
Writers were divided into two camps
Singh had said that this word has been prominent in the titles of many books of Persian and Urdu earlier, no writer can claim it. Ashok Bajpai and especially some big names of the Hindi world were also making arguments in favor of Krishna. Meanwhile, the famous Punjabi writer S Balwant tried to resolve the quarrel between the two famous writers. Balwant said:
However, the court’s decision in the case was in favor of Amrita in 2011, six years after Amrita’s passing. At that time Krishna himself had admitted that the fight was stretched so long in so many years that it was not serious and it became a joke. At the same time, even in support of Krishna, who called it a battle of principle, Bajpai had said that the decision was going to disappoint him.
At the age of 94, Krishna Sobti had said goodbye to the world in 2019.
How much Krishna was irritated with RSS?
In the midst of a legal battle against Amrita, Krishna started threatening court cases in many cases. An anecdote was in the news when a young writer Kayanat Kazi wrote a book titled ‘Krishna Sobti Ka Sahitya Aur Samaj’ after research. The book was published and Kazi organized a program to get it launched by the famous Sachchidanand Joshi and Doordarshan in the art world by Vijay Kranti.
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Krishna became very angry when Kazi went to Krishna with an invitation letter. ‘How dare you, get my book launched by the Sanghis! If you get it done then the result will not be good. And beware, if you even take my name in such an event .. ‘Krishna also threatened Kazi with a court case. Panicked badly, the program was canceled.
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Some other stories that are missed
An anecdote related to Krishna’s similar tough and aggressive mood was the return of the award. In 2015, it was Krishna who raised her voice against intolerance in the country on behalf of the Hindi literary fraternity. In strong words, he returned his Sahitya Academy Award, protesting against religious fundamentalism and violent incidents. After this, many litterateurs returned their awards.
Friends Sage Marjani was Krishna Sobti’s trendsetter novel.
Not only by nature, Krishna also made headlines with her bold writing. When his ‘Mitro Marjani’ novel came out in the 60s, then such novels were written almost sparingly. The author did not dare to show women so bold. But Krishna dared to show the attitude of women to the society. Talked openly on sexuality and their bold characters are still remembered in female discourse.