It has been a very strong belief of mine that, particularly poetry and satire is best expressed in one’s mother-tongue. However, “My India Great Indeed!” the volume containing fifty articles, is in English, hence this foreword in English. Perhaps, Shri Ravindra Kumar’s target readership demanded this. Needless to say, the pieces (i.e. fifty) are well-written and sincere and do convey what they set out to.
On a more serious note, the tradition of satire in English can be traced back to Horace and Juvenal and reaches well beyond Pope, Dryden and others, so, it becomes the favored language for any writer. Unlike English, Hindi satire is less scathing and softer, or may be the mother-tongue makes it so. Ravindra Kumar’s satires tinged with pathos - the true inspiration and life-force of satire – and churn your consciousness. It is the inequities of life, the rampant corruption in each and every sphere, the callousness and insensitivity of new – and the utter helplessness of a man with sense and sensibility that makes these pieces so meaningful, deeply felt and effective. The reader is not only a detached observer; he is one with the subject.
The language/subject diction of these pieces is lucid and natural prose. There is no attempt to incorporate heavy philosophical content to make them labored and didactic. The author does not talk down at the reader. There is an easy flow and the wit and humor is natural. Take for instance, a sentence from the Preface: ‘The worrying factor is the unholy wedding of bureaucrat and politician which has given birth to the illegitimate off-spring called corruption” – a chronic, all-pervading malady of our society has been aptly described, as corruption, both of thought and consequent action, is responsible for the pathetic state of our society. Perhaps, ‘wedding’ could be replaced by union, because ‘wedding’ bestows legitimacy to any union!.
To sum-up, this neat half-century of articles amuse you, tickle you, compel you to empathize with its subjects and your are left looking for more. This, indeed, is the true meaning and purpose of satire. It chastens you, subdues you and you are richer in your experience.
I am positive Shri Ravindra Kumar has an extremely bright future in writing either in English or in his mother tongue. His natural flair to make the ordinary into extraordinary is conspicuous in his work and, I feel sure, the readers will clamor for more.