The post once held by former president Rajendra Prasad, father of Hindi travel literature Rahul Sankrityayan and noted Hindi novelist Shivpujan Sahay has now been taken over by a ‘muscleman’ married to a JD(U) MLA.
Ajay Singh, husband of Daraunda legislator Kavita Singh, claims he was “elected” president of the Bihar Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (BHSS) “unopposed” on September 5 after the term of previous president Anil Sulabh ended in April. Sulabh, who claims he is still BHSS president, said an “illegal election process was held” and fresh elections would take place in October.
BHSS is a private society started by a group of litterateurs in the 1930s.
Challenging Ajay’s credentials, Sulabh said, “How can a person with several cases against him think of becoming head of a Hindi body that was headed by the greats of Hindi literature? More than 650 members elect the BHSS president with a majority voice.” He said the state government has no role in the appointment. “Rather, I learnt JD(U) state president and chief minister have taken objection to Ajay Singh eying the post.”
Ajay “took over as president” by allegedly breaking the lock of the BHSS office. Sulabh, who returned to office the same day, put his own lock in place to reclaim his position.
When contacted, Ajay told The Indian Express, “I am outraged at the use of the word ‘bahubali’ (muscleman) for me. It is true that I faced some criminal cases, but I was acquitted. At present, I face three-four cases such as obstructing a public servant from doing his duty... BHSS has lost its glory days of Rajendra Prasad. I want to revive it. So what I have nothing to do with Hindi literature?”
Unhappy with the developments, Sahitya Akademi award winner for Maithili literature Ramdeo Jha said, “It hurts to see the current status of BHSS. People should come forward to oppose the election of an undeserving person.”