by Roshni Ashok Tankha
know a person called Dr. B.N. Sharga who is multitalented, vivid personality who
is so charismatic that if who speaks to him/read his articles, you will feel
fresh and rejuvenated.
I got the opportunity to meet him (through letters) way
back in 2000-2001 when I was doing my engineering. One of my Kashmiri friends’
uncle Mr. M.L. Dhar made me introduce to book called “Kashmiri pandito ke
anmol ratna” written by Dr. Sharga. When I got the fortune to read them
(some 2 volumes), I was amazed to see the way he has portrayed the
ideas/information about ancient Kashmiri families, their history. He has store
of old data/history with picture to publish them in attractive manner. Not only
that, but he has an “Engineer” mind where lot of material is stored, where lot
of nascent news get flashed. Whenever I speak to him, I feel that I’m speaking
to someone who is of my age, who has an urge to pen down his imaginative insight
so that people like us can read and feel blessed.
The purity of his character has given effulgence to his
public virtues. Person’s behavior gets reflected in his/her work and that is
easily seen in our beloved Dr. Sharga writing.
Words falls short when I write about him. When a person is
good at one thing, we can write about his strengths and can also focus on what
can be improved upon. But if I have to categorize such things for him, I find
him all-rounder. He has been a good teacher, gave so many students the path to
move ahead in life, gave a light and became the source of inspiration for many
young forces. During his college days, he was very good at extracurricular too,
directed many stage shows. So far, he has written 400 plus articles in
magazines, news settlers like Kashmir Senitel, Naad, Här-van etc.
After all, he is rara avis person who has bestowed
upon many accolades.
This great personality was born on 21st December
1938 in Lucknow. He had his early education from Parkar College, Moradabad and
college education from Govt. Jubilee Inter College and Shia Degree College,
Lucknow. He did his B.Sc (1959) and M.Sc (1962) in Chemistry from Lucknow
University. Later he completed his PhD (1967). He became Chemistry Professor in
alma mater, Shia Degree College.
He is the eldest son born to Pt.Kailash nath Sharga and
Rajwanti Sharga, daughter of Pt. Rameshwar Nath Dar of Kanpur. Being the eldest,
he has to take care of many outdoor household activities because father was
Chief Justice Magistrate and most of the time got postings outside Lucknow.
Being eldest is the first thing which makes a person more responsible and
independent. And same is seen with him. He was there whether it was for his
siblings’ admission or any other schooling activity.
Second eldest is Saroj Dar, who did her M.A and B.Ed from
Lucknow University and became a Principal in college in M.P. Now she is retired.
After her is Dr. Amrit Nath Sharga who has done his MSc and
PhD in Agriculture from Kanpur. He worked in National Botanical Research
Institute (NBRI) in Lucknow and then retired as Director.
Fourth is Dr. Sita Zutshi who did her M.B.B.S & M.S from
King George Medical college Lucknow. Presently she is residing in Nagpur and
still practicing. Her daughter Dr. Gargi Zutshi is also a Doctor.
Younger to her is Arjun Sharga who is a renowned
journalist. He is Chief Editor of “Pioneer”, oldest newspaper of Lucknow.
Youngest is Vinay Sharga who did his B.A. and L.L.B. and
now residing with Shargaji in their residence at Kashmiri Mohalla.
School / as a student:
When India got independence in 1947, on the suggestion of
Dr. Hridya Nath Kunzru, National cadet corp. scheme was introduced throughout
the country in schools and colleges to develop patriotism and nationalism in the
youth of the country. Under this scheme, schools used to organize "Shram daan" (श्रमदान)
by students in the selected villages every month to teach then fundamentals of
basic health and hygiene. As a student, he use to take keen interest in this
Shram daan as it use to provide an outing in nearby villages to feel the pulse
of the people there. Being an educative program, it was very well accepted by
the villagers. These things made him being more social and responsible.
Persons who shaped / influenced him to write, who gave
dimensions to his character:
During school days, he had great fascination for reading
all kinds of books and watching English movies in Mayfair Cinema.
He develop a keen interest in the works of noted Hindi
novelists, a prominent Hindu writer “Amritlal Nagar”, a Hindi
author “Yashpal” renowned for "Jhutha Sach”, an
Urdu poet Brij Narain Chakbast. So, to learn the basic nuances of writing
under their tutelage he stated visiting their homes.
He was lucky to have their full support and co-operation in
his mission. All of them were very kind to him and use to treat him like a
family member. Yashpal’s wife Mrs. Prakashwati Pal & daughter-in law Ms. Neena
Pal were quiet co-operative and provided him with number of books written by
Yashpal to understand his philosophy and approach while treating a particular
subject. The able guidance of these men of letters was his main source of
inspiration which over a certain period of time made him write few sketches.
Professor R.C. Dixit made him learn the importance of being united and
As a student of science, initially he started writing in
English in which he was more comfortable to express himself. But later on after
picking up Hindi language, he started writing in Hindi with the same ease. That
is how a great writer was born around 1960’s.
He was fond of extracurricular activities. He started doing
theatres in 1970’s and from “Sanket Theatre Group” to stage plays and got
opportunity to develop close contacts with some of the top models of Lucknow
stage of that era like Neena Solomon, Mehru Jaffer, Neena Sharma, Preeti Gupta,
Neena Raha, Neera Sharma and Asha Singh who were well known faces of Hindi
Theatre at that time. In their company, he learnt the style and fashion to make
one presentable before audience. Occasionally these personalities use to give
him tips on etiquette and stage craft. In their company, he developed a keen
interest in Fashion and stage mannerism.
He was involved in theatre and directed, acted, written
more than 400 plays which have been shown in different part of the nation. The
concept of his play was not limited to one theme rather it was all, drama,
mythological, religious. His role was unlimited, from finding the heroine of the
play to directing and playing the role as well. Many artists had begun their
career in his plays. Some of the artists are now working in films, TV serials.
Shargaji is a creative writer and having published more
than 450 articles in different news settlers besides over 4000 ‘Letters to the
Editor’ to his credit. American Biographical Institute, North Carolina, selected
him for the ‘Man of the Year’ award in 1998. Dr Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru Memorial
trust, Allahabad, honored him with a Silver plaque and a citation in 2004. Dr.
Sharga has remained General Secretary, Yuvak Bharti (1973-76), Vice-president,
World Association of World’s Federalists (1970-73), General Secretary, Lucknow
University Associated Colleges Teachers’ Association (LUACTA) 1973-76.
He has done a prestigious work of preserving the history of
Kashmir and Kashmiri people which is a very difficult task. And still he has so
much of old data stockpiled in his “Engineered” mind. Whenever I speak to him
and ask him about anything, he has answers ready with him with date, and all the
relevant details; amazing personality.
Presently he is writing for Govt. of India - Sanskriti
division. He has plans to write an interesting article on “Babu Beharylal
Pandit”, great grandfather of Ashok Pandit who wrote several books in the Oriya
language for the people of Orissa who were deprived of the religious texts on
Hinduism at that time in their own language.