Bhopal : As Lal Parade ground gears up for grand celebrations of 10th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan (World Hindi Conference), Newsroom24x7 feels happy to share the snippets of inception of Hindi Bhavan in Bhopal through the single-minded determination, commitment to the cause of Hindi and hard work put in by the first Honorary Magistrate of Bhopal late Avantika Shastri.
As Joint Secretary of Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti, Avantika Shastri single-handedly steered the entire Hindi Bhavan project and was instrumental in bringing President Radhakrishnan to Bhopal to inaugurate it.
The grant for constructing the Hindi Bhavan building was received from the Centre after she convinced MC Chagla, the then Union Education Minister (1963 to 1966) about the claim of Madhya Pradesh for a grant to build the Hindi Bhavan. Education Ministry officials had briefed the Minister that since there is a new rule barring Hindi speaking states to claim any such grant, the application from Madhya Pradesh deserves to be turned down.
Avantika Shastri was prompt in digging a hole in this argument. She told the Minister that the rule being quoted was adopted after the application from Madhya Pradesh was received by the Centre. ‘Why the State should suffer due to the delay by the Centre in taking a decision in this case ?’ she asked Chagla, who had earlier served as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court from 1948 to 1958. Responding to her observation that it is not a case of ‘Lex posterior derogate priori’ – a rule of interpretation of laws which assists courts to resolve conflicts between laws – where, when a latter law conflicts with an earlier law, it is the latter law that will prevail, the then Minister immediately passed orders approving a grant for Hindi Bhavan.
Avantika Shastri was among the first few women to drive a car on Bhopal roads with a regular driving license. She was the founder President of Aurobindo Scoiety in Bhopal. As founder-President of Nagrik Kalyan Samiti, she has launched the Annual Dusshera Festival (symbolising the victory of good over evil), which was inagurated by Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia at TT Nagar Stadium in Bhopal (the venue has now shifted to Dusshera Maidan).
Note – If interested in the rise of Hindi language and major contributions by Hindi language stalwarts of Bhopal in particular, and India in general, do click on the links below –
Also take a peek into the following –