The Indradhanush Sanskritic Parishad (The Rainbow Cultural Circle) was founded under my supervision and a few Hindi lovers at Beau-Bassin in October 1988. The Parishad started publishing a Hindi quarterly, the ‘Indradhanush’ (Arc-en-Ciel) magazine. I became its editor, and I am still occupying its editorship. It started publishing special issues to expose and downplay pseudonym writings in Hindi compositions, whether it was in history or in literature in Mauritius. It brought out special issues exclusively in Hindi language from 1988 till 1999, on Manilal Doctor, Pandit Atmaram Vishwanath, Suraj Parsad Mungur Bhagat, Jaynarain Roy, Shri Nivash Jugduth, Somduth Bhuckory, Moti Torul, Lakhawtee Hurgobin etc. and astounded the readers in general.
The Indradhanush Sanskritic Parishad has established a record in the world of letters by making the ‘Indradhanush’ magazine into tri-lingual, that is Hindi, English and French as from 2000. Besides, by publishing a special issue of 254 pages to mark SSR’s birth centenary, the Parishad has done a remarkable work. It has also published high profile special issues on M. K. Gandhi’s visit to Mauritius, Manilal Doctor, Malcolm de Chazal, Pt. Cashinath Kistoe, Anauth Beejadhur, Marcel Cabon, Dookhee Gungah, Léoville L’Homme, Sri Aurobindo, Prof. Ram Prakash, Dr. Jugroo Seegobin, Pandit Atmaram Vishwanath, John de Lingen and Dr. Moonishwurlall Chintamunnee. Thus, ‘Indradhanush’ has fulfilled its mission by projecting the authentic aspects of Mauritian history and Literature, and counteracted the figures responsible of fostering pseudonym aspects of Mauritian history and literature in this country.
The Government Teachers Union started the publication of a Hindi Journal ‘Akrosh’ (The Wrath) as from 1990. It was a quarterly at first, but later it became a monthly as from 1992. At first it was published exclusively in Hindi, but later, it was switched on to tri-lingual, that is in English, French and Hindi. It is still being published as such. And from 1990 to 1992, Rajnarain Gutty published a children’s Journal, ‘Mookta’ (The Pearl).
The Hindi Pracharini Sabha also started a Hindi magazine ‘Pankaj’ as from 1990 and it is still being published on a quarterly basis. It is a literary paper. Ajamil Matabadal was its editor. In the same decade, the “Hindi Speaking Union” started a children magazine ‘Suman’ (the flower). The Mahatma Gandhi Institute also started another children journal ‘Rimjim” in the same decade.
Dr. Sarita Boodhoo in collaboration with Harish Boodhoo started the publication of a weekly ‘Janvanee’ (The voice of the People) as from 2001. It was a full-fledged paper of twelve pages. Dr. Sarita Boodhoo was its editor. It published topical articles on socio-political matters. A lot of budding writers also contributed in it. It published highly researched papers, book reviews, folk tales, short plays, poems, Short Stories, interviews etc. It ceased appearing as from 2006.
The Birth of
‘Vishwa Hindi Patrika’
The World Hindi Secretariat was inaugurated in January 2006 in Mauritius. Its first Secretary General was Dr. Vinod Bala Arun and Dr. Rajendra Mishra acted as under-secretary. As from February 2008, a quarterly bulletin ‘ Vishwa Hindi Samachar’ was published. And as from December 2009, the ‘Vishva Hindi Patrika’ (The World Hindi Journal) saw the light of day and it is still an ongoing publication.
An Analysis in Conclusion
In the country where the “11th World Hindi Conference” is being held from August 18 to 20, 2018, neither a Hindi daily, nor a Hindi weekly paper is being published at present. The entire press of Mauritius is occupied by half a dozen of French dailies and French weeklies. Today’s Hindi Journalism in Mauritius is reposing exclusively on ‘Aryodaye’, ‘Vasant’, ‘Pankaj’, ‘Indradhanush’, ‘Rimjim’, ‘Akrosh’, and ‘Vishwa Hindi Patrika’.
A survey of the vast panorama of Hindi journalism covering a period of more than a century (1909- 2018) shows the continuous presence of some fifty Hindi newspapers and periodicals. It also asserts that from the outset a few Hindi writers have been quite active and restless to enhance Hindi journalism in Mauritius. Hence a few names deserve to be mentioned, such as Manilal Doctor, Pt. Ramawadh Sharma, Pt. Cashinath Kistoe, Pt. Atmaram Vishwanath, Pt. Nursing Dass, Pt. Sundar Sharma, Suraj Parsad Mungur Bhagat, Jaynarain Roy, Pt. Basdeo Bissoondoyal, Pt. Mohunlall Mohit, Somduth Bhuckory, Abhimanyu Unnuth among others.
After going through the files of Hindi newspapers and journals, many elements have come to light. First, not a single country outside India has published so many newspapers and periodicals in Hindi Language. Secondly, many Indo-Mauritian writers and journalists have been honoured in India for having contributed in the top newspapers and journals of India. Thirdly, the panorama of Arya Samajist papers has been quite larger than the Sanatanist papers. Fourthly, the contents of the newspapers in the twenties were limited to social and religious matters rather than political and literary.
Although Manilal Doctor had started a political paper at the outset, yet most of the Hindi papers afterwards were meant for socio-religious and socio-cultural matters. The Indian Independence struggle movement led by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi had found wide currency in the daily newspapers published between 1920 and 1932 in Mauritius.
Hence, their impact on the minds of Indo-Mauritians was undeniably strong and powerful.