IN the opening page of his latest book, Dasam Granth Vich Rupantran, writer Manmohan, in a quote by Greek architect, Constantinos A Doxiadis, succinctly gives a summation of the pages ahead.
“I am very often asked why I insist on working in theory and in practise. I need to travel in both rationale and impirical world… why I insist on action… and I answer, how else can I learn”, reads the quote.
“I am a knowledge seeker. I feel one cannot reject any text without logic, else we will become tradition-less and uncontextual.” says the poet, novelist, critic and linguist of Punjabi literature.
Also the joint director, Intelligence Bureau, Manmohan released his book at Press Club on Wednesday.
Mired in controversy over its authenticity and origins, the Dasam Granth, some scholars believe, contain the works of religious hymns penned by Guru Gobind Singh, while the mythological writings by court poets of the Guru.
“This is a controversial as well as an intelligent text. In this book, the mythological elements have been used as material to understand the creative process of the poetry of the Dasam Granth, so that the transformation of the myths could be probed. For instance, how Durga, a mythological entity, has been transformed as Chandi,” says Manmohan, whose book is an extension of his PhD thesis on the same while he was in college.
In it, he has researched into the 16 poems, but has not touched the controversial bits of the Granth.
His base to maintain authenticity, he adds, has been Bhai Randhir Singh’s version of the edited Granth, which has been published by the Punjabi University, Patiala.
He agrees these are texts that walk the fine line of religion and philosophy, and as a writer, he has to clear his vision and view them logically.
“One has to keep reverence aside and view it from the window of knowledge in order to remove the chaos outside,” says Manmohan.
With eight anthologies of poems in Punjabi and Hindi to his name, and books like Nirvaan and Samvadki, this Sahatiya Akademi Award winner is now working on another book titled, Bhashki.
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“The future world is a world of dialogue, and the weapon will be knowledge, hence Bhashki, on philosophy of language,” says Manmohan.