Varanasi-based academician brothers Amar Bahadur Singh and Amar Jyoti Singh, who were featured by THE WEEK magazine a year ago for achieving a rare feat of bagging about 35 literary honours each, now have another feather in their cap.
Turning their long cherished dream into a reality, the brothers have recently become professors – perhaps the only missing title from their accolades. “We want to create history,” says Amar Bahadur. “In the 21 st century people are running after money. We want to prove that education, not money is everything.”
While Amar Bahadur has become the professor of Journalism & Mass Communication, Amar Jyoti has turned professor of sociology. “It is a dream come true. What more! We got the title on the same day too,” says Amar Jyoti.
It all started with a prediction. When Amar Bahadur Singh was born their family astrologer forecast that the child would be an academic embarrassment. So, just before his high-school board exams, Amar’s father Rajendra Pratap reminded and cautioned him about the prediction.
Hurt and determined to prove the prophecy wrong Amar Bahadur made “education his mission” went on to earn a D.Litt, the highest academic degree, and nearly three dozen other literary honours too. His dedication for academics and awards motivated his younger twin brothers Amar Jyoti and Amar Nath to follow the suit. So, they completed their D.Litt in Sociology and History, respectively and bagged at least 35 laurels each in various field of academics.
Together this Varanasi-based family of five – father Rajendra, sons Amar Jyoti, Amar Nath and Amar Bahadur and his wife Vandana – have collectively earned nearly 150 national and international literary awards, including three Bhartendu Harishchandra Awards from the central government, Man of the Year awards from the American Biographical Institute, and UK’s International Biographical Centre of Cambridge.
While father Rajendra, a retired railways officer, won 30 awards during his service period, Amar Bahadur, Amar Jyoti and Amar Nath, a practicing lawyer in the Allahabad High Court, have 35 each to their name.
Vandana has bagged one. On an average the family gets at least one literary award every year starting 1983, when Rajendra got the Rashtriya Raj Bhasha award for working in Hindi. “If you are well qualified, money automatically comes to you but with money you can’t buy knowledge,” explains Amar Bhahadur about their education mission.
Amar Bandhus, as they are fondly called in the locality, say they also want to break the myth that people from small-towns can’t achieve big things. The brothers have also written a dozen books each in their respective areas of specialisation.
While most of us find course books boring after a point, getting so many degrees surely wouldn’t have come easy. Or has the trio always been exceptional in studies? “No, in fact, we were average students. What we have achieved took immense resolve and years of persistence,” informs Amar Jyoti.
And in their pursuit for excellence, their ambition is what kept the family going. “We knew that whatever we do, we can never become as famous as the Tatas, Birlas or Ambanis in this life. But by wielding the power of education and talent, I could be the Ambani of the academic field and be respected,” says Amar Bahadur.
Morning in the Singh family begin puja, followed by discussions over newspaper and tea about literature and national issues ranging from internal-security to economy.