Shardha Ram Phillauri

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"Phillauri" redirects here. For the town of Phillaur, see Phillaur.

Shardha Ram Phillauri (30 September 1837[1] – 24 June 1881) was a Punjabi missionary, social reformer, astrologer, and writer, best remembered for his contributions to Hindi and Punjabi literature. He has been called the "father of modern Punjabi prose."[2]

Biography[edit]

Shardha Ram was born in 1837 to a Brahmin family in the town of Phillaur, Jalandhar.[2][3] His father, Jai Dyalu, was an astrologer.[2] He did not have any formal education as such.[1] At the age of seven, he learned Gurmukhi script.[2] By age ten, he had studied Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, astrology, and music.[2] Later, he was also a missionary of traditional Hinduism (Sanatana dharma).[2][3][4]

In his books, Shardha Ram documented Punjabi culture and language.[2][3]

Shardha Ram gave forceful lectures on the Mahabharata, and because of this was charged with conducting propaganda against the British government[2][3] in 1865.[citation needed] As a result, he was exiled temporarily from his home town, Phillaur.[2][3]

Sharda Ram often visited Amritsar and adjoining Lahore, especially in connection with astrology.[2] During this time, he earned a reputation as an astrologer and wrote several books in Hindi.[2]

Shardha Ram has recently been acknowledged as having written the first novel in Hindi.[2][3][5] His novel Bhagyawati, believed to have been written mainly in Amritsar, was first published in 1888, after Shardha Ram's death.[2] The novel's portrayal of women and women's rights was progressive for its day.[2][3]

Shardha Ram died on 24 June 1881 at Lahore.[2]

Works[edit]

Work Year Description
Sikhan De Raj Di Vithia (The Story of Sikh Rule)[2][3] 1866 The book is an account of Sikh religion and the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.[3][6] The last of its three chapters documents Punjabi culture and language, including its customs, usages, and folk songs.[3] The book was often prescribed as a text book.[3]
Punjabi Batcheet[2][3] This book was specifically written to help the British understand the local dialect.[2][3] It may have been the first book transliterated into Roman script from Gurmukhi script.[2][3] The study of this was a requirement for admission into the administrative services.[2][3] The book is taught to this day at schools affiliated with the Punjab State Education Board (PSEB) Mohali.[citation needed]
Om Jai Jagdish Hare[2][3] 1870s[citation needed] Translated in Punjabi the first time[3]
Bhagyawati[2][3] published 1888 This book is believed to be the first novel in Hindi.[2][3][5]
Satya Dharm Muktavli[3]
Shatopadesh[3]
Satyamrit Pravaha[3]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Singh Bedi, Harmohinder. Shardha Ram Granthawali. Nirmal Publisher. (A three-volume work by the dean and head of the Guru Nanak Dev University Hindi Department.)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Walia, Varinda. "Hindi novel’s first cradle." The Tribune (17 March 2005).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Maitray, Mohan. "The creator of Om Jai Jagdish Hare." The Tribune (27 September 1998).
  4. ^ http://www.faithandthearts.com/images/9_20070612201926.pdf
  5. ^ a b Previously, Lala Sri Niwas was credited with this achievement; his Priksha Guru was written in 1902. Walia, Varinda. "Hindi novel’s first cradle." The Tribune.
  6. ^ Sisir Kumar Das. A History of Indian Literature, p.540. Sahitya Akademi (1991), ISBN 81-7201-006-0.

Further reading[edit]

  • Singh Bedi, Harmohinder. Shardha Ram Granthawali. Nirmal Publisher. (A three-volume work by the dean and head of the Guru Nanak Dev University Hindi Department.)

External links[edit]