Dhani Ram Chatrik

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Dhani Ram Chatrik
Born (1876-10-04)4 October 1876
Sheikhupura, Pakistan
Died 18 December 1954(1954-12-18) (aged 78)
Language Punjabi
Nationality British Indian, then Indian
Education Lopoke, Badonialli and Islamia school, Amritsar[1]

Dhani Ram Chatrik or Dhaniram Chatrik (October 4, 1876 – December 18, 1954) was a Punjabi poet and typographer.[1][2]

He is considered one of the pioneers of modern Punjabi poetry.[2] He is known for having actively promoted Punjabi culture, language and publications through his life's works. In 1926, he became the President of Punjabi Sahit Sabha, a Punjabi Literary Society.[1]

He was the first person to standardize the typeset for Gurmukhi script, publish Guru Granth Sahib and Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha’s Mahan Kosh (the first Punjabi dictionary) by using modern technique at his Sudarshan Printing Press.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

He was born in village Pasian-wala, district Sheikhupura (now in Pakistan).[3] His father Pohu Lal,[3] was an ordinary shopkeeper.[1] His father moved to village Lopoke in search for work. His father taught him Gurmukhi and Urdu scripts.[1] Dhaniram grew fond of calligraphy and went to Bombay to learn Gurmukhi typography.[1][3] Though a Hindu by birth, he became an admirer of the Sikh faith after he came in contact with the major Punjabi poet of that era Bhai Vir Singh.[1][3] It was after this meeting that he was inspired to write verses in the Punjabi Language.[1]


He was a highly creative writer. He used his composing skills to experiment with different genres of Punjabi. He used simple and fresh vocabulary. His use of metaphor, tone, and style were easy to understand by the masses.[original research?] It was more a descriptive or Qissa style.[original research?] This style is evident from the following lines depicting peasantry written in narrative style:

Toorhi tand saamb haarhi vech watt ke
Lambrhaan ‘te shaahaan da hisaab katt ke
Kachhe maar vanjhli anand chhaa gya
Maarda damaame jatt mele aa gya

His creations Himala, Ganga, Rat are well known. Another one of his poems, Kora Qadir, where we hear his passionate cry against the divisions of humanity through diversity of creed is as follows:

Let us bury caste and creed,
Let us erase this sorrow indeed,
You a Sayyid, I a Brahmin,
Let us finish this foolish din.
We have to bear each other, say
We are not here for eternal stay,
Let there be laughter in our meeting,
Let our hearts be one this evening


He has been called[by whom?] "Punjab’s greatest lyricist and poet". In 1985, Surinder Singh Narula published a book in his honour called "Dhani Ram Chatrik, Publisher: Sahitya-Akademi". Punjabi University Patyala honoured Chatrik by dedicating their annual diary to him.

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Chatrik authored Fullan Di Tokri (1904)
  • Bharthri Hari Bikramajit (1905)
  • Nal Dmaayanti (1906)
  • Dharmvir (1912)
  • Chandanwari (1931)
  • Kesar Kiari (1940)
  • Nawan Jahan (1942)
  • Noor Jahan Badshahbeghum (1944)
  • Sufikhana (1950)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Amaresh Datta (1988). Encyclopaedia of Indian literature. vol. 2, Devraj to Jyoti. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 9788126011940. OCLC 34346334. 
  2. ^ a b Sisir Kumar Das, various (2006). A History of Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 81-7201-798-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d Surinder Singh Narula (1985). Dhani Ram Chatrik. Sahitya Akademi. OCLC 15550036. 

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