Gurram Jashuva

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Gurram Jashuva
Gurram Jashua.jpg
Portrait of Gurram Jashuva
Born28 September 1895
Died24 July 1971
ChildrenHemalatha Lavanam

Gurram Jashuva (or G Joshua) (28 September 1895 – 24 July 1971) was a Telugu poet.His real name was Anil Kumar.He was an IAS aspirant.He fell in love at tender age and became a poet.For that he was recognized with awards by Government of India. His literature's impact on the society was studied by researchers. Literary awards were instituted in his memory.

Early life[edit]

Jashuva was born to Virayya and Lingamma in Vinukonda, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India to a community of leather workers.[2] His father belonged to the Yadav caste and his mother belonged to the Madiga caste.[3][4][5] Due to poverty and the intercaste marriage of his parents, his childhood was difficult in a society in which some castes were considered "untouchable." His parents raised him and his brother as Christians. Jashuva graduated with Ubhaya Bhasha Praveena (as a scholar of Telugu and Sanskrit languages).[6]


Jashuva initially worked as primary school teacher. He then worked as Telugu producer in All India Radio, Madras between 1946-1960.[citation needed]

Protests against "untouchability," Dalit rights, and segregation have been common themes in all his works. His main works include Gabbilam (A Bat), Firadausi (A Rebel) and Kandiseekudu (A Refugee). Some of Jashua's verses had been incorporated into the popular mythological play, Harischandra, especially those in the cremation grounds scene.[7]

Dalit communities in Andhra Pradesh consider Jashuva as the first modern Telugu Dalit poet, and protest the erasure of Jashuva from many Telugu and Indian literary histories. In 1995, Dalit communities in Andhra Pradesh organized birth centenary celebrations for Jashuva and have begun efforts to rehabilitate his literary contributions.[8]

Literary works[edit]

  • Gabbilam (1941) is Jashuva's best known work, fashioned after Kalidasa's Meghadūta, "The Cloud Messenger," about an exiled lover to his beloved wife.[9] While in Kalidasa's poem the messenger is a yaksha in the cloud, Jashuva's poem describes a message sent by a hunger- and poverty-stricken Dalit man to god in Benares, and the message is sent via a bat, or "gabbilam." Jashuva's choice of the bat is quite significant. As a creature often associated with darkness, ugliness, and bad omens, bats represent Dalit people for Jashuva, and are re-claimed as weapons or tools for social consciousness raising among Dalit people.

In one stanza, Jashuva writes:[10] To this friendly bat he began telling his life-story with a heart scorched by sorrow. In this senseless and arrogant world, other than lowly birds and insects, do the poor have any intimates or neighbors, any noble swans to explain his warm tears?

The man in the poem muses at the irony of his situation, where a bat is allowed inside a temple but not a human being. He cautions the bat to convey his message to Siva as it hangs from the roof close to his ear, at a time when the priest is not around. Jashuva used his other favorite emotion, "patriotism" as he describes the various historic places the bat will fly over en route to Lord Siva in Kasi. He even takes the bat on detours to visit some historic place of pride for Indians. (Mohanty, Manoranjan (2004-05-24). Class, Caste, Gender. SAGE. p. 236. ISBN 9780761996439.) [6][11]

  • Firadausi (1932) is his another major work. The story is about the Persian poet Firdousi, in the court of the King Mahmud of Ghazni. According to story, the king promises the poet, a gold mohur for every word in a work he commissions the poet to write. After the poet spends ten years of his life, toiling day and night to create a master piece, the king, coming under the influence of jealous courtiers, reneges on his promise and offers only silver coins. The poet heartbroken at this breach of trust commits suicide. Jashuva's depiction of the anguish of the poet is superb and moves the readers to tears.(Joshua, Gurram (1996). Piradausi. Jāṣuvā Phauṇḍēṣan.)
  • Baapoojee (1948) is expression of his anguish on hearing of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. His enormous love and respect for Gandhiji is poignantly expressed in these 15 odd poems eulogising his life and work and lamenting his death as this country's misfortune.(Joshua, Gurram (1963). Bāpūjī. Buk Lavars.)


  • Rukmini Kalyanam (1919)
  • Chidananda Prabhatham and Kushalavopakhyanam (1922)
  • Kokila (1924)
  • Dhruva Vijayam, Krishna Nadi and Samsara Saagaram (1925)
  • Shivaji Prabandham, Veera Bai, Krishna Deva Raayalu, Vemana Yogeendrudu and Bhaarata Maatha (1926)
  • Bhaarata Veerudu, Suryodayam, Chandrodayam and Gijigaadu (1927)
  • Ranachyuthi, Aandhrudanu and Thummeda Pendlikoduku (1928)
  • Sakhi, Buddhudu, Telugu Thalli, Sishuvu and Baashpa Sandesham (1929)
  • Deergha Nishwasamu, Prabodham, Shilpi, Hechcharika, Saaleedu and Maathru Prema (1930)
  • Bheeshmudu, Yugandhara Manthri, Sama Dhrushti, Nela Baaludu, Nemali Nelatha, Loka Baandhavudu, Anasuya, Shalya Saaradhyamu and Sandeha Dola (1931)
  • Swapna Katha, Anaadha, Firdousi, Mumtaj Mahal, Sindhuramu, Budha Mahima, Kreesthu, Gunturu Seema, Vivekananda, Cheetla Peka, Jebunnisa and Paschatthapam (1932)
  • Ayomayamu, Akhanda Gouthami, Aashwasam, Meghudu and Smashana Vaati (1933)
  • Aandhra Bhojudu (1934)
  • Gabbilam (1941) [12]
  • Kandiseekudu (1945)
  • Thera Chaatu (1946)
  • Chinna Naayakudu, Baapuji and Nethaji (1948)
  • Swayam Varam (1950)
  • Kottha Lokam (1957)
  • Christhu Charithra (1958)
  • Raashtra Pooja and Musafirulu (1963)
  • Naagarjuna Saagaram and Naa Katha (1966)


Critical studies[edit]

Endluri Sudhakar researched Gurram Jashua's literature and published a book on his outlook and impact.[15]

Awards instituted in his memory[edit]

The Jashuva Sahitya Puraskaram was instituted by the Jashuva Foundation as an annual prize to poets from different Indian languages for enriching contribution to Indian literature with human values. The founder and secretary, Hemalatha Lavanam, is Jashuva's daughter.[16] Nilmani Phukan, an Assamese poet, received the award in 2002.[17]

Padma Bhushan Dr Gurram Jashuva Research Centre of Telugu Akademi has instituted three awards to poets and writers for contributions to Telugu literature. These are the "Jashuva Jeevita Saphalya Puraskaram"s for male poets aged sixty or above; the "Jashuva Visishta Mahila Purasakaram" for female poets aged fifty or above; and the "Jashuva Sahitya Visishta Puraskaram" for any contributor to Dalita Sahityam (Dalit literature).[18] The first of these awards was presented during the 118th birth anniversary celebrations on 28 September 2013. The award amount is Rs 2 lakh.[19] Dasaradhi Rangacharya was awarded "Jashuva Jeevita Saphalya Puraskaram". Kolakakuli Swaroopa Rani received the "Jashuva Visishta Mahila Purasakaram". Kaluva Mallaiah received the "Jashuva Sahitya Visishta Puraskaram".[20] Damodar Raja Narasimha, Deputy Chief Minister presented the awards. Yadagiri, Director, Telugu Akademy, presided over the function. Dokka Manikya Vara Prasad, Minister for Rural Development, Kaki Madhava Rao, former Chief Secretary, Medasani Mohan participated in the function. A commemorative book on the poet was released in the function.[19]


  1. ^ "Reformist's life to be chronicled".
  2. ^ Rao, Velcheru Narayana (2003). "Hibiscus on the Lake". University of Wisconsin Press. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
  3. ^ Vepachedu Education foundation article on Jashua, Accessed 27 Oct 2013
  4. ^ Suprasiddula jeevita viseshalu, Hanumcchastri Janamaddi
  5. ^ Satajayanti saahitimoortulu, Sastri D (DN Sastri)
  6. ^ a b A blog post
  7. ^ DV Subbarao renders Jashua's poems in the play on YouTube
  8. ^ "Gurram Jashuva remembered".
  9. ^ Pattem, Sundeep (2010). "Gabbilam I". Yemanna. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
  10. ^ Pattem, Sundeep (2010). "Gabbilam II". Yemanna. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
  11. ^ Report on Tamil translation of Gabbilam
  12. ^ Jashuva Rachanalu: First Volume, Gabbilam, Vishalandhra Publishing House, Hyderabad, 2006.
  13. ^ Sahitya Akademi awards Archived 23 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Padma Bhushan Awards Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Jashuva Jeevitham -Drukphadham-Parinamamu "- Endluri Sudhakar (Accessed: 27 Oct 2013
  16. ^ Hemalata Lavanam passed away Accessed:12 Nov 2013
  17. ^ Assamese poet presented Joshua award -The Hindu 2002-07-27, Accessed 27 October 2013
  18. ^ Jashuva Lit Awards(New Indian Express
  19. ^ a b News item on Jashua awards function and his literary contributions
  20. ^ Sakshi Telugu Newspaper, 29 Sep 2013, Hyderabad Edition, Page 3