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Kartar Singh Kalasvalia, Giani

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Neutral Singh, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    Who started a new line in modern Punjabi verse making a departure from the traditional love romance or lays of heroic poetry in Braj or Hindi-ized Punjabi, was born in 1882 in Kalasvala, a village in Pasrur tahsil of Sialkot district, now in Pakistan. Hence the epithet Kalasvalia.

    Kartar Singh mastered scripture-reading in the village gurdwara and joined the 47th Sikh Battalion, later 4th Battalion of the 11th Sikh Regiment, as a granthi or Sikh religious teacher. After leaving the army, he became a granthi at the Darbar Sahib at Amritsar, rising subsequently to the position of head granthi. An avid reader of Sikh historical texts and blessed with a natural flare for poetry, He assigned himself to the task of composing a comprehensive history of the Sikhs in verse. This had been done earlier by Bhai Santokh Singh, Ratan Singh Bhangu and Giani Gian Singh but their language was dominated by extensive admixture of Braj idiom; hence not easily intelligible to Punjabi readers.

    Kartar Singh used current Punjabi in his poetry. His favourite prosodic metre was bait, popularized by Punjabi romances such as Hir by Waris Shah. Not that he did not try his hand at other metres. His voluminous biography of Guru Gobind Singh, Sri Kalgidhar Darshan, is in the doha-chaupai style of Tulasi's Ramayana, and he successfully uses the indigenous Punjabi var or pauri style, in two of his minor works, Sardarni jhala Kaur and Bhai Kalyana. Pauris and Kabitts are used in Varan Dharam Shahidan. His total work spread over more than 40 books covers the entire gamut of Sikh history, but the various volumes were not written in chronological order. The exact sequence of his compositions is not easy to determine. A complete list of his works is given below:

    (A) In verse
    1. Nirankari Jot (Biography of Guru Nanak)
    2. Hitkari Jot (Sri Guru Angad Prakash)
    3. Datari Jot (Sri Guru Amar Prakash)
    4. Ujiari Jot (Sri Ram Das Prakash)
    5. Jagadi jot (Sri Guru Arjan Prakash)
    6. Dalbhanjani jot (Sri Kharagesh Prakash) (on Guru Hargobind)
    7. Upkari Jot (Sri Guru Hari Rai Prakash)
    8. Didari Jot (Sri Guru Hari Krishan Prakash)
    9. Naranjani Jot (Prasang Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur)
    10. Akali Jot (Sri Guru Dasmesh Prakash later revised as Sri Dusht Daman Prakash)
    11. Nirbhai Yodha (Exploits of Banda Singh Bahadur)
    12. Ajit Khalsa (Covering the period after Banda SinghBahadur)
    13. Jauhar Khalsa (Sikhs and Mir Mannu)
    14. Prakash Khalsa (The Sikh Misls)
    15. Sarkar Khalsa (Maharaja Ranjit Singh)
    16. Darbar Khalsa (Decline and end of Sikh rule)
    17. Betaj Khalsa (Exile and end of Maharaja Duleep Singh and Maharani jindan)
    18. Daler Khalsa (Sardar Hari Singh Nalva)
    19. Sudhar Khalsa (Gurdwara Reform movement)
    20. Bir Khalsa (Guru ka Bagh morcha)
    21. Sri Kalgidhar Darshan (Life of Guru Gobind Singh in epic style (doharachaupai)
    22. Pratap Khalsa (Nawab Kapur Singh)
    23. Dasames Duldre (Martyrdom of the tour sons of Guru Gobind Singh)
    24. Varan Dharam Shahidah
    25. Singhanian da Sidak (Torture and martyrdom of Sikh women under Mir Mannu)
    26. Khun-i-Shahidan (The Nankana Sahib tragedy)
    27. Babe di Ber (The Gurdwara Reform movement at Sialkot)
    28. Khuni Sal dian Khuni Holian (The 1947 holocaust)
    29. Gyan Prakash arthat Zindagi Sudhar (On spiritual knowledge, moral teachings and political policy)
    30. Rup Basant (A popular folk-tale)
    31. Prahlad Bhagat (A traditional story)
    32. Sardarni Jhala Kaur (Stories from Sikh tradition composed in verse for singing by dhadhis)
    33. Bhai Kalyana
    34. Naddhe di Nar (Didactic fiction in verse against unmatched child-marriage) (B) In prose
    35. Maharani Shakuntala
    36. Jamraud
    37. Gagan Damama
    38. Yarare da Satthar
    39. Baba Buddha Ji
    40. Dukh Bhanjani
    41. Sahib Kaur
    42. Maharani Jindan
    43. Baba Phula Singh Akali
    44. Kale Pani
    45. Goli Chaldi Gai

    Giani Kartar Singh Kalasvalia died at his residence in Kucha Baghvala, Amritsar, on 22 February 1952.
     
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  3. Arvind

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    Nice to read. Well, one thing I tend to observe is that: sikhs who ever were part of defence services, later went onto as writers or granthis. I mean, the count of people like this is more than other professions. What could be the connection?
     
  4. etinder

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    never thought of this connection:confused:
     
  5. Neutral Singh

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    I know to whom he is referring too.... i mean KA ;)
     
  6. etinder

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    but u cant generalise on single or few examples when sikhs have a huge representation in the defence services in independent india as well as during british regime, just curious
     
  7. Arvind

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    From Sixth Guru ji's times, there were lot of saint soldiers, which became a more known concept by the tenth Guru ji's times. Most of the sikh leaders after tenth Guru ji, who were leading armies, were also inclined spiritually so much, a few examples like Banda Singh Bahadur, Hari Singh Nalwa, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, Baba Deep Singh ji... the list continues. Then there comes the freedom fighters who belonged to Punjab, I sense their contribution towards poems and writings so much, and spiritual inclination seem to be giving so much direction to their works and acts. Gurudwara Hemkunt Sahib ji was located by defence personnel, and he also did lot of seva in terms of engaging in coversation with with local people, building gurudwara, paving out way up there. And now recently we came to know abt Gurudwara Pather Sahib ji. I just picked up a few handful incidents to support the claim, just to give u a hint. That gave me a hidden connection of defence services guys more inclined towards spiritual ways than other professions. May be because they are more disciplined and get more time to contemplate during their guarding times!
     

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