Aspects of modern Dogri writers

6With the academic critical apparatus in modern Dogri literature mostly limited to Jammu University’s Post-Graduate Department faculty and scholar/officers of Cultural Academy’s Dogri section, there has been a shortfall of quality books on literary criticism.  Most books in this genre are either written by those who are/were primarily creative writers and undertook the job only to augment works in genre of criticism in modern Dogri literature.
Most of such teachers/writers understandably applied critical theories that had their roots in English or Hindi criticism tradition and tried to evaluate modern Dogri verse and prose with respective lenses.
Prof Satyapal Srivatsya’s latest book, Bol Te Tol, is one such notable effort that has brought to fore many untouched aspects of modern Dogri writers and poets. Considered as a welcome addition in Dogri literary criticism, Prof Satyapal Srivatsya’s Bol Te Tol, is an anthology of 25 articles that he wrote from time to time.  The book is divided into four major divisions. First eleven articles are critical account of life, work and unique aspects of well known Dogri poets, while the next seven deal with Dogri short story and novel and the next two with drama, history and last five on varied subjects.
The selected poets whose life and critical analysis of their works find focus in the book are Dattu, Shambunath, Ved Pal Deep, Kehri Singh Madhukar, Mohan Lal Sapolia, Ram Krishan Shastri, Tara Samailpuri, Jitendra Udhampuri, Virendra Kesar, Inderjeet Kesar and Navin Haldunavi. In the short story and novels segment, the writer has focused on Dogri’s first short story writer Bhagwat Prasad Sathe, Dogri’s first anthology of short stories by him, Kastu, the main character of Narinder Khajuria’s acclaimed short story, anthology of stories of Champa Sharma’s “Saak Sunna Preet Pittal”, Om Goswami’s ‘Sunne Di Chiri’ and his story “Kheer Ch Kahanikar Ghoshna Karda Ai” and Inderjeet Kesar’s novel ‘Mattreian’.
In drama and history segment, the writer has focused upon Dogri’s first playwright Vishwanath Khajuria and contribution of eminent historian Dr Sukhdev Singh Charak. In the last section, Prof Srivatsya, has highlighted variety of subjects including like nationalism, religious feelings, ‘Chhand’ in  Dogri poetry, influence of Sanskrit on Dogri literature and humor and satire in Dogri literature.
The octogenarian Prof Satyapal Srivatsya, a respected name in literary circles is a multilingual scholar having equal facility in Sanskrit, Hindi, English and Dogri. After writing several books and more than hundred articles in all four languages, he has once again made a notable contribution in Dogri literary criticism with Bol Te Tol.