Bhadwal, the Dogri poet

Name of Book : Romal Singh Bhadwal in Dogri
Author : Dr Archana Kesar
Publisher : Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.
Year : 2018

The Sahitya Akademi has published a monograph in Dogri about the Dogri poet Romal Singh Bhadwal recently. This Dogri book has been issued in the series ” Makers of Indian Literature” focusing on the life and poetry of this Dogri poet by an eminent literary figure, Dr Archana Kesar.
Poet Bhadwal was born in an average family on October 2, 1922 at the village, Dodowada near Bhadu-Billawar in Kathua district. This Dogri poet used to take pride in his birth date as it coincided with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bhadhur Sahstri. He got preliminary education in his native district. At the age of 18 years, he got the job of a ” Shikari” (Batcher) in the Tawaza Department moving from one hilly place to another. Subsequently in the year 1959, he became Forester in the Forest Department ; had to frequently visit Jasrota, Hiranagar, Basohli, Basantpur hilly areas and came in close contact with the nature. In the rural areas he got his mother-tongue, Dogri more vigorous and refined. This made his Dogri poetry more appealing.
Bhadwal had grip over the Dogri language and his poetry was sweet and meaningful. He would frequently participate in poetic symposia and gradually gained popularity.
His poetry was given space in some newspapers and magazine including Sheeraza (Dogri) of the J&K State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.
Note the stanza depicting the emotions and patriotic spirit of this Duggar poet:
Bharatwasian Kusai Ne Berr Nayeo
Gal-ah-te, gal Kashmir de Aae
Nayeo aaj denee, nayeo kal denee
Sao khadhi de Maa de Serr de ah.
(India never nourished enmity towards anyone; only matter is that of Kashmir. We have taken a pledge before Bharat Mata: never to give up Kashmir today or even tomorrow.)
The Sahitya Akademi has been playing a pivotal role in the projection and promotion of Dogri language. It was in 1970 that the Akademi came forward to institute annual awards for Dogri writers/poets. It may be recalled that the Dogri language was included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution during 2003. The role of Sahitya Akademi is commendable indeed.
This book is well produced with fine printing and get-up. It will be useful for the Dogri readership as it gives glimpses of popular Dogri poet, Romal Singh Bhadwal.
( Starline Syndicate Service)