The Sahitya Akademi Award Winner

O P Sharma

Om Sharma Jandriari

Om Sharma Jandriari is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award- 2019 for his book in Dogri entitled : Bandralta Darpan,. Curiously, the announcement of this prestigious award was made by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi on December 15 this year, coincidently just three days after the passing away of this Dogri author on December 12, 2019. This 154-page book is outstanding work of essays on literary and cultural aspects of this part of the country.
He is a Dogri writer selected for this prestigious award for enrichment of Dogri language and its literature. The coveted awards in all the Indian languages awards will be presented at a grand ceromonial function at New Delhi shortly. It is expected that one of the author’s two sons will receive the award as the author’s wife has already passed away.
It is noteworthy that the author Om Sharma Jindriari has unique style of writing in Dogri language and uses typical words to express the vast research work and rich experiences in the Dogri language, Bandralata (with present name Ram Nagar) and the cultural heritage of the Dogras. It is worth mentioning that Ramnagar has the unique distinction of having six Sahitya Akademi Awardees which include: Parkash Premi, Deshbandhu Nutan, Vats Vikal Om Vidyarthi and Abhishap , among others. Ramnagar is centre of literary activities and Om Sharma Jandriari had been leading a literary organisation in his native town Ramnagar and gave a boost to literary movement in Dogri. His role in promotion of the Dogri language and its enrichment has been recognised by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi for his contribution to the Dogri language and its literature .
Duggar’s cultural and literary heritage is varied and rich with some areas having distinct identity. Just as kaleidoscope on turning it produces different patterns, so the cultural heritage of Dogras has in-built variety of interesting colours, designs which are at once attractive and admirable.
The book which has won the prestigious award this year entitled “Bandralta Darpan” is authored by by noted writer Om Sharma Jandriari which presents interesting and informative glimpses of cultural and literary traditions of Bandralta, which is old name of Ramnagar area in the Udhampur district in Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory. This is well written Dogri book vividly describing the proud literary tradition and culture of this part of the country.
Ramnagar, mostly hilly area with scenic natural charms has unique literary and cultural heritage with majestic old palaces, forts ,shrines as also number of leading literary figures with host of them having been bestowed with prestigious Sahitya Akademi award, in Dogri literature. Om Sharma Jindriari has portrayed the picture of different places. In fact, the book has the coloured photographs of the Ramnagar palaces on the title page while inside also some pictures have been given which make the get-up of the book more impressive.
Words of Wisdom
The preface of the book has been penned by eminent writer Prof. Shiv Nirmohi who has underscored the value of the book as it unfolds the history as well as the cultural and literary contribution of this part of the Jammu and Kashmir UT. The natural beauty too has been depicted by the writer in addition to opening a widow to rich literary and culture life of Bandralta (Ramnagar). Prof. Nirmohi opines and asserts that this book would arise deep interest among all those interested in Dogri language and Duggar’s culture.
Colourful Culture
The book, published by ProgressiveYouth Society, Ramnagar, contains 14 essays in as many chapters with powerful flow of the pen in simple but chaste Dogri language. Udhampur district had three distinct pockets like Himate or Chenani, Bandralta or Ramnagar and Bhatiraya or Devak landscape. In this work a study has been focued on Ramnagar. The detailed account of the literary luminaries of Dogri literature have also been included in a chapter. The areas which abound in natural scenic splendour like Dudu, Basantagrh and other places too have been vividly depicted. Detailed descriptive narration of Ramnagar palaces, forts and shrines have also been included in this book.
Ramnagar was having separate rulers who took keen interest in the overall development and welfare of the masses in this part of Jammu and Kashmir. The imprints of cultural and literary life of the people of this area have distinct marks and stand out with characteristic features.
Valuable Work
I had written review of this book ” Bandralta Darpan” in this leading newspaper, Daily Excelsior after having an interview with the author Om Sharma Jindriari who recalled that the first Sahitya Akademi awardee in Dogri during 1970 Narinder Khajuria was working with him in the same school and they often discussed literary matters and shared experiences. He also had memories of interaction with other contemporary Dogri writers which ignited his passion for creative expression.
These essays by Om Sharma Jandriari have appeared in some leading periodicals and now got published in a book for wide Dogri readership. His elder son, Manoj Nishchint told me that family always pleaded for writing a book and the idea ultimately matured. Both the publisher and writer have done a service to the Dogri literature as well as readers. The writer has done a thorough research work and also made deep study of the authentic historical documents and other available material and field study. This Dogri book, finely printed and well produced but moderately priced at Rs 300 has been adjudged by the Sahitya Akademi for the coveted award for promotion of Dogri language and its literature.The book will be a pride possession for those interested in sweet Dogri language and proud cultural heritage of Duggar which is certainly is a valuable addition to the Dogri literature and the contribution. Om Sharma Jandriari will be remembered for times to come.
(Starline Syndicate Service)