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Art & Literature

Jalandhar and Punjabi Literature

Jalandhar is an ancient city. It has witnessed the foreign and native rulers. For the two centuries it was ruled by Kanishak Kings. With the advent of Muslim invaders, the importance of Jalandhar was increased. There is an historic city Kartarpur, which is 10 miles from Jalandhar. Sikh Gurus had developed this city. So many historic places in Jalandhar like Noormahal, Phillaur and Adampur have stood for the all round development of the district. The spread of education cannot be overlooked while assessing the progress of a particular society. It is right to say that the spread of education, language and literature stands behind the development of Jalandhar district. Only educated and conscious people can bring development. Jalandhar, with the passage of time, is being known as the media centre of Punjab. Here is a large industry which manufactures sports material and other products. The sports products are exported in larger quantity. The educational institutions like, Doaba College K. M. V; H. M. V; D. A.V College B. D Arya College, S. D. College and Lyalpur Khalsa College for women and boys have had created the educationist and laureates. The village Sansarpur adjoining Jalandhar has established itself as the cradle of Hockey team for Olympics. At present the number of schools both Govt. and private, colleges and other similar institutions have increased to unknown statistics. The agitation of freedom for India, played a great role for the creation of literary writings. A great deal of literature was written for this purpose. Hence it is very much clear that Jalandhar has contributed a lot for the development of Punjabi literature. Since, the Jalandhar city is the house of printing press, the writers flocked to Jalandhar from all over the Punjab and many of them settled here and wrote great books. The spoken language in Jalandhar is Punjabi being the mother tongue of Punjabi people. The Jalandhar falls in Doaba region, comprising the districts Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala. Doaba region is sided by the rivers Beas and Sutlej. The dilect of this region is called Doabi by the linguistics. People give stress on 'B' in place of V. But with the spread of communication means (Radio, T. V, Press etc.) the difference is eliminating very fast. The writers write Punjabi in Gurmukhi script.

The ancient writers belonging to Jalandhar can well be named as Jalandhar Nath, sufi poet-Vajid Khan, Bhai Kahan Singh Banga, poet Kanshi Ram, Sayad Mian Shah, Pt. Sharda Ram, athour of four books. Sh. Amarnath Munsaf was pioneer editor of Amrit Patrika. Amar Singh Doabia wrote Amar Narain. To spread the aims and objectives of Gadar Movement, Gadar papar was issued. The revolutionary poems, essays, and other writings were published to inspire the people against foreign rulers.The feelings for patriotism were created among the people of Punjabi. The famous writers and columnists of this paper were Harnam Singh , Jachak, Munsha Singh.The Babar Akali Movement during the first two decades of the 20th century created the litrerature of revolutionary nature. While fighting against the English rulers Babar Akali Doaba, a weekly magazine was the spokesman of the movement.

The golden period for the creation of Punjabi literature in Jalandhar begins after independence. Some Urdu poets like Hafiz Jalandhar, Mela Ram Vafa, Akhtar Raymni, Raghuli Bir Dass Sahir also stayed in Jalandhar. The poetic symposiums held along with Punjabi and Hindi poets. The writers coming during the tragic migration of 1947, settled in Jalandhar and created a good atmosphere for the literary creations. Kartar Singh Duggal a great writer of Punjabi literature brought All India Radio to Jalandhar. Giani Heera Singh Dard, Avtar Singh Azad, Harnam Dass Sahrai, Prof Mohan Singh, Kulwant Singh Virk, Arjun Singh , Sohan Singh Josh, Surjit Singh Sethi, Jagjit Singh Anand, Sadhu Singh Hamdard, Nand Lal Nurpuri, Santokh Singh Safri, Mohan Singh Vafa and Ishar Singh Atari contributed a lot to the Punjabi literature. These writers wrote about the deep agonies of partition of 1947. The cruelties done during those times, the problems of migrants from Pakistan, the short stories novels, plays and poems deal with the subject of human crisis created with the partition. These books or some slections from these books were later on prescribed for school and college syllabuses.This gave inspiration to many young writers.

There was another group of writers who wrote many books with the inspiration received from the said writers. Among them are Jaswant Singh Virdi, Piara Singh Bhogal, Prem Parkash, Randhir Singh Bedi, Chaman Lal Manak, Ravindcer Ravi, Harsaran Singh etc. There are other writers belonging to the villages and other cities of the Jalandhar. These writers have also won fame because of their subject and its presentation. These are Dr. Jagtar, Dr. Randhir Singh Chand, Lakhwinder Johal, Karnail Singh Nizzar, Bakhsish Singh Nizzar, Mohinder Dosanjh, Ajit Saini, Jaswant Deed, Niranjan Singh Sathi, Nayar Singh Taras, Ulfat Bajwa, Deepak Jalandhar. Another group came from other cities and stayed here for a long time. They all played a major role for the development of Punjabi literature. Their names are Duggal, Virk, Amol, Surinder Johar, Lochan Bakhshi, Gurcharan Singh Sahingra, Raghubir Singh Sirjana, Hasrat, Ahluwalia, Gurbachan Singh Talib, Jagjit Singh Guleria, Deleep Kaur Tiwana.

Punjabi fiction saw its golden days with the writings of Harnam Dass Sahrai. He wrote almost 100 books. In the field of historic novel writings, he can be rightly termed as Walter Scott of Punjabi literature Historic novels of Sadhu Singh Hamdarad needs appreciation from the quality and quantity point of view. Balbir Singh Sandhu and Jaswant Singh Virdi wrote novels. Karnail Singh Nizzar, Krishan Kumar Rattu contributed in the field of novel. Punjabi story writing traveled a good route with the renowned writers; Jaswant Singh Virdi, Tarsem Nilgiri, Piara Singh Bhogal and Prem Parkash. Ravinder Rav..Warayam Singh Sandhu has won literary awards in this literary field. The All India Radio paved a good way for the promotion of Punjabi short stories and play writings. This institution gave inspiration to the writers. The new creations were broadcasted from time to time.

The play writing of Harsaran Singh rose to its zenith in Jalandhar. Dr Harcharan Singh, Dr.Gurdial Singh and Dr. Gurcharan Singh belonged to Jalandhar.The stage of Lyallpur Khalsa college played a pivotal role in the flourishing of play art. The political and religious organizations played so many dramas to preach their manifestoes. This helped the literary steam of dramas to flow freely. The Television Station and Radio Station introduced the established writers as well as growing writers. The writers from all Punjab flock to Jalandhar for the publication as well as the circulation of their writings .The literary symposiums are being held in Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall and in other institutions .Darshan Khatkar is known for his Drama party. Humor creating writings of Surjit Singh.K.C. Parwana , Sokhi and Hamdard needs attention .Some critics are pondering to get translated into Gurmukhi script the Historic documents relating to the freedom movement with special attention to the martyrdom of Shahid Bhagat Singh .the library solves a great purpose of research fellows.

In the field of criticism Piara Singh Bhogal has written more than dozen books. . Dr. Dharampal Singal, Dr. Randhir Singh Chand, Dr. Harjinder Singh Dhillon are some noteworthynames. In the field of review Avtar Jaura, Devinder Johal, Ishar Singh Taang, Dr. Jagdish Kaur Wadia and Harmeet Singh Atwal have done remarkable work to fill up the gap between the writers and the readers to enrich the Punjabi Literature. Some writings of importance of other languages were translated by Jagjit Singh Anand, Piara Singh Bhogal, Dr.Jagdish Kaur Wadia, Chetan Singh. Apart from these writings a new generation is also coming very fast like; Navjit Kaalrea. Balvir Parwana, Kuldeep Singh Bedi , Mohinder Bhatti, Kulbir Badesron, Gurdial, Amrik Singh Harjinder Atwal, Ajit Gill,etc. They all have contributed towards the treasure of Punjabi literature. An unknown writer Harbhajan Singh Gill of Jhingar Khurd (Dasuya) wrote many books. He published a monthly magazine Guru Vidiya and Bharat Joyti from 1960 to 1970. Niranjan Singh Sathi wrote a series of essays commerating 300 birth century of Khalsa.

There are daily papers in Punjabi namely, Ajit, Jagbani, Nawan Zamana, Aj Di Awaz,Akali Patrika being published from Jalandhar. Their editors like Sadhu Singh Hamdard (now Barjinder Singh ) and Jagjit Singh Anand, Satnam Manak are noted journalist.They have been honored by the Languages Department of Punjab Govt. These paper introduce the Punjabi readers about the new writers, new publications and new literary streams of Punjabi literature. Literary functions and literary seminars get place for advertisements which results in huge gatherings in such programmers. Punjabi literary trends are made known to the people. Stories, poems and other important forms of Punjabi literature and language are being published in these daily papers. These daily papers have played a big role for the development of Punjabi literature. Daily news papers in Urdu (Hind Samachar and Milap) and Hindi( Punjab Kesri, Ajit Samachar, Amar Ujaala and Dainik Jagran) also publish from Jalandhar. Many a monthly magazine also publish from Jalandhar and other towns. Some of these may have been closed for unknown reasons. But still there are many. Desh Punjab, Simaran, Nakodar Times, Beghampura, Doaba Heeollines, Kalgidhar Mel, Janta Sansar, Rajni, Music Ttimes, Achamba, Tasveer, Maan Punjab Da and Lok Rang etc. Their contribution for the development of Punjabi language and literature is great.

Drishti, Tasveer, Quami Laher, Bharat Sevak, Rangale Ban, Nilgiri, Haani, Akas,Bindu, Saada Yug, Nawan Sawera, Neelnini, Kalmi Riste, Waryam, Vasna, Kamini, Sarvode Sansar, Zaikara, magazines flourished in Jalandhar.

The contribution of Punjabi Literary Societies needs much attention. Kendri Lekhak Sabha was formed in Jalandhar. Punjabi readers will remember Giani Heera Singh Dard and Gurcharan Singh Sahinsra, Dr.Timari played a good role for this cause. Jalandhar Lekhak Sabha progressed under the able guidance of Prof. Piara Singh Bhogal, Punjabi Sahit Samikhia Board was established here in Jalandhar. Punjabi Parcharak Kender holds literary functions with its President Chanan Lal Manak. Punjabi Kavi Sabha is progressing under the presidentship of Santokh Singh Safri. Beant Singh Sarhadi is the president of Punjabi Likhari Sabha . Sh. Mohan Singh Vafa is heading towards progress his "Punjabi Sahit Sangam. The Sangam has been doing commendable work. Punjabi Forum with Avtar Jaura concentrates on true Punjabi culture. Recently the Forum has honored a Parwasi Punjabi poet-Harbaksh Singh Tahli

The Role of Language Department, Jalandhar

At the district level the function of this office is to implement the State Language Act 1967 in the offices. District Language Officer inspects the offices from time to time . The names of the officers/officials who do not work in Punjabi, are sent to their respective heads of the departments for disciplinary action.

The department conducts One year free stenography training course for 90 students including students from Nawanshahr, An instructor class & 6 months Urdu language course. There is a trained stenography instructor (Punjabi) and an experienced Urdu teacher. Those who pass the Urdu course are given the certificate of Urdu Amoz. Schedule caste students are given stipend by the Welfare Department. The department holds Kavi Darbar, play competition and other literary function for the students.

The department also organizes Book Exhibitions at different places for the development of reading habits of the Punjabi people. In the department books covering a wide range of topics are available for public. The books cover a wide range of topics. The books are sold at control price. Further 15% to 45% rebate is given on the books on the basis of total amount. Anyone can buy these books from the office between 9.00A.M. to 5.00 P.M.


K. L. Saigal

JalandharK. L. Saigal shall always be proud to be the city of the Legend of Hindi Film Music World - Kundan Lal Saigal. Eons have gone by but that voice left people awestruck. Kundan Lal Saigal was the pioneering singer of Hindi film music. Recognized as the greatest singer of the century, K.L. Saigal was a musical genius who became a legend in his life time. He brought music to the masses and with his God-gifted voice and unique style gave a totally new dimension to the music of his time. His unforgettable melodies continue to enthrall millions of listeners and have become a part of our heritage . He was born on 12th April 1904 at Jammu. His father Amarchand Saigal was employed with Maharaja Pratap Singh. At the age of twelve KL Saigal gave a rendition of Meera Bahjan in the court of Pratap Singh's court. The Maharaja was impressed and predicted that Saigal had a bright singing future. KL Saigal migrated to Jalandhar and in Jalandhar, Saigal learnt to sing in Punjabi style. Surprisingly K.L. Saigal did not undergo any formal training. The legend however wished to be Ustaad Faiyyaz Khan's student over which Saigal received the compliment of his life. After listening to K.L. Saigal sing, Khan Saheb later said "I have no knowledge with me to make you a better singer than you are." In the span of 15 years, Saigal saab had acted in 36 films and rendered over 200 songs.

Before his resplendent super-stardom, Saigal was a clerk in Railways and later he became a Hotel Manager, thereafter took up a job with Remington Typewriter Co. for Rs. 80/- a month.

Saigal created history with Devdaas - based on Bengali writer Sharadchandra Chaterjee's novel released in 1935. People all over world heard Songs like "Balam Aao Baso Morey Man Mein" and "Dukh Ke Ab Din Bitat Nahi". In 1932 Kundan Lal Saigal's successful career commenced after he signed a contract of Rs. 200/- a month, with New Theatre to act and sing in films. Some of the films in his early days were Subah Ke Sitare, Zinda Laash and Mohabbat Ke Aason. Later on sang songs like Premnagar Mein Basoongi Ghar Main, Tadapat Beeti Din Rain and Prem Ki Ho Jai from the first feature film Chandidas in which Saigal was the lead actor. The songs catapulted Saigal to stardom.

Not only did Saigal act in Hindi films, but he also performed in nine of Bengali films, such as Desher Mati, Jiban Maran, Bijoya and Didi. After acquiring unparalleled success, Saigal shifted base from Bombay to Calcutta in 1942 to act in Jayant Desai's Tansen the true Tansen of Hindi films ignited thousands of lights as he sang Diya Jalao, Baag Laga Doon Sajni.

It is as the 'Ghazal King' that Saigal is remembered most by connoisseurs of music who seldom went to cinema. The first ghazal he sang and which created a countrywide sensation was Ghalib's Nukta-chin hai game-dil in 'Yahudi Ki Ladki' released in 1933. Not belonging to any gharana (school) and without any formal training, Saigal stunned the music maestros of his time with his instinctive knowledge of the ragas and his regal and resonant voice. He mesmerised his audiences with his rhythm which had a touch of the divine.

The great Mirza Ghalib was, however, the most favourite of Saigal. In his own inimitable way, Saigal immortalised Ghalib by singing his verses with his heart and soul, interpreting the deep meaning of every syllable. It is through Saigal that Ghalib gained vast popularity even with the non-Urdu knowing audiences. Again, it is Saigal's choice of Ghalib's ghazals which found place in the famous movie "Mirza Ghalib" produced by Sohrab Modi in 1954. Sung by Saigal, these ghazals continue to enchant listeners all over the subcontinent and abroad even to this day. Many other singers, both male and female, have sung 'Ghalib' but no one has been able to match Saigal, who identified himself with the poet's thoughts and feelings. No wonder, the most popular ghazals of Ghalib till today are those which Saigal sang during the 30s and 40s.

Saigal loved Urdu poetry and he created a new fusion of the music and the poetry. His musical interpretation of the ghazal gave a new form and content to the meaning of the verse. He played with words in a singular manner, producing an amazing array of emotions and sentiments. He seemed to share the joys and sorrows as spelt out in the words. In fact, like a magician, he succeeded in striking similar chords in the listeners' hearts. Many Urdu poets like Zauk, Seemab, Bedam, Arzu and Hasarat became famous, thanks to Saigal's rendition of their poetry. It is a little known fact that Saigal himself was a poet and is said to have recited his own compositions. No recordings are, however, available except the one "Main baithi thi phulwari mein". As a poet, he gave life-like imagery to his words.

The distinct voice of Saigal transcended Saigal the actor. K. L. Saigal could render light classical with utmost ease. Saigal normally sang in lower octaves, which was emulated by many but was unmatched. It was said that Saigal never recorded without drinking (he used to call a peg Kaali Paanch). The period 1932-1946 the Hindi film world was called as K. L. Saigal musical era. According to composer Naushad, for his last two films Parwana and Shahjahan, Saigal recorded his compositions without his Kaali Paanch (peg). Some believe that Saigalsaab had a premonition of his death and that is the reason why he quickly completed the shooting.

A day before his death, Saigal's health suddenly took ugly turn. His niece, Durgesh, then 15, read Bhagwad Gita by his bedside throughout the night. Early in the morning, Saigal breathed his last. He was 42 when he passed on 18th January 1947 in Jalandhar, his hometown. K. L. Saigal had expressed his last wish to play his song "Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya, Hum Jee Kya Karenge" a song composed by Naushad. The admirable part of Saigal was that till end he remained a simple man. Fifty years since his demise Saigal still lingers in the memories of music lovers as K. L. Saigal the immortal singer.A great artist, a great man, Saigal belongs to the class of human beings who defy death. He is immortal.

To commemorate his work, a trust named K.L.Saigal Memorial Trust has been formed in Jalandhar, which conducts musical competitions every year in the memory of K.L.Saigal. A hall named after the immortal K.L.Saigal has also been built which has many interesting facts about K L Saigal stored in it.


Malkit Singh - Pride of Jalandhar

Malkit SinghMalkit Singh was born at Sainpur, a village near Nakodar, District Jalandhar with a mercurial flair for the arts. When he was just four-years old, his singing ability won him admission into a school meant for six-year-olds. Ever since, the thirty-something Malkit Singh has maintained his head start on the competition, taking Punjabi bhangra music into realms previously unexplored. True to his name, Malkit, which translates to 'One Has Rules The World', has taken his music from the Punjabi vernacular to cross-cultural experiments ranging from rap and house to the Hindi film screens. The traditional folk music has gone from the relative obscurity of a Punjabi village to the heady heights of a world stage. As the music spreads its wings across the globe, Malkit Singh encompasses an audience of all ages.

In 1981, his winning of the third Punjab collegiate competition award was marked with a "golden star" pendant. Malkit adopted the name for his band, and the Golden Star band is as synonymous to Malkit as the E-Street Band is to Bruce Springsteen.

From the classic debut song Nach Gidde Wich, the infectious-feel-good Gurh Nalo Ishq Mitha 'Boliyan' [an anthology of traditional folk songs], his trademark anthem Tootak Tootak Thootian (Hey Jamalo), these songs became the benchmark sound of the 1980's. Furthermore, with his 90's and Y2K excursions Midas Touch, Forever Gold and the smash-hit Kudi Patoley Wargi, the songs went on to become some of the most popular songs and videos in modern Bhangra music history.

As an international recording and touring artiste, performances at internationally acclaimed venues have further cemented his dominance of his music genius. Astonishingly, twenty-seven countries have already witnessed the live phenomenon that is Malkit Singh and his backing band 'Golden Star'.

An enviable plethora of prestigious accolades have been bestowed on Malkit Singh over the years including the honour of being the biggest selling Bhangra artists in the world, recognised by the Millennium Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000. That follows his Recognition of the City of Los Angeles for Services to the Indian Community in 1997, Best Punjabi Male Singer and the Most Outstanding Track of the Bhangra Era for Tootak Tootak Thootian (Hey Jamalo). In 1998, the former Indian premier Mr. I. K. Gujral presented the Punjabi Cultural Award for services to music to Malkit Singh at his official residence - the sole recipient of this unrivalled honour. Earlier in 2001, Malkit Singh was honoured with the Guru Nanak University in Amritsar's 27th Convocation Gold Medal Award Doctorate for his services to Punjabi Music and Culture.