December 07, 2018 06:40 PM
Eminent writers during the Punjabi Poetry, Literature and folk forms fostered by the First World War during the Military Literature Festival at Lake Club Chandigarh on Friday.

Chandigarh (Face2News) 

The development of Punjabi literature and poetry during the period corresponding First World War was largely based on the stories, songs and folklores of the sufferings of the families of those Punjabi youth who were pushed into war by the prevailing circumstances. 

These views were expressed by the eminent writers and poets who had converged here to discuss the topic ‘Punjabi Poetry, Literature and Folk Songs Fostered by the first world war’ in the ongoing Military Literature Festival here at the Lake Club. 

At the very outset, the Editor of the Punjabi Tribune  Swaraj B Singh said that Kissa Wadda Jung Europe by Hawaldar Nand Singh was probably the first recorded literature on the war. Likewise, he said that years later the eminent writer Mulk Raj Anand also threw light on the war in his novel ‘The Sword and Sickle’. However, . Swaraj B Singh said that folklore in the corresponding period was largely the source of literary development of the period. 

The Editor of Punjabi Tribune also threw light on several facts related to the war period. He said that the folklore was largely in potohar dialect of the erstwhile Punjab as most of the recruitment of Army had taken from Rawalpindi district in those days. Swaraj B Singh said that in the initial year of war one lakh Punjabis were recruited into the British Army and the figure swelled to 4.70 lakh by the end of the war. 

In his address, retired IPS officer Manmohan Singh said that in the 19th century, Punjabi literature accustoming itself to the developments in the entire world especially in the state. He said that during that period, Folklore emerged as more powerful than literature with far stronger cultural manifestation. Mr. Manmohan Singh said that ‘Jugni’, a popular word in Punjabi folk songs, had its origin during that period. 

The Retired IPS officer also revealed that instead of using word Jung (War) the folklore at that time revolved around the word Laam, which was a term used for ‘in a line formation moving to some other place’. He said that ‘Weh gaye Paani’ - a novel by Mohan Kahlon - revolves around this period. 

Speaking on the occasion, renowned writer Babbu Teer said that the First World War was a war peasantry. She said that Indians were not the warriors at that time but they were infact the victims who were pushed into the war due to their monetary needs. She said that women too played an important role in the war despite being the worst sufferers. She said that women send their husbands, sons and brothers to the war to feed their families. 

In his address, Brigadier (Retd.) KS Kahlon lauded the Punjab government’s effort to organize this festival l, which he said would act as a catalyst in disseminating the message of heroic deeds of armed forces to people. He said that despite suffering a lot of hardships and facing a lot of discrimination in terms of wages and allowances, the Indian soldiers left an indelible imprint during the war period. He said that though around 26000 desertions were reported during the war but still Indians contributed significantly in the First World War. 

Addressing the gathering, Assistant Professor of History in Punjabi University, Jasbir Singh, said that maximum recruitment of the army took place from Punjab during the war. He said that against the national ratio of 150:1, the recruitment in army from Punjab was 28:1. 

Jasbir Singh said that suffering was stimulating factor behind the folklore of that period. He said that letters of soldiers along with Ghadar literature was also a form of literature that developed during the period. 

In his address, eminent Poet and President of Punjab Sahit Academy, Surjit Patar, said that during the war period though no heroic deed of the soldiers was recorded in the literature, the poems and folklore concentrates on the agony of male and female due to separation in the war. 

Likewise, he said that enough light was also thrown on sufferings of the family during the war period. He said that the soldiers were largely fighting the war from British side due to their economic needs, whereas those fighting against the British in Ghadar party were doing so due to their love for the country, which was reflected in the folklore and Ghadar party literature of that time. 


Have something to say? Post your comment
Copyright © 2017, Face 2 News, All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy Disclaimers