February 02, 2007

Remembering Shrada Ram at Phillaur.

Here are photographs of bust of Shradha Ram Phillauri at crossing of Nawanshar Phillaur.

Shradha Ram was the writer of the most famous Hindu prayer "Om Jai Jagdhish Hare, ... Shradha Bhakti Badayia. However, the prayer has undergone numerous interpolations and now it is attributed to Shivananda. It is probably the first just prayer which was written in pure Hindi. Most of the prayers and Chalisas are written in Bruj Bhasha or Khaddi Boli. However, it is strongly contended by the Hindi scholars.

Shradha Ram was writer of the Hindi novel Bhagmati. It is probably the first novel to be written in Hindi. However, the Hindi scholars also deny this status to this work. This novel has shown the social and cultural scenario of India in nineteenth century colonial India.

Shradha Ram was the writer of Punjabi Vartak, titled "Punabi Batcheet", the Punjabi grammer which is still being taught in PSEB affiliated schools. However, nowhere, the name of this writer is projected in the text books of Punjab.

Shradha Ram was banned from entering Phillaur. This has been mentioned in the book by Kenneth W. Jones. It is believed that he was the first revolutionary of Punjab and probably of the whole India who tried to start an armed revolutionary movement. Later the similar movement was started by Bengalis in Post Wang Bang movement of 1905. However, there is no written record available. According to oral history, the CID had shadowed Shradha Ram for his activities. But it is not corroborated by established historians.

The name of wife of Shrada Ram was Mehtab Kaur. The name of his wife suggests that she was a non-Brahmin lady whereas, Shrada Ram was a Brahmin. It is recorded in book published by Arya Samaj Punjab late back in 1980 as per the records maintained by Ashwani Kaushik of Phillaur (Billa, son of Kalu Ram). He belonged to Marud Joshi of Brahmins. However, the author of this post is yet not able to counter check this information from any established source or record.

The temple where Shrada Ram lived in Phillaur is still there in Passian Chowk Phillaur. The author of this post will bring out more facts about Shrada Ram and the photograph of the Temple (Mandir) in his next post.

Editing Log:
March 15, 2007:
Added the title Punjabi Batcheet.
Added the gotra Marud Joshi। Refer to Kenneth Jones, Socio Religious Reform Movement in British India, page 106.
March 19, 2007:
Changed the spelling to 'bust' pointed out on Wikipedia wherein an article titled "Phillaur" has been substantiated by the blogger giving link to this site.

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