GILL, TEJWANT SINGH (1928 -)
GILL, TEJWANT SINGH THE most promising moderncritic is Tejwant Singh Gill (1928 -). His viewpoint is rather para-Marxist, but he is cautious enough not to lose his dialectic materialist moorings. In his essay, “Lekhak Te Raj Satta” (The Writer and the State) included in his collection titled Punjabi Sabhyachar, 1985, he has sought to prove that the writer has to embrace in his view both the social microcosm of the individual and the macrocosm of the State. He has seen his attempt made in Guru Nanak, but the Guru, according to his, integrates the two on a rather metaphysical level.
No Punjabi writer after him has even partially succeeded in this but in the modem period there is hope of such success. He writes: “Our state is neither a source of enlightenment nor an agency of domination. It subscribes to the consciousness of the modem age, socialism, but in its working, it affords no proof of being socialist.” Surveying, in another essay, Punjabi poetry in its communications aspect, he says, “Only Guru Nanak\’s poetry rises to the high level of a people\’s collective life.” From modern poetry alone, the says: “arises hope of its acquiring the power to shape life.
” But no living poet, not even Mohan Singh or Amrita Pritam has as yet shown this power and that a new poet has yet to arise to show this power. Tracing the ancestry of the modern Punjabi novel or our Kissa literature, he remarks the tendency to limit its philosophy to the solution of the problems of specific individuals, as in Waris Shah, “our novelists are only prose Kissa writers.” In another essay (“Punjabi Novel”), he says: “The Punjabi novel written between 1960 and 1970 reflects two main tendencies. Those written about rural life are traditional in both form and content, more mythological than historical, and lyrical in the old way, incapable of expressing the internal life of our culture.
” The novels written about urban life are experimental in both form and content. They emphasise the present so much that it has become a one-dimensional myth, and the analysis of the psyche in them does not depict the three-dimensional social situation. Today urban life and rural life are getting closer to each other. This nearness has to be sunk into the artistic consciousness. If it is done in the collective context, it will serve the interests of socialism, which Dr. Gill regards as the ideal of social life. “However, it can enlighten the path of non-socialist writers also.”
1. Amarjit Singh, Punjabi sahit da itihasâ€”Qissa kal, Amritsar, 1981.
2. Kohli, S.S., Punjabi Sahit da Itihas, Ludhiana, 1955.
3. Mohan Singh, A History of Punjabi Literature, Amritsar, 1956.
4. Ramdev, Jaginder Singh (ed.), Punjabi Likhari Kosh, Jullundur, 1964.
5. Sekhon, S.S. .and K.S. Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi, 1992.