KOHLI, SURINDER SINGH (1920 – 2003)
Dr. Surinder Singh Kohli, who served as Head of the Punjabi Department in the Punjab University for 17 years before he retired from service, is like Dr. Harbhajan Singh both a creative writer and a critic. He is the author of Gurudev (1944), a Mahakavya (epic) and a topographical \’novel entitled Paron Aye Char Jane (1952), besides a number of other works. He is, therefore, better equipped to assess and appreciate literary activity.
Surinder Singh Kohli was one of the earliest chroniclers of the history of Punjabi literature. His work Punjabi Sahitya da Ithas (History of Punjabi Literature) published in 1942 was popular with students of Punjabi literature for several years until he took over editing of the multiple-volume History of Punjabi Literature (Punjabi Sahitya da Ithas) for the Publication Bureau of the University. Another aspect of Dr. Surinder Singh\’s specialisation is in the field of Sikh religion and Sufi tradition.
He has written on Guru Nanak (Guru Nanakâ€”Jiwan Darshan te Kavya Kala), Guru Tegh Bahadur (Jivan, Sama te Rachna), Sheikh Farid, Professor Puran Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, Bulleh Shah and Bhai Vir Singh. All these works bear the stamp of painstaking research and clarity of thinking. As a post-graduate teacher he has guided research in Punjabi literature for doctoral theses with devotion and exceptional academic commitment and flung open the portals of research in Punjabi which, somehow, remained barred to his predecessors, in the Punjab University which was the only learned body in the State until the coming into being of the Punjabi Suba.
1. Ramdev, Jaginder Singh (ed.), Punjabi Likhari Kosh, Jullundur, 1964.
2. Sekhon, S.S. and K.S. Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi, 1992.