SINGH, MOHAN (1899 – 1984)
Singh, Mohan, better known as \’Divana\’, is a versatile writer, a research scholar, a critic, a linguist, a short story writer, an essayist, a dramatist, a poet, a free thinker and literary giant, who, apart from Punjabi, writes in English, Hindi and Urdu also. He started his career at Lahore by editing a cultural fortnightly in English, The Message of Hindustan (1918), in which appeared his original interpretations of Vedanta. He obtained a post-graduate degree in English (1924), and was awarded Doctorate in 1931 by the Calcutta University for his research work \’Characteristics and Tendencies of Modern Urdu Poetry\’. A rare distinction of D. Litt (1932) is also to his credit for his research in the history of Punjabi literature.
He had been a journalist, a school teacher, an accountant, a translator, before getting the lecturership in S.D. College at Kanpur (1925-28), and then at the Punjab University (1928), where he subsequently held Punjabi Chair. After his retirement from this Institute in 1959, he joined as Director, Vrindavan Institute. In the field of poetry, he is better known for his Masti (Beatitude 1949), containing 700 creative quatrains.
His main works include Poetry ”Dhup chhan (Light and shade, 1929), Nil dhara (The blue stream, 1931), Jagat tamasha (The world-play, 1941), Nirankari sakhian (Biographical episodes of Guru Nanak, 1942), Patjhad (Autumn, 1944), Som ras (Manna Dew, 1953), Ras bharian (Raspberries., 1956). Sufi Literature (ed.): Bulhe Shah (50 Lafis, 1939), Sufian da kalam (Poetry of the sufis), Kafian Shah Hussain (1952), Kalam Shah Hussain (Poetry of Shah Hussain), Hir Vans Shah. Short Stories: Devinder batisi (Thirty-two stories for Devinder, his wife, 1940), Rang tamashe (Pleasures of life, 1951), Prandi (The Hair-lace, 1955), Barian (The windows). Essays: Jitendar sahit sarovar (Jitendar literature reservoir).
Plays: Pankhdian (The petals, 1928). Research: Punjabi bhagti kav (Punjabi devotional poetry), Jap bhakha vigyan (Jap ”a linguistic study), Adhunik Punjabi poetry (Modern Punjabi poetry). In English: A History of Punjabi Literature, Kabir and Bhakti Movement, Gorakhnath and Medieval Hindu Mysticism, Mysticism of Time in Rigveda, Secrets of Spiritual Life, New Light on Sri Krishna and Gita, Characteristics and Tendencies of Modern Urdu Poetry. In Hindi: Sada Gulab (Stories), Svaravali (Problem plays), Nama Deva (Research). In Urdu: Poems: Kaifiyat, Doshiza, Nai duniya. Essays: Chutkian.
1. Amarjit Singh, Punjabi sahit da itihas ”Qissa kal, Amritsar, 1981.
2. Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature, 6 Vols., Delhi, 1995.
3. Ramdev, Jaginder Singh (ed.), Punjabi Likhari Kosh, Jullundur, 1964.
4. Sekhon, S.S. and K.S. Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi, 1992.
5. Singh, N.K., Encyclopaedia of Indian Biography, Delhi, 2000.