KARTAR SINGH KALASVALIA, GIANI
KARTAR SINGH KALASVALIA, GIANI (1882-1952), theologian, poet and historian who started a new line in modern Punjabi verse making a departure from the traditional love romance or lays of heroic poetry in Braj or Hindiixcd Punjabi, was born in 1882 in Kalasvala, a village in Pasriir iahsil of Sialkot district, now in Pakistan. Hence the epithet KalasvalTa. Kartar Singh mastered scripture reading in the village gurudwara and joined the 47th Sikh Battalion, later 4th Battalion of the llth Sikh Regiment, as a granthi or Sikh religious teacher. After leaving the army, he became a grant/it at the Darbar Sahib at Amrilsar, rising subsequently to the position of head granthi.
An avid reader of Sikh historical texts and blessed with a natural flare for poetry, lie assigned himself to the task of composing a comprehensive history of the Sikhs in verse. This liad been done earlier by Bhai Santokh Singh, Ratan Singh Bliarigu and GianT Giau Singh but their language was dominated by extensive admixture of Braj idiom; hence not easily intelligible to Punjabi readers. Kartar Singh used current Punjabi in his poetry.His favourite prosodic metre was bait, popularized by Punjabi romances such as Hir by Waris Shah.
Not that he did not try his hand at other metres. His voluminous biography of Guru Gobind Singh, Sn Kalgldhar Darshan, is in the dohdchaupai style of Tulasi`s Ramayana, and lie successfully uses the indigenous Punjabi vdr, or pauri style, in two of his minor works, Sarddrm fh did Kaurand Khdi Kalydnd.Parms and Kabilts arc used in Varan Dharam Shahiddn. His total work spread over more than 40 books covers the entire gamut of Sikh history, but the various volumes were not written in chronological order.
The exact sequence of his compositions is not easy to determine.A complete list of his works is given below: (A) In verse 1. Nirankdrijol (Biography of Guru Nanak) 2. Hilkdn fol (Sn Chiru Angad Prakash) 3. Daidn fol (Sri Guru A mar Prakash) 4.
Ujian Jot (Sri Guru Ram Das Prakash) 5.JagadiJot (Sri Guru Arjan Prakash) 6. Dalbhanjamjot (Sri Kharagesh Prakash) (on Guru Hargobind) 7. Upkari Jot (Sri Guru Hari Rdi Prakash) 8. Didari jot (Sri Guru Hari Krishan Prakash) 9.
Naranjam Jot (Prasang Sri Guru Tegh BahddurJi) 10. Akali Jot (Sri Guru Dasmesh Prakash later revised as Sri Dushi Daman Prakash)11. Nirabai Yodha (Exploits of Banda (Singh) Bahadur) 12. Ajit Khalsa (Covering the period after Banda (Singh) Bahadur) 13. Jauhar Khalsa (Sikhs and Mir Mannu) 14.
Prakash Khalsd (The Sikh Misis) 15. Sarkar Khalsa (Maharaja Ranjit Singh) 16.Darbar Khalsa (Decline and end of Sikh rule) 17. Betaj Khalsa (Exile and end of Maharaja Duleep Singh and Maharani Jindari) 18. Daler Khalsa (Sardar Hari Singh Nalva) 19.
Sudhar Khalsa (Gurdwara Reform movement) 20. Bir Khalsa (Guru ka Bagh morcha) 21. Sri Kalgidhar Darshan (Life of Guru Gobind Singh in epic style (dohardchaupai) 22.Pratab Khalsa (Nawab Kapur Singh) 23. Dasames Duldre (Martyrdom of the four sons of Guru Gobind Sirigli) 24.
Varan Dharam Shahlddn 25. Singhamdn da Sidak (Torture and martyrdom of Sikh women under Mir Mannu) 26. KhunIShahidan (The Nankana Sahib tragedy) 27. Babe di Ber (The Gurdwara Reform movement at Sialkot) 28.Khum Sal dian Khum Holian (The 1947 holocaust) 29.
Gyan Prakash arlhat Zindagi Sudhdr (On spiritual knowledge, moral teachings and political policy) 30. Rup Basant (A popular folktale) 31. Prahlad Bhagat (A traditional story) 32. Sardami Jhala Kaur (Stories from Sikh tradition composed in verse for singing by dhddhis) 33. Bhai Kalydnd 34.
Naddhe di Ndr (Didactic fiction in verse against unmatched childmarriage) (B) In prose 35. Mahdrdm Shakuntald 36. Jamraud 37.Gagan Damamd 38.Ydrare da Sallhar 39.
Bdbd Buddha Ji 40.Dukh Bhanjam 41.Sahib Kaur 42.Mahdrdm Jinddn 43.Baba Phuld Singh Akali 44.Kale Paw 45.Goli Chaldi Gal Giani Kartar Singh Kalasvalia died ai his residence in Kucha Baghvala, Amrilsar, on 22 February 1952
1. Punjabi. Prakashnan di Suchi, Vol. 1 Patiala 1953
2. Barier N.G. The Sikhs and Their Literature, Delhi, 1970