Sadanand Kukreti: One of the Greatest Story Writers of World Literature and the Father of Modern Garhwali Prose
Sant Sadanand Kukreti was called ‘Sampadak ji’ (Editor) in Dhangu, Gangasalan of Pauri Himalaya and his contemporary literature used to call him ‘Sant’. Sadanand Kukreti .Sadanand Kukreti is the first ever great personality of Himalaya who initiated writing the story in Garhwali language one of the oldest and prominent languages of Himalaya . The satiric third person description, story telling style and narration of Sadanand Kukreti is unique and his story ‘ Garhwali That’ puts him in the position of among Top Most Story Writers of world literature of any time .
The contribution of Sadanand in Garhwali language story literature is as equal as Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Charles Dickson, Willkie Collins, in English literature; Christian Gellert, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, E. T. A . Hoffmann in Garman language story world; , Gottfried Keller, Charles Parrault, Jean de La Fontaine, Honore De Baizac, Prosper Merimee of French language literature; Niccolo Machiavelli, Giovanbattista Giraldi Cintholio, in Italian language; Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, Leopold Alas in Spanish story segment; Mori Ogwai , Shimazaki Toson of Japanese langue; Eduard Douwes Dekker Herman Heijermans of Dutch language; Maurus Jokai , kalman Mikszath of Hungarian story literature; Nikolai Gogol, Pushkin, Ivan Turgenew, Leo Tolstoy of Russian language; Henyk Sienkiewicz , Boleslav Prus of Polish language; Meyer Aron Goldschmidt, Jens Peter Jacobson of Denmark; Jorgen Moe, Peter Asjornsen, Bjornstjerne Bjornson of Norway; August Strindeberg, Selma Lagerlof of Sweden; Charles De Coster, Maurice Maeterlinck of Belgium; Antun G Matos of Yugoslavia; Laza Lazarevich of Serbian language; Svatopluck Cech of Czechoslovakia ; Deetrios Bikelas of Greece; I.L Caragiale , Marie Roumania of Romania language; Dimitr Ivanov of Bulgaria; Ricardo Fernandez-Garcia, of Soth America; J.M. Machado de Assis, of Brazil; Ventua Garcia Calderon of Peru; Rufino Blanco-Fombona of Venezuela; Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Poe, Mark Twain, Hennery James of United states of America; Bhartendu Harishchandra and prem Chand of Hindi language who initiated modernizing the story writing style, advanced the story writing art in their own respective languages or they were pioneers of modern story telling of their languages literature
Sadanand Kukreti was born in Gweel-Jaspur a twin village of Malla Dhangu of Pauri Garhwal , Himalaya on 7th March 1886. His father Baladatt Kukreti was accountant an in Public works division of British Garhwal ( today’s Pauri and Chamoli Garhwal ) . Sadanand Kukreti studied up to high School in Pauri city. After completing high School , Sadanand worked I Tihri riyasat as assistant to Tahsildar Thakur Jodh Singh Rawat . However, after a few years later due to conflict with Thakur Jodh Singh , Sadanand Kukreti left the job and started publishing and editing Vishal Kriti in February 1913 in Pauri.
Sadanand Kukreti wrote many articles against the Deputy Collector and British government . Due to sharp criticism of British Government and its officials in Vishal Kirti , british government accused Sadanand Kukreti as Congress man and a n anti nation element. Due to harassment by of British government, Sadanand Kukreti close down Vishal Kirti in December 1915. Sadanand Kukreti used to publish stories and articles in Garhwali language in Vishal Kirti
Sadanand joined a missionary school as teacher in Chalisain , Langur , Gangasalan . Sadanand Kukreti found that undercover of schooling the priest Peter and Christian teachers were converting innocent villagers into Christians. By wrong doings of missionary management in Chailusain missionary school, Sadanand Kukreti met the prominent people of the area Dhangu and requested them to open a school . The villagers of Kandi, Jaspur, Gweel , Bareth, Jalli , Saud supported his cause and helped to build the school building. The Rashtriya Vidyapeeth formally was open on 2nd April, 1926 in Silogi, Malla Dhangu. On the first day of formal opening of school, there were three teachers including Sadanand , Sher Singh Rawat of Timli of Khatsyun and Hari Prasad Uniyal of Jaltha (Dabralsyun) to teach the students. This school became a medium of education children of Dhangu, Udaipur, Langur and Dabralsyun for many decades . Sadanand Kukreti is called the Mahmana Madmohan Malviya of Gangasalan.
In Garhwali language literature, Sadanand Kukreti is called father of modern Garhwali story. The Garhwali literature historian and critic Abodh Bandhu Augean (1975) writes about him that his story ‘ Garhwali Thath’ was published in 1913 in Vishal Kirti and Kukreti published many stories in Garhwali language and also wrote articles in Garhwali.
The profound Hindi story writer Ramaprasad Ghildiyal (1953) said that the stories of Sadanand Kukreti as ‘Garhwali Thath ‘and ‘ Gundurun Kaunka Bhitar swala Pakwad’ are one of the greatest stories of world language of any time. Bahuguna writes that in reality, the modern Garhwali prose started by writings of Sadanand Kukreti in 1913 onwards. Great Garhwali personalities as Lalita Prasad Naithani, Mukandi Lal Barrister, Bhakta Darshan (ex central Minister central government New Delhi), Hariram Jakhmola (refrerence-3) a great teacher of his time, praised Sadanand Kukreti for his style of Garhwali prose. Bahuguna and Pahadi said that his style of writing Garhwali prose was not found even in Hindi of that time and they remarked that even they could not find any prose makers of any Indian languages of that time who could write such marvelously as Sadanand wrote Garhwali prose.
This author also supports comments of Ghildiyal and Bahuguna and others that the prose of Sadanand was of unique style and no Indian writers of his time (1913-1936) could compete his brilliancy in story telling, his craftsmanship in using sentences, characterization of each characters of the story, the tone of story, flow of the story, description of the scenes, use of proverbs and figure of speeches, contemporariness etc. Sadanand Kukreti is famous for his wit , satire , criticizing the bad habits of individuals as laziness of an woman, exaggerating social nonsense and making fun of those nonsense. His satire is horatian and many times ,it is juvenilia too . It seems humour comes out from the heart of Sadanand Kukreti. Sadanand Kukreti was capable in describing scene as easy as any greatest writer can depict the scene,
The work of Sadanand could be put with humorous and satire story tellers as Joel
Chandler Harris, Mark Twain, David Ross Locke, Washington Irving, Caroline Matilda Stansbury Kirkland Edward Everett Hale, William Sydney Porter "O. Henry", George Randolph Chester , William James Lampton etc.
The blending of humour, satire, abhorrence, is the exclusivity of Sadanand Kukreti
Since, Sadanand Kukreti had to busy in building the school and arranging the funds for running the junior school at Silogi, Sadanand could not be the preponderant story or prose writer but whatever Sadanand Kukreti wrote that is enough to position him one of the greatest story teller of world literature.
One of the greatest story writers of world literature and the father of modern Garhwali prose expired in 1936 in Dehradun
1-Bahuguna, Abodh Bandhu, 1975, Gadmatyeki Ganga, Alaknanda Prakashan , New Delhi, India, pp37-38
2- Ghildiyal, Ramaprasad , 1953, Pahadi Sahitya ka Jatiya Roop,Himachal Saptahik, Muni ki Reti, 26th January, 1953
3- Sant Sadanand Smiriti Granth, edited by Hari Prasad Kukreti in 1984, Silogi , Pauri Garhwal
Copyright @ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai, India, 2009