Surendra Pal : A Garhwali Poet of Dalit Consciousness
There is no shortage of Garhwali Shilpkar poets in Garhwali language but very few could express the social injustice of touch-ability and un-touchablity of our society for more than five thousand years in India. Late Ram Prakash Arya ‘Bagchhat’ used to sing song of Dalit’s human right on the cultural programs and in the small geometers of poetry lovers. However, he could not publish his poems and even after a request to many, this author could not get the diary of Ram Praksh in which he used to write poetries of Dalit’s human right, the frustrating state of Dalits for social injustice, the poor economic conditions of Dalits due to no ownership of land among Dalits of Garhwal . Surendra Pal had been initiating Dalit consciousness in the society through his poetries. Though his poetries do not attack by abusive words on upper class directly but uses indirect way and with effective mannerism, Surendra is famous in garhwali poetic field for attacking the inhuman culture of social divides among Hindus for his life through poetries.
Surendra pal was born on 23rd March, 1952 in a Himalayan village Gadhamonu , Khatsyun of Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand. Surendra expired in his early age of 48 on 28th January , 2000 AD
After passing Intermediate , Surendra pal passed degree in Flute playing from Prayag Sangeet Samiti , Allahabad. A prestigious organization in music training. Surendra Pal provided music to many concerts of Garhwali cultural programs, stage plays. Surendra was expert of playing Garhwali folk music instruments as Flute , Hudki, Mochhang. Being trained on western music, Surendra did many successful experiments in music by mixing Garhwali orthodox music with western style music.
Surendra pal published hundred of poems in local periodicals. Surendra pal receved Pundit Aditya Ram Navani award for ‘Chungti ’ a collection of forty three Garhwali poems .
The profound Gazal maker in Garhwali language, editor and a critic Madhusudan Thapliyal writes that Surendra Pal is the sole representative of Dalit consciousness in Garhwali language poetic field. Madhusudan Thapliyal praises the poems of Surendra pal related to colour discrimination among human being, inhuman treatments to deprived class in caste system, dangers of religious divides .
Though Surendra criticizes the caste systems religious divide etc but never leaves the optimism that one day will come when equality will be there in this world.
Surendra Pal used many forms and styles in creating Garhwali language poems. However, having knowledge of music , Surendra’s poems are melodious. He uses common Garhwali imagery, symbols, figure of speeches for creating easily understandable poems.
As American literature is proud of James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Etheridge Knight, Paul Lawrence Dunbar , Langston Hughes, Z.N Hurston, Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Robert Hayden, Arna Bontemps, Quincy Troupe, Alice walker, Natasha Trethewey , Jupiter Hammon, Forest Hamer, Aundre Lorde , Wanda Phips, Maya Angelou, Lucile Clifton, Cornelius Eady , for their contribution in awakening African consciousness, talking about human rights, bringing the racial pain before the world, frustration of discrimination by human to human, dreaming of equal social structure , fight for the human rights and equality , finishing injustice to deprived class from the society, Garhwali literature is proud of Surendra Pal for his poems of Dalit consciousness.
Copyright @ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai, India, 2009