Dogri which is spoken by about five million Dogras inhabiting the Duggar region in the North-western frontier of India is one of the lesser known languages of this country. Although not enumerated in the Constitution of India, it has been recognised by the Sahitya Akademi as an independent literary language.
Dogri has a hoary tradition of folk literature, at once rich and varied. The written literature is comparatively recent, its earliest blossoming being in Rhapsodies and the Chronicles of the 16th and the 17th centuries. In the last four decades, however, it has also produced a considerable body of contemporary writing in all the varied forms like fiction, poetry and drama, giving expression to the hopes and aspirations of the Dogri people, who are simple, proud, hard-working and, above all, martial.
To the Dogri people themselves, their literary history, which both impressive and exhilarating, is perhaps a new experience. It is hoped that both the Dogri and Non-Dogri people alike will welcome this pioneering and conscientious effort by Sri Shivanath who, with his frequent writings on the subject, has already made a name for himself as an astute critic and interpreter of Dogri literature.
I have been associated with Dogri literature as a reader and an observer for over 30 years. During this period, I have written a few articles to introduce Dogri literature to English-knowing readers. The first of these on "Dogri Folk Literature" was published in the November-December 1959 issue of Kashmir Affairs, published from Delhi. This was followed by an essay on "Contemporary Dogri Writing", carried by Quest in its July-September 1972 issue. Then I contributed an article on "Dogri Poetry Today" to the April 1965 issue of Cultural Forum, a magazine brought out by the Ministry of Education, Government of India. Indian Writing Today published "A Brief Survey on Dogri Language and Literature" in its third issue towards the end of 1960's. This survey was later brought out in the shape of a brochure by the Dogri Samstha, Jammu, on the occasion of Dogri Recognition Day, i.e., 10 September 1969—the day Dogri was recognised as an independent literary language of India by the Sahitya Akademi. Indian Literature, the quarterly journal of the Sahitya Akademi, has also carried my contributions in some of its issues after 1972.
The inspiration for this exercise in writing a history of Dogri literature came from Prof. Ram Nath Shastri, Secretary of the Dogri Samstha, Jammu, during my visit to Jammu to read a paper on "Dogri Poetry", in the first Dogri Writers' Conference in 1967. It took me about three years to complete the first manuscript covering the period upto 1970. Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji, President of the Sahitya Akademi, was kind enough to go through this manuscript and commend its early publication. When the Advisory Board for Dogri decided to publish a history of Dogri literature at its first meeting, the manuscript was unanimously recommended for publication. The manuscript has been brought up to date to cover the period upto December 1974. Activities in the field of Dogri literature after that date have not, therefore, been covered.
I am grateful to Prof. Ram Nath Shastri and Shri Ram Lal Sharma of the Dogri Samstha, Jammu, for making avail-able to me, from time to time, information about Dogri publications and the publications themselves; to the Members of the Dogri Advisory Board, Shri Neelambar Dev Sharma, Shri Anant Ram Shastri and Dr. Von Kumari Ghai who read the manuscript, for their valuable suggestions and to Dr. Ved Kumari Ghai for providing diacritical marks in the manuscript.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAR459 Author: Shivanath Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 1976 Publisher: SAHITYA AKADEMI Language: English Size: 9.00 X 6.00 inch Pages: 200 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.3 Kg