Bronze sculpture with granite base
5″ x 7″ x 3″ ( width x height x depth)
3 images, click image to view others Pic. courtesy Amrinder Pal Singh
Bhai Vir Singh – a literary gem of Punjab is was a poet, scholar and theologian. He was a key figure in the movement for the revival and renewal of the Punjabi literary tradition.Some of his major creative works such asSri Guru Nanak Chamatkar and Sri Guru Kalgidhar Chamatkar, were originally serialised in its columns.
In literature, Vir Singh started as a writer of romances which are considered forerunners of the Punjabi novel. His writings in this genre – Sundari (1898), Bijay Singh (1899), Satwant Kaur (published in two parts, I in 1900 and II in 1927), were aimed at recreating the heroic period (eighteenth century) of Sikh history. Through these novels he made available to his readers, models of courage, fortitude and human dignity.
The novel Subhagji da Sudhar Hathin Baba Naudh Singh, popularly known as Baba Naudh Singh (serialised in Nirguniara from 1907 onwards and published in book form in 1921) shares with the epic Rana Surat Singh (which he had started serialising in 1905), Vir Singh’s interest in the theme of a widow’s desperate urge for a reunion with her dead husband.Soon after the publication of Rana Surat Singh in book form in 1919, he turned to shorter poems and Lyrics. These includedDil Tarang (1920), Tarel Tupke (1921), Lahiran de Har (1921), Matak Hulare (1922), Bijlian de Har (1927) and Mere Sayian Jio(1953). Through these works, he paved the way for the emergence of the Punjabi poem.
In November 1899, he started a Punjabi weekly, the Khalsa Samachar. He revised and enlarged Giani Hazara Singh’s dictionary, Sri Guru Granth Kosh, originally published in 1898. The revised version was published in 1927. He published critical editions of some of the old Sikh texts such as Sikhan di Bhagat Mala (1912), Prachin Panth Prakash (1914), Puratan Janam Sakhi (1926) and Sakhi Pothi (1950).
An important work was Vir Singh’s annotation of Santokh Singh’s Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, published from 1927 to 1935 in fourteen volumes.