Dr. Jai Bhagwan Goyal, Former Professor and Chairman, Department of Hindi, Kurukshetra University and UGC Emeritus Fellow is an eminent Scholar and a prolific writer.

During the past five decades of his active literary pursuits, he has done extensive and commendable research work on a very vast and wide range of Hindi Literature, particularly of medieval period. However, his specialized field of study is ‘Hindi Literature available in Gurumukhi Script’. He had done highly laudable work in this field.

Dr. Goyal has explored and studied a large number of manuscripts on various subjects available in ‘Sikh Reference Library’, ‘Public Library’, ‘Moti Bagh Palace Library’, ‘Punjab Language Deptt. Library’ Patiala, ‘National Library’ Kolkata, Ananadpur Sahib Gurudwara Library and Several other Gurudwaras and Akhras.

From the studies of these works Dr. Goyal found that there is a rich treasure of Hindi literary works available in Gurumukhi Script, but not much has been done to discover the literary genius of these compositions.

It was given to Dr. Goyal to have done pioneering research work in rediscovering these works and bringing before the Hindi World of letters this literary wealth.

Dr. Goyal brought these valuable literary compositions within the fold of Hindi Literature and thus enriched the grandiose and candour of the History of Hindi Literature. In the words of the tallest Hindi literature, Padmabhushan late Acharya Hazari Prasad Dewedi “Dr. Goyal has broken Virgin Soil by brining into light the contribution of (joint Punjab to the development and growth of Hindi literature.”

Dr. Goyal has elaborately discussed almost all aspects of the theme and art of these poetic works. He has extensively dealt with literary, cultural, philosophical, social and religion contents of these compositions and has highlighted their unique contribution to our poetic tradition and composite Indian culture.

Dr. Goyal has authored more than 30 books and about 200 research articles, which have been published in research journals of several universities and also in almost all the prestigious research journals and reputed literary magazines of Hindi and Panjabi of the country and some national dailies. Some of his articles are included in ‘Encyclopedia of Sikhism’, ‘Panjabi encyclopedia’ and commemoration volumes on Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Teg Bahadur, Guru Gobind Singh and some other important volumes.

Dr. Goyal travelled on uncharted territory and dug out many a precious literary gems. One such gem rediscovered by him is a distinguished 19th century Hindi poet of Haryana, Mahakavi Santokh Singh, distinguished 19th century Hindi poet of Hindi poet of Haryana, Mahakavi Santokh Singh, who composed two monumental epic poems ‘Guru Nanak Prakasha (Hindi), though the script was Gurumukhi. These epics are based on the life and teachings of the Ten Gurus and present vividly the cultural, political and social history of their age.

Dr. Goyal brought this poet before the Hindi literary world for the first time and has done extensive research worked on the literary, philosophical and cultural tenets of his compositions. He got his works published in 10 volumes in Hindi by the Punjab Language Department, Patiala.

Dr. Goyal has also done extensive work on the compositions of Guru Gobind Singh and the literature produced under his patronage at Anandpur Sahib. He has also done in depth studies on several other Hindi epic poems, available in Gurumukhi script such as ‘Guru Shobha’, ‘Guru Bilas’, ‘Mahima Prakash’, ‘Guru Nanak Vijay’ and ‘Panth Prakash’ etc. He has distinctly brought out specific trends and sensitivities of spirituality, humanism and heroism of these compositions, which together are not available in the whole range of Hindi poetry.

Dr. Goyal has differentiated between ‘heroic poetry’ and ‘War Poetry’. He held the view that battles fought for a ‘noble cause’, for the protection of ‘Dharma’, ‘Truth’, ‘Justice’, Humanism, moral and ethics values come under the banner of ‘Heroic poetry’. He has termed the heroic poetry composed at Anandur Sahib, Which has an amalgam of spirituality and heroism (Bhakti and Shakti) as a ‘specific literary school’ in the annals of History of literature.

Dr. Goyal has also done remarkably laudable work on the compositions of Guru Nana Dev, Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur.

According to Dr. Goyal this literary tradition is very glorious, rich and valuable. It is imbibed with a high spirit of humanism, social equality & social justice. It is enshrined with sublime ethical and human values, such as truth, self-control, contentment, compassion, service etc. Dr. Goyal has unfolded these contents with profound scholarship. He feels that the study of this literature can be a very useful media for fostering the cultural and emotional amity of various communities and can thereby strengthen National Integration.

Armed with his findings of new literary trends and sensibilities in this literature, especially an amalgam of spirituality, and heroism, not available anywhere else in the poetic compositions of that era, Dr. Goyal challenged the established concepts of the history of Hindi literature of the later medieval period, widened its horizon, propounded new concepts and thus gave new dimensions, new visions, new perceptions and new interpretations to the literary history of that period. It is true that no history of Hindi literature of the neoclassical age (Ritikal) can be complete without taking into account his contributions.

Based on his studies of hundreds of manuscripts and old publications, Dr. Goyal established the fact that Braj Bhasha Hindi has been the principle literary language of Sikh writers of Punjab from 16th to 19th centuries, though the script used was Gurumukhi.

Dr. Goyal has published several critical books on Hindi Medieval literature and has also published research articles on ‘Heroism in Valmiki Ramayana’, ‘Mahabharta’ and many other Sanskrit epics and heroic Poetry; ‘Sufi Sahitya’, ‘Sant Sahitya’, ‘Historiology’, ‘Research Methodology’, ‘Poetics’, ‘Hindi journalism’, ‘Folk lore of Haryana’ and several other topics relating to Medieval and modern Hindi literature.

Highly commendable reviews on the publications of Dr. Goyal have appeared in various leading Hindi literary journals all over the country. Also his publications have been immensely admired by leading scholars, stalwarts of Hindi and Panjabi literature, eminent intellectuals and prominent dignitaries of the country. Eminent Hindi scholar Padmashree late Dr. Nagendra of Delhi University had observed that:-

          “The tenacity and dedication with which Dr. Goyal has done original studies of literary and Cultural beauty of this composition will be a torch bearer and trend setter for other Scholars”.

          Commenting on one of his books a great Scholar on Sikhism, Padmabhusan Prof. Gurbachan Singh Talib had stated that:-

          “Dr. Goyal is highly qualified by virtue of his many sided mastery of Hindi literature and Sikh tradition to undertake this work. Along with vast scholarship, he brings the study of Guru Gobind Singh all which should make his work most valuable contribution to Hindi critical literature and literature on Sikhism”.

          It was the merit of his work and the originality and authenticity of his studies that his several books have been published by Punjab University, Panjabi University, Kurukshetra University, Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, Punjab Govt. Language Department and SGPC, Amritsar. Some of his books were prescribed for M.A and M.Phill courses in several universities.

          It was on the basis of his meritorious and highly applauded research work, that the university grant commission selected him for its highest academic position of ‘Emeritus Fellow’. Probably, Dr. Goyal is the only professor in Haryana to get this coveted position in any discipline.

          In fact, hardly anybody else in this region has done so much original, authentic, monumental and meritorious work in the field of literature, promoting amity and unity between the Hindus and the Sikhs and in strengthening national integration, while strenuously working for the development of Hindi and Panjabi language and Haryana folklore at the same time during the last one century.

          For his contributions to Sikh literature he was honored by SGPC Amritsar and the ‘Kendri Guru Singh Sabha’, an international forum of the Sikhs, and for his achievements in Hindi literature he was honored by the ‘Haryana Pradeshik Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Punjab Hindi Academy and several other literary and cultural organizations.

          Reference about Dr. Goyal’s contributions have been made in reference books such as “Who is who of Indian writers” (Sahitya Academy, Delhi), “Reference India”, “Biography International”, “Five hundred leaders of influence” etc.

          He was given “Man of the year” award-1995 and “International Cultural Diploma of Honor” for his contributions to profession and community”, by American Biographical Institute, North Carolina, USA.

          In recognition of his distinguished Scholarship, several university professors dedicated their books to him with highly commendable attributes to his scholarship.

          Dr. Goyal was invited to present papers at about four dozen all India Seminars and Conferences besides two International Seminars, and he presided over several such seminars. He has delivered lectures all over the country in various Universities & other culture & literary organizations.

Dr. Goyal has had the reputation of a highly talented scholar all over the country. That is why he was invited by over 50 universities in the country from Srinagar to Calicut & Mumbai to Guwahati for literary and academic assignments.

Though a scholar on medieval literature, Dr. Goyal has keen interest in Modern Hindi literature also and this has given his critic a modern outlook.

“Ambua ki dal pe Kuke Coyalya” is a collection of his satirical, descriptive, narrative and other type of creative essays, memoirs, character sketches, reportage and other literary forms. These creative literary pieces reflect his inner-self, his personality, sensibilities, emotions and sentiments, social and cultural concerns, his ideas and ideals.

Dr. Goyal has published several articles on Haryanvi folk lore, Hindi literature and Hindi journalism of Haryana. In fact it was he who initiated and patronized the study of ‘Haryanvi Folk lore’ in the seventies and prescribed it in M.A & M.Phill dissertations on various aspects of “Haryanvi folk lore” such as “Haryanvi folk tales”, “Haryanvi Proverbs” and some eminent folk dramatists.

Dr. Goyal three books (edited) namely – “Haryana: Puratatva, Itihas, Sanskriti, Sahitya and Lokvarta”: “Haryana Kee Sahitya Sampda”; and “Haryanvi Lok Sahitya” present very valuable, authentic and elaborate account of various aspects and forms of rich historical culture, linguistic, literary and folklore tradition of Haryana.

In addition to his valuable literary contribution Dr. Goyal played a vital role in the use and propagation of Hindi language and in getting it the status of official language of the state of Haryana, after its formation as a separate state in 1966.

He also got Hindi to be made mandatory to pass to be eligible for a degree in the Universities of Haryana. It was with his efforts that the ‘Haryana Sahitya Academy’ was established.

He received all round appreciation for his excellence in improving and streaming the functioning of the Board of School Education, Haryana, as its Chairman.

At 85, Dr. Goyal is still continuing his literary and scholarly pursuits and trying his best to strengthen emotional amity of various communities and national integration through his writings.