Landmark literary works of a legendary and Eminent Scholar and Prolific Writer of Haryana
Dr. Goyal has explored and studied a large number of manuscripts on various subjects available in Sikh Reference library, ‘Guru Ramdas Library’, ‘Khalsa College Library’, Amritsar, ‘Public library’, ‘Motibagh library’ and ‘Panjabi Languages Dept. library’, Patiala, ‘National library’, Calcutta, ‘Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara library’ and several other libraries; Gurudwaras and Akharas.
He has elaborately discussed almost all aspects relating to the theme and art of this rich poetic tradition and has highlighted its distinct features and its contribution to the poetic and cultural tradition of the country. He has in his works extensively dealt with the cultural, philosophical, social and religious contents of these compositions and has highlighted their contributions towards the composite Indian culture. He differentiated between heroic poetry and ‘War poetry’.
Besides the compositions of Guru Nanak Dev Guru Arjun Dev, Guru Teg Bahadur, Dr. Goyal has done extensive work on the writings of Guru Gobind Singh and the literature produced under his patronage at Anandpur Sahib. While dealing with the contributions of Anandpur to literature by court poets of Guru Gobind Singh, Dr. Goyal has termed it as a specific ‘literary School’, which has an amalgam of devotion and heroism.
Dr. Goyal has done in-depth studies of other Hindi epics poems, available in Gurumukhi script such as ‘Mahima Prakash’, ‘Gurushobha’, ‘Guru Bilas’, ‘Guru Nanak Vijay’, ‘Guru Nanak Prakash’, ‘Guru Pratap Suraj’, ‘Panth Prakash’ and several other compositions of that period.
Dr. Goyal, for the first time rediscovered for the Hindi and Panjabi literary world a 19th century distinguished and celebrated poet, Bhai Santokh Singh. He was a Scholar poet who composed two monumental epics namely ‘Guru Nanak Prakash’ and ‘Guru Pratap Suraj’; wrote a commentary on ‘Japu Ji’ and translated ‘Valmiki Ramayana’ in Braj Bhasha verse. The script of all his works being Gurumukhi, he remained beyond the reach of Hindi Scholars. The two very voluminous epic poems, consisting of about sixty thousand verses, based on the life and teachings of the ten Gurus, present vividly the cultural, political and social history of the age and imbibed with the spirit of spiritualism and heroism
Very little was done to explore the literary and cultural tenets of these epics. It was given to Dr. Goyal to accomplish this task and he did it with distinction. He initially had chosen it as the subject of his Ph.D. thesis. Since then he has published several books and research papers on this poet. It was at big instance that Punjab language Department published both the epics in Hindi in 10 volumes with lengthy and exhaustive introductions by Dr. Goyal.
SGPC, Amritsar has also published four monographs in Hindi, Panjabi and English, written by Dr. Goyal on Bhai Santokh Singh. Over a lakh copies were printed for free distribution all over the world.
All through his studies, Dr. Goyal has been making a constant Endeavour to highlight the cultural affinity of the country. With the background of literary tradition of Sanskrit, Apabhramsha, Hindi literature and cultural tradition of Indian thought, he unfolds the cultural, philosophical and social contents enshrined in this literature with profound scholarship.
According to Dr. Goyal this literary tradition is very glorious, rich and valuable. It is imbibed with a high spirit of spiritualism, heroism, nationalism, humanism and a sense of social equality & social justice. It is enshrined with sublime ethical and human values, such as truth, self-control, contentment, compassion, service etc. 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.
Based on his studies of hundreds of manuscripts and old publications, Dr. Goyal established the fact that Braj Bhasha Hindi has been the principal literary language of Hindu and Sikh writers of Punjab from 16th to 19th centuries; though the script used was Gurumukhi.
Dr.Goyal also threw new light on the period and place of the original of ‘Hindi Khariboli’ prose on the basis of authentic and strong evidence from these manuscript and old publications. He traced a 400-500 old tradition of ‘Khari boli’ prose in Punjab, whereas all the writers of history of Hindi literature held the view, that it is about 150 years old and it had originated in Uttar Pradesh.
Dr. Goyal travelled on uncharted territory and dogged out many precious gems. Armed with his findings of new literary trends and sensibilities in this literature, especially an amalgam of spirituality, humanism and heroism; not available 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 that gave new dimensions, new vision, new perceptions and new interpretations to the literary history of that period. It is true that no history of Hindi literature of the neo classical (Ritikal) can be complete without taking into account his contributions.
Dr. Goyal has published several critical books on Hindi Medieval literature and has also published research articles on ‘Heroism in Valmiki Ramayana’ and ‘ Mahabharata’ and other ‘Sanskrit epic Poems’, ‘Sufi poetry’, ‘Sant Sahitya’, ‘Historiology’, ‘Heroic poetry’, ‘Research Methodology’, ‘poetics’, ‘Hindi journalism’, ‘Folk lore of Haryana’ and several other topics relating to Medieval and modern Hindi literature.
It was the merit of his work, 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.
His research papers and literary articles have been published in almost are top/leading Hindi and Panjabi Research Journals and Magazines of the country and some National dailies, which include ‘Pan jab University Research bulletin’, P.U. Research journal ‘Parishod’ (Hindi) and ‘Parakh’ (Punjabi), ‘Anushilan’ (M.D.Uni.), ‘Sambhavna’ ‘Sahitya marg’ (Panjabi Uni.); ‘Nagru Prachrni Patrika’ (Varanaasi)’ ; ‘Hindustani’; ‘Sammelan Patrika’ and ‘Saraswati’ (Allahabad); ‘Vishwabharti Patrika’ (Shanti Niketan), ‘Parishad Patrika’ (Patna), ‘Vishleshan’ (Kurukshetra); ‘Saraswati Samvad’ and ‘Sahitya Sandesh’ (Agra); ‘Dharamyug’ (Mumbai); ‘Saptahik Hindustan’ ( New Delhi); ‘Sapt Sindhu’ and ‘Jan Sahitya’ in Hindi and ‘Panjabi Duniya’; in Panjabi (Pb. Govt. Language Department, Patiala) ‘jagriti’ and ‘Pan jab Saurabh’ (Pb. Govt. Chandigarh); ‘Haryana Samvad’ (Haryana Govt. Chd.), ‘Hari Gandha’ (Haryana Sahitya Academy Chd); ‘Himprasth’ ( HP Govt. Shimla); ‘Uttar Pradesh Parika’; (U.P. Govt. Lucknow); ‘Aaj Kal’ (Centrak Govt. Delhi), ‘The Tribune’ and ‘Indian Experss’ (English); ‘Dainik Tribune’; ‘Pan jab Kesri’; ‘Navbharat Times’ and ‘Jan Satta’ (Hindi), ‘Alochana’ (Panjabi), ‘Sikh Sangat Patrika’ (Nanded) and a host of other journals.
Dr. Goyal’s articles have also been included in about a dozen important books including ‘Encyclopedia of Sikhism’; ‘Punjabi Encyclopedia’; ‘Hindi’ Patra Karita’; ‘Vividh Aayam’ and also commemoration volumes on Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh, published by Panjabi University Patiala, GND University, Amritsar and SGPC Amritsar etc.
It was on the basis of his meritorious and highly applauded research work, that the university grant commission awarded him its highest academic position of ‘Emeritus Fellow’. This fellowship is awarded to a few senior (Retd.) professors, selected from amongst all the faculties of all the universities, for their distinguished, highly reputed and recognized contributions in their field of specialization. Probably Dr. Goyal is the only professor in Haryana to get this coveted position.
Besides, Dr. Goyal worked on three research projects of the UGC on subjects of National important.
Amongst the main publications of Dr. Goyal are:-
1) ‘Gurumukhi lipi mein Hindi Sahitya’, 2) ‘Ritikal Ka Puner Mulyankan’, 3) ‘Madhya Yogin Kavya; naya mulyankan’, 4) ‘Guru Pratap Suraj Ke Kavya Paksh-Ka Adhiyayan’, 5) ‘Sant Sahita : Naya Mulyankan’, 6) ‘Sahitya Chintan’, 7) ‘Guru Kavya Chintan’, 8) ‘Sufi Darvesh “Baba Sheikh Farid’, 9) ‘Mahakavi Santokh Singh aur Unka Kavya (Hindi and Panjabi)’, 10) ‘Guru Gobind Singh Ka Veer Kavya’, 11) ‘Veer Kavi dashmesh’, 12) ‘Guru Gobind Singh Vichar aur Chintan’, 13) ‘Guru Nanak Prakash’ Vol. I & II (Ed.), 14) ‘Guru Pratap Suraj’ Vol.I (Ed.), 15) ‘var Amar Singh’ Ed., 16) ‘Guru Shobha’ (Ed.), 17) ‘Sanskhipt Guru Pratap Suraj’ (Hindi & Panjabi) Ed., 18) ‘Guru Bilas’ (Ed.), 19) ‘Jangnama Guru Gobind Singh’ (Ed.).
Highly commendable reviews on the publications of Dr. Goyal have appeared in various journals and papers, such as ‘P.U. Souvenir’, ‘The Tribune’, ‘Dainik Tribune’, ‘Saptahik Hindustan’ (Delhi), ‘Nagri Prachrni Patrika’ (Kashi), ‘Sammelan Pratika’ and ‘Hindustani’ (Allahabad), ‘Parishad Patrika’ (Patna), ‘Dept. Sindhu’ (Patiala), ‘Jagriti’ (Chd), ‘Vishwa Bhrti Pratika’ (Shanti Niketan) and several other publications.
Some extracts from these reviews of his books are reproduced below:-
‘The Tribune’ published reviews of some his book in various issues and it recorded that:-
- “It was given to Dr. Goyal to rediscover this literature of the Hindi world and bring out its chief characteristics. It is fervently hoped that the trail blazoned by Dr. Goyal will induce more research scholars to turn to Punjab’s medieval literature (Tribune 14.7.1966)”.
- “Dr. Goyal has analyzed the various aspects of the Guru’s ideology; Goyal’s profound knowledge of Indian religion and his unbiased approach make it a scholarly work” (Tribune 12.8.1967).
- “Dr. Goyal has rightly concluded that with these works, generally revolving round the sentiments of heroism and devotion, the theory that later medieval Hindi literature was dominated by love or egotism will have to be reconsidered. It must be admitted that Dr. Goyal’s contribution in this field is paramount (Tribune -1967).
- Dr.Goyal has scientific bent on mind and shown deep insight. His approach is unbiased and scholarly. The future historians of Hindi literature are bound to take due notice of works brought to light by Dr. Goyal (‘The Tribune’ 1969).
Dr. Goyal’s publications have been highly commended and admired by leading scholars, stalwarts of Hindi and Punjabi literature, eminent intellectuals and public men from all over the country.
“Dr. Goyal has broken Virgins soil by bringing into light the contribution of Punjab to the development and growth of Hindi literature. The subject matter has been methodically classified and critically assessed by the author. The treatment of the subject is mature and the conclusions drawn by the author authentic.”
Another literary stalwart of Hindi, Padmashree Late Dr. Nagendra of Delhi University had said:
“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, Padmabhushan Prof. Gurbachan Singh Talib had stated that:
Dr. Goyal is highly qualified by virtue of his many sided mastery of Hindi literary and Sikh tradition to undertake this work. Along with vast scholarship, he brings to the study of Guru Gobind Singh all which should make his work most valuable contribution to Hindi critical literature and literature on Sikhism”.
Commenting on another book a renowned critic of Punjabi literature, Padmashree Prof. Attar Singh had said:
“Your contribution towards projecting his (Bhai Santokh Singh) achievements on the national level of cultural and literary consciousness is most commendable. Your extensive work in the field of Hindi writings in Gurumukhi script has gone a long way in demanding and begetting a through revision of the history of medieval Hindi literature, there by enlarging the historical prospective on the efflorescence of this rich literary heritage.”
This is what Late Dr. Gurdial Singh Dhillon, Former Speaker Lok Sabha had to say about Dr. Goyal’s work:-
“Dr. Goyal is a very prolific writer and a scholar…. Dr. Goyal deserves congratulations for writing a book on ‘Madhya Yugin Kavya’ a good piece of research. I will have it as a most valued piece of work in my person”.
This is how Dr. Goyal’s contributions were appreciated by Justice Gurudev Singh of the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the former President ‘Guru Gobind Singh Foundation’ Chandigarh.
“From what I have seen of Dr. Goyal’s work I have no hesitation in saying that it is a very high order and not only evinces keen interest in the various subjects that he has handled and made available to Hindi speaking public and best of old masters of Punjabi literature…. Dr. Goyal’s contribution to the cause of literature will receive due reception before long”.
Similar Complementary sentiments have been expressed in other communication by prominent celebrities Public men with and intellectuals such as Honorable Giani Zail Singh, Former President of India, Shri B.D. jatti, former Vice President of India, Dr. Gurdial Singh Dhilon, former Speaker Lok Sabha, Sardar Buta Singh, former Union Home Minister, Sardar Harcharan Singh Brar, and Sardar Ujjal Singh former Governors of Haryana, Sardar Surjeet Singh Barnala, former Governor H.P. & U.P., Prof. Sher Singh, former Union Minister, Sh. Bhajan Lal and Shri Baranasi Das Gupta, former C.M. Himachal Shanta Kumar, fomer Union Minister, Shri Prem Kumar Dhumal, C.M. Himachal Pradesh, Sardar Tarlochan Singh MP & former Chairman Minority Commission, Dr. Ratnakar Pandey, Shri Krishan Lal Sharma, Sh. Vijay kumar Malhotra, all former Member parliament, Giani Lal Singh, former DG Punjab Language, Deptt. & Chairman Punjab Public Service Commission Shri Suraj Bhan V.C. Punjab University, Dr. Joginder Singh Puar, Patiala, Dr. jasbir Singh Ahluwalia V.C. Patiala, Dr. J.S. Grewal, V.C. G.N.D. University, Amritsar. Prof. Devinder Sharma V.C. Patna, Dr. Tribhuwan Singh V.C. Varanasi & others.
Commendation from Eminent Hindi Scholars and Literatures of the country: – Late Shri Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Padmashree Dr. Malik Mohd. Calicut University, Professor, Prof. Hazari Pd. Dwivefi (BHU & PU), Padmashree Dr. Nagendra (Delhi), Dr. Savitri Sinha (Delhi), Dr. Brijeshwar Verma, Dr. Mata Prasad Gupta (Agra); Dr. Ram Kumar Verma & Dr. Laxmi Narayan Varhney (Allahabad); Dr. Romesh Kumar Sharma (Srinagar), Dr. Madan Gopal Gupta (Baroda), Dr. Shiv Kumar Mishra (Vallabh Vidhya Nagar), Prof. Ram Singh Tomar (Shanti Niketan), Dr.Prem Swaroop Gupta (Aligarh), Dr. Rajendra Sharma ( Jaipur), Dr. Ram Gopal Sharma (Udaipur), Dr. Harvashlal Sharma (Aligarh), Dr. Bhagirath Mishra (Saugar), Dr. Ram Murti Sharma (Ujjain), Dr. Kesri Narayan Shukla (Lucknow), Dr. Viney Mohan Sharma (K.U.) and others.
Eminent Punjabi Scholars and Literatures
Padam Bhushan Sh. K. S. Duggal, Padam Bhushan Prof. Gurubachan Singh, Tail, Padam Shri Dr. Attar Singh (Chd), Dr. Surinder Singh Kohli (P.U), Dr. Tara Singh, Dr. Prem Prakash Singh (Patiala), Giani Gudit Singh, President Kendriya Shri Guru Singh Sabha (Chd.), Prof. Pritam Singh (Amritsar), Prof. Harbans Singh, Chief Editor ‘Encyclopedia of Sikhism’ (Patiala), Prof. Satbir Singh & others.
They are the top personalities of Hindi and Punjabi world of letters of the century.
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 over a hundred lectures all over the country in various Universities & other cultural & literary organizations and has organized several All India Seminars. Besides, he has delivered a large number of Radio & T.V. talks.
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 & Mubai to Guwahati, including almost all major universities like Punjab, Delhi, Jaipur, Aligarh, BHU Varanasi, Madras, Bangalore, Allahabad, Ranchi, Nainital etc. to deliver lectures or conduct viva voce for Ph.D. and D.Litt. or for selection of Faculty Professors as an expert. Also he was nominated to academic bodies, like Research Committee, faculty of arts/languages, Board of studies etc. in universities at Amritsar, Punjab, Punjabi, Delhi Udaipur, Saugar etc.
He was also invited as an expert number for the selection of college teachers, by the Public Service Commission of several states and the UGC for fellowship etc.
Though a scholar on medieval literature, Dr. Goyal has taken keen interest in Modern Hindi literature also and this has given his critic a modern outlook. He was a co-author of a book on Jai Shankar Prasad. He has been devoting himself to the study of modern literature and has already done some work in this field and has supervised doctoral research on Hindi Drama and Fiction. He was Chief Editor of the Editorial Board which produced a dozen University level text books. He also translated satirical essays of kanhiya Lal Kapoor from Urdu to Hindi which were published in some journals and in a book form ‘Khatta Mitha Karwa’. He has himself edited a collection of short stories for Kurukshetra University.
“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, sensibility, 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 also. In fact it was he who initiated and patronized the study of Haryana Folk lore in the seventies. He had published an article‘Haryana folklore’ in ‘The Tribune’ in 1966 itself.
Dr. Goyal’s three books (edited) namely – “Haryana : Puratarva, 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, cultural, linguistic, literary and folklore tradition of Haryana.
He also supervised dissertations on eminent folk-dramatists like Lakhmi Chand and Mange Ram; ‘Haryanvi folk tales’ and ‘Haryanvi proverbs’. He had edited the ‘Haryana writers Directory’ for the Haryana Language Department.
In recognition of his distinguished work on Sikh literature, the SGPC, honored him twice, once in the seventies at a massive gathering at Golden Temple Amritsar, where the then Head Priest of the Golden Temple presented him a Saropa and later in Jan. 1992 at a seminar held in G.N. Engg. College, Ludhiana where the then president of SGPC Shri Gurcharan Singh Tohra honored him. The ‘Kendri Guru Singh Sabha’ an International leading Sikh organization honored him at Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Delhi where representatives of the Sabha had gathered from all over the world in 1990 representatives of ‘Kendri Singh Sabha’, Delhi, SGPC Amritsar Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Committee, and U.P. Sikh Pratinidhi Board at a point meeting at Kurukshetra honored him and the then jathedar of Akal Takht Sardar Darshan Singh Ragi and Prof. Manjeet Singh presented him a Saropa.
At this meet, a resolution was also adopted and it was sent to the then Prime Minister, urging him to confer Padmabhusan on Dr. Goyal for his ‘Commendable work for National integration and Unity’ through his literary books.
For his achievements in Hindi literature he was honored by the ‘Haryana Pradeshik Hindi Sahitya Sammelan’ and ‘Punjab Hindi Academy’. His two books were awarded first prize by I laryana Sahitya Acedemy.
Alongside his recognition at the National Level his contributions were recognized at the international forum as well.
Reference about Dr. Goyal’s contributions have been made in reference books such as “Writers who is who” of Haryana Sahitya Academy’, ‘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 contribution to Profession and Community’, by American Biographical Institute, North Carolina, USA.
In recognition of his eminence of Scholarship, several university professors dedicated their books to him with highly commendable attributes to his scholarship.
As founder President of ‘Haryana Hindi Sahitya’ in 1966 he had boosted literary activities in the State of Haryana in the early years of its establishment as a separate state.
After the creation of Haryana in 1966, it was with the strenuous efforts of Dr. Goyal that Hindi was given the status of official languages of the state; and it found its rightful place in Haryana Public Service Commission. He got it made mandatory to pass one course of Hindi to be eligible for a degree in Arts & Sciences in the Universities of Haryana. He also got ‘Haryana Folklore’ made a subject for study in M.A. & M.Phill Hindi courses.
It was with efforts of Dr. Goyal that the “Haryana Sahitya Academy” was established in place of the Language Department, Haryana.
He also received all round appreciation for his excellence in improving and streaming the functioning of the Board of School Education, Haryana, as its Chairman.