The rich ouevre of legendary poet Gurram Jashuva was remembered in a webinar organised by Benaras Hindu University to honour the life and times of the Dalit writer on the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary.
Many prominent personalities, including Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, took part in the webinar.
“The stirring verse poetry of Gurram Jashua mirrored the untouchability and the social discrimination pervading the society,” said Additional DG, APCID, P.V. Sunil Kumar.
Mr. Sunil Kumar, who is also a prolific writer in Telugu, said Jashuva belonged to a generation of Dalit poets who had fearlessly raised their voice against caste based discrimination. Mr. Sunil Kumar spoke on a wide range of issues faced by socially backward communities.
Kusuma Dharmanna, who is known as Adi Kavi, is the first Dalit poet who used his verse poetry to highlight social prejudices. His poem, ‘Maa Koddi Ee Nalladorathanam’, highlighted widely prevalent social discriminations.
“Jashuva is unparalleled in his versatile skill as a poet. His verses can stir the collective conscience and his use of imagery is highly appreciable. As a poet, he lives on the tongues of people,” Mr. Sunil Kumar said.
Stating that there were verse poets who have been patronised by the rulers, Mr. Sunil Kumar said that there were also poets, who wrote about people, social issues and presented solutions to social issues through their poetry.
Jashuva belonged to a generation of people’s poets, the other being Yogi Vemana. He is also an artiste shaped by the socio-cultural moorings of his time and his poetry reflected the primordial prejudices against the Dalits, he said.
“Jashuva’s poetry also showed the way for Dalits in choosing a non-violent way of fighting oppression. Movements with streaks of violence can be easily crushed, while non-violence can wear down the opponent forcing him to yield,” said Mr. Sunil Kumar.