International conference on 150th birth anniversary of Bhai Vir Singh concluded at Punjabi University
Kanwar Inder Singh/ February 17,2023
Two sessions were held on the third day of the international conference dedicated to the 150th birth anniversary of Bhai Vir Singh, the father of modern Punjabi literature, in which the first session was presided over by Dr. Ratan Singh Jaggi. Another session was presided over by DrBalkar Singh.Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhawan participated in the valedictory session as the chief guest.
The first session was coordinated by Dr. Gurmel Singh.Dr.Baljit Kaur and Dr.Jaspal Kaur Kang discussed about Bhai Vir Singh’s work and legacy in their speeches.Dr. Karnail Shergill from UK discussed about the importance of the invaluable literary work of Bhai Sahib. Dr.Shergill mentioned the influence of Bhai Vir Singh’s on the literature written in contemporary Punjab.Dr. Jaspal Kaur Kang praised Bhai Veer Singh ji for his contribution to Punjabi literature and constructive works for Punjab.Prof.Amarjit Singh shared his views and discussed the purpose of literature composed by Bhai Vir Singh.He also mentioned that the literature of Bhai Sahib also represents condition of the contemporary people.He also said that Bhai Sahib also wrote about Gurdwara reform movement and other movements going on in his time.
Dr. Gurnaib Singh in his address lauded the Sahitya kosh written by Ratan Singh Jaggi.He also described this literary work as world-class. He congratulated the University for restarting the dialogue about Bhai Vir Singh. Dr. Paramveer Singh in his address explained the impact of Bhai Veer Singh ji’s ideas in the literature of the present day.He also said that Bhai Sahib was very good at reading the minds of common folk.
The valedictory session was coordinated by Dr.Bhulinder Singh.He praised Dr. Harjodh Singh,Head of the chair on Bhai Vir Singh,for his novel initiative as this conference was the first on Bhai Vir Singh since the inception of the Punjabi University.In his address Dr.Harjodh Singh shed light on the achievements of Bhai Sahib.
Dr.Rajinder Singh Dhindsa read the final report on the activities of the conference.
Eminent scholar and head of World Punjabi Center Dr. Balkar Singh said in his presidential speech that Bhai Vir Singh and Prof. Purn Singh’s literary work complement Punjabi life, Punjabi literature and Punjabi heritage.He also raised the question that Punjabi academia must contemplate why Bhai Vir Singh is not at the center of Punjabi academia like Tagore is in Bengali literature.
Eminent thinker Dr. Sukhdev Singh Sirsa said in his farewell speech that leftist scholars of Punjab have not done justice to Bhai Vir Singh. He said that the left-wing Punjabi secularism has failed to understand the spirituality of Bhai Vir Singh.He said Bhai Vir Singh’s fight against colonialism was intellectual.He said Bhai Sahib posed Sikh knowledge against the colonial knowledge.Bhai Vir Singh wrote in the language of common people. He was so conscious about his subject that he considered knowledge as the proper tool to fight the war as he was against the English Empire. He said that Bhai Vir Singh preferred to write in Punjabi instead of writing in Brij language.
Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhawan participated as the chief guest on this occasion.In his address, he described Bhai Vir Singh as great as Tolstoy and Shakespeare. He said that Bhai Vir Singh’s novels Sundari and Vijay Singh, which he read in his childhood, had a deep impact on him. He said that reading Bhai Vir Singh is a great experience. On this occasion IAS(retd)Jatinder Bir Singh Randhawa also shared his thoughts. Gurpreet Singh Lahil thanked all the speakers and the audience.