Come let’s know, Mr. Chhajjulal Silana, the originator of Ambedkarism in Haryanvi folk literature
In every period of human life, whoever took the initiative to remove social evils, to awaken the common people about these evils, is counted as a great personality today. Saint Kabir Das, Saint Ravidas, Birsa Munda, Shiyaji Rao Gaikwad, Jyoti Rao Phule, Savitribai Phule, Bibi Fatima Sheikh, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, Manyavar Kanshiram etc. were such people who raised the voice of the exploited, Dalit, suffering people in the society and Dedicated his own life also for their upliftment. From time to time, other people were also born in every corner of the country who, even though they did not tell anything new to awaken the society, only propagated the ideas of the great people mentioned above.
One such great man Chhajjulal was born on April 14, 1922 in the small village of Silana in Jhajjar district of Haryana. He spent his entire life writing on the evils of the society, talking about change among the common people and propagating Ambedkarism. Chhajjulal ji’s father’s name was Mahant Richpal and mother’s name was Dakhan Devi. His father was also well-versed in Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu languages. His family was counted among the educated families in the society. His wife’s name was Nathiya Devi. His uncle Manya Dhularam was an excellent Sarangi player. Sir, he was a child of sharp intelligence. Chhajju Lal gained knowledge of Urdu, English, Sanskrit and Hindi languages with the help of Master Pyarelal. Mahashay ji started writing poetry at the tender age of 15. His poems were also influenced by the vocabulary of Mahashay Dayachand Mayna, the only national poet of Haryana. Chhajjulal ji considered Mr. Dayachand ji as his teacher.
He remained in the British Army till 1942 but his focus was on music, he resigned from the army and formed his own music troupe at home and engaged in the work of awakening the worst living society. He created such folk tunes that talk about system change and social reform. Sir, during 1988, he was a singer of Group ‘A’ of All India Radio Rohtak, where he sang continuously for 12 years. Sir died on 16 December 2005. Monsieur Chhajju Lal Silana was a versatile folk poet. He composed 21 tales and more than one hundred futkal raganis during his lifetime. In his stories, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, Vedvati-Ratan Singh, Dharmapal-Shanti, Raja Harishchandra, Dhruv Bhagat, Nautanki, Sarwar-Neer, Balawanti, Vidyavati, Bandevi Chandrakiran, Raja Karna, Raidas devotee Sheela-Hiralal Julaha, Shaheed Bhup Singh, Eklavya etc. composed stories. Mahashay ji also composed raganis on social evils like dowry system, population, illiteracy, women-oppression, caste-system, drug-abuse, feticide etc.
The historical story for which Mahashay ji is remembered is the story of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. Through this story, he conveyed his message to the people of Haryana who were far away from the glare of the country and the world and for whom the only means of information was mutual discussion and raganis. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar struggled throughout his life, because of which happiness came in the lives of crores of Indians. Mahashay ji composed poetry from Baba Saheb’s birth till his last moments. He included Babasaheb’s life in 31 raganis. He used to sing these raganis to awaken the society. Those raganis are very heart touching, in which caste oppression has been shown in Babasaheb’s childhood. When these raganis are shown through songs, then tears start flowing from the eyes of the audience.
Mahashay ji writes about the incident of Bhimrao’s childhood, when the children of Mahars were not allowed to open the tap and drink water, then Bhimrao Ambedkar gets distraught with thirst, Mahashay ji describes it in his own words:-
bahut de liye bol manai koi pani na pyata
Ghana became convinced and would have tolerated more.
Bad behavior of animals with me, the crow does not listen to the call of the poor
My benefactor will listen to so many atrocities.
When Bhimrao used to study in school, the teacher did not check his copy, the teacher also discriminated against him on the basis of caste. Silana ji writes this incident: –
yes master ji must see my board
Read the clear lesson in writing and see it fully…..
Once Bhimrao goes to the barber to get his hair cut, the barber refuses to cut his hair and says :-
I ask one thing oh innocent untouchable
Where did you get my hair cut from?
Go away scoundrel, tell me why did you kill the barber
Do you get punished outside your caste for cutting your hair?
In this incident, even the barber refuses to cut the hair because he is afraid of other castes of the society.
Bhimrao tells this incident that happened with him to his sister Tulsi :-
In the affair of this caste system, the accused are innocent
Bera na kad likda jyaga sab tariya forced.
Once Bhim himself drinks water from a public well, Swarna Hindu gets angry with this and punishes Bhim.
Was it written in the part of Mar Bheem?
the crowd was full
As soon as the poison of the snake does not dry up in the well…..
Don’t make the child think about it too, made it bad by beating.
He has beautifully described two important events of the last days of Babasaheb’s life. On 14 October 1956, when Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar accepted Buddhism in Nagpur. At that time, the kind of enthusiasm with which the Dalit people were moving towards Nagpur is depicted by Mr.
Lakhs of people started following Bhimrao
Buddham Sharanam Gachhami, Dhammam Sharanam Gachhami
Sangham Sharanam Gachhami…..
Everyone noticed what Bhimrao told
Will accept Buddhism hardened the resolution
Marched towards Nagpur with determination
6 December 1956, the day great man Bhimrao Ambedkar died. On that day Baba Saheb’s personal secretary Nanak Chand Rattu ji used to write whatever he said while crying –
Light the lamp of hope, Baba left us today
By doing good to the poor, Baba left us today…
You were the only support of the suffering and fallen people
Chayarun Koot Mha Matam Chha Gaya, was deeply loved by the Dalits
Tears fell from moist eyes, Baba left us today.
In this way, Mr. Chhajjulal Silana poeticized the entire life of Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar in Ragni, the genre of Haryanvi folk literature. Due to which common people also got an opportunity to get acquainted with the thoughts of Babasaheb. This is an incomparable contribution of Mahashayji to Haryanvi folk literature as well. In the end, it can be said that Mr. Chhajjulal Silana is the originator of Ambedkarism in Haryanvi folk literature.
Referenced book:- Mahashay Chhajjulal Silana Granthawali (2013), no. Dr. Rajendra Badgujar, Gautam Book Center Delhi.
Courtesy : Dalit Dastak
Note: This news piece was originally published in dalitdastak.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights.
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