Poets who influenced Surinder Dhanjal
Naxalism still infuses emotion in Dhanjal’s poetry
Ludhiana, May 29: PAASH, Harbhajan Halvarvi, Sant Ram Udaasi, Lal Singh Dil, Amarjit Chandan, Darshan Khatkar, Waryam Sandhu and Sant Sandhu are the eight great names which Surinder Dhanjal claims have had a lot of impact on him.
Dhanjal himelf is a well-known Punjabi poet who is also an assistant professor in Department of Computing Science, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC, Canada. These great Punjabi litterateurs are known for their rebellious, progressive works, a product of the Naxalite movement.
Dhanjal says, ‘‘Even after the Naxalite movement in long over, the pain of the people, that sharpness remains an inherent part of my works, thanks to these inspirations.’’
Dhanjal was in the city yesterday to catch up with some of his friends and during his trip he held a Ru-b-Ru at Punjabi Bhawan.
Talking to Newsline, Dhanjal said, ‘‘I migrated to Canada in 1972 when the society was still inflicted with the problems of semi-feudal structure. From this structure, I went on to become a part of a capitalist structure in Canada and today we can from outside see our own society back home change from the semi-feudal structure to the capitalist structure very fast. So that talk of bloodshed which was a part of the Naxalite movement may not be present in my works; today it has been replaced by an artistic touch.’’
Dhanjal has to his credit four books of poetry — Surjaan de Safar, Tin Kon, Zakhman Dee Fasal and Paash Dee Yaad Vich Das Kavitavan. ‘‘If I have to explain my work then I can say that it revolves primarily around four pillars — revolutionary sensibility, scientific sensibility which I get from being an engineer, modern sensibility and the immigrant sensibility.’’
Dhanjal left India in 1972 after completing his electric engineering from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College. On reaching Canada, he took to computers and is now teaching them apart from researching on them. He is currently touring Punjab in connection with his doctorate in Punjabi poetry which he is doing under the guidance of GNDU Vice-Chancellor Dr S.P. Singh.
Despite having left his village, Chai Bahika in Sangrur district, in the early seventies, ‘‘I am still in touch with the realities of my home ground for I have tried to remain in touch with it. My collection of poems, Zakhaman Daa Safar is based on the pain that Punjab had to undergo during terrorism. So I talk of the pain of my people. The context may have changed but the pain remains.’’