Gurram Jashuva

Gurram Jashuva or G Joshua (గుర్రం జాషువ) (28 September, 189524 July, 1971) was a popular Telugu poet, born into a poor Christian family in Vinukonda, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India. He was discriminated as an untouchable in school, college and professional life.

Jashuva was born to Virayya and Lingamma. Because of the intercaste alliance of his parents, their poverty and their caste, his childhood was spent in alienation from close relatives, undergoing severe hardships and being subjected to inhuman treatment from the society which considered his caste untouchable. His parents raised him as a Christian. In spite of this, Jashuva often drew his inspiration from Hinduism and Hindu mythological epics. This angered his Christian society, which was quick to proscribe Jashuva's family from their community. This did not deter Jashuva who continued to write excellent poetry in Telugu.

He graduated with Ubhaya Bhasha Praveena (scholar of Telugu and Sanskrit languages) and initially worked as primary school teacher. He worked as Telugu producer in All India Radio, Madras between 1946-1960.

Protests against untouchability and segregation have been common themes in all his works. His main works include "Gabbilam" (A bat), "Firadausi" (A rebel) and "Kandiseekudu" (A refugee). Some of Jashua's verses had been incorporated into popular mythological play Harischandra especially those in the cremation grounds scene.

Literary works

*Gabbilam (1941) is his most famous work, fashioned after Kalidasa's Megha Sandesam. It is not a yaksha using the cloud as a messenger to convey his longing to his loved one; instead it is a hunger and poverty stricken individual requesting a bat visiting him from a nearby Siva temple, to convey his prayers to God. He muses at the irony of his situation, where a bat is allowed inside a temple but not a human being! He cautions the bat to convey his message to Siva as it hangs from the roof close to his ear, at a time when the poojaari is not around. Jashuva used his other favorite emotion, "patriotism" as he describes the various historic places the bird will fly over en route to Lord Siva in Kasi. He even takes the bird on detours to visit some historic place of pride for Indians.
*Firadausi (1932) is his another major work. The story is about the Persian poet Firdousi, in the court of the King Mahmud of Ghazni. According to the legend goes, king promises the poet, a gold mohur for every word in a work he commissions the poet to write. After the poet spends ten years of his life, toiling day and night to create a master piece, the king, coming under the influence of jealous courtiers, reneges on his promise and offers only silver coins. The poet heartbroken at this breach of trust commits suicide. Jashuva's depiction of the anguish of the poet is superb and moves the readers to tears.
*Baapoojee (1948) is expression of his anguish on hearing of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. His enormous love and respect for Gandhiji is poignantly expressed in these 15 odd poems eulogising Bapuji's life and work and lamenting his death as this country's misfortune.

Timeline of his complete works

*Rukmini Kalyanam (1919)
*Chidananda Prabhatham and Kushalavopakhyanam (1922)
*Kokila (1924)
*Dhruva Vijayam, Krishna Nadi and Samsara Saagaram (1925)
*Shivaji Prabandham, Veera Bai, Krishna Deva Raayalu, Vemana Yogeendrudu and Bhaarata Maatha (1926)
*Bhaarata Veerudu, Suryodayam, Chandrodayam and Gijigaadu (1927)
*Ranachyuthi, Aandhrudanu and Thummeda Pendlikoduku (1928)
*Sakhi, Buddhudu, Thelugu Thalli, Sishuvu and Baashpa Sandesham (1929)
*Deergha Nishwasamu, Prabodham, Shilpi, Hechcharika, Saaleedu and Maathru Prema (1930)
*Bheeshmudu, Yugandhara Manthri, Sama Dhrushti, Nela Baaludu, Nemali Nelatha, Loka Baandhavudu, Anasuya, Shalya Saaradhyamu and Sandeha Dola (1931)
*Swapna Katha, Anaadha, Firdousi, Mumtaj Mahal, Sindhuramu, Budha Mahima, Kreesthu, Gunturu Seema, Vivekananda, Cheetla Peka, Jebunnisa and Paschatthapam (1932)
*Ayomayamu, Akhanda Gouthami, Aashwasam, Meghudu and Smashana Vaati (1933)
*Aandhra Bhojudu (1934)
*Gabbilam (1941)
*Kandiseekudu (1945)
*Thera Chaatu (1946)
*Chinna Naayakudu, Baapuji and Nethaji (1948)
*Swayam Varam (1950)
*Kottha Lokam (1957)
*Christhu Charithra (1958)
*Raashtra Pooja and Musafirulu (1963)
*Naagarjuna Saagaram and Naa Katha (1966)


*He was presented the Sahitya Akademi Award for the work 'Kreestu Charitra' in 1964.
*He was appointed as Member of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 1964.
*He was awarded Kala Prapurna by Andhra University in 1970.
*He was awarded Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 1970.

Jashuva Sahitya Puraskaram was instituted by a literary foundation being annually presented to eminent poets from different Indian languages. The Founder secretary Hemalatha Lavanam is Jashuva's daughter.

His famous Stage Play - "Satya Harischandra" - can be found in this site


* []
*Jashuva Rachanalu: First Volume, Gabbilam, Vishalandhra Publishing House, Hyderabad, 2006.
*Sahitya Akademi-Telugu []
*List of Padma Bhushan Awardees []

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