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Gurram Jashuva (or G Joshua) (September 28, 1895 – July 24, 1971) was a Telugu poet. His real name was Anil Kumar.

Gurram Jashuva
Gurram Jashua.jpg
Portrait of Gurram Jashuva
BornSeptember 28, 1895
DiedJuly 24, 1971 (aged 75)
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
ChildrenHemalatha Lavanam


Early lifeEdit

Jashuva was born to Virayya and Lingamma in Vinukonda, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India to a community of leather workers.[2] His father belonged to the Yadav caste and his mother belonged to the Madiga caste.[3][4][5] Due to poverty and the intercaste marriage of his parents, his childhood was difficult in a society in which some castes were considered "untouchable." Jashuva and his brother were raised by his parents as Christians. In order to fulfill the requirements of higher education, Jashuva obtained the diploma Ubhaya Bhasha Praveena as a scholar of Telugu and Sanskrit languages later in his life.[6]


Protests against "untouchability," Dalit rights, and segregation have been common themes in all of Jashuva's works. Some of the more notable entries into his literary canon include Gabbilam (A Bat), Firadausi (A Rebel) and Kandiseekudu (A Refugee). A number of verses from Jashuva's work have been incorporated into the popular mythological play, Harischandra, most notably during a scene set in the midst of a cremation ground.[7]

Dalit communities in Andhra Pradesh consider Jashuva to be the first modern Telugu Dalit poet, and actively protest his erasure from Telugu and Indian literary history. In 1995, Dalit communities in Andhra Pradesh began to organize various centennial celebrations for Jashuva's birth, and have recently begun efforts to revive the remembrance of his literary contributions.[8]

Literary worksEdit

  • Gabbilam (1941) is Jashuva's best known work, fashioned after Kālidāsa's Meghadūta (The Cloud Messenger), in which an exiled lover attempts to communicate his affections to his beloved wife.[9]

In one stanza, Jashuva writes, "To this friendly bat he began telling his life-story with a heart scorched by sorrow. In this senseless and arrogant world, other than lowly birds and insects, do the poor have any intimates or neighbors, any noble swans to explain his warm tears?"[10]

The man in the poem muses at the irony of his situation, wherein a bat is allowed inside a temple, yet not within a human being, requesting that the bat convey his message to Siva with caution. As the bat travelled to Lord Siva in Kasi, Jashuva utilized the feeling of patriotism, another theme significant to his work, through vivid descriptions of various historical locations throughout India from the perspective of the bat.[6][11]

  • Firadausi (1932) is another of his more recognized works. The story details the Persian poet Firdousi under the rule of King Mahmud of Ghazni, who promises compensation for his work in the form of one gold mohur for every word that the poet is commissioned to write. Despite the poet toiling day and night for ten consecutive years compiling the magnum opus of his literary career, King Mahmud, swayed by the influence of jealous courtiers, dishonors his agreement with his subordinate, offering only silver coins, and leading the poet to commit suicide. Jashuva's depiction of the poet's struggles resonated with Indian audiences, leading to Firadausi becoming one of his most widely acclaimed works.(Joshua, Gurram (1996). Piradausi. Jāṣuvā Phauṇḍēṣan.)
  • Baapoojee (1948) is an expression of Jashuva's personal anguish related to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. His enormous love and respect for Gandhiji is poignantly expressed in the collection of poems eulogizing his life and work, as well as lamenting his death as one of India's greatest misfortunes.(Joshua, Gurram (1963). Bāpūjī. Buk Lavars.)


  • 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, Telugu 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) [12]
  • 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)


Critical studiesEdit

Endluri Sudhakar researched Gurram Jashua's literature and published a book on his outlook and impact.[15]

Awards instituted in his memoryEdit

The Jashuva Sahitya Puraskaram was established by the Jashuva Foundation to distribute an annual prize to poets from varying Indian backgrounds for enriching Indian literature with their contributions. The founder and secretary, Hemalatha Lavanam, is Jashuva's daughter.[16] Nilmani Phukan, an Assamese poet, received the award in 2002.[17]

Padma Bhushan Dr Gurram Jashuva Research Centre of Telugu Akademi distributes three awards to poets and writers for contributions to Telugu literature. These are the "Jashuva Jeevita Saphalya Puraskaram" for male poets aged sixty or above, the "Jashuva Visishta Mahila Purasakaram" for female poets aged fifty or above, and the "Jashuva Sahitya Visishta Puraskaram" for any contributor to Dalita sahityam (Dalit literature).[18] The first of these awards was presented on September 28, 2013, during the one-hundred-and-eighteenth anniversary of Gurram Jashuva's birth. A payment of two-hundred-thousand rupees are included with each award.[19] Dasaradhi Rangacharya was awarded the "Jashuva Jeevita Saphalya Puraskaram" award, Kolakakuli Swaroopa Rani the "Jashuva Visishta Mahila Purasakaram" award, and Kaluva Mallaiah the "Jashuva Sahitya Visishta Puraskaram" award.[20]Damodar Raja Narasimha, Deputy Chief Minister of India, Dokka Manikya Vara Prasad, Minister for Rural Development of India, Kaki Madhava Rao, former Chief Secretary of India, and Medasani Mohan all either hosted or participated in various award-related functions. A commemorative book on the poet was released during one of the functions.[19]


  1. ^ "Reformist's life to be chronicled".
  2. ^ Rao, Velcheru Narayana (2003). "Hibiscus on the Lake". University of Wisconsin Press. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  3. ^ Vepachedu Education foundation article on Jashua, Accessed 27 Oct 2013
  4. ^ Suprasiddula jeevita viseshalu, Hanumcchastri Janamaddi
  5. ^ Satajayanti saahitimoortulu, Sastri D (DN Sastri)
  6. ^ a b A blog post
  7. ^ DV Subbarao renders Jashua's poems in the play on YouTube
  8. ^ "Gurram Jashuva remembered".
  9. ^ Pattem, Sundeep (2010). "Gabbilam I". Yemanna. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  10. ^ Pattem, Sundeep (2010). "Gabbilam II". Yemanna. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  11. ^ Report on Tamil translation of Gabbilam
  12. ^ Jashuva Rachanalu: First Volume, Gabbilam, Vishalandhra Publishing House, Hyderabad, 2006.
  13. ^ Sahitya Akademi awards Archived 23 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Padma Bhushan Awards Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Jashuva Jeevitham -Drukphadham-Parinamamu "- Endluri Sudhakar (Accessed: 27 Oct 2013
  16. ^ Hemalata Lavanam passed away Accessed:12 Nov 2013
  17. ^ Assamese poet presented Joshua award -The Hindu 2002-07-27, Accessed 27 October 2013
  18. ^ Jashuva Lit Awards(New Indian Express
  19. ^ a b News item on Jashua awards function and his literary contributions
  20. ^ Sakshi Telugu Newspaper, 29 Sep 2013, Hyderabad Edition, Page 3