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Gurram Jashuva (or G Joshua) (28 September 1895 – 24 July 1971) was a Telugu poet. He was recognized with awards by Government of India. His literature’s impact on the society was studied by researchers. Literary awards were instituted in his memory.

Jashuva was born to Virayya and Lingamma in Vinukonda, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India to a community of leather workers.His father belonged to the Yadav caste and his mother belonged to the Madiga caste. Due to poverty and the intercaste marriage of his parents, his childhood was difficult in a society in which some castes were considered “untouchable.” His parents raised him and his brother as Christians. Jashuva graduated with Ubhaya Bhasha Praveena (as a scholar of Telugu and Sanskrit languages).

Jashuva initially worked as primary school teacher. He then worked as Telugu producer in All India RadioMadras between 1946-1960.

Protests against “untouchability,” Dalit rights, 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 the popular mythological play, Harischandra, especially those in the cremation grounds scene.

Dalit communities in Andhra Pradesh consider Jashuva as the first modern Telugu Dalit poet, and protest the erasure of Jashuva from many Telugu and Indian literary histories. In 1995, Dalit communities in Andhra Pradesh organized birth centenary celebrations for Jashuva and have begun efforts to rehabilitate his literary contributions

  • Gabbilam (1941) is Jashuva’s best known work, fashioned after Kalidasa’s Meghadūta, “The Cloud Messenger,” about an exiled lover to his beloved wife. While in Kalidasa’s poem the messenger is a yaksha in the cloud, Jashuva’s poem describes a message sent by a hunger- and poverty-stricken Dalit man to god in Benares, and the message is sent via a bat, or “gabbilam.” Jashuva’s choice of the bat is quite significant. As a creature often associated with darkness, ugliness, and bad omens, bats represent Dalit people for Jashuva, and are re-claimed as weapons or tools for social consciousness raising among Dalit

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?

The man in the poem 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 priest is not around. Jashuva used his other favorite emotion, “patriotism” as he describes the various historic places the bat will fly over en route to Lord Siva in Kasi. He even takes the bat on detours to visit some historic place of pride for Indians. (Mohanty, Manoranjan (2004-05-24). Class, Caste, Gender. SAGE. p. 236. ISBN 9780761996439.)

  • 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 story, the 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.(Joshua, Gurram (1996). Piradausi. Jāṣuvā Phauṇḍēṣ)
  • 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 his life and work and lamenting his death as this country’s misfortune.(Joshua, Gurram (1963). Bāpūjī. Buk Lavars.)