My area of interest in research is mainly medieval literature and history. I have also discussed in detail modern literature, media, and culture. Recently, I completed a two-year fellowship (2019-2021) at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, on the topic of ‘Padmini Vishyaka Deshja Aitihaasika Katha-Kavyaon Ka Vivechantmaka Adhyayana'. This work concentrates on Indian historical fiction-poetry based on the Padmini-Ratansen episode, apart from Malik Muhammad Jayasi's Padmavat. The Padmini episode remained in the wide discussion, but in its investigation, the use of these compositions was negligible compared to Islamic, Persian-Arabic sources. Most modern historians, instead of relying on these indigenous compositions and not finding mention in the Islamic narrations of the contemporaries of Alauddin Khilji, took these indigenous compositions as dependent on Malik Mohammed Jayasi’s creation and hence declared these as imaginary.
This research work discusses in detail the historical, cultural, and literary importance of these compositions by keeping them in the perspective of the tradition of Indian historical narrative poetry. This work is under publication by the Institute.Recently, I edited a series entitled 'Classical poets and their poetry’, which includes Kabir, Raidas, Mira, Tulsidas, Amir Khusro, Surdas, Bulleshah, and Guru Nanak. I have also done a Hindi story adaptation of some medieval narratives based on women characters named Sapta Stree Pradeep, under publication.
My well-received published work Pachrang Chola Pahar Sakhi Ri (2015) focuses on the life and society of Meerabai, a medieval Saint-Devotee poetess. It has been translated into English as Meera Vs Meera was published in 2021. It has been in constant discussion. The book is an attempt to establish that the existence of Meerabai was neither ethereal nor superhuman. She was neither a love-struck lunatic nor a deprived or harassed, neglected and helpless woman. .
She was a historical figure, aware of herself and an independent woman. She was not away from life like a Saint or a Jogan. Her devotion, courage and independent behavior were not unusualThe society in which she was brought up had enough leeway for freedom, acceptance and recognition of these things. While identifying Meera’s life and her society I have depended on the vernacular (deshaj) sources and the day-to-day chores and rituals of that society. The book argues that the voice of Meerabai is not the voice of the marginalized, but it is the voice of a lively and dynamic society. A unique feature of Meera vs Meera is that there is extensive use of mediaeval and colonial historical sources like Khyat, Bahis, Paatnamas, Parchees and Reports & Surveys etc. Pachrang Chola Pahar Sakhi Ri' has been awarded the 32nd KK Birla Foundation Bihari Purskar in 2022.
I also completed a monograph published by Sahitya Akademi in its ‘Makers of Indian Literature’ series on the very important but overlooked and almost forgotten Saint-scholar of Oriental studies Muni Jinvijay (2016). An intent researcher and prolific editor of ancient Indian literature, Muni Jinvijay was one of the learned scholars engaged in the campaign of Mahatma Gandhi for the recognition and revival of Indian knowledge system and literature in concurrence with the trend during the struggle Of independence movement in India. In his early life for the sake of urge and quest for knowledge, he experimented with several methods. On the insistence of Mahatma Gandhi, he left the routine saintly life and got involved in the research and editing of the ancient Indian literature for the sake of posterity.
He edited and published more than 200 texts that could be accessed in old libraries.These works were published in Singhi Jain Grathamala, Rajasthan Puratan Granthmala and other journals of oriental studies. Muni Jinvijay gave new and rich identity to the store house of the Indian literature. His research articles propelled new directions to lay the foundation of Hindi language and literature. It also introduced new aspects of ancient Indian history.The contemporary scholars of his times like Kashi Prasad Jaiswal, Hiranand Shastri, Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Gaurishankar Hirachand Ojha, Rahul Sankrityayan etc. banked upon Jinvijay’s scholarly output.
He was associated with many of the top cultural institutions like Gujarat Puratan Vidya Mandir, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Rajasthan Oriental Institute, Jain Vidyapeeth of Santiniketan, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute etc. In order to promote his love and passion for ancient Indian Literature and as a service to the country, he established Sarvodaya Sadhana Ashram in Chanderia (District Chittorgarh) of Rajasthan. The German Oriental Research Society bestowed on him an honorary membership for his scholarly contributions and the Government of India honored him with Padmashri.I also edited a book named Ek Bhava Anek Naam (2022) based on Muni Jinvijay's autobiographies and correspondence which has been published in collaboration with Raza Foundation.
Hence for the ‘moderns’ those who often insist on the evidences of the manuscripts or those who desire to depend on the texts of her poetry regard this claim to be imaginative and farfetched. In one region her couplets in a poem have certain nuances whereas in another region it has different shades and hues.Since Meera’s poetry is inclusive in its spirit like her persona therefore it can be billed as ‘Poetry of the people and by the people’. It is so all-encompassing, flexible and generous that people have been accepting it for centuries and have added their feelings and desires to enrich its ‘oral’ tradition. It is such that it has been scripted from the memory of the people and then it goes to the public memory through a manuscript.
There are thousands of poems registered in the public memory that too in multiple languages in the name of Meera. There has been a continuous alteration in Meera’s poetry, and it is mainly due to the transitions in folk culture and simplification and but yet closer to the ‘original’. In and around the sixteenth century Meera’s earliest manuscripts are available. In the present collection her poetry is drawn from multiple sources such as those available in libraries and private collections of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh and some others which are available in printed forms. Such poems have been included on priority that relate to her life experiences, travels, struggles and incessant devotion.
Book entitled Kathetar is an anthology of analytical essays on non-fictional prose in Hindi. There is an atmosphere of hectic activities in the field of Hindi non-fiction prose. Attempts are being made to revive old forms, as well as creation of new ones. The articles of this anthology try to identify and analyze this phenomenon and point out major changes in the forms of various genres of Hindi non-fiction. Written by eminent and well known authors and critics, these articles present a wholesome picture of major landmarks of Hindi non-fiction writing.
I have studied and discussed Hindi Poetry of Post sixties with an inclusive outlook and tried to underline its various specialities which were overlooked by the Hindi criticism till that time. While most of the critics of that time were discussing Hindi poetry in the light of its Political stand or with sociological tools, I in my criticism tried to discuss and analyze it in its entirety. I also underlined the return of Nature, Love and Spiritualism in Hindi poetry. I also tried to appreciate its craft. This work was published in a book form entitled Kavita Ka Poora Drishya (1992).
My anothor book entitled Seedhiyan Chadhata Media (2012) tries to take a note of the very fast changing world of today. Globalization, Neo Colonialism, IT revolution, Free market, Media explosion etc have changed our world altogether and we are just lost in this scenario. With the support of available data and authentic reports etc I have tried to point out the changes which are vital to the media, society and literature. Not only this, my emphasis is on the inter relationship of Media and Literature.I have discussed the changes coming in Hindi Poetry and Fiction due to the advent of media explosion. I have also discussed the changing language of Hindi print media.
It also focuses on as to how the new scientific development has made man nonsensical and how triviality has gripped the society. A judicious assessment of these paradoxes is done in this book. The aforesaid process has not just ruined everything, but technology with the human face has created great hope for the humanity. The new technology has changed the lifestyle, education, and thinking and has proved it fortunate in many respects.
My other major published works include Media, Sahitya aur Sanskriti (2006) & Tani Hui Rassi Par (1987). The Book entitled Media, Sahitya aur Sanskriti is a collection of articles related to media, literature & culture. The modern human society has reached to the brink and is cursed to tolerate a glum tragic situation this is due to the onslaught of electronic media and the tightening noose of globalization and liberalization. On the one hand electronic media and its sources have expanded the new horizons of human knowledge and on the other hand anxieties and stresses of globalization have encouraged the spread of consumer culture. Modern human beings have to contend with the strange divergence of scarcity of traditional means and expectations and the increasing physical paraphernalia from new resources. The present book conducts a thorough analysis of the consequences of communication media and the impact of technology on human life and also its side effects.
This change is advantageous for humans. The concept of family and society has changed and the effect of consumerism has made our cultural consciousness obsolete. The articles in the book take into consideration all these perils and also suggest the ways to avoid them. It is indeed a significant book to understand the anomalies and paradoxes of modern life and to absorb the ways of creating a new human society, avoiding despondency.
The book entitled Tani Hui Rassi Par has been honoured by Devraj Upadhyay Purskar instituted by the Rajasthan Sahitya Akademi. It is a pioneering work on contemporary literary criticism. It brings forth the spirit and character of recent Hindi poetry. The essays and articles included in the volume substantiate balanced criticism. The writer never divulges his focus from the text under consideration. It does not seem that the writer as a critic has at random imposed his expediency or design. Instead of inflicting his insistence, he is in concurrence with the poet. Whatever the poem reveals the writer seeps deep into its realm and examines it and finally gives a decision in a becoming manner in the language most suitable to express his privacy and aesthetic concepts.
Poetry of Nand Chaturvedi, Rituraj, Vijendra, Nand Kishore Acharya, Mani Madhukar, Ranjeet and many others are well-thought-out. Besides this I have published more than 100 papers, monographs, reviews etc. in various journals of repute. I had been the member of General Council and Hindi Advisory Board of Sahitya Akademi. I have been associated with the Higher Education Service of the Government of Rajasthan for more than thirty years and had been Professor and Head, Department of Hindi, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur.
32nd Bihari Pursakr for the book entitled Pachrang Chola Pahar Sakhi Ri in 2022 .
Conferred by KK Birala Foundation, New Delhi.
Sanskrti Sanvardhan Samman in 2022.
Conferred by Department of Culture, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur.
Svatntrata Senani Ramchandra Nandwana Samman for the book entitled Pachrang Chola Pahar Sakhi ri in 2021.
Conferred by Sambhavana Sansthan, Chittorgargh.
Bhartendu Harischandra Puraskar for Media Studies on the book entitled Seedhiyan Chadhtha Media in 2014.
Conferred by Publication Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, New Delhi.
Ghashiram Verma Sahitya Puraskar for Media Studies on the book entitled Seedhiyan Chadhta Media in 2012.
Conferred by Prayas Sansthan, Churu.
Devaraj Upadhyay Puraskar for Literary Criticism on the book entitled Tani hui Rassi par in 1990.
Conferred by Rajasthan Sahitya Academy, Udaipur.
Ph. D., Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, 1989.
Subject for research : Sathottari Hindi Kavita ki Prakriti Aur Swaroop.
M.A. Hindi, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, 1980, Gold Medalist.
B.A. (Hons.) Hindi, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, 1977.