Ram Nath Shastri
|Born||15 April 1914|
|Died||8 March 2009 (aged 94)|
Padma Shri Ram Nath Shastri, known as the "Father of Dogri" for his pivotal role in the revival and resurgence of the Dogri language, was born on 15 April 1914.
In 2001, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, awarded by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, the highest literary honour conferred by the Government of India.
Prof. Shastri's father, Vaid Gauri Shankar, was an Ayurvedic doctor and originally belonged to a small village Marhi in Reasi tehsil of Udhampur district (now Reasi district). For better prospects, he moved to Jammu. Initially, he wanted Ram Nath to adopt the same profession and instructed him to learn Sanskrit. All ancient scriptures being in Sanskrit, it would be immensely helpful as an Ayurvedic doctor. He joined Ranbir Sanskrit Pathshala at the Ranbir High School. After which, he did post graduation in Sanskrit and Prabhakar in Hindi. He started his career as a high school Sanskrit teacher for 5 years and later he became a college lecturer.
In 1944, on the day of Basant Panchami, along with a few friends, he established the Dogri Sanstha. Every upcoming writer in the Dogri language would first enroll himself in the Sanstha. He also edited the Dogri literary periodical Nami Chetna of the Sanstha. In 1970, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee Celebration of Dogri Sanstha, he edited the RAJAT JAYANTI GRANTH in which research oriented articles on Dogra life, art, culture, literature and history were put together.
In 1970, he retired as a professor in the J&K State Education Department. From 1970 to 1975 he has been a Senior Fellow of Dogri in the University of Jammu.
From 1977 to 1985, as Chief Editor in J&K Cultural Academy he edited the 'Dogri – Dogri Dictionary′.
He died on 8 March 2009, in Jemmu.