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Babu Rajab Ali: The King of Kavishari

Babu Rajab Ali: The King of Kavishari

Babu Rajab Ali was a noted poet and singer of Punjab, who was known as the King of Kavishari. Kavishari is a form of folk poetry that is sung in a loud and fast voice without any musical instruments. Babu Rajab Ali was born in 1894 in Sahoke village of Firozpur district (now Moga district) in British India. He belonged to a Muslim Rajput family and had a passion for poetry and sports since his childhood. He studied civil engineering and worked as an overseer in the irrigation department, but he left his job in 1940 to pursue his love for singing.

Babu Rajab Ali wrote hundreds of poems on various topics, such as love, patriotism, history, religion, social issues and humor. He was especially famous for his poems on Sikh history and heroes, such as Guru Gobind Singh, Banda Singh Bahadur, Baba Deep Singh and Hari Singh Nalwa. He also wrote poems on the legends of Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Mirza Sahiban and Sassi Punnu. He had a unique style of writing and singing that captivated the audiences. He used simple words and expressions that appealed to the common people. He also used humor and satire to criticize the social evils and injustices of his time.

In 1947, after the partition of India, Babu Rajab Ali migrated to Pakistan and settled in Chak no. 32/2 Okara district of West Punjab. He was deeply attached to his native land and his beloved Punjabi language and felt a sense of loss and separation after leaving India. He wrote many poems expressing his nostalgia and longing for his homeland and his friends. He died in 1979 at the age of 84.

Babu Rajab Ali’s poems are still popular and sung by many kavishars in Punjab. His poems have been published in several books and magazines. Some of his books are Dasmesh Mahima, Babu Rajab Ali Di Kavishri and Babu Rajab Ali: The King of Kavishari. His life and works have also been documented in various articles and documentaries. He is regarded as one of the greatest poets and singers of Punjab and a cultural icon of Malwa region.

Some of the famous poems of Babu Rajab Ali are:

  • Banda Singh Bahadur: A poem that narrates the life and achievements of Banda Singh Bahadur, a Sikh warrior and leader who fought against the Mughal empire and established a Sikh state in Punjab.
  • Chamkaur Di Garhi: A poem that describes the battle of Chamkaur, where Guru Gobind Singh and his 40 followers fought bravely against a large army of Mughals and hill chiefs.
  • Baba Deep Singh: A poem that praises the courage and devotion of Baba Deep Singh, a Sikh martyr who fought against the Afghan invaders and defended the Golden Temple.
  • Hari Singh Nalwa: A poem that glorifies the exploits and victories of Hari Singh Nalwa, a Sikh general and governor who expanded the Sikh empire to the northwest frontier and beyond.
  • Heer Ranjha: A poem that tells the tragic love story of Heer and Ranjha, two lovers who were separated by their families and died for each other.

Babu Rajab Ali’s poems have inspired generations of Punjabis and have enriched the cultural heritage of Punjab. His poems are a source of pride and joy for the Punjabi people and a testament to his genius and creativity.


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