About Prem Jamwal

Prem Jamwal – From Muse to Motherhood.

An Economics graduate, par excellence painter and a stage performer, Prem Jamwal was the niece of Brigadier Rajinder Singh Jamwal, national hero, martyr and Maha Vir Chakra Awardee also remembered as the Saviour of Kashmir.

Descendants of the Dalpatpur Royal family from Bagoona, Prem, youngest of the three siblings, was born to Mian Hira Singh, Wazir-I-Wazarat and Commissioner of Jammu and Rani Ram Dei. She was the doting sister to her brother Thakur Jagraj Singh Jamwal, (IFtS ), a Conservator of Forest in J&K Government.

Prem’s brother Thakur Jagraj Singh Jamwal was married to daughter of Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar, the first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, a freedom fighter and social reformer who created a separate identity for Himachal Pradesh through its culture, geographical base, and Pahari language. He is known as the “Legend of Himachal Pradesh”. Prem’s sisters married Army Officers and Engineers.

Prem was also the muse of Sahitya Akademi Awardee Kunwar Viyogi – her husband and soulmate. Prem, a mother to three daughters – Poonam, Shalu and Rashmi married Kunwar Viyogi aka Group Captain Randhir Singh at a young age of 21. Both tied the knot on 1st Aug 1965 when Viyogi was a 26-year-old newly commissioned Indian Air Force Officer. Together they built a home of their dreams in Agra Air Force station – Viyogi’s first posting.

A loving wife and daughter in law, Prem at a very early age shouldered her husband’s responsibilities to his family and after her mother in law’s sudden demise in 1966 when she was just 22 years old, Prem took upon herself to be a mother to Viyogi’s 4 brothers and 3 sisters, youngest being a mere 4-year-old. girl They were all settled in best futures as army officers and teachers. She cared for them till they were working and married. Extremely progressive in her outlook towards life and aware about the central role women in society, Prem’s artwork was a reflection of her dynamic personality and her upbringing, rooted in her deep cultural values. The same can be reflected in many of Viyogi’s poems. He has written extensively on women empowerment, social and mental barriers on women, women – a symbol of strength and nurturer, etc. His love and admiration for Prem can be gauged from the fact that the celebrated poet has dedicated 20 out of his 26 published works to Prem, her beauty, intellect and celestial quality. He has celebrated women in all their avatars – from being Maa Durga to being a mother, daughters, sisters and a force that is responsible for raising the generation of Bharat. The dedications are endless, yet admiration for his muse seems the central theme of most of his creative work. Prem illuminated Viyogi’s life for 20 years from the age of 21 to 42 years when she succumbed to cancer on April 1, 1988. That was also the year Viyogi rested his pen.

Prem was a zesty artist who brought beauty around him, in music, colors, fragrances and food; conquering the world with him, helping him pick his burdens, inspiring him with her love, quirky humour, never complaining about less, making a joyful home for him, being by his side, with their beautiful daughters.  She was a princess in love with a poet.

Today Prem’s legacy lives on.  In the honour of her memory, Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust, in 2016, instituted Prem Jamwal Kunwar Viyogi Merit scholarship which is awarded annually to a female topper in MA Dogri. The Trust, in 2017 also instituted Prem Jamwal Innovation Award to recognise and celebrate exceptional talent/innovative idea that aims to inspire and expand the artistic and cultural horizons. These endevours have helped fulfil academic aspirations of many and have given some a platform to showcase their talent on the global stage.

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