|Intro||Author and critic of Gujarati literature from India|
|Was||Writer Critic Essayist Playwright Editor Social reformer Translator Literary critic Journalist Poet Educator|
|Field||Academia Activism Film, TV, Stage & Radio Journalism Literature|
|Birth||9 March 1836, Surat|
|Death||7 August 1888 (aged 52 years)|
Navalram Laxmiram Pandya (Gujarati: નવલરામ) (9 March 1836 – 7 August 1888) was a Gujarati critic, playwright, poet, essayist, editor, educationist and social reformer. He is considered as the first critic of modern Gujarati literature.
He was born on 9 March 1836 at Surat in Gujarat. He passed matriculation in 1853. He was a prodigy in mathematics but did not join college. He joined English Highschool in Surat as an additional teacher in 1854 and later was appointed at Anglo Vernacular School at Deesa in 1861. He later became the vice principal of Ahmedabad Training College from 1870 to 1876 and the principal of Rajkot Training College from 1876. He died on 7 August 1988.
Navalram was a critic of distinction besides writing literary essays and book reviews. He started his writing career with a report on Maharaj Libel Case (1863).
In 1867, he penned the Gujarati play Bhatnu Bhopalu based on Henry Fielding's The Mock Doctor, a play which was the adaptation of French playwright Molière's Le Médecin malgré lui. He wrote historical play Veermati in 1869 based on the story of Jagdev Parmar published in Alexander Kinloch Forbes' Rasmala.
He reviewed the first Gujarati novel, Karan Ghelo in Gujarat Mitra daily in 1867 pioneering the criticism in Gujarati literature.
Navalram was an editor of Gujarat Shala Patra, a perodical on education. He wrote serial commentary on poetry with humour titled Akbarshah ane Birbal Nimitte Hindi Hasyatarang in the periodical from 1860 to 1870. His another serialized writing in periodical Engrej Lok no Sankshipt Itihas (Concise History of Englishmen, 1880–1887) was later edited and published by Balwantray Thakore in 1924. He translated Kalidasa's Meghadūta (1870) in Gujarati and also discussed the methodology of translation in it. Kavijivan (1888) is a biographical work on Gujarati poet and social reformer Narmad based on his autobiography, Mari Hakikat.
His poetry collections Balalagnabatrisi (1876) criticized child marriage while Balagarbavali (1877) is about ideals of life of women. He edited Premanand Bhatt's Kunwarbai nu Mameru (1871). His Vyutpattipatha (1887) was a pioneer essay on philology in Gujarati while Nibandh-riti was an essay on writing essays.
His complete works are published under Navalgranthavali (1891), edited by Govardhanram Tripathi.