Shardha Ram "Phillauri" (September 30, 1837 – June 24, 1881) was a Punjabi missionary, social reformer, astrologer, and writer, best remembered for his contributions to Hindi and Punjabi literature. He has been called the “father of modern Punjabi prose."
Shardha Ram was born in 1837 to a Brahmin family in the town of Phillaur, Jalandhar. His father, Jai Dyalu, was an astrologer. Their gotra was Moudgil.  He did not have any formal education as such. At the age of seven, he learned Gurmukhi script. By age ten, he had studied Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, astrology, and music. Later, he was also a missionary of traditional Hinduism (Sanatana dharma).
Shardha Ram gave forceful lectures on the Mahabharata, and because of this was charged with conducting propaganda against the British government in 1865. As a result, he was exiled temporarily from his home town, Phillaur.
A son of Sharda Ram died at an age of thirty. His grandson lived up to the age of 60. His great grandson, taught at D.A.V. College, Jalandhar, Punjab, India, and lived up to the age of 92. His great great grandson,Shri Sewak Ram Joshi, an alumni of IIT Rorkee, lives in Canada.
Shardha Ram has recently been acknowledged as having written the first novel in Hindi. His novel Bhagyawati, believed to have been written mainly in Amritsar, was first published in 1888, after Shardha Ram's death. It is believed that his wife, a woman of strong will, played a major role in getting it published. The novel's portrayal of women and women's rights was progressive for its day.. It is believed that he had also written his biography which was spread over 1400 pages which is considered to be lost for ever.
|Sikhan De Raj Di Vithia (The Story of Sikh Rule)||1866||The book is an account of Sikh religion and the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The last of its three chapters documents Punjabi culture and language, including its customs, usages, and folk songs. The book was often prescribed as a text book.|
|Partial translation of the Bible into Gurmukhi||1868||This was the first time that the Bible was translated into Gurmukhi.|
|Punjabi Batcheet||This book was specifically written to help the British understand the local dialect. It may have been the first book transliterated into Roman script from Gurmukhi script. The study of this was a requirement for admission into the administrative services. The book is taught to this day at schools affiliated with the Punjab State Education Board (PSEB) Mohali.|
|Om Jai Jagdish Hare||1870s)||This prayer is widely sung by Hindu families today|
|Bhagyawati||published 1888||This book is believed to be the first novel in Hindi.|
|Satya Dharm Muktavli|