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Posted at: Sep 20, 2017, 1:10 AM; last updated: Sep 20, 2017, 1:10 AM (IST)

Amritsar-born Pak Punjabi writer Randhawa dead

Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 19

Eminent Pakistani Punjabi writer Afzal Ahsan Randhawa (70) passed away at his residence in Lyallpur, Pakistan, this morning.

Randhawa was born in Amritsar and has a close association with the city. He visited the city several times and had many friends and readers here. His all four novels, story and poetry books transliterated from Sahmukhi to Gurmukhi and witnessed good readership.

He was born on September 1, 1937, in Amritsar. His family was settled at Narowal in Sialkot district (now in Pakistan).

His four novels, two collections of short stories and five poetry books were published. He also translated foreign literature into Punjabi — novels by Chinua Achebe and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Amarjeet Chandan, a Punjabi poet, said: “The main theme of his work was nostalgia around untroubled idyllic life of the pre-Partition Punjabi rural communities of Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus dominated by the Jat culture. Being a Randhawa, he was passionate about his Sikh heritage of the Majha region and wrote a long poem on the storming of the Indian Army into the Akal Takht in Amritsar in 1984.”

Dr Paramjit Singh Misha, who did PhD on the Pakistani Punjabi literature said: “Randhawa was a fast friend of my father Nirmal Arpan. Though I met him during his visit in the city, I know him through his writings. He was the first writer in Pakistan who started working on composite culture of Punjab. Most of the characters of his novels are Sikh and he explained them beautifully in context of the composite culture of Punjab.

Dr Harbahjan Singh Bhatia, former Head of Punjabi department, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Sandeep Singh from Sachal Publication also expressed grief on Randhawa’s death.

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