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Posted at: Aug 16, 2016, 4:59 PM; last updated: Aug 16, 2016, 5:57 PM (IST)

Jnanpith awardee, Punjabi writer Gurdial Singh dies at 83

Jnanpith awardee, Punjabi writer Gurdial Singh dies at 83
Gurdial Singh. — File photo

Tribune News Service

Jaitu/Chandigarh, August 16

Prominent Punjabi writer and Jnanpith awardee Gurdial Singh passed away in Bathinda on Tuesday. He was 83.

He was under treatment in a private hospital in Bathinda for the last about 10 days.

A resident of Jaitu town of Faridkot, Gurdial Singh was the only living Punjabi writer to win Jnanpith Award.

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The cremation will take place at Jaitu at 10 am on Wednesday.

Gurdial Singh is known for giving impressive messages in his story and novel writings with high simplicity. “A Spartan who has taken it all in his stride,” thus he was known in the literary world.

From a carpenter to a novelist of substance, Gurdial Singh had relied on the ingenuity of a craftsman to whom building blocks to create an organic whole come naturally, it is said.

Writer of many famous novels, Gurdial Singh got Sahitya Academy award for his novel ‘Marhi Da Diva’.

Before he wrote his first novel ‘Marhi Da Diva’, Gurdial Singh was known as a short story writer. His novels are narratives of the oppressed, without any didacticism of revolution.

His first book was ‘Gangsar da Shahid’, a historical writing. He wrote his first story ‘Bhaganwale’ in 1957 and it was published in ‘Panj Dariya’.

‘Marhi Da Diva’ and ‘Anhe Ghore Da Daan’, two novels of Gurdial Singh were made into films. His other noted novels are ‘Parsa’, ‘Dukhiya Daas Kabir Ha’, ‘Adh Chanini Raat’, ‘Anhoe’.

He wrote many short stories for children as well. He took up translation for the first time while he was still in F.A.  This translation work was Maxim Gorky’s autobiography.

His novels were translated in several Indian languages and also in English.

He taught at the regional centre of Punjabi University for some years.

Gurdial Singh was the recipient of various prestigious award and honours such as Padma Shri, Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, etc.

Earlier this year, Sahitya Akademi announced fellowship for him. The fellowship is the highest honour of the Akademi.


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