Jnanpith awardee Punjabi novelist Gurdial died at the age of 83


BATHINDA: A well known Punjabi Novelist and story writer Gurdial Singh died at the age of 83 on Tuesday. He received Jnanpith Award which is the India's highest literary award after poet Amri ta Pritam.

In 1995, he got retired from the post of professor from Punjabi University, Patiala.

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He wrote two great novels `Marhi Da Deeva' and `Anhe Ghode Da Dan' and won national film awards and international honours. Later, Gurdial's famous novel `Marhi Da Deeva' (The Last Flicker) was converted into film. Novel 'Anhe Ghore Da Daan' was also shortlisted in the Oscar Awards.

His other iconic novel `Adh Chanani Raat' (The Half-Moon Night), written in 1964, was translated into 13 languages. The National Book Trust also published an English translation of his novel `Parsa.' Gurdial penned nearly 40 works, including novels, short stories and books for children. Hailing from Jaito town of Faridkot district, Gurdial had started writing in 1957 and devoted nearly six decades to Punjabi literature. He was conferred the Jnanpith Award in 1999, He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1998 and the Sahitya Akademi award in 1975.

"We have lost a doyen in Gurdial Singh. He will be always remembered for his works as he has contributed immensely in enriching the Punjabi literature," said Sahitya Akademi award winner writer Baldev Sadaknama and writer Prof Chaman Lal.

According to the novelist's son Ravinder Singh, Gurdial was hospitalized on August 6 after he complained of some illness. A few days later he was shifted to a private hospital in Bathinda where he breathed his last."

"The Imphal-based Writers' Forum had it novel translated in Manipuri lan guage titled `Aroiba Meiri,' said Ravinder.

Gurdial told TOI "Literature cannot be restricted by boundaries or in any specific area. Good literature makes its own way and reaches wherever people like to read. We had been reading literature from Russia, and now Punjabi literature is also reaching farflung states in their languages, which is good sign."

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