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Kartar Singh Duggal : A Reader

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Item Code: NAT925
Author: Kartar Singh Duggal
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788126041626
Pages: 377
Other Details 10.00 X 7.00 inch
Weight 740 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

Kartar Singh Duggal (1917-2012) is perhaps one of the best known Punjabi writers of today. Writing in Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi and English in various genres including novels, short stories, poetry, essays, plays, etc. for more than seven decades, his works have also been translated into Hindi, English and severalotherIndian languages. Hee was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1988 and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2007 besides many other awards and honours including the Sahitya Akademi Award. His works have won international recognition and critical acclaim from literary critics as wellasscholars, In many ways Duggal is regarded is a trendsetter in Punjabi Literature. He regarded writing not just a profession or a hobby but ‘meditation and penance’. Duggal is the author of twenty-four collections of short-stories, : ten novels, an autobiography and several collections of plays and poems. During the last decades of his life, he devoted his attention solely to translation of Sikh religious and philosophicaltexts.

About the author

Paramjit Singh Ramana teaches Comparative Literature and is currently Dean, School of Languages, Literature and Culture, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda. He has six books of translation and literary criticism to his credit including the English translations of the works of eminent Punjabi writers such as Gurdial Singh, Waryam Singh Sandhu, Mohan Bhandari, Ajmer Singh Aulakh and Pakistani writer Bushra Ejaz. He has published more than fifty research articles and papers in different literaryjournals.


It has been an endeavour of Sahitya Akademi to publish all the best and representative works in vernacular literatures as well as their translations in other Indian languages and English. This Reader on veteran Punjabi writer Kartar Singh Duggal is an attempt to acquaint the readers of good literature all over the world with the work of one of the most popular and prolific Punjabi writers. Much of Duggal’s creative writing has already been translated into Hindi, Urdu and other major Indian languages. The author has himself translated many of his short stories, novels, poems and plays into Hindi and English and these translations have often been published along with their Punjabi originals.

Duggal has been consistently writing for more than seven decades now and has more than five hundred short stories, ten novels and innumerable plays, poems and essays to his credit. In addition to his reputation as a Punjabi writer, Duggal has won accolades for his work in Hindi and Urdu also. However, most of his non-fictional prose is in English only. Any attempt to encompass so vast a literary field is bound to be highly selective. Limited space available has made it imperative that important material be left out. It is impossible to bring together all the works that need be taken notice of when talking about such a prolific writer. Nevertheless, an attempt has been made to give representation to all the aspects of his immense and diverse literary output. The best work, selected and supplied by the author, makes the source material of this volume. It is hoped that despite the limitation of space this Reader does justice to the work of Kartar Singh Duggal.


When 93 year-old celebrated author Kartar Singh Duggal was chosen by the Punjab Government in January 2010 for the prestigious Punjabi Sahit Rattan Award for the year 2009, it was an act of appreciation of the voluminous and lifelong contribution of arguably the most prolific Punjabi author in terms of sheer volume of his work. He started writing way back in the nineteen thirties when he was in his early teens and has won innumerable awards and prizes for his rich and diverse literary output. He | is a dedicated writer, devotedly writing poems, dramas, radio-plays, short stories, novels, prose and literary criticism for the last eight decades and his translated work is as much, if not more, popular in Hindi, Urdu, English and other Indian languages as it is in Punjabi.

Way back in 1954 the Punjab government decided, for the first time, to honour Duggal for his contribution to Punjabi language and literature but the author, to express his resentment against the state and central governments’ humiliating attitude towards him as he was being kept under constant surveillance for being a ‘progressive writer’ and for having Muslim friends, refused to come for receiving the award. However, he agreed to . accept the same award in 1962 and the citation read and presented to him on the occasion praised him as a ‘great short story writer, adroit dramatist, good-hearted poet and skilful novelist.’ The citation specifically recognised his contribution to the development of Punjabi short story: "The translation of your stories into other Indian and foreign languages is going to help the spread of Punjabi culture all over the world. Aesthetically your stories are of the highest order. Your vast study of the western literature has added a unique and new grace to beauty and aesthetics of your creations... You have made an invaluable contribution to Punjabi literature and culture. Punjabis would always be grateful for this." The Punjab government again recognised Duggal’s literary achievements in 1993, when he was presented Praman Patra’ by the Chief Minister of Punjab for outstanding contribution to Punjabi literature. Punjabi University, Patiala conferred honorary D.Litt. degree on him in 1994.

Along with Gurdial Singh and Amrita Pritam, Duggal is perhaps the most decorated of the Punjabi writers. He was honoured with Soviet Land Nehru Award, 1981 for his creative writing and contribution to world peace. He was given Bhai Vir Singh Award for outstanding literary contribution by the Vice-President of India, 1989, Fellowship by Punjabi Sahitya Academy in 1983 and Sarva Shreshtha Sahityakar Award by Punjabi Academy in 1993. In 2007, Kartar Singh Duggal was conferred the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour bestowed by the state-run body on a writer, elevating him to the rank of the ‘immortals of Indian literature.’ The award for lifetime achievement put Duggal on the same platform as other eminent litterateurs like Nirmal Verma, Sumitra Nandan Pant, Amrita Pritam, Firaq Gorakhpuri, A.S. Radhakrishnan, U.R. Ananthamurthy, Krishna Sobti, Mahadevi Verma and Qurratulain Hyder.

Guru Gobind Singh Foundation recognised his distinguished contribution to Sikh Studies and honoured him in 1992. Sahitya Akademi first awarded him in 1965 for a collection of short stories in Punjabi entitled Ik Chhit Channan Di. His highly readable and somewhat fictionalised autobiography, Kis Peh Kholio Ganthri, a work that he values as his best, won the author Mohan Singh Vaid Award for Autobiography, 1986.

It is not that Kartar Singh Duggal has been read and appreciated as a Punjabi writer only. In fact, he has won great laurels for his translated and original work in other languages also. Ghalib Academy bestowed Ghalib Award for Urdu Drama on him in 1976. In recognition of his original and translated work in Hindi, Duggal received in 1993 Hindi Sansthan’s Ganga Saran Award from the President of India for his contribution to Hindi writing. In addition, Duggal won Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award for fiction, 1985, ‘Prasaran Gaurav’ given by All India Radio Artists’ Association in 1986, Raja Porus Award for Indo-Pak Friendship, 2001 and Sahir Memorial Award, 2002. His short story entitled ‘Come Back My Master’ was included in the Greatest Short Stories of the World.

Duggal was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 1988 and the citation lists the literary achievements of Duggal very succinctly:

"Apart from being a distinguished author in Hindi, Urdu and English literature, Shri Kartar Singh Duggal is one of the most prolific writers in Punjabi Literature today... Shri Duggal has 21 collections of short stories, five selections of short stories, seven novels and ten dramas beside several criticism, poetry and general works in Punjabi to his credit... [He] has also made valuable contributions to Hindi, Urdu and English literature. An eminent author of six collections of short stories, seven novels, four plays and one collection of one-act plays in Hindi, he has also written short stories, plays and novels in Urdu and English. A large number have been translated and published/ produced in Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese and other Indian languages. His fourteen books in English include ‘The Sikh Gurus: Their Lives and Teachings'’."

Born on 1 March 1917 in village Dhamial district Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan) in culturally rich, fertile and prosperous Pothoar area, Duggal migrated to India at the time of Partition but memories of Pothoar and tragic and violent incidents connected to the experience of forced migration are an integral and indelible part of the author’s personality and form a dominant thematic concern of all his writing.

After his post graduation in English, Duggal, who had already established himself as a Punjabi poet and short story writer of repute, joined All India Radio Lahore as a Programme Executive in 1942. He wrote and produced programmes in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English for All India Radio. He remained associated with AIR till 1966 to become the Director, All India Radio. From 1966 to 1973, Duggal served as Secretary / Director, National Book Trust, India and made significant contributions to the literary world by securing the funds and starting schemes like Adaan Pradan involving translation and publication of all major vernacular literary works in every other Indian language. From 1973 to 76 he was Adviser (Information) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, attached to the Planning Commission. He was a nominated member of Rajya Sabha from 1997 to 2003. Duggal has contributed significantly in administrative capacity in literary cultural field also. He has been President of Punjabi Lekhak Sabha, Delhi and Punjab Sahitya Akademi, Chandigarh in addition to membership of many advisory committees of various universities and ministries of Government of India.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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