Punjabi poet, writer Surjit Patar passes away at 79

Patar's poetic works include 'Hawa Vich Likhe Harf', 'Hanere Vich Sulagdi Varanmala', 'Patjhar Di Pazeb', 'Lafzaan Di Dargah' and 'Surzameen'.

Updated - May 11, 2024 03:11 pm IST

Published - May 11, 2024 09:28 am IST - Ludhiana

Former President Pratibha Patil presenting the Padma Shri Award to Punjabi poet Surjit Singh Patar. File.

Former President Pratibha Patil presenting the Padma Shri Award to Punjabi poet Surjit Singh Patar. File. | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 Padma Shri recipient Punjabi poet Surjit Patar passed away on Saturday morning at his residence near the Barewal Colony here. He was 79.

Patar died in his sleep, his family members said.

His wife Bhupinder Kaur tried to wake him up around 6:30 am but he did not respond. He was declared dead by a doctor, they said.

Patar is survived by his wife and two sons -- one of them lives in Australia.

Gurbhajan Gill, a close associate of Patar, said cremation is likely to be performed on Monday after Patar’s son arrives from Australia.

Many political leaders, actors and singers, including Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, expressed grief over the demise of Patar and said it is a big loss for the Punjabi literary community.

Patar’s poetic works include ‘Hawa Vich Likhe Harf’, ‘Hanere Vich Sulagdi Varanmala’, ‘Patjhar Di Pazeb’, ‘Lafzaan Di Dargah’ and ‘Surzameen’.

He received the Padma Shri in the field of literature and education in 2012. Patar was the president of the Punjab Arts Council. He had also been the president of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi.

The poet and writer has been awarded with the Sahitya Akademi Award, Panchnad Puruskar, Saraswati Samman and the Kusumagraj Literary Award.

From Patar village in Jalandhar district, he did his graduation from Randhir college in Kapurthala and Ph.D on “Transformation of Folklore in Guru Nanak Vani” from the Guru Nanak Dev University.

He retired as a professor of Punjabi from the Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana.

Patar has also translated the three tragedies of Federico Garcia Lorca, Girish Karnad’s play Nagmandala, and poems of Bertolt Brecht and Pablo Neruda into Punjabi.

In a post on X, Chief Minister Mann said he was deeply saddened by the passing away of Patar.

Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring called it an irreparable loss for Punjabi literature.

He said he was saddened over the demise of Patar who served the Punjabi language and made it shine on the world map.

Former Punjab chief minister and BJP leader Amarinder Singh on X said, “End of an era, as famous Punjabi writer and poet Padma Shri Surjit Patar Sahib has passed away today. My heartfelt condolences to his family and millions of fans worldwide. Punjab has lost an icon today.” Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said the death of Patar has left a void in the world of literature.

“After Shiv Batalvi, Patar Sahib was the most popular and beloved poet of Punjabis. I express my heartfelt condolences to his family and his well-wishers,” Badal said.

Punjabi actor Gurpreet Ghuggi while expressing grief over Patar’s death said, “Alvida :Padam Shri Surjit Patar ji you will remain in our hearts forever.” Singer Harbhajan Mann said, “The world of Punjabi literature has lost a gem today. Rest in peace Surjit Patar ji.”

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