Chandigarh, Feb 1: Eminent Punjabi writer, novelist and Sahitya Akademi Awardee Jaswant Singh Kanwal died after a brief illness at his native village in Moga district on Saturday, his family said.
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He was 101.
Kanwal’s grandson Sumail Singh Sidhu said the deceased’s last rites will be held at Dudhike village cremation ground on Sunday.
Kanwal was a prominent novelist, essayist and short-story writer of the Punjabi language.
Born in Dhudike, he left school when he was a teenager and went to Malaya, where he got interested in literature.
Kanwal returned to Dhudike after a few years and lived there ever since.
In 2007, he was awarded the Punjabi Sahit Shiromani Award.
Kanwal was bestowed Sahitya Akademi Fellowship award for his 1996 book ‘Pakhi’ (Hand Fan).
In 1998, he also received the Sahitya Akademi award for Taushali Di Hanso.
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, conferred Kanwal the degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) for his contribution to Punjabi literature in 2008.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condoled the passing away of Kanwal.
In a condolence message, Singh described Kanwal as a versatile writer who penned nearly 80 books and novels vividly portraying the rural life of Punjab.
The chief minister also lauded the immense contribution of Kanwal towards promotion of Punjabi language, art and literature through his literary works.
He further said the writer will be remembered ever by one and all especially by his millions of readers for his prolific writings, which lent a voice to the plight of common man grappling with several socio-economic hardships.
A void has been created with the death of Kanwal in the literary circles, which is difficult to be filled, he added.
Sharing his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family, Singh prayed for courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss and grant eternal peace to the departed soul, a statement issued said.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal also condoled the passing away of Kanwal.
In a statement here, he said the demise of the veteran writer who has written extensively on the socio-economic problems faced by the common man had left a void in Punjabi literature which will be difficult to fill.
“Mr Kanwal’s extensive collection of 80 books will serve as an inspiration for us always,” he said.
Badal also expressed his condolences with the bereaved family.
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