The Gyanpith Award

Gyanpith Award is considered to be the highest literary honour in India. It is awarded annually by the Bharatiya Jnanpith and bestowed to an author for their outstanding contribution towards literature. To achieve it is a life milestone for any author. As of 2015, the award lends a cash prize of Rs 11 lakhs and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati. Authors from all over India are nominated by the survey of intellectuals from over 22 Indian languages. Aim of the Award is to boost Unity in Diversity and acknowledge the contribution of writers to Indian literature.

Here are the Gujarati writers who are recipient of this prestigious award :

Umashankar Joshi

He was the first Gujarati writer to win Gyanpith award. He was a notable poet, writer and scholar. In 1911, He was born in a small village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat. About his higher education, He completed MA in Gujarati and Sanskrit from Mumbai University which sound rare in that time. He had been activist in Indian freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi and was imprisoned for 14 weeks in Sabarnmati Jail and Yerwada Jail. He has served many insititutes of Gujarat including schools, universities in his career. For 5 years 1966 to 1972, He served as Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat university. His notable works in letratiure are નિશિથ – Collection of poems, ગંગોત્રી , અભિજ્ઞ , મહાપ્રસ્થાન  to name a few. His contribution to literature was recognized and became recipient of Gyanpith award in 1967 Nishith –  Collection of his poems.

Pannalal Patel

He was born in Mandli village near  Dungarpur, Rajasthan. He and Umashankar Joshi did schooling together uptill 6th grade in Indar, Gujarat. Hw wrote his first novel when He was in Ahmedabad for domestic help. He had wriiten number of novels, short stories, plays in Gujaratis, His noted Novels are વળામણાં, સુરભિ, મીણ માટીના માનવી, નગદ નારાયણ, અજવાળી રાત અમાસની, એક અનોખી પ્રીત, પાર્થને કહો ચડાવે બાણ. Some of his noted plays are જમાઇરાજ, ચાંદો શેં શામળો, સપનાનાં સાથી, અલ્લડ છોકરી, મળેલા જીવ. He had written his autobiography as અલપઝલપ. He was awarded Gyanpith award in 1985.

Rajendra Shah

He was a lyrical poet who wrote in Gujarati. He has written more than 20 collections of poems and songs, mainly on the themes of the beauty of nature, rural culture and about the everyday lives of indigenous people and fisherfolk communities. He was greatly influenced by Rabindranath Tagore and translated his poem in Gujarati on hos book ‘Balaaka’. He did his bachelors in philosophy from the MS University of Baroda, and after graduation started his career by teaching school students in Ahmedabad. His Poems were full of emotion, innovation in form and expression which set him apart as a poet of great significance. His notable poem creations are ધ્વનિ, આંદોલન, વિભાવન, શાંત કોલાહલ, ચિત્રણા, ક્ષણ જે ચિરંતન, વિષાદને સાદ, મધ્યમા, ઉદ્ ગીતિ, પત્રલેખા, પ્રસંગ સપ્તક to name a few. This contribution made him the recipient of Gyanpith Award in 2001.

Raghuveer Chaudhary

Raghuveer Chaudhary is eminent novelist, Script writer, Poet and a critic. He had written over 80 books that includes short stories, novels, essays, poems etc in his career. His faith in the functional aspect of human life is voiced through his novels AmritaVenu Vatsala and the Uparvas trilogy. He has also written number of gujarati plays Trijo Purush, Sikandar Sani and Dim Light to name a few. Great literators like Kalidas, T.S.Eliot, Tagore and Premchand have remained his favourites besides influenced deeply by Gandhi’s autobiography. It has been a continuous search of Raghuveer’s life and literature to attain a realistic ground for human dignity. He is the latest recipient of Gyanpith award in 2015.

These authors have made us proud and inspired many writers to pursue work in Gujarati Literature. Like Us on Facebook  or Follow us on Twitter and we will keep you posted on our upcoming articles.