The noted writer of Hindi literature Krishna Sobti will be conferred with the country’s highest literary honour, Jnanpith Award this year in 2017. Eminent Hindi Litterateur Krishna Sobti (92) was awarded the 53rd Jnanpith Award for the year 2017 for her path-breaking contribution to Indian literature. She will be overall eight women to win this prestigious award. She is known for experimenting with new writing styles and creating bold and daring characters in her stories. Her language is highly influenced by the intermingling of Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi cultures.
She has been the recipient of many coveted awards in the past, including Hindi Akademi Awards, Shiroman Awards, Maithili Sharan Gupt Samman, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship and Padma Bhushan.
The award is India’s highest literary honour. Its name has been taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat. It was instituted in 1961 by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family that owns the Times of India newspaper group. It is bestowed upon any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India and English. Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But after 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature. The award carries the cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom.
Her 1958 novel, Dar Se Bicchudi (Separated from the Flock), published in 1958, was about a child born of a marriage that broke both religious and social taboos. Sobti says now, “I don’t like being called a ‘woman writer’. I would rather be called a writer who is also a woman. For me, men and women are very close to each other. Apart from the obvious qualities they share, both sexes do not have a different soul.
“Sobti is a path-breaking novelist. She has immensely enriched Hindi literature,” the statement by the board chaired by noted scholar, writer and critic Namwar Singh, SolidWorks
Translated into foreign languages too
Some of her celebrated works include Daar Se Bichhudi, Mitro Marjani, Zindaginama, Dil-o-Danish, Badalom ke Ghere, Ai Ladki and Gujarat Pakistan Se Gujarat Hindustan. Several of her works have been translated into other Indian languages and also in Swedish, Russian and English.
About Krishna Sobti
Krishna Sobti ( born 18 February 1925) is a Hindi fiction writer and essayist, who won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 for her novel Zindaginama and in 1996, was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest award of the Akademi. In 2017, She received the Jnanpith Award for her contribution to Indian literature.
She is most known for her 1966 novel Mitro Marajani, an unapologetic portrayal of a married woman’s sexuality. Krishna Sobti was born in Gujrat, Punjab, now in Pakistan and was educated in India, in Delhi and Shimla. Sobti’s use of idiomatic Punjabi and Urdu while writing in Hindi has expanded over time to include Rajasthani as well. Her ability to adapt dialect and language specific to the region is she writing about has been praised by critics for lending authenticity to her characters. It has also been cited as a reason for the difficulty in translating her works to other languages. Although Sobti’s works deal closely with issues of female identity and sexuality, she has resisted being labelled as a ‘woman writer’ and has spoken of the importance of occupying both, masculine and feminine viewpoints, as a writer.
Her husband Shivnath, also a writer and Sahitya Akademi award-winner, passed away a few years ago (both were born on February 18, 1925). Since then, she has lived alone in an east Delhi apartment.
To hell with you Mitro! (Mitro Marjani), Memory’s Daughter (Daar Se Bichchudi), Listen Girl (Ai Ladki) , Zindaginamah -Zinda Rukh (Urdu), The Heart Has Its Reasons (Dil-O-Danish)
Zindaginama, Mitro Marjani, DarSe Bichchuri, Surajmukhi Andhere Ke, Yaaron Ke Yaar, Samay Sargam, E Ladaki
Nafisa, Sikka Badal gaya, Badalom Ke Ghere, Bachpan