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Do You Know Shiv Kumar Batalvi— The Youngest Sahitya Akademi Award Recipient!

By: Jasmine Singh | October 7, 2021

The Punjabi poet, writer and playwright Shiv Kumar Batalvi was most known for his romantic poetry, noted for its heightened passion, pathos, separation and lover's agony.

His first anthology of poems was published in 1960, titled ‘Peedan da Paraga’ (The Scarf of Sorrows), which became an instant success. Some senior writers— like Jaswant Singh Rahi, Kartar Singh Balgan and Barkat Ram Yumman, took him under their wings. It was during this period, that he produced some of his best work. Also Read: Punjabi Actor Amritpal Singh Goes Through Heart Surgery, Shares Updates On Social Media

But did you know that Batalvi was the youngest receiver of the Sahitya Akademi Award?

The Sahitya Akademi Award, established in 1954 is a literary honor in India, initiated by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters. It annually confers on writers of the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the 24 major Indian languages. Also Read: Deep Sidhu Booked For Casteist Remarks Against Valmiki And Ravidas Communities!

Batalvi received the award in 1967 when he was just 31 years old and became the youngest recipient of the award. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his epic verse play based on the ancient legend of Puran Bhagat, ‘Loona’ (1965). ‘Loona’, considered a masterpiece in Punjabi literature even created a new genre— the modern Punjabi Qissa.

Today, Batalvi’s poetry is considered equal t the works of veteran poets like Mohan Singh and Amrita Pritam, who are well-recognized names on both sides of the border, i.e. India and Pakistan. What made him even more appealing than just his writing is that he recited and sang those verses on his own, bringing justice to his writing. His poems were also sung by prominent singers like Deedar Singh Pardesi. Jagjit Singh-Chitra Singh, and Surinder Kaur. Also Read: Do You Know Binnu Dhillon Has Also Featured In Bollywood Movies!

Even so many years down the line, modern-day singers pick up his verses and launch their own renditions that are loved by the masses. Some examples include Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's version of "Maye Ni Maye", Punjabi singer Babbu Maan perform his poem 'Shabab' in his album 'Ohi chan Ohi ratan (2004), Rabbi Shergill's debut album Rabbi (2004) features his poem "Ishtihar", folk singer, Hans Raj Hans also did a popular album, 'Gham', on the poetry of Shiv Kumar.

Not only this, even Bollywood movies have picked up Batalvi’s works and interpreted them further. Did you know that the songs ‘Ajj Din Chhadeya Tere Rang Varga’, ‘Ikk Kudi’ and ‘Maye Ni Maye’ were all actually written by Batalvi? Also Read: Bigg Boss 15: Afsana Khan Starts Her Journey With A Bang. Here’s What She’s Upto!

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