Bathinda ,August16: Padma Shri awardee Punjabi writer Gurdial Singh, 83, died after a prolonged illness at a private hospital in Bathinda on Tuesday.
The writer since had been on ventilator support since August 13 Singh after he had reportedly fell unconscious at his residence in Jaitu town of Fardikot district.
Professor Gurmeet Singh, who is also a friend of Gurdial Singh said the ventilator support was removed on Tuesday morning after his body had stopped showing any signs of recovery.He was also suffering from cardiac arrest and paralyses in other parts of body.
His writings were mainly focused on the economically and socially marginalised people in rural Punjab in his short stories and novels and also taught in the regional centre of Punjabi University.
He made a startling entry from short stories to his classic 1964 novel ‘Marhi da Deeva’ (The Last Flicker) which was adapted into a Punjabi film starring Deepti Naval, Raj Babbar and Parikshit Sahni in 1989. The widely-acclaimed film went on win a National Award. Marhi da Deeva had a Dalit sharecropper as the protagonist for the first time.
He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1975, followed by the Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1986, Shiromani Sahitkar award in 1992, Paash Award in 1995, Padma Shri in 1998 and Jnanpith Literary Award (shared with Hindi writer Nirmal Verma) in 2000 among many others.