Sahit Utsav: On Day 2 of lit fest, talks on Punjab Punjabi held


Amritsar, February 15

The second day of the eighth edition of Amritsar Sahit Utsav at Khalsa College was devoted to Punjab and Punjabi. The day started with a discussion on the birth centenary of Mohinder Singh Sarna. Born in 1923, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Sarna was a civil servant and novelist, who wrote in Punjabi. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award in 1994 for ‘Nawen Yug De Waris’, a collection of short stories. His book is considered as one of the greatest pieces of literature on Partition and decades that followed it.

The keynote speaker of the discussion on the topic, ‘The Contribution of Mohinder Singh Sarna to the Punjabi Literature’ was Navtej Singh Sarna, an Indian diplomat and son of Mohinder Singh Sarna. The participants were Dr Mehal Singh and Dr Amanpreet Singh Gill. The scholars argued that the sufferings of the Partition could be experienced through the stories of Mohinder Singh Sarna. The stories present the turmoil of partition brilliantly. Navtej Sarna, who has translated and published a series of stories of his father, shared memories of his childhood and early influences.

The second panel discussion was titled ‘Samvad-e-Punjab’. Dr Mehal Singh, Dr Amarjit Singh Grewal, Dr Surjit Singh and Dr Gurmukh Singh discussed the growth and socio-political evolution of Punjab. Dr Grewal, a celebrated writer and thinker, said from time to time different narratives were created about Punjab, which are helpful to understand Punjab. He argued that there were both constructive and destructive tendencies arising in contemporary Punjab.

There was a book release programme after the discussions in which a book titled ‘Kudrat Naad’ by Parminder Sodhi and Amandeep Mannu, a novel named ‘1947’ penned by Pargat Singh Satauj, ‘Ghulami Di Dastan’ by Dr Parmjit Singh Dhingra, ‘Prism Cho Langhda Shaher’, ‘Night Club’ written by Amit Khan and translated by Harjot were released. The day concluded with a mesmerising performance by sufi singer Yakub.