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HomeNews ReportsJagadguru Swami Rambhadracharya and lyricist-poet Sampooran Singh Kalra aka Gulzar selected for 58th Jnanpith...

Jagadguru Swami Rambhadracharya and lyricist-poet Sampooran Singh Kalra aka Gulzar selected for 58th Jnanpith Award for achievements in Sanskrit and Urdu

In a statement, the Jnanpith selection committee said, "It has been decided to give the award (for 2023) to eminent writers from two languages: Sanskrit litterateur Jagadguru Rambhadracharya and well-known Urdu litterateur Shri Gulzar."

On Saturday (17th February), the Jnanpith selection committee announced that Sanskrit scholar Jagadguru Rambhadracharya and lyricist Sampooran Singh Kalra, popularly known as Gulzar, have been selected as the recipients of the 58th Jnanpith Award.

Instituted in 1944, the Jnanpith Award is the oldest and the highest Indian literary award presented annually to recognise outstanding contributions to Indian literature.

In a statement, the Jnanpith selection committee said, “It has been decided to give the award (for 2023) to eminent writers from two languages: Sanskrit litterateur Jagadguru Rambhadracharya and well-known Urdu litterateur Shri Gulzar.”

The award is being presented for the second time in recognition of achievements in the Sanskrit language and for the fifth time in honour of accomplishments in Urdu. It includes a cash prize of Rs 21 lakh, a Vagdevi statue, and a citation. In 2022, the award was bestowed upon Goan writer Damodar Mauzo. The committee chaired by Jnanpith awardee Pratibha Rai selects recipients for this award.

Swami Rambhadracharya is the founder and head of Tulsi Peeth in Chitrakoot. He is the renowned Hindu spiritual leader, educator, and author of more than 240 books and texts, including four epics. Additionally, his testimony citing Hindu scriptures before the Honourable courts played a key role in the Ayodhya Ram Janambhoomi case. 

He is currently one of the four Jagadguru Ramanandacharyas of the Ramananda sect, a title which he has held since 1982. He is a polyglot who speaks 22 languages and is a poet and writer in several Indian languages including Sanskrit, Hindi, Awadhi, and Maithili. In 2015, he received the Padma Vibhushan award. 

Lyricist and Urdu poet, Sampooran Singh Kalra, popularly known as Gulzar received the Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu in 2002, Padma Bhushan in 2004, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2013, and at least five National Film awards for his works. He has also penned lyrics for many Bollywood movies.

In a statement, the Bharatiya Jnanpith said, “Along with his long film journey, Gulzar has been setting new milestones in the field of literature. In poetry, he invented a new genre ‘Triveni’ which is a non-mukaffa poem of three lines. Gulzar has always created something new through his poetry. For some time now he has also been paying serious attention to children’s poetry.”

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