This is aimed at encouraging creative or reflective writing in English,
Hindi and other Indian languages, published within the specified award period.
The literary genres of poetry, short story, novel, drama, critique, biography,
as well as humour, satire, essays, philosophy etc., will be considered for this
Last three years Awardees
2009-10 Ashok Pawar
Thoudam Netrajit Singh
Inderjit is a promising young voice in contemporary Punjabi literature. Her
poetry has delicate rhythm, which enhances its communicability. It delves deep
into the psyche and consciousness of women and brings forth their experience and
turbulence. At the same time, her poetry also addresses wider issues and
subjects of her society. The most remarkable fact is that her poetry and other
writings embody immense love for human life.
Her first two collections ‘Dishadiyon Ton Par’ and ‘Chup De Rang’ came out in
2002 and 2005 respectively. She also wrote a biographical account of noted
Punjabi theatre artist Joginder Baharla in the year 2006 which was a huge
success and attracted widespread attention of critics. In 2008, her epic ‘Bhagat
Singh: Anathak Jivangatha’ was published, where she has portrayed the life and
struggles of Bhagat Singh from a distinct creative lens, not only from the
ideological standpoint. The credit for being the first poetess in Punjabi
language creating an epic also goes to Inderjit Nandan.
Inderjit has deep social commitments. She says: ‘Literature refines individual.
The work of a writer is to provide direction to society, but for that, a writer
is required to correctly determine his or her own direction. She or he should
never forget her or his responsibility towards the society”. This strong
commitment moves Inderjit ahead and engages her in numerous social developmental
Her passion for poetry is evident in her own words “I cannot live without
poetry. The part of my life, which I have not shared with anyone, has been
shared with poetry.”
Ashok Pawar is one of the powerful emerging voices in the Dalit literature
coming out from Maharashtra. His first autobiographical work Birad proved
to be a trail-blazer with its brutal candidness and immediacy of the appeal.
Marked by a rare balance of intensity of expression and seemingly detached
presentation of all that he as an individual hailing from disadvantaged moorings
went through, his story raised some questions about the superficiality of the
socio-economic development scorching enough to make thinking minds think afresh
about the issues. His is not a yet another Dalit story, punctuated alternately
with wails of helplessness, and fists raised in protest, it is much more.
His second work Elanmal, is an extension of his debutant work Birad.
The form of novel offered him a new freedom to blend the facts with fiction. His
writing acquires a sharper edge here reflecting sufferings of the people who are
brazenly exploited by the rich, ‘better educated’ and the upper caste. His works
offer a window to the caste pyramid and the way it takes toll on the lowest
wrung for generations on end and the past has its feet buried deep in the
quagmire of irrational and unfair repression, and the present is only a shade
different. The foreseeable future offers no magic carpet for something rooted so
Ashok Pawar has come on the literary scene without any precursor and has no isms
to lean on. His is a tale told in stark simplicity, his expression untamed by
the rules of sophistication giving new expressions to Marathi stemming from the
nomadic dialect he has grown up with. His novels, ‘Thangpata’ and ‘Gardal’
are ready for publications. He has been honored with 13 awards so far.
Netrajit, one of the prominent young poets of Manipur passed his matriculation
in 1993 from Salam village but could not progress further in his study because
of health issues. Despite writing being an uphill task, he wrote of his undying
faith in the emotional integrity of the people, using poetry and short story as
his modes of expression. He has written of the bleeding populace of Manipur, the
helpless innocent who are being crushed between the armed insurgents and the
His first collection of poems ‘Imphal Sahar,’ published in 1995, reflects the
traumatic experience of the young poet. In addition, he has published 4 books,
viz: Saharagee Meekap (1996, The Wailing Cries of the Sahara, short stories), Ei
Khutlai Paide (1997, I Don’t Hold Weapons, poetry), Kangshinkhraba Mitkee Pee
(2000, Dried up Tears), Lanphamsida (2006, In this Battle, poetry).
His poetry deals with the many contemporary situations of Manipur, particularly
violation of human rights, longing for peace, disappointments of younger
generations, exploitation, etc. Most of his poems are short but they are charged
with force and strength. His use of symbols and imagery is lively and powerful.
He has presented his poems in forums like the All India Literary Conference
(2004) of the Progressive Writers’ Association, Hyderabad and SAARC Poetry
Festival (2008). He has also participated in the International Conference on
Manipuri Literature (2009) of the Bangladesh Manipuri Sahitya Sansad. He was
honoured with Yuba Puraskar in 2006 for Saharagee Meekap by Bhartiya Bhasha
Parishad, Kolkata besides winning other laurels.