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Gulzar and Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Awarded Prestigious Jnanpith Award 2023

The Jnanpith Award, India’s most prestigious literary accolade, has announced its recipients for the year 2023, marking a momentous occasion in the annals of Indian literature. This year, the honour is bestowed upon two luminaries from the world of letters: celebrated Urdu poet and Bollywood personality Gulzar, and the distinguished Sanskrit scholar and spiritual leader Jagadguru Rambhadracharya. Their selection for the 58th edition of the award underscores the rich diversity and depth of Indian literary traditions, spanning the classical to the contemporary.

Gulzar: A Versatile Literary Genius

Gulzar, born Sampooran Singh Kalra, has etched his name in the realms of Urdu poetry and Hindi cinema with an indelible ink. As one of the finest Urdu poets of his generation, Gulzar’s contributions extend beyond the poetic to include significant works as a writer and director in Bollywood. His achievements have been recognized with numerous accolades, including the Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the Padma Bhushan, and several National Film Awards. Notably, his song “Jai Ho” from the film “Slumdog Millionaire” has won both an Oscar and a Grammy, showcasing his international acclaim.

Gulzar’s directorial ventures such as “Koshish,” “Parichay,” and “Mausam,” among others, are considered classics. His creation of the ‘Triveni,’ a unique genre of non-rhyming three-line poetry, and his focus on children’s poetry in recent years, highlight his innovative spirit and versatility.

Jagadguru Rambhadracharya: A Scholar of Sanskrit and Spirituality

Jagadguru Rambhadracharya stands as a towering figure in the world of Sanskrit scholarship and Hindu spirituality. As the founder and head of Tulsi Peeth in Madhya Pradesh, his contributions to education, literature, and spiritual discourse are unparalleled. Authoring over 240 books and texts, including four epics, Rambhadracharya’s prolific output spans a variety of themes and forms. His receipt of the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 attests to his significant impact on Indian culture and scholarship.

A polyglot fluent in 22 languages, Rambhadracharya’s influence extends across linguistic and sectarian boundaries, embodying the universal appeal of Indian spiritual and literary traditions.

Jnanpith Award 2023 Committee

The awardees were selected by a committee headed by Odia writer Pratibha Rai. Other members of the selection committee included Madhav Kaushik, Damodar Mauzo, Suranjan Das, Purushottam Bilmale, Praful Shiledar, Harish Trivedi, Prabha Verma, Janaki Prasad Sharma, A. Krishna Rao and Jnanpith director Madhusudan Anand.

The Jnanpith Award, A Legacy of Literary Excellence

Established in 1965 by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, the Jnanpith Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Indian literature. With a legacy spanning over five decades, the award has celebrated the works of authors across various Indian languages, reflecting the country’s rich linguistic and cultural tapestry. The award includes a cash prize of ₹11 lakh, a statue of Vagdevi, and a citation, symbolizing the highest honour in Indian literature.

This year’s selection of Gulzar and Jagadguru Rambhadracharya for their contributions to Urdu and Sanskrit literature, respectively, marks the second time Sanskrit and the fifth time Urdu has been recognized, highlighting the inclusive nature of the award.

Gulzar and Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Awarded Prestigious Jnanpith Award 2023_4.1

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