3 Punjabi poets to take part in Commonwealth recitation


Three Punjabi poets will be participating in the ongoing Commonwealth poetry recitation at the national capital. Except for English and Punjabi, the event, organised by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, has one poet representing each language, Indian or foreign.

Sahitya Akademi Vice-President Sutinder Singh Noor informed, "Dr Surjit Patar and Manmohan have been selected to represent Punjabi poetry and India as a nation." Ajmer Rode, a well-known poet who is based in Canada and is well know for his Punjabi classic poetry book Leela which he co-authored with his brother Navtej Bharti, will recite some of his poems written in Punjabi. He will also recite some of his works in English.

The individual music recordings in the opening performance included those of Hariharan, A R Rehman, Dr Manadgopal Singh, Jassi and Anajana Puri. Dr Singh, Jassi and Anajana too are Punjabis.

Dr Noor said, "Over the recent past some Punjab poets have broken boundaries and addressed wider audiences. The result has been very positive for Punjabi poets have been loved everywhere, whether it was at a Kavi Sammelan in Kolkata or in Chennai. Dr Surjit Patar is one such poet."

These poets will be performing around October 8, 9 and 10. While Dr Patar is a living legend of Punjabi poetry and was recently decorated with the Saraswati Samman, Manmohan is an interesting mix of an IPS officer and a poet. Currently posted in Afghanistan with the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Manmohan is well know among the poetry circuit.

Ajmer Rode, who is also known as the founder of Punjabi theatre in Canada, is known most for his 1,000-page Leela, a book on poetry which he wrote with his brother Navtej Bharti who too is an highly revered name in Punjabi poetry. The list of Punjabis doing their home state proud at the Commonwealth extravaganza, apart from sports, is long. Well-known theatre activist Neelam Man Singh will stage a Punjabi play which has been translated by Dr Surjit Patar.

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