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Prof. Namvar Singh to be conferred Kuvempu Rashtreeya Puraskar

ANI  |  New Delhi 

Noted Hindi writer Prof. Namvar Singh has been chosen for the prestigious Kuvempu Rashtreeya Puraskar this year.

The award carries an amount of Rs five lakh and a citation. The award will be given to him on December 29 at poet Kuvempu's birthplace by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Kuppali Venkata Puttappa, popularly known as kuvempu, major poet of the 20th century, was a prolific writer. His works include 27 collection of poems, 10 literary essays, 12 plays, three collection of short stories, four Translations, two biographies, two novels of greater magnitude, one autobiography, one epic, three khandakaavyas etc.

He has received the prestigious Jnanapitha Award for his epic Shree Ramayana Darshanam, and also received Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India.

The award was conferred to Dr. Sachidanandan, a noted poet from Kerala, in 2013.

This Award was instituted during 2013.

"The committee headed by noted critic Dr. CN Ramachandran has unanimously selected Dr. Namvar Singh for the 2014 award for his excellent contributions to Hindi literarary criticism.

Born in a peasant family at Jiwanpur in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi district, Dr. Namwar Singh was educated at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), obtaining the degree of Ph. D. in Hindi Literature in 1953. He then taught at Banaras and Sagar Universities.

He later worked as a professor and Head of the Hindi Department, Jodhpur University, and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He had been appointed Vice Chancellor of the Wardha-based Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University in Gujarat.

During his tenure as the Vice Chancellor, Dr Singh tried to improve the teaching standards of the University and impart a new direction to its activities to maintain its uniqueness.

Dr. Namwar Singh wrote poetry during his student days. Soon he joined the Progressive Writers movement. He published his first book of essays, Bakalam Khud, in 1951. Later, he turned to literary criticism, and has published a number of works. He also edits the Hindi quarterly Alochana. His Kavita ke Naye Pratiman, is a comprehensive study of the new poetry movement in Hindi emphasizing the necessity for a new criteria to evaluate poetry. For its clarity of vision and analytic acumen, the work has been hailed as an outstanding contribution to contemporary Hindi literature. Prof. Namvar Singh has received Sahitya akademi award for this book.

The new criteria springing up in the Hindi poetry after the Chhayavad have been marked by Namvar Singh. The criteria are those of realistic poetry: for example, poetic diction, 'plainness of statement', dramatic poetic structure, absurdity and irony, complexity and tension of experience, and honesty. These are related to both the form and content of poetry. The criteria concerning poetic diction, 'plainness of statement', and structure are related to the form while the other criteria are related to the content of poetry. What characterizes Singh's approach is that he analyses neither of the two sets of criteria as independent in itself. He analyses the formal criteria in relation to the content and vice-versa.

Namvar Singh is the most important literary critic in Hindi today. He is also perhaps with Nirmal Verma, the most articulate and influential of all living Hindi writers. Over the last decade or so he has acquired a pan Indian reputation as one of the tallest literary and cultural critics writing in any Indian language.

He was one of the first critics in the country - as distinct from the poets, novelists, and dramatists to win a SahityaAkademy award ( 1971) and the invitation to him to deliver the keynote address SahityaAkademi festival of letters in 1991 was again the kind of honor usually accorded only to the most eminent for our creative writers.

First Published: Mon, September 22 2014. 16:56 IST