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Surjit Patar, born in 1945, obtained his PhD in Punjabi with a thesis on “Elements of Folklore in the Poetry of Guru Nanak Dev”. Professor of Punjabi from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, he started writing poetry in the mid-sixties to emerge as the foremost Punjabi poet today. Conferred with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for his Hanere vich sulghdi varnmala in 1995, he also received numerous other awards in India and abroad. Singers of national and international repute have sung his soulful ghazals and songs, and he himself is an accomplished singer. He has published four books of poems: Hawa vich likhe harf (Words written in the air), Birkh arz kar (Thus speaks the tree), Hanere vich sulghdi varnmala (Words smouldering in the dark) and Lafzanh di dargah (Shrine of words). He translated into Punjabi the three tragedies of Garcia Lorca, the play Nag Mandala of Girish Karnad, and poems of Bertolt Brecht and Pablo Neruda. He has also adapted plays from Giradoux, Euripides and Racine.
Dr. Patar has written tele-scripts on Punjabi poets, ranging from the 12th century Sheikh Farid to the contemporary Amrita Pritam, also presenting them with great élan. He is now the President of Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, Ludhiana, and Member of the General Council of Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi and its Punjabi Board.