Gurdit Singh expresses concern at westernisation
Deeply perturbed over the overshadowing of written
word and literature by West-oriented television
programmes, Giani Gurdit Singh, the world renowned
Punjabi author of "Mera Pind" fame,
feels that the growing lack of interest among
younger generation in serious literature was a
huge loss with far-reaching consequences for the
Giani Gurdit Singh had shot into fame with the
huge success of his novel, "Mera Pind,"
which was published for the first time in 1961,
and which was still in print after its seventh
edition hitting the market in 2003. The novel,
depicting village life of Punjab in its very true
sense, had not only fetched a UNESCO award, but
also earned a wide acclaim. Khushwant Singh said
of the novel, "Mera Pind is a collection
of delightful essays on various aspects of village
life in the Eastern Punjab. The book gives us
a lively picture of pastoral life, written in
delectable prose, studded with aphorisms, proverbs
and songs. The one thing which will give Mera
Pind a long lease of life, if not immortality,
is the fact that the author has used the Punjabi
language as it is spoken by the common people.
The Punjabi of Mera Pind is full-blooded and masculine."
On the same lines, the online edition of the Encyclopaedia
Britannica found the book to be "one of the
most outstanding novels depicting rural life in
Punjab…. almost a classic in Punjabi literature."
Giani Gurdit Singh, who was at the Browser Bookstore
here for a literary interaction, shared his thoughts
with Jalandhar Plus. " I don't agree that
the importance of the written word has vanished.
But at the same time, I don't relish the hard
fact that a big section of the younger generation
has somehow lost interest in literature. Most
of the youngsters are interested in watching those
television programmes, which either present the
fragmented Punjabi culture or distort it to a
certain extent. Can they tell the message weaved
in "Shakuntala", which is an immortal
classic?" questioned Giani Gurdit Singh.
Asked to explain the role of media in the propagation
of Punjabi culture, he quipped, "I don't
"But I would say that if we continue to be
indifferent towards literature, particularly the
genre which explains our culture, we are going
to suffer a lot. It would be an irreversible loss
and it would continue to haunt us for generations
together," he said.
He expressed his concern at the way in which different
"Birs" of Sri Guru Granth Sahib were
not being preserved on account of their being
"old". On his part, he has decided to
do an elaborate research on the history of "Birs"
of Guru Granth Sahib. " I am also likely
to go to the UK for this purpose soon," he