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The first female recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, Amrita Pritam articulated the social plight and sexual aspirations of women.
Amrita Pritam, hailed from pre-partition India. Her works – the celebrated ‘Ode to Waris Shah’ and ‘Pinjar’, her most acclaimed novel, were inspired by the mindless bloodbath of 1947 Partition and the barbarous physical abuse women suffered on both sides of the border.
Amrita wrote prolifically both in Punjabi and Hindi. Her oeuvre comprised of over 75 books – several anthologies of poetry, short stories, autobiographies and novels – all of which are marked by a deep humanism and sensuousness.
In Amrita’s works, we find defiant women protagonists who strive to break free from the proscriptive social norms imposed by a patriarchal setup, as also a candid exploration of the feminine sexuality.
Why we find her inspiring:
– Because she was the first feminist writer Punjab ever had
– Because she strove to give Punjabi women an identity and voice that went beyond conventional narratives
– Because she held her own against narrow-minded, gender discrimination
– Because she lived life – vividly and on her own terms
Pic Credit – http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20051105/saturday/lead4.jpg
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