President Pranab Mukherjee on 11 July 2016 conferred the 51st Jnanpith Award on renowned Gujarati writer Dr. Raghuveer Chaudhari at Parliament Library Building, New Delhi. He was awarded with the India's highest literary honour for the year 2015.
He was given a cash prize, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati.
With this, he also became the fourth Gujarati literary artist to receive the prestigious award. The other Gujarati recipients of the award are poet Umashankar Joshi (1967), novelist Pannalal Patel (1985) and poet Rajendra Shah (2001).
Dr. Raghuveer Chaudhari
• Born in 1938, the Gujarati writer is a Gandhian and his works are largely influenced by literary figures like Kaka Kalelkar.
• Chaudhari’s most significant contributions have been in Gujarati language but he has also written Hindi articles.
• His most noted works include novels Amruta, Venu Vatsala and Uparvas.
• He had also received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977, for his novel trilogy Uparvas.
• He was a teacher at the Gujarat University until his retirement in 1998 as a professor and the head of Department of Hindi.
• Raghuveer Chaudhari started his career writing novels and poetry, and later ventured into other forms of literature.
• He authored more than 80 books and received numerous literary awards.
• He also served for many literary organisations.
• He was one of the many participants of the Navnirman Movement and voiced openly against Emergency in the 1970s.
• At present, he is a trustee of the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, a noted literary institution in the state, of which he was elected the president 2001.
• He served for the executive council of Sahitya Akademi from 1998 to 2002.
• He was a member of the Press Council of India from 2002 to 2004 and was also appointed as a jury member of the 25th Indian Film Festival.
• Between 1965 and 1970, he won numerous prizes awarded annually by the Gujarat government.
• Some of awards conferred on him include
a) Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1975
b) Munshi Award in 1997
c) Sauhard Samman from Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthaan in 1990
d) Narmad Award in 2010
e) Uma-Snehrashmi Prize in 1975
f) Ranjitram Gold Medal in 1975
About Jnanpith Award
Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary awards in India. The name of award is taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat. It was instituted in 1961 and is presented by Bharatiya Jnanpith, a trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family.
The award is given to any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India. Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But since 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature. The award includes cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati.
The 50th Jnanpith award was given to Marathi writer Bhalchandra Vanaji Nemade, renowned for his books Hindu and Kosala.
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When: 11 July 2016