Bhisham Sahni

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Bhisham Sahni

Born: 8 August 1915

Died: 11 July 2003

  • He was an Indian writer, playwright in Hindi, and an actor, most famous for his novel and television screenplay Tamas (“Darkness, Ignorance”), a powerful and passionate account of the Partition of India.
  • He was awarded the Padma Bhushan for literature in 1998, and Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2002.
  • He was the younger brother of the noted Hindi film actor, Balraj Sahni.
  • His epic work Tamas (Darkness, Ignorance 1974) is a novel based on the riots of 1947 Partition of India which he witnessed at Rawalpindi.
  • Tamas portrays the horrors of senseless communal politics of violence and hatred; and the tragic aftermath – death, destruction, forced migration, and the partition of a country.
  • It has been translated to English, French, German, Japanese, and many Indian languages including Tamil, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kashmiri, and Manipuri.
  • Tamas won the 1975 Sahitya Akademi Award for literature and was later made into a television film in 1987 by Govind Nihalani.
  • Two of his masterpiece stories, Pali and Amritsar Aa Gaya Hai, are also based on the Partition.
  • He wrote the screenplay for Kumar Shahani’s film, Kasba (1991), which is based on Anton Chekhov’s story,In the Gully.
  • Although he had been writing stories for a long time,
  • he received recognition as a story writer only after the publication of his story ‘Chief Ki Daawat’(The Chief’s Party) in the Kahani magazine in 1956.
  • He wrote his autobiography Aaj Ke Ateet (Today’s Pasts, Penguin 2016) and the biography of his brother Balraj Sahni, Balraj My Brother (English).

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