Surjit Patar is a popular Indian poet who is prominent in the Punjabi language and is known for his poetry books like ‘Hawa Vich Likhe Harf’ (1991), ‘Hanere Vich Sulagdi Varnmala’ (Script Smoldering in the Dark- 1992), ‘Lafzan Di Dargah’ (Shrine of Words-1999), and ‘Suraj Mandar Dian Pourian’ (2011).
Dr Surjit Patar was born as Surjit Hunjan on Sunday, 14 January 1945 (age 78 years; as of 2023) in village Patarhan (now known as Pattar Kalan), district Jalandhar, Punjab, India. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. Surjit completed his schooling at a local village school in Pattar Kalan and then joined Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia Government College (formerly known as Randhir College), Kapurthala, Punjab, for his graduation. He enrolled in science for his graduation, but he dropped out and took admission in arts soon after. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree, Surjit Patar completed an MA in Punjabi Language and Literature in 1970 at Punjabi University, Patiala. Surjit Patar later went to Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and pursued a PhD in Literature on ‘Transformation of Folkloric Elements in the Banhi of Guru Nanak Dev.’ Surjit Patar is settled in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. B Social- YouTube
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Colour: Grey
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
Surjit Patar’s father, Harbhajan Singh, migrated to Kenya to earn a living for his family. Surjit’s mother, Harbhajan Kaur, used to perform domestic duties in multiple houses in the village. Surjit Patar has four elder sisters, and he was the only son of his parents.
Wife & Children
Surjit Patar got married to Bhupinder Kaur Patar on 22 October 1978. Bhupinder Kaur Patar is a homemaker. The couple has two sons, Manraj Patar, and Ankur Patar. Manraj Patar is a lyricist and a singer who is settled in Ludhiana. Ankur Patar is a photographer and a digital artist who is settled in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Ankur Patar Both Surjit Patar’s sons are married.
Surjit Patar follows Sikhism.
Surjit Patar belongs to the ‘Hunjan’ sect (Punjabi Rajput) of Punjabi Sikhs who are profoundly known as merchants, traders, and migrants. People belonging to this caste were mainly settled in the Majha region of Punjab.
Initially, Surjit Patar’s poems were featured and published in Preet-Lari (linked through love), a journal founded by renowned novelist Gurbaksh Singh in 1933. Surjit Patar has written many poems in his career like ‘Hawa Vich Likhe Harf’ (1991), ‘Hanere Vich Sulagdi Varnmala’ (Script Smoldering in the Dark- 1992), ‘Lafzan Di Dargah’ (Shrine of Words-1999), and ‘Suraj Mandar Dian Pourian’ (Stairs of the Sun Temple-2011), ‘Haneri vi Jgah Sakdi Hai Deeve’ (Even the wind can light the lamp), and ‘Kuj Keha Ta Hanera Jarenga Kive’ (If something is said, how will the darkness go away?).
Surjit Patar released a book ‘Patjhar Di Panjeb’ (Autumn’s Anklet), which is a collection of all his written ghazals.
There are many ghazals written by Surjit Patar, and a few of them are ‘Boohe Di Dastak Toh Darda,’ ‘Hun Waqt Chaal Esi Koi Hor Chal Gya Hai,’ and ‘Paani Vi Peyas Waangu Ajj Bekarar Hoya.’
Surjit Patar has translated the three tragedies (Blood Wedding, Yerma, Bernarda Alba) of the famous Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca into the Punjabi Language. Surjit also translated the play Nagamandala written by Indian actor and director Girish Karnad. Surjit Patar has also translated some poems by Pablo Neruda and Bertolt Brecht.
Surjit Patar Returns The Padma Shri Award
In 2020, Surjit Patar announced that he would be returning the prestigious Padma Shri Award that he was awarded in 2012 for his contribution to literature and education. The decision was made by Surjit to support in order to support the farmers who were protesting against the farm laws passed by the BJP government. The Indian Express
Surjit Patar Returns The Sahitya Akademi Award
In 2015, Surjit Patar returned his Sahitya Akademi Award in order to protest against the growing communal violence in the country. The Dadri Lynching case urged Surjit Patar along with other recipients of the award to take this crucial step. DNA India
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- In 1979, Surjit Patar was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his first collection of poetry, ‘Hawa Vich Likhey Haraf.’ The Indian Express
- In 1980, Surjit Patar was awarded the Gyani Gurmukh Singh Musafir Poetry Award by the Language Department, Patiala, Punjab.
- In 1993, Surjit Patar was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his collection of poems ‘Hanere Vich Sulagdi Varnmala’ (Script Smoldering in the Dark- 1992).
- In 1999, Surjit Patar was awarded the ‘Panchnad Puruskar’ by Bhartiya Bhasha Parishad, Kolkata
- In 2010, Surjit Patar was awarded ‘The Saraswati Samman’ for the year 2009 for his poetry collection ‘Lafzan Di Dargah (Shrine of Words-1999).’ Hindustan Times
- In 2011, Surjit Patar received the Gangadhar National Award For Poetry by the Sambalpur University.
- In 2012, Surjit Patar was awarded India’s fourth highest honour, the Padma Shri Award, for his contribution to the field of Literature and Education.
- In 2014, Surjit Patar was awarded the Kusumagraj Literary Award along with a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh. Business Standard
- Cuisine: Indian
- Poet(s): Dalip Kaur Tiwana and Shiv Kumar Batalvi
- Surjit Patar loves spending time with his grandson Aveer, and often shares his pictures on social media.
- In 2017, Surjit Patar was appointed as the President of the Punjab Arts Council, Chandigarh. Directorate of Information and Public Relations
- Surjit Patar has held the office of President of Punjabi Sahit Academy, Ludhiana, Punjab.
- Surjit Patar started writing poetries at the age of 15 years.
- Surjit Patar is the first cousin of the famous Punjabi Folk singer and songwriter Didar Singh Pardesi.
- Before starting to write poetry, Surjit Patar used to sing Gurbani in local Gurudwaras to please his father who was a very religious person.
- Surjit Patar wanted to become a musician in childhood.
- Surjit Patar’s college teacher Surjit Singh Sethi guided and inspired him to start participating in literary activities in college.
- After receiving an MA in Punjabi Language and Literature, Surjit Patar enrolled himself for doctoral work on ‘The Existential Element in Punjabi Drama’ at Punjabi University, Patiala. At the time of his joining, there was an ongoing student protest, which inspired Surjit Patar to write a poem on that situation. The poem was an absolute mockery towards the then vice-chancellor of the university, which caused Surjit Patar’s suspension from the doctoral program.
- Surjit Patar has written tele-scripts (scripts written for teleplay) on famous Punjabi poets like Fariduddin Ganjshakar (popularly known as ‘Shaikh Farīd’) and Amrita Pritam.
- Surjit Patar’s major influence to enter the literary field was the famous novelist Dalip Kaur Tiwana.
- Surjit Patar has written dialogues for the Punjabi film, Shaheed Uddham Singh, which was released in 1999.
- Surjit Patar was a professor of Punjabi at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, and he retired in 2004.