The Panjab University (PU) is pleased to announce that Shri Gulzar, the famous poet, lyricist and film director has agreed to assume the Tagore Chair of the University. The Chair is named after Rabindranath Tagore, the Bard of Bengal who won the Nobel Prize in 1913. Tagore Professorship was created at PU as part of UGC initiative to commemorate birth centenary of Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore. The prestigious Chair at PU has had two stalwarts occupying it since its inception. Distinguished writer and art critic, Dr. Mulk Raj Anand was the first to serve as the chair Professorship. He served from 1962 to 1965. Thereafter, noted Hindi novelist, literary historian, essayist, critic and scholar, Dr. Hazari Prasad Dwivedi was appointed as the Tagore Professor.
Oscar winning lyricist Shri Gulzar’s acceptance of the chair is a matter of great
pride for the university because he will bring with him the immense regard he has
for Tagore. Shri Gulzar has had a lifelong relationship with Tagore as it was
Tagore’s writing that introduced him to the world of literature and gave direction
to his simple yet profound writing style. Gulzar has recently translated the Poetry
of Tagore in two volumes of ‘Gulzar translates Tagore’ collection namely ‘Nindiya
Chor (Crescent Moon in English)’ and ‘Baaghban (The Gardener in English)’, which are
an outcome of his passion for Tagore’s poetry. The books are his latest offering
being released in 2016 and bring out unique relationship of two sensitive souls. The
Gulzar Sahib has sent his latest books as a gift to the PU Vice Chancellor, Prof
Arun Kumar Grover, in a show of affection to the university. Prof. Grover has
thanked him for the same.
The university is keenly looking forward to his visit. It is proposed to get the collection re-released on that occasion. As Gulzar has emphasized: “Tagore’s poetry was instrumental in shaping the course of my life. It inspired me in a way that completely changed my choice of books. I learnt to read in Bengali so that I could understand Tagore’s poems better.”
The university will be enriched by the series of lectures that Gulzar Sahib will be
delivering and also through the meaningful interaction with faculty, students, artists, writers and intellectuals across disciplines in this region which will be organised as part of the activities of the Chair. The Faculty of Languages hopes to gain much from his visit in the areas of creative writing, translation studies and film theory, and learn from his experience as a director as well a writer of dialogues and scripts. The students of the School of Communication Studies and listeners of Radio Jyotirgamaya, will be exposed to the literary acumen of Gulzar sahib and learn the nuances of popular writing styles for creative media. Shri Gulzar has been the recipient of Padma Bhushan, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. He has won several Indian National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, an Oscar and one Grammy Award.
It may be recalled that the PU has earlier honoured Gulzar Sahib with the first Sahitya Rattan Award and Shri Gulzar in his address had mentioned that coming to PU was homecoming for him. He also reciprocated the gesture through an evening of interaction with the faculty and students of PU.