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  India   All India  18 Nov 2017  Storm over novel on Maharaja Ranjeet Singh

Storm over novel on Maharaja Ranjeet Singh

Published : Nov 18, 2017, 7:31 am IST
Updated : Nov 18, 2017, 7:31 am IST

The author was conferred the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2011 for his novel Dhahaan Dilli Kingre based on the life of Punjabi folk hero Dulla Bhati.

Maharaja Ranjeet Singh
 Maharaja Ranjeet Singh

Chandigarh: A Punjabi novel on Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s life written by Sahitya Academy award winning writer Baldev Singh Sadaknama is generating controversy in Punjab.

Named Suraj di Akh, the novel is a fictional work on the life of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. Parts of the novel focus on the drinking habits of Maharaja and his private life.

A police complaint has been lodged against the writer for hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs and organisations such as Dal Khalsa and Sikh Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) have raised objections about the book.
However, Mr Sadaknama was a truck driver years ago before he became a writer, feels that his latest novel is purely based on historical facts. “Anyone, who is raising objections surely has not read the book. I admire Maharaja Ranjeet Singh and his mastery over war strategy. However, there were other aspects of his life, which I had explained such as his love for wine and women. I have read at least 45 books on him before writing this book. All these facts about Maharaja Ranjeet Singh are well recorded in history. Moreover, how can anyone’s religious sentiments be hurt if anything is written about the life of a king” Mr Sadaknama asked.

Baldev Singh SadaknamaBaldev Singh Sadaknama

The author was conferred the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2011 for his novel Dhahaan Dilli Kingre based on the life of Punjabi folk hero Dulla Bhati.

The novel Suraj di Akh (eye of the sun) is inspired by the fact that in Punjabi mythology, it is believed that Sun has one eye and, interestingly Maharaja Ranjeet Singh also lost one of his eyes to smallpox in childhood. This correlation inspired me to name the book so, Mr Sadaknama said.

The author was also trolled on social media for the book. Pained by the trolls, Mr Sadaknama wrote a piece in a vernacular newspaper saying he would stop writing. Now the Rampura Phool city police in Bhatinda district has asked the author to appear in person as they have received a complaint against his novel Suraj Di Akh.

According to Bhatinda senior superintendent of police Naveen Singla, “A complaint was filed against Mr Sadaknama and I had marked it to Rampura Phool police. Some persons have complained that their religious sentiments were hurt because of adverse comments about Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in the book. He has been called so that we could record his statement.”

The author Mr Sadaknama, who has penned more than 60 books, moved to Kolkotta in 1969 and worked as truck driver, he started writing about the lives of truck drivers, which become very popular and was published as ‘Sadaknama’. Before returning to Punjab in 1985 from Kolkota, Mr Sadaknama was a reasonably successful transporter. He had a fleet of seven trucks, two trailers and four taxis. However, his friends in the transport business still keep influencing him to join them.

Tags: sahitya akademi award, maharaja ranjeet singh, baldev singh sadaknama