Dhahan Prize Announces 2018 Winners For Best Punjabi Fiction
Baldev Singh Sarak Nama is the winner of $25,000 Dhahan Literary Award
Vancouver, BC ,September 13, 2018 : Prominent Punjabi writer Baldev Singh Saraknama has been declared the winner of 2018 Dhahan Literary Award of $25,000. The award has been announced for his novel " Sooraj Dee Akh (‘Sun’s Eye’) which remained in a hot controversy after its publication 2017.
Second prize winner are Harpreet Sekha and Nasir Baloch from Pakistan.
The winners list is as under :
2018 Winners of the Dhahan Prize in Punjabi Literature are:
• First Prize ~ $25,000:
Sooraj Dee Akh (‘Sun’s Eye’),novel by Baldev Singh (Punjab, India)
• Finalist ~ $10,000: Shahmukhi Script
JhoothaSaacha Koi Na (‘Everything Goes’), short stories by Nasir Baloch (Punjab, Pakistan)
• Finalist ~ $10,000: Gurmukhi script
Prism, short stories by Harpreet Sekha (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada)
In addition, Coast Capital Savings Credit Union as presenting sponsor for the Dhahan Youth Awards together with the Dhahan Prize in partnership with BC secondary schools, announces that the 2018 winners for the 2018 Youth Awards have been chosen. The contest wasopen to all British Columbia grade 11 & 12 high school students for short stories written in Punjabi and English. The winners will be announced at the October20th, 2018 Prize Award Ceremony.
The initiator of the awards Barj Dhahan said “The 2018 Dhahan Prize winners are well recognized for their creative works, representing the three Punjabs – West, East and Diasporic. Their themes and stories are relevant and timely contributions in understanding the past and the fast changing cultures in the global village,” said Barj S. Dhahan, Founder of the Prize.
The Dhahan Prize is the largest literary award celebrating the rich history of the Punjabi language. The Prize aims to inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders, bridging Punjabi communities around the world, and promoting Punjabi literature on a global scale.The awards garner critical acclaim and significant exposure for aspiring writers, setting the stage for its select winners to secure international projects that will also reach broader multilingual audiences.
The Dhahan Prize Youth Award is a unique initiative to encourage the youth of B.C. to embrace the rich Punjabi culture of the generations of families who have immigrated to Canada, specifically in British Columbia, through creative writing in the Punjabi language. Through the writings of the participants, in Punjabi & English, a greater understanding is being created among the youth of British Columbia; thus building bridges between people and communities of various identities.
The Dhahan Prize was established in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Punjabi people, language, and culture have a rich history. Punjabi is now the 3rd most spoken language in Canada and is a strong thread in the multicultural fabric of the nation. The prize has been established by the Canada India Education Society in partnership with the Department of Asian Studies in the Faculty of Arts at University of British Columbia, and is currently funded by Barj and Rita Dhahan, and family and friends.
The Dhahan Prize promotes Punjabi literature on a global scale by awarding $25,000 annually to the best book of fiction published in either Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi scripts, along with two additional finalist prizes of $10,000 CDN.
Controversy over the novel :
Sooraj Dee Akh (‘Sun’s Eye’) ,the award winner novel remained in the controversy after its publication.The Sikh radicals had protested against the writer blaming him for distorting some historical fact regarding Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After radicals protest,this novel was taken off shelves by publisher Lok Geet Parkashan. Harish Jain , Publisher of the book told Babushahi.com that he was happy that this book was chosen for Dhahan award but it sale was stopped after the controversy. He said he even refused to republish this novel to avoid any social conflict.