Panjab University on Wednesday announced that Gulzar (81), the famous poet, Oscar award winning 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 for literature in 1913. The Tagore Professorship was created at PU as part of an initiative by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to commemorate the birth centenary of Tagore.
The prestigious chair has had two stalwarts since it was established. Distinguished writer and art critic, Dr Mulk Raj Anand was the first to hold the chair from 1962-1965. Thereafter, noted Hindi novelist, literary historian, essayist, critic and scholar, Dr Hazari Prasad Dwivedi held the chair.
“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,” said a university official.
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 offerings and out the unique relationship of two sensitive souls.
Gulzar has sent his latest books as gift to PU vice-chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover. The varsity plans to get his latest writings re-released during his next visit to the varsity.
“As part of his acceptance of the chair, the university will be enriched by the series of lectures that Gulzar will be delivering and his interaction with the faculty, students, artists, writers and intellectuals across disciplines,” a varsity official added.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had last week accepted an offer by PU to join the Jawaharlal Nehru Chair as professor. He will be rejoining his alma mater after a gap of over 50 years.