Hindi writer Wajahat to be awarded 31st Vyas Samman for 2019 play
Noted Hindi writer Asgar Wajahat will be awarded the 31st Vyas Samman for his play Mahabali, which was published in 2019, the KK Birla Foundation said in an official statement.
The award, instituted in 1991 and given by the KK Birla Foundation, recognises outstanding literary work in Hindi authored by an Indian citizen and published in the previous 10 years. It carries a cash prize of ₹4 lakh. The recipient is chosen by a selection panel, which is headed by famous Hindi litterateur Prof. Ramji Tiwari.
Born in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur on July 5, 1946, Wajahat completed his MA in Hindi and PhD from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He then went on to do post doctoral research at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The literary veteran also served as a professor at the Hindi department of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University. In a career spanning several decades, Wajahat has penned literary work across genres, ranging from novels and plays to essays and travelogue. He has been a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar (2014) and was adjudged the Best Playwright by the Hindi Academy in 2009-10.
In his play Mahabali, Wajahat focuses on Mughal emperor Akbar and poet Tulsidas to bring to the fore the different worlds of power politics and art. Through the play, Wajahat attempts to answer who is the real Mahabali (the all-powerful), the poet or the emperor.