24 December 2016 Current Affairs: Eminent modern Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh was chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for the year 2016. He is the 52nd recipient of Jnanpith Award. He is sixth Bengali litterateur to bag this prestigious literary award after Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay (1966), Bishnu Dey (1971), Ashapoorna Devi (1976), Subhash Mukhopadhyay (1991) and Mahasweta Devi (1966).
Shankha Ghosh : Born on 6 February 1932 in Chandpur now in Bangladesh. He is prolific poet, critic and academician. He is regarded a leading authority on Rabindranath in addition to being one of the most prolific writers in Bengali. He is considered as a poet with an eye to social milieu and his poems record both his time and space in a rare poetic style.
His poems are often laden with messages, but are free from polemics. Some of his famous poems are ‘Adim lata-gulmomay’, ‘Kabir abhipray’, ‘Murkha baro, samajik nay’, ‘Mukh dheke jay bigyapane’, ‘Babarer prarthana’, Dinguli Raatguli and ‘Nihita Patalchaya’ His works have also been translated widely into several Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Assamese and Malayalam, as well as into some foreign languages. He also been awarded Sahitya Akademi Award, Saraswati Samman, Narsingh Das Puraskar and Rabindra Puraskar among others.
Jnanpith Award : Jnanpith Award is India’s highest literary honour. Its name has been taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat. It was instituted in 1961 by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family that owns the Times of India newspaper group.
It is bestowed upon any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India and English. Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But after 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature. The award carries cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom Note: Bengali novelist Ashapoorna Devi was the first woman to win this award in 1976. She was honoured for her 1965 novel Pratham Pratisruti (The First Promise), the first in a trilogy.