Among the authors and poets read and loved on both sides of the India-Pakistan border, it is that name of Amrita Pritam that stands out amongst the most. Considered to be the first “prominent” female Punjabi poet and author, Pritam would have celebrated her hundredth birth anniversary today if only she were here with us. Born to a poet and scholar, Kartar Singh Hitkar in present-day Pakistan, Amrita Pritam became the first woman to win the “Sahitya Akademi Award”.

She is mainly known for her poem “Ajj aakhaan Waris Shah nu” (Ode to Waris Shah) which is about the tragedies of 1947. She is also known for her book, Pinjar (1950). The book was turned into a movie in 2003 and has received much love since.

In the course of her life, Pritam had a career spanning six long decades. So it is indeed no wonder that no one has been able to replace her from our hearts since.

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