Shiv Kumar Batalvi who was born on July 23, 1936 gave his best contribution to the nation. He was popularly known for his romantic poetry, known for its heightened passion, pathos, separation, and love agony. Speaking of the work of late artists, his first anthology of poems was published in 1960, titled “Peedan da Paraga” (The Scarf of Sorrows), which became an instant hit. Some seasoned writers like Jaswant Singh Rahi, Kartar Singh Balgan and Barkat Ram Yumman have taken him under their wing. And during that time he produced some of his best work. Very few know that Batalvi was the youngest recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Prize in 1967, awarded by Sahitya Akademi (the National Academy of Letters of India). The award he won was for his epic verse play based on Puran Bhagat’s ancient legend, Loona (1965). Batalvi received the award in 1967 when he was only 31 years old. The verse is now considered a masterpiece of modern Punjabi literature, and it also created a new genre of modern Punjabi Qissa. On his 49th death anniversary, we can pay homage to him and say that today too his poetry stands on equal footing, among such stalwarts of modern Punjabi poetry, as Mohan Singh (poet) and Amrita Pritam, all of whom are popular on both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border.
Also, what made it even more appealing than his songwriting was that he recited and sang these ballads himself, which ultimately did his songwriting justice. His poems have also been sung by notable singers like Deedar Singh Pardesi. Jagjit SinghChitra Singh and Surinder Kaur . Very few times, Shiv made his way into everyone’s heart, and people today also follow him and get inspired by his verses. One of his anthologies, Alvida (Farewell) was published posthumously in 1974, by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. And there, the “Shiv Kumar Batalvi Award” for the best writer is awarded every year.
The nation lost a gem on May 6, 1973 but left a mark through its work. Also, the Shiv Kumar Batalvi Auditorium is designed to commemorate the 75th birth anniversary of the famous Punjabi poet in Batala. The auditorium is located on Jalandhar Road, Batala and a world class auditorium has also been designed to inspire future generations in Punjab.