Harcharan Singh (writer)

Dr. Harcharan Singh (1914–2006) was an Indian dramatist and writer in the Punjabi language. He dedicated 69 years of his life to Punjabi theater, in which he authored 51 books and staged numerous plays all over the world.[2]

Harcharan Singh
Punjabi Playwright
10 December 1914 - 12 April 2006 (age 92)
Dr. Harcharan Singh
The Man Of All Seasons
Books written
Kal Ajj Te Bhalak (1971)
Ratta Sallu (1953)
Shobha Shakti (1961)
Chamkaur Di Garhi (1966)
Hind Di Chaddar (1975)
Dharam Kaur in 1938
Dr. Amarjit Singh Banwatt
Jasbir Kaur Gahunia
Jagbir Kaur Vaid
Amrit Kaur Gahunia
Harbux Singh Latta


Singh was born in 1914 at Chak # 576, near Nankana Sahib (now in Pakistan) to father, Kirpa Singh, and mother, Rakkhi.[1] He was sent to his ancestral village, Urapar in Jalandhar District, for education. After passing class 8th from the Govt. School, Chakdanna, Singh was sent to Khalsa School, Jalandhar, for Matric (Class 10). Singh enrolled in B.A. at Khalsa College, Amritsar in 1933. Then he obtained his master's degree in Punjabi and history from FC College Lahore. Moreover, he earned his Ph.D. degree in orientalism and oriental history, with particular emphasis on classical, pre-Maurya Indo-Aryan dynasties of the Punjab and Himalayas for his thesis "Theatre Traditions in Punjab" from Delhi University in 1943.[3]

He was the head of Punjabi Dept., Punjabi University, Patiala, for 10 years, from 1965 to 1975. He held the post of chairman at the Punjab Sangeet Natak Academy from 1982 to 1991 and again from 1994 to 1997. He was then appointed the chairman of Punjab Arts Council, Chandigarh, from 1999 to 2002.[4]


Singh wrote his first play, Kamla Kumari, in 1937, which was first staged in Amritsar on 21 January 1938.[1] He established the Punjab Art Theatre at Lahore in 1939 and popularized theatrical activities in Punjab.[2] He initiated a trend in Punjabi theatre with his wife Dharam Kaur, who dared to act female role in his play Anjorh, staged at YMCA Hall Lahore in 1939. This paved the way for women on Punjabi stage.[5]

Anjorh 1941

Singh authored 51 books in Punjabi.[2] He was an authority on Sikh historical plays.[6] His well-known historical plays are Chamkaur Di Garhi, Punian Da Chan, Miti Dhundh Jag Chanan Hoa, Jafarnama, Sarhand Di Kandh, Hind Di Chadar, Rani Jindan, Kama Gata Maru and Shubh Karman Te Kabh Hoon Na Taron. The play Chamkaur Di Garhi was first staged on the occasion of the tercentenary birth celebration of Shri Guru Gobind Singh at famous Sunmukh Nanda Auditorium, Bombay, in December 1966. For the last 38 years, different theatrical groups have been staging this play in India and abroad. Six of his plays have been translated into Hindi and one into Russian.

About a dozen of his books have won awards.[7] He was given the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award in 1973 for his play Kal Aj Te Bhalak (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow). He was honored by Punjab Govt. as Shromani Sahitkar in 1974. Besides these decorations he was honored by more than a dozen national and international institutions. The feature film Sarbansdani Guru Gobind Singh was based on his famous play Chamkaur Di Garhi.[8] His historical play Rani Jindan was performed by Punjabi Kala Kendra Chandigarh in 20 big cities of Canada and the US in 1981.

Singh wrote the scripts of Bole So Nihal, (a world-famous multimedia Sight & Sound Panorama on 500 years of Sikh History, specially produced for the Birth of Khalsa celebrations,) Sher-e-Punjab (a multimedia Sight & Sound Panorama on 40 glorious years of Khalsa Raj) and Guru Maneo Granth, (another mega multi-media sight & sound panorama dedicated to the 400th centenary of the Prakash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib). These shows have been shown in 50 cities of Punjab and India besides in 54 major cities of the US, Canada and UK since 1999.[9][10]

List of books[11][12]Edit

No. First published in Book title Publisher ISBN
1 1937 Kamla Kumari Self Published NA
2 1938 Raja Porus Self Published NA
3 1939 Dur Durade Shahron Lahore Book Shop, Ludhiana NA
4 1941 Anjorh NA NA
5 1943 Khedan De Din Chaar NA NA
6 1949 Dosh Punjabi Publisher, New Delhi NA
7 1953 Ratta Sallu Aarsi Publishers, New Delhi NA
8 1954 Tera Ghar So Mera Ghar Sundar Pustak Bhandhar, New Delhi NA
9 1955 Punia Da Chan Punjabi Publishers, New Delhi NA
10 1961 Shobha Shakti Aarsi Publishers, New Delhi NA
11 1966 Chamkaur Di Garhi Singh Brothers, Amritsar NA
12 1969 Mitti Dhundh Jag Chanan Hoa Singh Brothers, Amritsar NA
13 1971 Kal Ajj Te Bhalak Navyug Publishers, New Delhi NA
14 1973 Lehande Da Noor (Poetic Drama) Punjabi Pyare Publisher, Chandigarh NA
15 1974 Samaaj De Tham NA NA
16 1975 Hind Di Chaddar Lahore Book Shop, Ludhiana NA
17 1977 Dekh Kabira Roya Singh Brothers, Amritsar NA
18 1979 Sahit Te Sabhyachar De Ambar Tare Aarsi Publishers, New Delhi NA
19 1980 Maseeha Suli Te Muskuraya Lahore Book Shop, Ludhiana NA
20 1981 Rani Jindhan Aarsi Publishers, New Delhi NA
21 1983 Kamagata Maru Raghbir Rachna Publishers, Chandigarh NA
22 1984 Ambar Kala NA NA
23 1989 Aag Bujao Singh Brothers, Amritsar NA
24 1992 Shubh Karman Te Kabhu Na Tro Singh Brothers, Amritsar 81-7205-090-9
25 1995 Mitti Puche Ghumiar Toh Navyug Publishers, New Delhi 81-86216-70-7
26 2004 Guru Maneo Granth NA NA
27 2005 Jene Lahor Nahin Dekhea (Stories) Tarlochan Publishers, Chandigarh 81-7914-120-9
28 2006 Udhala (Stories) Tarlochan Publishers, Chandigarh 81-7914-135-7
29 1960 Murkhe Di Khusboo (One Act Play) Ludhiana Book Shop, Ludhiana NA
30 NA Marhian Di Puja NA NA
31 NA Khet De Baney NA NA
32 1997 Baapu Di Ghorhi Punjabi University, Patiala 81-7380-262-9
33 NA Kanchan Matti NA NA
34 1972 Zafarnama (One Act Play) Singh Brothers, Amritsar 81-7205-104-2
35 NA Sirhand Di Kand NA NA
36 1940 Jeevan Leela Lahore Book Shop, Ludhiana NA
37 1943 Sipiyan (Stories) Punjabi Publishers, New Delhi NA
38 1957 Meri Chonvi Ikangi Sundar Pustak Bhandar, New Delhi NA
39 1979 Che Rang (Collection of One Act Plays) Singh Brothers, Amritsar NA
40 1944 Panj Geetrha P.S. Datta, Lahore NA
41 1942 Sapt Rishi (Collection of One Act Plays) Lahore Book Shop, Lahore NA
42 1989 Meri Pratinidh Rachna Punjabi University, Patiala NA
43 1988 Meri Sahitik Save-Keevni Punjabi University, Patiala NA
44 1979 Natak Kala Te Mera Anubhav Language Dept. Govt of Punjab NA
45 1964 Punjabi Sahit Dhara Surjit Book Depot, New Delhi NA
46 1977 Meri Chonvi Kahaniyan Lahore Book Shop, Ludhiana NA
47 NA Naat Kala Te Hor Lekh Pepsu Book Depot, Patiala NA
48 1971 Eshwar Chandan Nanda Punjabi University, Patiala NA
49 1972 Punjabi Vartak Da Janam Te Vikas Pepsu Book Depot, Patiala NA
50 1949 Sanjha Raaj (Collection of One Act Plays) Lahore Book Shop, Ludhiana NA
51 1955 Navi Saver Punjabi Publishers, New Delhi NA


  1. ^ a b c Singh Ghuman, Kapoor; Singh Kasail, Kirpal; Singh Lamba, Gobind (eds.). "Introduction". Life History of Dr. Harcharan Singh (in Punjabi). India: Language Dept. Govt. of Punjab.
  2. ^ a b c Satish Kumar Verma. A Monograph on Punjabi Playwright Dr Harcharan Singh (in Punjabi). Sahitya Akademi. p. 35. ISBN 978-81-260-4593-8.
  3. ^ "Singh, Harcharan (1915-)". The Sikh Encyclopedia. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  4. ^ K. M. George (1992). Modern Indian Literature, an Anthology: Surveys and poems. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 330–. ISBN 978-81-7201-324-0.
  5. ^ Amaresh Datta (1988). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 1097–. ISBN 978-81-260-1194-0.
  6. ^ Nonika Singh (4 October 1998). "Interview with Dr. Harcharan Singh". No. Sunday Review. The Tribune India. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Sahitya Akademi Award Winners". Sahitya-Akademi.gov.in. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Sarbans Dani Film". Sikhi Wiki.
  9. ^ Prashar, A.S. (12 October 2001). "Sight, sound, royalty relived". No. Arts Tribune. Tribune India. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Sight and Sound Shows". Latta Productions. Latta Productions.
  11. ^ Satish Kumar Verma (2014). "List of Books". Monograph on Dr. Harcharan Singh (in Punjabi) (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. pp. 36–39. ISBN 978-81-260-4593-8.
  12. ^ Singh Ghuman, Kapoor; Singh Kasail, Kirpal; Singh Lamba, Gobind, eds. (1974). "List of Books - Old". Dr. Harcharan Singh - Life History (in Punjabi). Bhasha Bhavan Patial India: Language Dept. Govt. of Punjab. pp. 1–2.