The Hush Post| 4:19 pm|one-minute-read|
Noted Punjabi literatuer and historian Surjit Hans is no more. Prof Surjit Hans, who undertook the task of translating all of Shakespeare into Punjabi, passed away on Friday morning following a prolonged illness. He was 89. He is survived by his daughter, Nanki Hans, a senior journalist working with the Tribune.
The cremation took place today at 4 pm at the Sector 25 crematorium, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Surjit Hans was born on October 31, 1930. He has also been bestowed with the Punjab Sahit Akademi and Chandigarh Sahit Academy awards. His book ‘Mittti di Dheri’ was highly acclaimed. Among his last works was the translation of Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ and a book of poems ‘Mrit da Sapna’.
Courtesy Hans, Punjabi is the only Indian language in which Shakespeare’s complete works have been translated. Forty-three titles of Shakespeare have been translated in Punjabi by Punjab University, Patiala.
Officially he began translating Shakespeare in 1993
Hans first translated Shakespeare’s Macbeth in Punjabi in 1955. Later, he moved to the United Kingdom and at the Heathrow Airport for eight years before joining Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
Hans began translating Shakespeare on January 1, 1993, after his superannuation as head of the department of history at GNDU. He was offered a fellowship by Punjabi University. Hans at that time was paid Rs 8,000 for the translation of each play. Despite his best efforts he couldn’t go beyond two plays a year. The translation of the last play of the lot—Henry VIII—was completed in 2013.
Hans’ accomplishment was widely acknowledged by the Indian and the British media. In 2013, when the story about his work broke in the Indian media, the British media, including the BBC and the Telegraph, lapped it up. Also known for his work on Sikh history Hans has authored 60 books in all.