Namvar Singh

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Namvar Singh
Singh in 1996
Singh in 1996
Native name
नामवर सिंह
Born(1926-07-28)28 July 1926
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, British India
Died19 February 2019(2019-02-19) (aged 92)
Delhi, India
OccupationWriter, critic
Alma materBanaras Hindu University
Notable worksKavita Ke Naye Pratiman, Chhayavaad , Dusari Parampara Ki Khoj
Notable awards1971: Sahitya Akademi Award
1991: Shalaka Samman,Sahitya Bhushan Samman, Kuvempu Rashtreeya Puraskar
RelativesKashinath Singh (brother)

Namvar Singh (28 July 1926 – 19 February 2019) was an Indian literary critic, linguist, academician and theoretician.[1][2] He received his doctorate degree from Banaras Hindu University where he also taught for some time. He served as a professor of Hindi literature in several other universities. He was the founder and first chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru University's Centre of Indian Languages and continued to remain as a professor emeritus after his retirement in 1992.

Early life[edit]

Singh was born on 28 July 1926 in Jiyanpur village in Varanasi (now under Chandauli) District of Uttar Pradesh, India.[3] He received his early education there. He then moved to Varanasi to pursue his further studies and did his matriculation and higher secondary education at Udai Pratap Autonomous College, Varanasi.[3] He enrolled in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for higher studies, where he completed his bachelor's in 1949 and master's master's with gold medal in 1951. He got the Ph.D. under the supervision of Hazari Prasad Dwivedi.[3][4] His younger brother Kashinath Singh is also a writer.[5]


After completing his Ph.D., Singh started teaching at Banaras Hindu University. For a brief period he also taught at Sagar University. His association with the two universities ended due to his communist activities.[6] He later became a professor of Hindi at Jodhpur University.[7] At Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), he created a new pattern of teaching and prepared the curriculum. He was the founder and first chairman of JNU's Centre of Indian Languages.[8] He retired from JNU in the year 1992. After his retirement, he served as a professor emeritus at the Center of Indian Languages at JNU.[9][10][11]

In 1959, Singh unsuccessfully contested the general election as a Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate from the Chandauli constituency in Uttar Pradesh. He polled over 18,000 votes, finishing a distant third. 5b [5]

Apart from his academic engagement, Singh worked as the editor of a weekly news magazine Janyuga, and Alochana, a Hindi magazine for literary criticism.[5][12] Following his retirement from JNU he was appointed as the Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha.[13] He also worked as the chairman of the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation.[9][14] Singh also served as the chairman of the selection board for the Jnanpith Award.[15][16]

Namvar Singh died on 19 February 2019 in Delhi at the age of 92.[5]

Selected works[edit]

Singh has authored more than a dozen books.[17][18][19] Some of his works are:[20]

  • Kavita Ke Naye Pratiman ISBN 978-8-1267-0744-7[5]
  • Chhayavaad ISBN 978-8-1267-0736-2[5]
  • Dusari Parampara Ki khoj ISBN 978-8-1267-1591-6[5]
  • Itihaas Aur Alochana ISBN 978-8-1267-0510-8

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ "Hindi author Namwar Singh bucks the trend".
  2. ^ "Namvar Singh: What Will Marx Think?". Open.
  3. ^ a b c "Authors of Rajkamal Prakashan Group | Namvar Singh".
  4. ^ Singh, Namwar; Prasāda, Kamalā; Śarmā, Rājendra (20 February 2002). "Namvar Singh : Aalochna Ke Dusre Arampara". Vāṇī Prakāśana – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Acclaimed Hindi Author Namvar Singh Dies At 92". 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  6. ^ "From Red to Saffron, the Literary Journey of Namvar Singh". The Wire.
  7. ^ Kumar, Kuldeep (12 June 2015). "Anything but epic" – via
  8. ^ a b c "नामवर सिंह संकलित निबंध – नामवर सिंह Namvar Singh Sankalit Nibandh – Hindi book by – Namvar Singh". Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b "मशहूर आलोचक डॉ नामवर सिंह को दी गई साहित्य अकादमी की महत्तर सदस्यता". NDTVIndia. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Prof. Namvar Singh to be conferred Kuvempu Rashtreeya Puraskar". 22 September 2014 – via Business Standard.
  11. ^ "Professors Emeritus/Emerita, JNU". Archived from the original on 15 November 2015.
  12. ^ Sahni, Bhisham (10 November 2015). "Today's Pasts: A Memoir". Penguin UK – via Google Books.
  13. ^ "Namwar Singh appointed Chancellor of International Hindi University". Oneindia. 26 June 2006.
  14. ^ Barua, Brahmanda Pratap (20 February 1992). "National Policy on Library and Information Systems and Services for India: Perspectives and Projections". Popular Prakashan – via Google Books.
  15. ^ "JNANPITH AWARD, Present Selection Board".
  16. ^ Nandgaonkar, Satish (6 February 2015). "Marathi novelist Bhalchandra Nemade chosen for Jnanpith award" – via
  17. ^ वर्मा, Kamlesh Verma कमलेश (15 June 2016). "Namvar's Kabir". Forward Press.
  18. ^ "Namvar Singh gets felicitated".
  19. ^ "Shri Rajnath Singh Felicitates Prof. Namvar Singh at 'First Cultural Dialogue Series' of IGNCA".
  20. ^ "Namvar Singh".
  21. ^ "Akademi Award (1955–2016)".
  22. ^ "शलाका सम्मान - Bharatkosh".
  23. ^ "90 के नामवर : साहित्यिक योगी का जीवन जीते रहे हैं नामवर सिंह".