Ludhiana: Noted poet and prose writer Fahmida Riaz passed away on Wednesday evening in Lahore (Pakistan). She was 72. Prof Gurbhajan Gill, former president, Punjabi Sahit Akademi informed that the eminent progressive writer, who was also hailed by many as a pioneer in feminist literature, had been suffering from illness for the past few months.
Apart from authoring more than 15 books on fiction and poetry, she was also a human rights activist. Her first literary work was published in 1967, titling ‘Pather Ki Zuban’. Her collection of poetry includes ‘Dhoop’, ‘Pura Chand’, ‘Admi Ki Zindagi’ and more. Her novels include ‘Zinda Bahar’, ‘Godaavari’ and ‘Karachi’. She was famous for her revolutionary poetry.
Prof Ravinder Bhathal, President, Punjabi Sahit Akademi Ludhiana informed that born into a literary family of Merrut (Uttar Pradesh) on Juy 28, 1946, Fahmida Riaz, in addition to her literary pursuits, always played an active role in social and political activities. She lived in self-exile for over six years in India when former military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq ruled over Pakistan.
Back in 2010, Riaz was given the Presidential Pride of Performance Award and Sitara e Imtiaz for her contributions to Urdu literature.
Her demise has been mourned by Punjabi Sahit Akademi General Secretary Dr Surjit Singh, Senior Vice President Surinder Kailey, Vice President Gulzar Pandher, former Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar Dr SP Singh, Dr Guriqbal Singh, Jaswant Zafar, Swaranjit Savi, Tej Partap Singh Sandhu, Trailochan Lochi, Manjinder Dhanoa, Dr Jagwinder Jodha, Urdu poet Sardar Panchhi, Tarsem Noor and several others.