Journalists and writers

Journalists and writers

Sumitra Nandan Pant:

Sumitranandan Pant (20 May 1900 – 28 December 1977) was an Indian poet. He was one of the most celebrated “Progressive” left-wing 20th century poets of the Hindi language and was known for romanticism in his poems which were inspired by nature, people and beauty within.


Pant was born in Kausani village, Bageshwar District in what is now the state of Uttarakhand, into an educated middle-class Brahmin family. His mother died a few hours after childbirth, and it appears he did not seek affection from his grandmother, father, or older brother, which later influenced his writing.His father served as the manager of a local tea garden, and was also a landholder, so Pant was never in want financially growing up. He grew up in the same village and always cherished a love for the beauty and flavor of rural India, which is evident in all his major works.

Pant enrolled in Queens College in Banaras in 1918. There he began reading the works of Sarojini Naidu and Rabindranath Tagore, as well as English Romantic poets. These figures would all have a powerful influence on his writing.In 1919 he moved to Allahabad to study at Muir College. As an anti-British gesture he only attended for two years. He then focused more on poetry, publishing Pallav in 1926. This collection established him as a literary giant of the Hindi renaissance that had begun with Jaishankar Prasad. In the introduction to the book, Pant expressed dissatisfaction that Hindi speakers “think in one language and express themselves in another.”He felt that Braj was out of date and sought to help usher in a new national language.

Pant moved to Kalakankar in 1931. For nine years he lived an secluded life close to nature. Simultaneously he grew enamored with the works and thinking of Karl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi, dedicating several verses to them in the poetry he produced during this time. Pant returned to Almora in 1941 where he attended drama classes at the Uday Shankar Cultural Centre. He also read Aurobindo’s The Life Divine, which heavily influenced him. Three years later he moved to Madras and then to Pondicherry, attending Aurobindo’s ashram. In 1946 he returned to Allahabad to resume his role among the country’s other leading writers.


Pant died on 28 December 1977, at Allahabad , Uttar Pradesh, India. His childhood house in Kausani has been converted into a museum. This museum displays his daily use articles, drafts of his poems, letters, his awards, etc.

Sumitranandan Pant
Sumitranandan Pant

In 1968, Pant became the first Hindi poet to receive the Jnanpith Award, considered to be India’s highest accolade for literature. This was awarded to him for a collection of his most famous poems titled Chidambara.Pant received the “Sahitya Academy” award, given by India’s Academy of Letters, for “Kala Aur Budhdha Chand”.
The Indian Government honored him with Padma Bhushan in 1961
and Padma Vibhushan.
Sumitra Nandan Pant composed the Kulgeet of the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee “Jayati Jayati Vidya Sansthan”.

Literary career

He is considered one of the major poets of the Chhayavaadi school of Hindi literature. Pant mostly wrote in Sanskritized Hindi. Pant authored twenty-eight published works including poetry, verse plays and essays.

Apart from Chhayavaadi poems, Pant also wrote progressive, socialist and humanist poems.philosophical (influenced by Sri Aurobindo). Pant eventually moved beyond this style. As the late scholar and translator of Pant, David Rubin, writes, “In the early forties the new psychological and experimental “schools” were emerging. It was typical of both Nirala and Pant that they themselves anticipated these trends and, by the time the new approaches were in vogue, they had already moved on to newer areas of experimentation.”


Gaura Pant (17 October 1923– 21 March 2003), better known as Shivani, was one of the popular Hindi magazine story writers of the 20th century and a pioneer in writing Indian women based fiction. She was awarded the Padma Shri for her contribution to Hindi literature in 1982.Almost all of her works are in print today and widely available across India.

She garnered a massive following in the pre-television 1960s and 1970s, as her literary works (like her most famous novel, ‘Krishnakali’), were serialised in Hindi magazines like Dharmayug and Saptahik Hindustan, leading to her cult status as a Hindi magazine novelist.Through her writings, she also made the culture of Kumaon, somewhat known to Hindi-speaking Indians across the country. Her novel ‘Kariye Chima’ was made into a film, while her other novels including ‘Surangma’, ‘Rativilaap’, ‘Mera Beta’, and ‘Teesra Beta’ have been turned into Television serials.

Upon her death in 2003, Government of India described her contributions to Hindi literature as, “…in the death of Shivani the Hindi literature world has lost a popular and eminent novelist and the void is difficult to fill”.

Gaura Pant Shivani
Gaura Pant Shivani

Manohar Shyam Joshi

Manohar Shyam Joshi (9 August 1933 – 30 March 2006) (Hindi: मनोहर श्याम जोशी) was a Hindi writer, journalist and scriptwriter, most well known as the writer of Indian television’s first soap opera,Hum Log (1982) and his early hits Buniyaad (1987), Kakaji Kahin, a political satire and Kyap, a novel which won him the Sahitya Akademi Award.


He is often called “the Father of Indian Soap Operas”[citation needed] being the writer of India’s first television soap opera, Hum Log. Made in 1982, when television was still a luxury item for the majority of Indians, the serial dealt with the everyday struggles of the middle-class India, making it an instant hit, especial because every Indian could identify with it.Another popular creation was Buniyaad (1987–1988), directed by Ramesh Sippy, a serial based around the life a family displaced by the Partition of India in 1947; both went on to deeply influence an entire generation of Indians as well as the Indian television industry.

In the following years he wrote many more long running serials like Mungeri Lal Ke Hasin Sapney, Kakaji Kahin, Humrahi, Zameen Aasman and Gatha.


Manohar Shyam Joshi is also known for his novels which have dealt with topics ranging from love, in Kasap, described as one of the greatest love stories in Hindi, to devastating political satire like Netaji Kahin.

He was a prominent post-modernist authors in modern Hindi literature, as amiably demonstrated by his cult novel Kuru kuru Swaahaa and his novella Hariya Hercules ki Hairaani. He was awarded the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 2005 for Hindi, for his novel Kyap, an allegory of modern India, known for its sensitive portrayal of the Kumaoni traditions of his home state of Uttarakhand.

Shekhar Joshi

Shekhar Joshi (born September, 1932) is a Hindi author, who is also known for his insight into the culture, traditions and lifestyles of people of Uttarakhand. With Shailesh Matiyani, he created a composite image of ethos of Kumaon. His best-known works are Dajyu (Big Brother) and Kosi Ka Ghatwar (The Miller of Kosi). Along with Sumitranandan Pant, he is considered to be the most influential writer of Uttarakhand. His story Dajyu (The Big Brother) is considered to be in league with the work of Tolstoy, O. Henry, Chekhov, Premchand and other great literary figures. He writing has the particular innocence associated with the hill people of Nepal and Uttarakhand and critics have praised him continuously for being the most authentic author to portray the culture of Kumaon and the Himalayan mountains. In a poll conducted by BBC at the start of 20th century, his seminal work Dajyu (The Big Brother) beat works of Gorky, Premchand, O. Henry, Saki, Murakami[disambiguation needed], Tolstoy, Roald Dahl, Garcia Marquez and hundred of other literary giants to be voted as the greatest story on family and relationships.

Pushpesh Pant

Pushpesh Pant (born 1947) is a noted Indian academic, food critic and historian.He is famous for his Rajma, based on a recipe taught to him by David Stockdale who in turn is well known for making much better Rajma than Archana. He retired as a Professor of International relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. He is one of India’s leading experts on International Relations as well as Indian cuisine, and as a columnist has written for a number of major publications like Forbes,Open,Outlook,Times of India and The Tribune.
His book, India: The Cookbook (2011), was named by The New York Times as one of the best cookbooks of the year.
He was also featured in an interview in The Australian.
The Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri in 2016.

Professor Pant has published widely on travel and tourism, with over a dozen books to his credit.

India: The Cookbook, ISBN 978-0714859026 
Gourmet Journeys in India
Classic Cooking Of Punjab, with Jiggs Kalra. Allied Publishers, 2004, ISBN 81-7764-566-8.
International Relations in 21st Century

Pushpesh Pant
Pushpesh Pant

Girish Tiwari (Girda)

Girish Chandra Tewari “Girda” (गिरीश चन्द्र तिवारी ‘गिर्दा’) (10 September 1945 – 22 August 2010) was a scriptwriter, director, lyricist, singer, poet, organic culturist, literary writer, and social activist in Uttarakhand, India.


Girda has directed famous plays like “Andha Yug”, “Andher Nagri”, “Thank you Mr. Glad” and “Bharat Durdasha”. Girda has written plays including “Nagare Khamosh Hain” and “Dhanush Yagya”. Girda edited “Shikharon ke Swar” in 1969, and later “Hamari Kavita ke Ankhar” and “Rang Dari Dio Albelin Main”. His latest compilation of poems and songs specially focusing “Uttarakhand Andolan” and “Uttarakhand Kavya” was published in 2002.

He took voluntary retirement from the post of instructorship in the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and thereafter joined the Uttarakhand movement, and took to full-time creative writing.He was one of the founders and member of the editorial board of PAHAR, a Nainital-based organisation involved with promotion of Himalayan culture.

Bedupako, the folk genome tank of Uttarakhand has published a small collection of Poem’s in original voice of this legendary personality.

He died on 22 August 2010, after a brief illness and was survived by his wife Hemlata Tiwari and one son.

Manoj Joshi

Manoj Joshi is an Indian journalist and author. As of 2013 he is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank.Before that he was a professional journalist whose previous job was as Comment Editor with the Mail Today newspaper in India.

He finished his schooling from the prestigious St. Joseph’s College in Nainital. After an undergraduate degree at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Joshi studied history at Lucknow University and earned his MPhil and PhD from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.In addition to his journalistic writings, Joshi has written in several academic publications around the world on security, foreign policy and media related issues.He is a well known security analyst and political commentator who is often cited in international publications.


He was earlier Comment Editor with the Mail Today newspaper in India.and prior to that he has worked as the political editor of The Times of India. He has worked with India Today, The Hindu and was the Washington Correspondent of Financial Express. Through his career, he has reported on the rise and fall of the militancy in Punjab, India’s Sri Lanka venture in 1987, the conflict in the Siachen Glacier, India–Pakistan crises of 1987, 1990, 1999, 2002 and 2008–2009, on Sino-Indian relations and the growing ties between India and the United States and covered several general elections. He remained a member of India’s National Security Council’s Advisory Board, 2004–2006 In July 2011 he was appointed by the Government of India’s Cabinet Committee on Security to be a member of a high level National Task Force chaired by former Cabinet Secretary Naresh Chandra. The 14-member task force was asked to examine India’s security system and suggest ways of plugging the gaps, if any, and recommend reforms to make the system more efficient.


Lost Rebellion, Kashmir in the Nineties. New Delhi, Penguin, 1999
Kashmir 1947–1965: A Story Retold. New Delhi,India Research Press, 2008

Namita (Pande) Gokhale/ Namita Gokhale

Namita Gokhale is an Indian writer, publisher and festival director. She is the author of fourteen books including eight works of fiction.Things to Leave Behind has been published in November 2016. It is a rich, panoramic historical novel that shows you Kumaon and the Raj as you have never seen them. Illuminated with painstaking detail, taking on the complications of caste, race and culture, this is a compelling historical novel of epic sweep and is described as Namita Gokhale’s most ambitious novel yet.

Things to Leave Behind has received the Best Fiction(English) Jury Award at the Valley of Words International Literature Festival 2017 and is on the long list for the 2018 Dublin Literary Award.

Namita Gokhale was conferred the Centenary National Award for Literature by the Asam Sahitya Sabha in Guwahati in 2017 “for her literary contributions as well as her service to the nation in supporting and showcasing literary talents and creating a literary environment in the country”

Lost in Time:Ghatotkacha and the Game of Illusion her new book for young readers releases 30th November, 2017. It is an intense yet tender look at a rare friendship as well as the abiding puzzles of the past.

Shailesh Matiyani

Ramesh Singh Matiyani ‘Shailesh’, popularly known as Shailesh Matiyani (14 October 1931 – 24 April 2001), is a Hindi writer, poet, essayist from Uttarakhand, India.

He became most known for his short stories, depicting the struggles and the fighting spirit of the Indian lower and lower-middle class, which he embodied himself and expressed through his writings all through his life, and which gave him the title – People’s Writer or ‘Jankathakar’. And as, Hindi Littérateur, Pankaj Bisht puts it, “how intimate was his depiction of the displaced people from the villages in the urban slums, and those compelled to live and die on footpaths. You won’t find this kind of intimacy in any other language. Matiyani’s protagonists are beggars, pick-pockets, lumpens, drop-outs, marginalised characters. Fatedness – the lopsided policies of progress – they were its victims; and yet, their inner life was so full of humanism and faith.”.Today, many writers view his work, second to none other than Premchand himself, though some like Giriraj Kishore, even consider his story writing, beyond of him as well.

He wrote over 30 novels, including Ramkali and Suryaasth Kosi, over 17 collection of stories including his most popular stories Maimood,Yada Kada and Ardhangini,28 collection of stories, seven collection of folk tales, apart from writing numerous essays and over 16 books for children.

In 1994, he was awarded an honorary degree of D.Litt. by Kumaun University, Nainital

Shailesh Matiyani
Shailesh Matiyani