Dr Kuldip Singh Dhir, known for amalgamating science and literature in Punjabi language and greatly contributing in developing scientific temperament among Punjabis through his works, passed away at his residence in Guru Nanak Nagar of Patiala in the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. He was 77.
His wife Davinder Kaur said that Dhir died within minutes of suffering a cardiac arrest. “He wasn’t unwell,” she said.
Dhir had penned more than 80 books on subjects including science and Sikhism. “More than 60 of his books were related to science. He had started working at Punjabi University, Patiala as a development officer but had interest in science and literature. Later he moved to teaching,” said Kaur.
Born in Mandi Bahauddin, now in Pakistan, on November 15, 1943, Dhir was four years old when his family moved to India during the Partition. That he had deep interest in both science and literature can be gauged from the fact that he was qualified in both — a science graduate from Thapar Institute of Engineering and a postgraduate in Arts from PU, Patiala.
Later he also completed his doctorate in Punjabi from PU.
After he started teaching at PU, he was promoted as the Dean, Academic Affairs. He was also honored with the Shiromani Punjabi Lekhak Award in 1999 by Punjab government and Dr MS Randhawa Gyan Vigyan Award in 2004 during Punjab Science Congress held at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in 2004. Punjabi Sahit Akademi honored him with the Kartar Singh Dhaliwal award.
Punjabi poet Dr Gurbhajan Singh Gill, in a tribute to the writer, said, “He was among the very few in Punjab who authored books on science and made science a part of Punjabi literature for the common readers. He was basically a science student.
As he developed interest in Punjabi language, he mixed science with literature with his unique intellectual ability and foreseeing”.
Gill said that poet Diwan Singh Mehram had taught Punjabi to Dhir at Khalsa School in Batala. “He used to rue the fact Mehram’s poems and photographs were not preserved. We managed to find at least 15 of Mehram’s poems and Dhir preserved the copies,” Gill said, adding that Dhir had cleared his class X in 1960 from Sargodha High School Ludhiana where his father was also a Punjabi teacher.
Dhir is survived by his wife, and two children — a son who is a doctor and a daughter who is settled in Canada. His last rites were held at Patiala Saturday.
His most popular works include: Nanotechnology: Agli Kranti, Udyogic te Utpadan Engineery, Dharti ho Pare Hor Hor, Taap Gati Vigyan Te Taap Engine, Navan Vigyan Naven Dishade, Padarth Samratha Vigyan, Bharti Atom Bomb da Mahan Birtant, Vigya, Vigyani ate Aam Aadmi, Panthak Di Anukriya, Naviyan Dhartiyaan Nave Aakash, Vigyan De Ang Sang, Sikh Raj Tey Veer Nayak, Dariyavan Di Dosti, Jahaaz Rocket tey Upgrah, Tareya Ve Teri Lau, Dharat Ambar Diyan Baatan, Big Bang Ton Big Crunch among others.
In a statement, PU Patiala Vice-Chancellor Dr BS Ghuman said Dr Dhir played that crucial role of making science available to readers in easy Punjabi language and enriching the language further by adding scientific angle to it. “The void and loss left by Dr Dhir’s passing can never be filled,” he added.
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