Author and journalist Bhagwatikumar Sharma died at his residence in Surat city of Gujarat Wednesday morning, family sources said. He was 84. Sharma, a recipient of several awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award, died due to age-related ailments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other leaders expressed grief over the author’s death.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said Sharma’s death has left a huge vacuum in the literary world. Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda also condoled the author’s demise. Born in May 1934, Sharma authored novels, short stories, poetries, essays and articles during his 65-year career. He received Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1984 and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1988 for his novel ‘Asooryalok’. In 2017, the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi honoured him with the ‘Sahityaratna’ Award.
He was conferred a Doctorate of Literature by Veer Narmad South Gujarat University in 1999. In 2011, he received the Harindra Dave Memorial Award for journalism and the Vali Gujarati Gazal Award for his contribution to literature. Some of his famous Gujarati novels include ‘Aarti Ane Angara’ (1957), ‘Man Nahi Mane’ (1962), ‘Rikta’ (1968), ‘Vyaktamadhya’ (1970) and ‘Samaydvip’ (1974), among others. He had also worked in different genres of poetry such as ghazal, geet and sonnet. His first ghazal collection, ‘Sambhav’, was published in 1974, followed by ‘Chhando Chhe Pandada Jenan’ (1987), ‘Nakhdarpan’ (1995), ‘Jhalhal’ (1995) and ‘Adhi Aksharnu Chomasu’ (2002), among many others.