ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Demise of Another People’s Playwright

Ajmer Singh Aulakh

Ajmer Singh Aulakh, the notable Punjabi playwright, passed away on 15 June. He left behind a legacy of revolutionary plays that stand testament to his progressive ideals. His funeral, much like his life, was a celebration of literature, music, and progressive values. He is survived by his wife and three daughters who continue the work he had begun.

He was two months short of completing 75 years of life, when early in the morning on 15 June, without the knowledge of anyone, he breathed his last. Around 2.30 am, his wife and a caretaker had attended to him and helped him rest because he was in discomfort, but when they touched him around 5 am, he was no more. He had been brought back to his home just five days previously from Fortis Hospital Mohali, where he was being treated palliatively for a few weeks due to the unbearable pain brought on by his cancer. While discharging him from hospital, the doctors had cautioned the family—his wife Manjit Aulakh and their three daughters, Supandeep, Sohajdeep and Ajdeep—that his cancer had spread through his body, though, surprisingly, it did not affect his brain, and he had been alert until a few hours before he passed away. On the night of 14 June, he chatted with the family, enquired about news, and listened to some text until 10 pm. He was in a cheerful mood, as was always the case, even during terrible bouts of pain.

Born on 19 August 1942, in the village of Kishangarh Farwahi, close to Mansa in Punjab, Aulakh had suffered from incurable cancer since 2008. Doctors were not hopeful that he would survive beyond two or three years, but Aulakh fought cancer with the indomitable spirit with which the characters in his plays fight against their oppression. His family, friends, the several organisations he was part of, and even the Punjab government, under both the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress, extended financial support during his medical crisis. Even the Punjab assembly paid tributes to him after his death.

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Updated On : 1st Nov, 2017
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