SINGH, NARINDERPAL (1922/23 -)Singh, Narinderpal is one of the leading novelists of the Punjabi language. He was born at Kama Bungalow in District Lyallpur (now in Pakistan). Formerly in Defence Services, he retired as Brigadier in 1972. He was commissioned in 1942 and served in West Asia during World War II. He served as Indian Military Attache in various countries and as Military Secretary to President of India during 1962-66. Narinderpal Singh is known for depicting Sikh history after Bhai Vir Singh.
He has to his credit about twenty novels including Baa mulahaza hoshiar (Be prepared for the royal visit, 1975) which won for him the Sahitya Akademi Award for 1976. Starting from romantic novels like Mallah (The sailor, 1948), Sainapati (The commander), Untali varhe (Thirty-nine years), Narinderpal Singh has written historical novels like Khanneo tikhi (Sharper than the sword), Valon nikki (Finer than a hair), Eti marg jana (The way to go, 1960), and Ikk sarkar bajhon (Without an emperor, 1961). In the first three novels Narinderpal Singh narrates the long drawn struggle of the Sikhs waged against the Mughal empire for three generations at a stretch. Ikk sarkar bajhon deals with the period of the Anglo-Sikh wars in which the author sheds tears of blood on the falling of the great Punjabi kingdom established by the sincere efforts of a great warrior like Maharaja Ranjit Singh to the British.
In these historical novels Narinderpal Singh exhibits his true self. Narinderpal Singh feels fascinated by making new experiments both in matter and method. Some of his novels like Shakti (The power, 1954), which symbolises woman as the real power in a family structure and Punnay ke massaya (Night of the full moon or of darkness, 1964) which is written in the stream of consciousness technique, and Tapu (The island, 1969) which is written in an allegorical style, have immensely contributed to establish Narinderpal Singh as a distinguished novelist. The perceptive insight, and vast and varied experience which Colonel Narinderpal Singh gained as an Army Officer provide a lot of raw material for his novels.
Vikendrit (The eccentric), Sutardhaar and Kaal akaal (Time and eternity) can be categorised as autobiographical novels since they are based on the success story of the novelist himself, though on an exaggerated scale and in an idealised form. Mere tan Girdhar Gopal is his latest novel which makes the mythological love of Lord Krishna as its base. The shadows of romanticism and idealism prevail side by side even in this novel. Aggami vehan (the eternal flow) is Narinderpal\’s poetry collection written in free-verse style. In it he owes much to Puran Singh.
1. Amarjit Singh, Punjabi sahit da itihas ”Qissa kal, Amritsar, 1981.
2. Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature, 6 Vols., Delhi, 1995.
3. Sekhon, S.S. and K.S. Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi, 1992.
4. Singh, N.K., Encyclopaedia of Indian Biography, Delhi, 2000.