Ajeet Cour
Born (1934-11-16) 16 November 1934 (age 89)
Lahore, Punjab Province, British India
OccupationWriter, poet, and novelist
EducationM.A. Economics
GenreNovel, short story, memoir
Notable workKhanabadosh
Notable awardsSahitya Academy Award (1985)
Padma Shri (2006)
Shiromani Sahityakar Award
Baba Bali Award
SpouseRajinder Singh (m. 1952)
ChildrenArpana Caur, Kendi Caur

Ajeet Cour (born 1934) is an Indian writer who writes in Punjabi. She is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award by the Government of India.


Ajeet Cour was born in the family of Sardar Makhan Singh in 1934 in Lahore. She had her early education there. In her childhood, she was also taught by Kartar Singh Hitkari (father of Amrita Pritam). After the partition, her family came to Delhi, where she earned an M.A. (Economics).

She has written novels and short stories in the Punjabi language on social-realist themes such as the experience of women in relationships and their position in society.[1] She received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985,[1] the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2006,[2] and the Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar award in 2019.[3] Her works include 19 short story anthologies, novellas and novels, as well as nine translations.[4] She has also edited over 20 works.[4] In her autobiography, Weaving Water, translated from the original Punjabi into English and published in 2018, she discusses surviving domestic violence from her husband.[4][5]

In a review of one of her books of short stories, The Other Woman, Ziya Us Salam writes in The Hindu about the story "Ali Baba’s Death", "Exposing the double standards of our society, the endless urge to be among the haves and pretend to have more than we have, she takes many digs at our system."[6] She was described by Kuldip Singh Dhir in The Tribune as a writer who "portrayed angry rebellious women around us."[7] In a review of Pebbles in a Tin Drum, Suneet Chopra writes for Frontline, "For a society opening up to the market principle at the cost of its humanity, a process that is equally the driving force of consumer-packaged globalisation as the neo-Hindu swadeshi, her chronicle is a stark warning that India should take note of."[8]

She served as the chairperson of the Academy of Art and Literature in New Delhi, and was part of the first delegation of Indian writers to visit Pakistan in 2003.[9] She also served as the chairperson of the Foundation of SAARC writers and literature (FOSWAL).[10][4]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Ajeet Cour, 1934-". The South Asian Literary Recording Project, Library of Congress, New Delhi Office.
  2. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Staff Reporter (18 November 2019). "Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar for Ajeet Cour, Gurbhachan Singh Bhullar". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d Anupam, Birat (3 January 2021). "Ajeet Cour: The woman behind South Asia's pioneering 'Public Diplomacy'". NepalPress. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Popli, Bhumika (12 May 2018). "'Writing subdued my pain, offered a sort of catharsis'". SundayGuardianLive. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  6. ^ Us Salam, Ziya (23 May 2016). "The many layered world of Ajeet Cour". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  7. ^ Singh Dhir, Kuldip (17 June 2018). "A far cry from a glorious past". The Tribune. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  8. ^ Chopra, Suneet (1 August 1998). "Lessons from life". Frontline. Archived from the original on 11 July 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Indian writers' team arrive in Pakistan". Dawn. 18 October 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  10. ^ "SAARC literature festival in Agra from February 13". IndiaTV. IANS. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Gulbano by Ajit Kaur". Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.