|Born||17 August 1916|
Agra, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India
|Died||23 February 1990 (aged 73)|
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Notable works||Boond Aur Samudra (1956)|
Amritlal Nagar (17 August 1916 – 23 February 1990) was one of the prominent Hindi writers of the twentieth century.
He started off as an author and journalist, but moved on to be an active writer in the Indian film industry for 7 years. He worked as a drama producer in All India Radio between December 1953 and May 1956. At this point he realised that a regular job would always be a hindrance to his literary life, so he devoted himself to freelance writing.
Often cited as the true literary heir of Premchand, Amritlal Nagar created his own independent and unique identity as a littérateur and is counted as one of the most important and multi-faceted creative writers of Indian literature. In the words of famous critic, Dr. Ram Bilas Sharma,"Undoubtedly, Amritlal Nagar will be remembered as an important novelist. For me, he is a very major sculptor of fiction. He has revealed the power of both standard [manak] Hindi, as well as the non-standard [ghair-manak] Hindi of the ordinary" (Sharma, Amritlal Nagar Rachnavali, Vol 1, p. 47).
Amritlal Nagar's real genius lay in the art of developing a range of characters in his stories and novels. Commenting on his distinctive ability to operationalise a story at many levels in complex and multi-dimensional ways, another prominent writer and critic of Hindi, Shreelal Shukla notes, "Rather than imposing his own personality on his character, Nagar ji dissolves himself in the character and in the process, he absorbs at the experiential level, all of those complexities that even the simplest characters nurture in the forms of anxieties and knotted puzzles. This work can only be done by a major creative writer" (Shukla, 10 Pratinidhi Kahaniyan: Amrilal Nagar, p. 10).
Nagar was born on 17 August 1916 in Chaurahe Wali Gali, Gokulpura, in a Gujarati Nagar Brahmin Family in Agra, India. He died on 23 February 1990 in Chowk, Lucknow, India. His parents were Rajaram and Vidyawati Nagar.
He first published a poem in the fortnightly Anand in December 1928. The poem was inspired by a protest against the Simon Commission in which Amritlal was suffered injury during lathi charge.
He married Pratibha (original name Savitri Devi alias Bitto) on 31 January 1932. They had four children (Late Kumud Nagar, Late Sharad Nagar, Dr. Achala Nagar and Smt. Aarti Pandya).
Nagar worked as a dispatch clerk in the Lucknow office of All India United Insurance Company for 18 days. He provided voluntary services to the publication division of the Nawal Kishore Press and the editorial office of Madhuri in 1939. From December 1953 to May 1956 he worked as a drama producer in Akashvani (All India Radio), Lucknow, but resigned from this position so that he could focus all of his time and attention to his literary pursuits.
From 1940 to 1947, Nagar wrote screen plays and dialogues for the film industry in Bombay (now Mumbai), Kolhapur, and Chennai (Madras). He was one of the early pioneers specialising in cinematic dubbing that involved the art of translating films of one language into another. He dubbed Naseeruddin in Buhkara and Zoya from Russian and M.S. Subbulakshmi's Meera from Tamil into Hindi.