Jug Badal Gaya
By Sohan Singh Seetal
Translated into English as Time Has Taken a Turn by Prof (Dr) Tejwant Singh Gill (1998)
A typical rural drama enacted in the heart of Punjab—the novel portrays Dalit life in a simplistic manner. It also asserts how, even in a predominantly patriarchal milieu, strong women can maintain their agency and dignity. The protagonist Lakha Singh, became a big zamindar by cleverly usurping the lands of small farmers under various pretexts. Lakha Singh’s sly and clever acts lead him into marrying his wife’s sister Swarni to obtain a child. After Swarni’s death, Lakha convinces Rajo, another woman, to marry his servant but practically to be kept as his wife. The 1947 partition in India makes Lakha lose all his property and relatives, only to be left with Rajo and her son, Jarnail Singh whom he has to accept legally to finalise his claims in Refugees Resettlement Department at Jalandhar. The novel won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1974.
About the Author
Sohan Singh Seetal is a Punjabi author, poet and lyricist. He entered the field of fiction after 1947 and wrote several novels, some of which deal with the situation of women in Punjabi society. Sheetal gives very vividly authentic description of the life of the people in rural Punjab. Dive di Lo (The Flame of the Earthen Lamp), Mul da Mas (Flesh at a price) and Badla (Revenge) are some of his important works.