Famous Urdu poet Rahat Indori, whose powerful and lucid poetry filled halls and connected with the young and old alike, died of a heart attack at a hospital here on Tuesday while being treated for COVID-19, his son said. He was 70.
The teacher-turned-poet had been admitted to hospital on Tuesday morning after he tested positive for the disease. He is survived by three sons and a daughter.
“He was admitted for coronavirus treatment but died after suffering a heart attack,” son Satlaj Indori, also a poet, said.
In the morning, the lyricist-poet tweeted about his COVID-19 diagnosis and said he will keep everyone updated through social media.
“After initial symptoms of COVID-19, my corona test was done yesterday which came out positive. Pray that I defeat this disease as soon as possible,” Indori said in what would be his last post.
With a 50-year career in poetry, Indori, an Urdu scholar of great repute, was one of the biggest mushaira (poetry symposiums) stars in the country and someone who fearlessly called a spade a spade.
Attacking religious divide and jingoism, Indori famously wrote, “Sabhi ka khoon shaamil hai yahan ki mitti mein, kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai” (Everone’s blood is mingled in this earth. Hindustan is no one’s property).
The lines were used on posters and banners during the anti-CAA protests, pushing him to almost cult status.
Earlier this year, his poem “Bulati hai magar jane ka nahi” went viral on social media, making him a sensation among the youth.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi bid farewell to Indori Sahab” with a couplet — “Ab na main hoon na baaki zamane mere. Fir bhi Shehron me mashhoor hain fasane mere” (Neither me nor my era exists, but my stories are still famous in the cities).
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Chief Minister of erstwhile J&K State Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed grief and said “I am deeply shocked to learn about the untimely death of internationally known urdu poet of our time Rahat Indori. He represented the voices of millions of
Indians, who could not express their views publicly.
“I had many opportunities of listening to his poetry face to face on different occasions. It is very difficult to fulfill the vacuum created by his untimely death,” Azad said.
Indori also wrote the lyrics of several songs, including “Chori Chori Jab Nazrein Mili” from “Kareeb”, “Koi jaye to le aye” from “Ghatak” (1996), and “Neend Churai Meri” from “Ishq”.
He passed his MA exam in Urdu literature from Barkatullah University, Bhopal, in 1975 and was awarded a PhD in Urdu literature from the Bhoj University in 1985 for his thesis titled “Urdu Main Mushaira”. While teaching Urdu literature at IK College, he also became busy with ‘mushairas’ and started receiving invitations from all over India and abroad.