Indore: Famous Urdu poet Rahat Indori died of a heart attack at a hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore on Tuesday. The 70-year-old Indori was undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
The teacher-turned-poet was admitted to hospital on Tuesday morning after he was 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,” said his son Satlaj Indori, also a poet.
Indore District Collector Manish Singh said Rahat Indori was undergoing treatment at the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences.
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,” Rahat Indori said in his last post.
Urdu scholar of great repute
With a 50-year career in poetry, Rahat Indori, an Urdu scholar of great repute, was one of the biggest mushaira stars in the country and someone who fearlessly called a spade a spade.
The wordsmith that he was, Rahat Indori translated the mood of the nation in his poetry that was emotive, direct and political.
Attacking religious divide and jingoism, Indori famously wrote, “Sabhi ka khoon shaamil hai yahan ki mitti mein, kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai.” (Everyone’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.
Rahat Indori was that rare poet who was easily connected with the young generation.
In fact, his lines, delivered in a trademark expressive style, almost teasing as it were, were very popular with Tik-Tok users and those who did not even care or understand Urdu poetry.
Earlier this year, his poem “Bulati hai magar jane ka nahi” went viral on social media, making him a sensation among the youth.
Memes using the poem’s opening lines flooded social media during Valentine’s Day.
Huge loss to a fearless voice
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).
Historian and author Rana Safvi termed his death a “huge huge loss to a fearless voice and to the world of poetry”.
Rahat 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”.
But his stint in cinema was brief and limited to a few films. Lyricist Swanand Kirkire, also from Indore like Indori, said he was “disappointed” in films.
In fellow poet Gulzar’s view, Indori was the soul of a mushaira. ”Mushaira loot ke le gaye” is a saying in Urdu. Toh Rahat saab mushairon ke lootere the (he stole the thunder at symposiums),” Gulzar said. Lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar called Indori’s death “an irreparable loss” to contemporary Urdu poetry and society at large.