Renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana dies at 71

Lucknow: Renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana died due to a cardiac arrest at the SGPGI Hospital in Lucknow on Sunday night. He was 71.

The poet had been battling with prolonged illness for the past several months and was undergoing treatment at the SGPGI Hospital. He was suffering from cancer, kidney and heart-related ailments.

Rana’s daughter Sumaiya Rana said that her father will be laid to rest on Monday.

Rana’s son Tabrez Rana said, “He was hospitalised for 14 to 15 days due to illness. He was first admitted to Medanta in Lucknow and then to SGPGI where he breathed his last around 11 p.m. on Sunday.”

The poet is survived by his wife, four daughters and a son.

Born on November 26, 1952, in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli, Rana was widely recognised for his contributions to Urdu literature and poetry, particularly for his ghazals. His poetic style was notable for its accessibility, as he often incorporated Hindi and Awadhi words while avoiding Persian and Arabic, which resonated with Indian audiences.

His most famous poem was ‘Maa’, which celebrated the virtues of a mother within the traditional ghazal form.

Throughout his career, Rana received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 2014 for his poetry book ‘Shahdaba’. However, he returned the award about a year later due to concerns over rising intolerance in the country.

Other awards he received include the Ameer Khusro Award, Mir Taqi Mir Award, Ghalib Award, Dr Zakir Hussain Award, and the Saraswati Samaj Award. His works have been translated into several languages.

Rana spent much of his life in Kolkata and had a significant presence in mushairas, both in India and abroad.

The poet was also active in political developments in Uttar Pradesh. His daughter Sumaiya is a member of the Samajwadi Party (SP), led by Akhilesh Yadav.

Rana has often been mired in controversies for his statements.

The 71-year-old had drawn flak for favouring the Taliban and comparing it with Maharishi Valmiki, as well as for supporting the murder of Samuel Paty, who was killed over a controversy about Prophet Mohammad in Paris in 2020.


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