Renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana passes away at 71 after prolonged illness

Photograph of Munawwar Rana.

Lucknow: Renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana on Sunday breathed his last at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow following a cardiac arrest.

Aged 71, Rana had been grappling with a prolonged illness, marked by cancer, kidney problems, and heart-related ailments. His daughter, Sumaiya Rana, announced that he would be laid to rest on Monday.

Tabrez Rana, Rana’s son, revealed that his father had been hospitalised for approximately 14 to 15 days, initially at Medanta in Lucknow and later at SGPGI, where he passed away around 11pm. on Sunday.

Survived by his wife, four daughters, and a son, Munawwar Rana, born on November 26, 1952, in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh, gained widespread recognition for his significant contributions to Urdu literature and poetry, especially his ghazals.

Known for his distinctive style that incorporated Hindi and Awadhi words while avoiding Persian and Arabic, Rana resonated with Indian audiences. His renowned poem ‘Maa’ celebrated the virtues of a mother within the traditional ghazal form.

Despite receiving accolades such as the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2014 for his poetry book ‘Shahdaba,’ Rana returned the award a year later due to concerns about increasing intolerance in the country.

Among his various awards were the Ameer Khusro Award, Mir Taqi Mir Award, Ghalib Award, Dr. Zakir Hussain Award, and the Saraswati Samaj Award. Rana, who spent a significant part of his life in Kolkata, maintained a strong presence in mushairas, both in India and internationally.

Additionally, he was actively involved in political affairs in Uttar Pradesh, with his daughter Sumaiya being a member of the Samajwadi Party (SP), led by Akhilesh Yadav.

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