The news of death of veteran Urdu Poet Pandit Anand Mohan Zutshi ‘Gulzar Dehlvi’ was received with sadness by the lovers of Urdu language. Gulzar Dehlvi passed away on 12 June 2020 at his Noida home. He was 93 years and 11 months old at the time of his death. In fact, he contacted coronavirus and was admitted to a hospital. Five days ago he was declared as free of the virus. But his frail body could not fully recover from the trauma. According to doctors, he most probably died of cardiac arrest.
Gulzar Dehlvi was born on 7 July 1926 in Gali Kahmireeyan in Delhi. He was a freedom fighter and also a journalist. A Kashmiri Pandit, he was nephew of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Prime of India. He was a good friend of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the First Education Minister of India. He served as the first editor of the first Urdu Science Magazine ‘Science ki Dunya’ which was launched in 1975. Science ki Dunya was the only Science Magazine in Urdu to be published by the Government of India. On his 91st birthday he was honoured by the then Vice President of India, Janab Hamid Ansari, for his contribution to Urdu language.
He came from a family of Urdu lovers. His father, Pandit Tribhuvan Nath ‘Zaar’ Dehlvi was a teacher of Urdu and Persian languages at the Delhi University for around 40 years. For his dedication to the twin languages, Pandit Tribhuvan received the public title of ‘molvi sahib’. According to Gulzar Dehlvi, his father Zaar Dehlvi was a disciple of famous Mughal Poet Daagh Dehlvi.
It is said that he had no equal when it came to knowing the Delhi of Mir and Ghalib. He was not only a par excellence Urdu poet but also embodied the Urdu culture. Always attired in Sherwani with Nehru cap he was always present in every important Mushaira in Delhi. His love for Urdu was returned by public by their love for him which was evident from the rapturous applause which was always reserved for him whenever his name was called in any Mushaira in Delhi. It is sheer coincidence that just a few days ago i was listening to his parody of Allama Iqbal’s famous Sarey Jahan se Acha Hindustan Hamara. His loss has created a void which would be impossible to fill. In his own words:
Mere baad aaney walon, meri baat yaad rakhna
Mere naqshey pa se behtar koi raasta nahin hai
Gulzar aabroo-e-zuban ab hami se hai
Dilli me apne baad yeh lutf-e-sukhan kahan.
For References and for more information, see:
- Times of India (12 June 2020) Urdu poet ‘Gulzar’ Dehlvi dies days after recovering from Covid-19. Times of India. Available at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/urdu-poet-gulzar-dehlvi-dies-days-after-recovering-from-covid-19/articleshow/76341857.cms. Accessed on 12 June 2020
- Somya Lakhani (13 June 2020) 93-year-old poet Gulzar Dehlvi dies days after recovering from coronavirus. The Indian Express. Available at: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/veteran-poet-gulzar-dehlvi-passes-away-covid-196455773/. Accessed on
- The Siasat Daily (31 December 2017) Anand Mohan Zutshi laments upon the communalism & violence in India through parody of ‘Saaray Jahan Se Achha’. The Siasat Daily. Available at: https://archive.siasat.com/news/anand-mohan-zutshi-laments-upon-communalism-violence-india-parody-saaray-jahan-se-achha-1290850/. Accessed on 12 June 2020
- Namita Bajpai (12 June 2020) After 12-day battle, 97-year-old, UP’s oldest patient, conquers COVID-19. The New Indian Express. Available at: https://www.newindianexpress.com/good-news/2020/jun/12/after-a-12-day-battle-97-year-old-ups-oldest-patient-conquers-covid-19-2155858.html. Accessed on 12 June 2020.
- The Hindu (12 June 2020) Urdu poet Gulzar Dehlvi dies days after recovering from COVID-19. The Hindu. Available at: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/urdu-poet-gulzar-dehlvi-dies-days-after-recovering-from-covid-19/article31815510.ece. Accessed on 12 June 2020
- Wikipedia (12 June 2020) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anand_Mohan_Zutshi_Gulzar_Dehlvi. Accessed on 12 June 2020
- Hindustan Times (8 July 2015) Vice-Prez Ansari honours veteran poet Gulzar Dehlvi. Hindustan Times. Available at: https://www.hindustantimes.com/noida/vice-prez-ansari-honours-veteran-poet-gulzar-dehlvi/story-g5uPU5t65TovFht8BZPdnI.html. Accessed on 12 June 2020.
- Asad Faisal Farooqui (17 May 2013) Pt Anand Narayan Zutshi Gulzar Dehlavi. The Milli Gazette. Available at: http://www.milligazette.com/news/7111-pt-anand-narayan-zutshi-gulzar-dehlavi. Accessed on 12 June 2020.
- Yashee (11 August 2019) How to love a language: Urdu poet Gulzar Dehlvi spills his literary secrets. The Indian Express. Available at: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/urdu-poet-gulzar-dehlvi-how-to-love-a-language-4772996/. Accessed on 12 June 2020
- Noman Ahmed (31 March 2014) In conversation with Gulzar Dehlavi. The Express Tribune. Available at: https://tribune.com.pk/story/689395/in-conversation-with-gulzar-dehlavi/. Accessed on 12 June 2020.