Raghupati Sahay Biography

Raghupati Sahay, better known under his pen name Firaq Gorakhpuri (Urdu: فراق گورکھپوری, Hindi: फ़िराक़ गोरखपुरी), was a writer, critic, and one of the most noted contemporary Urdu poets from India. He established himself as one of the greats in an era which boasted stalwarts like Iqbal, Yagana Changezi, Jigar and Josh.

Biography

Raghupati Sahay was born in 1896, in Gorakhpur, into a Hindu family. He was selected for the Provincial Civil Service (P.C.S.) and the Indian Civil Service (I.C.S.), but he resigned to follow Mahatma Gandhi's Non-cooperation movement, for which he went to jail. Later, he joined Allahabad University as a lecturer in English literature. It was there that he wrote most of his Urdu poetry, including his magnum opus Gul-e-Naghma which earned him the highest literary award of India, the Jnanpith Award, and also the 1960 Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu. During his life, he was given the positions of Research Professor at the University Grants Commission and Producer Emeritus by All India Radio. After a long illness, he died on March 3, 1982, in New Delhi.

As a distinguished poet, Firaq Gorakhpuri was well-versed in all traditional metrical forms such as ghazal, nazm, rubaai and qat'aa. He was a prolific writer, having written more than a dozen volumes of Urdu poetry, a half dozen of Urdu prose, several volumes on literary themes in Hindi, as well as four volumes of English prose on literary and cultural subjects.

Awards

1960 – Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu
1968 – Padma Bhushan
1968 – Soviet Land Nehru Award
1969 – Jnanpith Award (First Jnanpith Award for Urdu literature)
1970 – Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
1981 – Ghalib Academi Award