“Main mar jaun, toh meri alag pehchaan likh dena
Lahu se meri peshani pe, Hindustan likh dena”
A rebel, Populist, Revolutionary, Humanist,a brave heart these are a few terms that writers use to describe Dr. Rahat Indori. His unique style of recitation attracted and exited young generation who would otherwise find Mushairas boring. His performance was like of a pop star compelling audiences to cheer and scream. His presence in a mushaira guaranteed a jam pack of youngsters who found their words in his lines emerging like waves filled with passion. His personality and attitude separated him from rest of the poets of his time. Dr. Rahat Indori is often compared with Dushyant Kumar a poet who was quite popular for his revolutionary ideas. Others relate Dr. Indori with Jon Elia an exceptional poet of Pakistan.
Rahat Indori was the fourth child of a cloth mill worker Rafatullah Qureshi and his wife Maqbool Un Nisa. Born on 1January 1950 in Indore he did his schooling from Nutan School Indore and completed his Higher Secondary. He completed his graduation from Islamia Karimia College, Indore in 1973 and passed his MA in Urdu literature from Barkatullah University Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh with a gold medal in 1975. Dr. Indori was awarded a PhD in Urdu literature from the Bhoj University of Madhya Pradesh in 1985 for his thesis titled Urdu Main Mushaira. As a student he was brilliant in studies as well as excellent in sports too. He was selected as the captain of Hockey team and Football team in both college and school.
Apart from being a revolutionary poet Dr. Indori ,was also Indian Bollywood lyricist. His lyrics has been used in more than 13 Bollywood movies till date, including the blockbuster Munna bhai MBBS He was also a former professor of Urdu language and a painter. Prior to this he was a pedagogist of Urdu literature at Devi Ahilya University, Indore.
Dr. Indori courageously used his poems in criticizing the shifting political mood over the past five years, since the Bharatiya Janata Party a right wing political party came to power in 2014. He received a lot of criticism mostly from supporters of ruling party who accuse him of being biased. And of course he was also trolled online for confronting Hindutva, but those who were close to him knew that his concerns are social, rather than communal. Although he was not charged with sedition which is a norm now days for people expressing their dissatisfaction with the ruling government but his poetic rebellion provided expression to many activists.
Dr. Indori performed in Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan for 40 – 45 years. He traveled widely internationally to recite poetry. He attended poetic symposiums in almost all the districts of India and abroad including US, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal etc.
Rahat Indori recited his first poetry at the age of 19 in his college. He was one of those Urdu poets who write poetry in simple and clear language giving common audience a chance to relate and appreciate his couplets. He has been acknowledged with many honors across globe for his work.
Dr. Indori died of cardiac arrest on 11 August 2020 only a day after he tested positive for COVID-19. His contribution to Urdu literature is immense and he has left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of every modern aged poet, as well as his audience.
Afwaah thi ki meri tabiyat kharaab hai
Logo ne puch puchh ke bimar kar diya
Here is one of the popular poems by Dr. Rahat Indori:
Agar khilaaf hai hone do jaan thodi hai,
Ye sab dhuaan hai, aasman thodi hai
Lagegi aag, to aayenge ghar kai zad me
Yahan pe sirf humara makaan thodi hai
Main jaanta hoon ke dushman bhi kam nahi
Lekin, humari tarah hatheli pe jaan thodi hai
Humare muhn se jo nikale wahi sadaakat hai
Humare muhn me, tumhari zuban thodi hai
Jo aaj saahibe masnad hain kal nahin honge
Kiraaydaar hain, zaati makaan thodi hai
Sabhi ka khoon shaamil yahan ki mitti me
Kisi ke baap ka hindustan thodi hai