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28 August 1896
Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Died||3 March 1982
New Delhi, India
|Pen name||Firaq Gorakhpuri|
|Occupation||Poet, writer, critic, scholar, lecturer, orator|
|Language||Urdu, English, Hindi|
|Education||M.A. in English literature|
|Genres||Poetry, Literary criticism|
|Notable award(s)||Padma Bhushan (1968)
Jnanpith Award (1969)
Sahitya Akademi Fellowship (1970)
Raghupati Sahay (28 August 1896 – 3 March 1982), better known under his pen name Firaq Gorakhpuri (Urdu: فراق گورکھپوری, Hindi: फ़िराक़ गोरखपुरी), was a writer, critic, and, according to one commentator, one of the most noted contemporary Urdu poets from India. He established himself among peers including Muhammad Iqbal, Yagana Changezi, Jigar Moradabadi and Josh Malihabadi.
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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.
- Roop (Rubaayi)
- Bazm-e-Zindagi Rang-e-Shayri
- 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
- In his autobiography Yaadon ki baraat, the poet Josh Malihabadi wrote that after Mir and Ghalib, Firaq is the greatest Urdu poet of India.
- "Jnanpith Laureates Official listings". Jnanpith Website.
- (Hindi) Firaq Gorakhpuri at Kavita Kosh
An example of his work (on YouTube):