Kaka Hathrasi

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Kaka Hathrasi
Born Prabhu Lal Garg[1]
(1906-09-18)18 September 1906
Hathras, U.P., India
Died 18 September 1995(1995-09-18) (aged 89)
Occupation satirist, humorist poet-writer

Kaka Hathrasi (18 September 1906 – 18 September 1995) was a noted Hindi satirist and humorist poet of India. His real name was Prabhu Lal Garg. He wrote under the pen name Kaka Hathrasi. He chose "Kaka", as he played the character in a play which made him popular, and "Hathrasi" after the name of his hometown Hathras. He has 42 works to his credit, comprising a collection of humorous and satirical poems, prose and plays published by various publishers.[1][2] He also wrote three books on Indian classical music under the pen name "Vasant". In 1932, he established Sangeet Karyalaya (initially Garg and Co.), a noted publishing house for the books on Indian classical music and dance and started publishing a monthly magazine Sangeet in 1935, which earned a high reputation. Sangeet is the only periodical on Indian classical music and dance which has been continuously published for over 78 years.[3][4] Kaka Hathrasi had many talents – as a writer, poet, musician, musicologist, actor and a fine painter.[citation needed]. He was a regular performer of Hindi Kavi Sammelan. In fact, he was one of the poets who established Hasya (comic) Kavi on Kavi Sammelan stage.

Banke Bhawan Residence of Kaka Hathrasi at Hathras

He was awarded Padma Shri by the government of India in 1985.[1] Today, each year, the Delhi-based "Hindi Academy" awards the annual Kaka Hathrasi Award for outstanding contribution in the literary field.[5][6]


Kaka Hathrasi was born on 18 September 1906 in Hathras, a town in Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh. Hathrasi wrote very sharp satires on social, religious and political evils, greed and corruption engulfing India at that time. His style of humour and satire made him popular and inspired new humourists.[citation needed]

Hathrasi has 42 books of humorous verse to his credit. He also participated in a radio programme, Meethi Meethi Hasaiyan, that ran for 786 episodes over an eleven-year period. This was the longest-running programme in India.

In 1932, Hathrasi established Sangeet Karyalaya, originally known as Garg and Co., at Hathras.Now it is run by his son Lakhminarayan Garg whom directed Brijbhashi film Jamuna Kinare(1984)[7] Its main goal was to revive and breathe new life in Indian classical music which at that time was closeted in palaces and temples, with access limited only to the rich and affluent. Hathrasi was himself a victim of the system. In his autobiography he writes- "My mother would not get the pension of my father as she had to pay bribe to the postman who came in with the money. Many a times my maternal uncle used to send me money but the postman took a part of that as well." He himself came from a very humble background and he says that his poverty was the only reason that lead to him becoming a poet. Hathrasi gathered works of great artists and kings in various languages and analysed and rewrote those classics in the language of the layman.

In 1935, Kaka started a monthly magazine Sangeet under the banner of Sangeet Karyalaya , Hatharas. This publication elaborated on the nuances and intricacies of various classical forms of music such as dhrupad, dhamaar, thumri, and taraanaa, and popular forms such as geet, ghazal, quawwali, folk music and film music. The magazine continued after his death. He also published his autobiography, Mera Jeevan : A-One in 1993.

Hathrasi started "Kaka Hathrasi Puraskaar", a prestigious award that is given annually to the best humorous poet/writer of the year and "Kaka Hathrasi Sangeet Sammaan" given to a distinguished musician/musicologist.

Hathrasi died on his birthday, 18 September 1995 at the age of 89. 18 September was declared “Hasya Divas” (Humour Day) in his memory and a park in New Delhi was named “Kaka Hathrasi Udyaan.” Kaka Hathrasi is mainly known for 'Kundali' which is considered as his signature style of writing.


Humorous Poetry[edit]

Film production[edit]

Kaka Hathrasi [8] and his son Dr. Laxminarayan Garg made a Brij-Bhasha language feature film "Jamuna Kinare" (1983) which based on Braj culture.The film is made under the banner of "Kaka Hathrasi Films Production" ,produced, directed and music composed by Dr. Laxminarayan Garg [9][10] and story was written by Ashok Chakradhar (Kaka Hathrasi 's son-in-law,husband of Kaka's niece, Ms Bageshri)[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2013)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. 1985: 35: Shri Prabhulal Garg, alias Kaka Hathrasi 
  2. ^ Hindustan year-book and who's who, Volume 53. M. C. Sarkar. 1985. p. 276. 
  3. ^ About us Sangeet Karyalaya website.
  4. ^ Peter Lamarche Manuel (1993). Cassette culture: popular music and technology in north India. University of Chicago Press. p. 278. ISBN 0-226-50401-8. 
  5. ^ "Hindi Academy awards presented". The Hindu. 29 December 2002. 
  6. ^ "Surendra Dubey gets 'Kaka Hathrasi' award". DNA. 16 November 2009. 
  7. ^ http://www.citwf.com/person493951.htm
  8. ^ http://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/hathras-11628748.html
  9. ^ sangeetkaryalaya.in/home/history
  10. ^ http://www.exoticindiaart.com/Books/Hindu
  11. ^ http://www.pravasiduniya.com/dr-ashok-chakradhar-birthday

External links[edit]