Rahi Masoom Raza
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Rahi Masoom Reza
|Born||1 September 1927|
Ghazipur, United Provinces, British India
|Died||15 March 1992 (aged 64)|
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
|Occupation||Novelist, Urdu poet|
|Notable awards||1979 Filmfare Best Dialogue Award:Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki|
Rahi Masoom Raza (1 September 1927 – 15 March 1992), born in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, India, was an Urdu poet. He won the Filmfare Best Dialogue Award for the hit film Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki in 1979 followed by Mili and Lamhe, which he won posthumously. He also wrote in Hindustani and Hindi language and was a lyricist of Bollywood.
Early life and education
Rahi Masoom Raza was born in a Muslim family in a village named Gangauli, located in district of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in Northern India. Raza completed his early education in and around Ghazipur, from where he went to Aligarh Muslim University to complete higher studies. He completed a doctorate in Hindustani Literature and pursued a career in literature.
He wrote the script and dialogues for a popular TV serial, Mahabharat. The TV serial was based on the epic, the Mahabharata. The serial became one of the most popular TV serials of India, with a peak television rating around 86%.
Several of Raza's works vividly depict the agony and turmoil of the consequences of the partition of India, especially its effect on the Hindu-Muslim relationship and the social tension among different Indian social groups.
They also depict life in feudal India and the ordinary happiness, love, pain, and sadness of ordinary people. At times he is the narrator. For instance, his novel Adha Gaon ("Divided Village") narrates the story of two opposing Muslim landlord families in the village Ganguali at the time when India was gaining independence.
The central theme of Adha Gaon is that different people – regardless of class and religion – were sharing same land, water and air like brothers with all their human qualities and weaknesses but communal rivalry was not that much prominent then the mutual relationship between both the communities in United Provinces at the time of Indian Partition. In Adha Gaon, Raza paints a very colourful picture of 1940s rural India showing interdependence of Muslim & Hindus on each other be it may be in form of relationship between two landlords or relationship between master and servants (right-hand man of a Muslim Zamindar is a Hindu and best friend is also a Hindu Zamindar). Theme of novel is that before politics tore us away we (Hindu and Muslim) were one nation, Hindustan.
Katra Bi Arzoo ("The Lady Desire Locality") is set in the city of Allahabad, Katra being a locality of the city. The novel is set in 1970s India and as its central theme it bares the brutality of emergency in India and how general people were affected by such a draconian regime. It is an ode to anti-emergency activists and shows how people through their vested interest enjoyed the fruits of emergency and how emergency ruined and destroyed people's lives. In the foreword, Raza dedicates the novel to anti-emergency activists and say that freedom of speech is basic freedom.
Another novel, Topi Shukla, also revolves around the acts and conducts of devilish politicians of India, with the main character topi shukla being metaphor for 'Indian politician'.
In his "Neem ka Ped" Raza tells the story of an "asami", a tenant labourer and his landlord master. The story starts in pre-independent India and ends in post independent India, showing the vagaries of both the feudal and democratic systems in India with its darker side. The protagonist is a landless labourer who is very faithful and obedient to his master and dreams only of making his only son an educated person. Fortunes dwindles in landlords home and he is sentenced to jail for murder of an upcoming leader of congress because of manipulations of his cousin who is also a landlord but nurses a grudge against the landlord. After independence son of labourer becomes a member of parliament and son of landlord his trusted aid and advisor but as the saying is "power corrupts" the son of labourer who had now became an M.P. gets corrupt and selfish and in that is destroyed. Highly popular T.V. serial by same name was made on these novel in which Pankaj Kapoor marvelously depicted the landless labourer.
The following is an illustrative list of his works in different genres of writings:
- Adha Gaon (The Divided Village)
- Dil Ek Saada Kaghaz
- Topi Shukla
- Os Ki Boond
- Katra Bi Arzoo
- Scene No. 75
- Mauz-e-ghul mauz-e-saba (Urdu)
- Ajnabee shahar ajnabee raste (Urdu)
- Main ek Feriwala (Hindi)
- Sheeshe ke Makaan Wale (Hindi)
- Chotey aadmi ki badee kahaani ("Big Story of a Small man")
- Movie and TV scripts
- Movie dialogues
- Movie Lyrics
- Chishti, Seema (30 April 2007). "It's 1947 still in Rahi Masoom Raza's Aadha Gaon". Indian Express. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Hasan, Mushirul (1997). Legacy of a Divided Nation: India's Muslims Since Independence. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 159. ISBN 978-1-85065-304-2.
- Manwani, Akshay (1 April 2013). "The Show of Shows Producing India's greatest television show ever". Caravan. Retrieved 11 December 2013.