Hindi poet and veteran journalist Vishnu Khare breathes his last, at 78

Renowned Hindi poet, veteran journalist and film critic Vishnu Khare breathed his last, aged 78 at GB Pant Hospital in Delhi on September 19, 2018

Hindi poet and veteran journalist Vishnu Khare breathes his last, at 78

NH Web Desk

Renowned Hindi poet, veteran journalist and film critic Vishnu Khare breathed his last, aged 78 at GB Pant Hospital in Delhi on September 19, 2018. Khare had been admitted to the hospital a week ago, spending much of his hospital stay in the ICU, after a severe brain haemorrhage. Since then, his condition remained critical.

Born in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, this post graduate in English literature was appointed chairman of the Hindi Academy in June 2018. Khare started his journalism career with Hindi daily Dainik Indore, published from Indore, and later joined Navbharat Times, where he worked in various capacity. He served as editor of the Lucknow and later Jaipur editions of Navbharat Times.

Although Khare remained a journalist till his last days, writing columns on literature and culture, he is even better-known for his poetry. He translated famous British poet, TS Eliot’s poems inTO Hindi.

Khare was a recipient of many awards and honours, including an Order of the White Rose of Finland for his Hindi translation of the national epic of Finland, Kalevala. He has also received many prestigious Hindi literary awards like the Rahguveer Sahay Samman, Maithilisharan Gupt Samman as well as the Shikhar Samman.

Poets, journalists pay tribute to Vishnu Khare

Renowned poets and journalists including former colleagues of Khare have been paying tribute.

Independent journalist Kuldeep Kumar told National Herald, “I met Vishnu Khare in December 1973. He had returned from the then Czechoslovakia after spending over two years there. He had brought a good collection of LP records of western classical music. He had already made his name as a poet while I was trying to learn the ropes. As I came to know him better, I realised that he was deeply interested in music of all kinds— Western classical, Indian classical and Hindi film music. Among Hindi writers, only Vijaymohan Singh could be compared to him insofar as knowledge and appreciation of Hindi films and their music are concerned. Later he reviewed films for Navbharat Times and The Pioneer for several years. His stature as a Hindi poet and critic is well known. As Resident Editor and Acting Executive Editor of Navbharat Times, he showed exemplary courage in the face of pressure from Hindu communalists and paid the price. He was an extraordinarily talented person and a very warm and caring friend. I am terribly upset at his sudden demise. I met him briefly on September 9. Who knew that it would prove to be our last meeting?”

Famous Hindi poet and critic Ashok Vajpeyi condoled Khare’s demise in a post on his Facebook page. “In the sad demise of Vishnu Khare, Hindi has lost one of its most fearless and courageous poet-critics who always stood by truth and justice as he saw them. His poetry explored with rare skill and deep human empathy the scantily noticed urban life in all its suffering, inequities and humanness. A keen and critical observer of the creative expansiveness of the younger generation, Vishnu Khare both through his critical writings and journalism remained a committed writer. He had deep understanding of the politics of our times, its many contradictions and layers and assessed it sharply from the viewpoint of freedom, equality and justice. The intensity and human depth of his vision, his creative and critical concerns and his constant interrogativeness made him a bold writer and commentator on current situation of literature, culture and politics. He sometimes took to exaggeration but never concealed or sidelined the truth as he saw it. In his poetry, the distance between verse and prose more or less was bridged.”

The Raza Foundation deeply mourned the death of Vishnu Khare, “who was working on the English translation of Muktibodh’s poetry under a Raza Fellowship. The loss is a grievous blow to the democratic community of writers and readers of literature in the country”.

“My beloved and one of the greatest Hindi poets Vishnu Khare is no more. He died a few hours back in Delhi after suffering from stroke a few days back. He was recently made Upadhaksha of Hindi Academy, Delhi, tweeted NBT journalist Sunder Chand, who also posted a video of Khare reciting poetry.

Author Saif Mahmood wrote, “Leading light of Hindi literature, Vishnu Khare, passed away this afternoon. He leaves the world poorer by his going ”.

*Developing story

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Published: 19 Sep 2018, 5:52 PM