Born On: December 9, 1929
Born In: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Died On: December 30th, 1990
Career: Hindi Poet
Raghuvir Sahay was not only a famous poet of his time and age but also a notable journalist, short story writer, editor, translator and social commentator whose works and achievements capture his quintessential spirit and commitment to living life to its fullest. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in the year 1984 for his Hindi poetry collection, Log Bhool Gaye Hain (People Have Forgotten - 1982). His other noted works are Atmahatya Ke Viruddh, Hanso Hanso Jaldi Hanso and Seedhiyon Par Dhoop Mein. He was also the chief editor of the prominent weekly Hindi newsletter Dinaman.
Born in 1929, Raghuvir Sahay grew up during the period when India was struggling to free herself from the reigns of the British Empire. The writers who inspired him in his formative years include Charles Dickens and other prominent Hindi writers like Munshi Premchand etc. His commitment to the society and his desire to bring about a change in the world around him instigated Sahay to pick up the pen as his weapon of choice.
Sahay's commitment to reality and his loyalty to the literary world made him choose journalism as his profession. From being the sub-editor in the news division of the All India Radio to being a special correspondent for 'Navabharat' times and finally, as the chief editor of the Hindi newsweekly called 'Dinman' for four decades, he made invaluable contribution to journalism. Believing in ideals and concepts such as 'poetry should be rooted in reality' and 'be fully alert to the social reality' (Dusra Saptak, 1996), his political journalism, literary criticism, philosophical short stories, essays and poems carry a common thread that uncovers the magic of a common man's everyday life. His vast and priceless contribution as a freedom writer, during 1972-90, continues to be appreciated till date.
Contribution To Literature
Compassion and irony are the two words that describe Sahay's poems and their emotional spectrum overwhelms the readers. His verses are short but they encapsulate the oppression and the reality of the common man's world. The 'ugliness' of these hardships are not scented or shown to the reader through rose-tainted glasses, rather the desire to live and the faith in life as a whole, is the basic undercurrent flowing through all his works. His collection named 'Hanso hanso jaldi hanso' (Laugh, Laugh, Laugh quickly) is a social mimicry and falls under the genre of satire. We see the progress of Sahay from his lyrical couplets on love and nature to chronicles on pain and sufferings in his later works. A simple everyday vocabulary and straightforward communicative tone are unique to all his poems - they help the common man understand the poet's ideas. The colloquial and easy to understand language is chiselled to a perfection that only expert craftsmen like Raghuvir Sahay could have accomplished.
With over ten books of poetries, essays, short stories, journalistic articles and translational pieces written over a span of less than twenty years by the man, the compliment of an 'epoch making poet' or 'yugantarkari kavi' is certainly not a misplaced one.
Raghuvir Sahay was an active campaigner of the Hindustani language - a Hindi-Urdu synthesis - that preserved the heritage of the country. His 1982 poetry collection Log Bhool Gaye Hain (People Have Forgotten), which won him the Sahitya Akademi Award in the year 1984, focussed on the importance of this language.
During 1988-1990, he chaired a committee of the Press Council of India to analyze the role of the press in the context of Mr. Advani's rath yatra - this yatra was one of the first steps that led to the destruction of Babri Masjid and the ensuing anti-Muslim riots.
Together with Mohan Rakesh, Bhisham Sahni, Kamleshwar, Amarkant and others, Raghavir Sahay was the co-founder of the Nayi Kahani (New short story) Movement in Hindi literature. He pioneered this movement and was thereby responsible for the revival of Hindi literature.
A List Of All His Works