One of the most notable Urdu writers in the sub-continent, Mujtaba Hussain breathed his last on May 27 at his residence in Red Hills, Sun City, Hyderabad around 9 am. He was 87.
Within a span of over 50 years of career, Hussain has penned over 25 books, he was popular in the genre of humour and satire writings. His work was widely translated into Hindi and other regional languages and is part of Urdu syllabus across India.
Some of his most critically appreciated works are ‘Quissa-e-Mukhtasar’, ‘Baherhal’, ‘Admi-Nama’, ‘Takalluf Bar Taraf’, ‘Qata-e-Kalam’, ‘Japan Chalo Japan’ to name a few.
After writing a column in the daily Siasat ‘Seesha-o-Teesha’, he started writing his own column in the daily which was published every Sunday.
He has also written an autobiographical satire ‘Apne Yaad Mein’ and another book titled ‘Mujtaba Hussain Ainon Ke Beech’ published by Educational Publishing House, New Delhi.
Talking about his association in the field of literature, he said in an interview, “It was not me who chose humour and satire but it was humour which chose me. I took up satire and humour incidentally … On August 12 as soon I reached Siasat office, elder brother Jigar Saheb and Abid Ali Khan Saheb called me and proposed to write ‘Sheesha wa Teesha’ column. In the morning at 10:30, I started column writing and finished the column before 2 pm. I wrote with my pen name ‘Koh Paima’; after a week people began asking who was writing the column … The thing which began incidentally became the destination of my life and also the purpose of life.”
Mujtaba Hussain was also the first Urdu writer to be bestowed with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour for his contribution to Urdu literature in 2007. However, in December 2019, he had announced that he was returning the Padma Shri to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“The democracy for which I fought is under attack now and the government is doing that. That’s why I don’t want to associate the government with me,” he had expressed.