Celebrated Urdu author, humorist and satirist Mujtaba Hussain passed away in Hyderabad on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was in his 80s and is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
According to family sources, he breathed his last at his residence in Red Hills after suffering from a cardiac arrest. He was not well for the last couple of years due to age related problems.
Often described as the Mark Twain of Urdu, Mujtaba Hussain was perhaps the most loved Urdu humorist of his times. He was awarded the Padma Shri, the country's fourth highest civilian award, in 2007.
His death is considered as a big loss to the Urdu literature in the Indian sub-continent.
He authored several books and travelogues, including 'Japan Chalo Japan' considered one of his biggest contributions to the Urdu literature as it provided rare and amusing insight into Japan at a time when not many had travelled to that country.
He began his literary career from 'Siasat', a leading Urdu daily published from Hyderabad and was a regular columnist there till a couple of years ago. Readers used to eagerly wait for his Sunday column.
A writer par excellence, he was known for creating ripples of laughter across the Urdu world with his writings. Many credit him for reviving interest in the Urdu language through his satirical writings.
At least 12 PhDs were done on him by different scholars from across India during his lifetime. His works were translated into Odia, Kannada, Hindi, English, Russian and Japanese.
In December last year, Mujtaba Hussain had decided to return his Padma Shri award to protest "the atmosphere of fear and hatred created by the Modi government".
Hussain had said that he was pained over the current situation in the country with those in power targeting minorities, especially Muslims.
Concerned over the hatred and fear created among the community through the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the writer had said that he was feeling 'suffocated' and his 'conscience was pricking him'.
Mujtaba Hussain was the brother of famous writer Ibraheem Jalees, who had migrated to Pakistan and veteran journalist Mahbub Hussain Jigar, who was associated with 'Siasat'