Poet Uttam Mule dead
Ramu Bhagwat, TNN, Jan 21, 2011, 05.56am IST
NAGPUR: Hindi poet Uttam Mule who penned "Yeh Buddha ki dharti, Yuddha
na chahe, Chahe aman parasti,", a song that is no less than an anthem
for followers of Buddhism died here on Thursday. He was 81.
"He died a pauper. Till his end, he lived in a hut in a Ganeshpeth
slum," one of his innumerable fans told TOI. "Cassette and disc
companies who sold his albums extolling virtues of Buddha and Ambedkar
raked in moolah. Singers Udit Narayan, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita
Krishnamurthy, Krishna Shinde and Milind Shinde who gave voice to his
beautiful and soul-stirring lyrics are celebrities today. But Mule was
lonely and uncared for when he breathed his last," said Kewal
Jeevantare, who followed the famous poet's life closely.
It was in 1955 that Mule, who was born in a higher caste of 'Beldar'
and was a native of Buldhana, met Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at Indora in
Nagpur. Afterwards, witnessing the Deeksha ceremony, the world's only
event of its kind where Ambedkar led the largest congregation into
another religion in a bloodless and most peaceful conversion ceremony,
he was so inspired by the Dalit icon that Mule chose to live here for
the rest of his life. Educated only up to Class VII, poetry came to
him naturally. He studied classics of Premchand, Bankimchandra and
Mahadevi Verma avidly and used the skills imbibed to spread thoughts
"He would never fight with recording companies who gave him a couple
of thousand rupees for collection of his poems and turned them into
bestselling songs. He was at peace with himself," said another of his
follower Ravi Gajbhiye. For a man who became downtrodden by choice,
the end was also equally tragic. On the new year eve he met with a
road accident at Borgaon in Gittikhadan area. He was hit by a
motorcycle rider walking on the road.
The rider took him to the Mayo hospital where he was undergoing
treatment with the help of well-wishers. He never fully recovered from
the injuries with the advancing age only slowing his systems. The last
rites will be performed at Mokshadham at 11 am on Friday.
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