Monday, January 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Harivansh Rai Bachchan cremated

Karisma Kapoor comes out of "Pratiksha" bungalow after paying her respects to Harivansh Rai Bachchan in Mumbai on Sunday.
Karisma Kapoor comes out of “Pratiksha ” bungalow after paying her respects to Harivansh Rai Bachchan in Mumbai on Sunday.

Jackie Shroff and Salman Khan
Jackie Shroff and Salman Khan come out of “Pratiksha” bungalow after paying their last respects to Harivansh Rai Bachchan in Mumbai on Sunday.

Uddhav Thackrey and Anil Ambani
Uddhav Thackrey (left), son of Shiv Sena chief Bala Saheb Thackrey, and noted industrialist Anil Ambani at “Pratiksha” bungalow to pay their last respects to Harivansh Rai Bachchan in Mumbai on Sunday. — PTI photos

Mumbai, January 19
The mortal remains of noted poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan were consigned to the flames amid chanting of religious hymns at the Ruia Park crematorium in suburban Juhu this evening.

The funeral pyre was lit by his elder son and megastar Amitabh Bachchan who was accompanied by son Abhishek.

The 96-year-old Harivansh Rai died of prolonged illness at Amitabh’s residence “Pratiksha” last night.

Admirers of Harivansh Rai chanted “Ram nam satya hai” and “Harivansh Rai amar rahe” as waters from the Ganges was sprinkled over the body before the pyre was lit.

A sea of humanity converged at “Pratiksha” as people from different walks of life, including politicians and film personalities, participated in the procession to the crematorium for the last rites.

Among those who attended the funeral include cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, Samajwadi Party leader and Bachchans’ close friend Amar Singh, film personalities Sujit Kumar, Yash Chopra, Prakash Mehra, Randhir Kapoor and his brothers Rishi and Chimpoo, Sanjay Dutt, Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher and industrialist Anil Ambani.

Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and former Home Minister Kripashankar Singh visited “Pratiksha” and paid floral tributes.

Film luminaries Yash Chopra, Yash Johar, Karan Johar, Danny, Krishna Kapoor, wife of the late Raj Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Honey Irani, Anil Kapoor, Goldie Behl and Amarish Puri were among the first to call on the bereaved family last night.

From around midnight, a steady stream of mourners offered their condolence to Amitabh, his wife Jaya, daughter Shweta and Abhishek.

Mr Amar Singh and Mr Anil Ambani had reached the bungalow hours before Harivansh Rai’s death.

A pall of gloom descended on the Juhu-Vile Parle area as film industry people heard about the death of Harivansh Rai.

Reacting to the poet’s death, Ramanand Sagar said the country had lost a literary giant.

Director Anil Sharma said Harivansh Rai took poetry to sublime heights and his rich collection of poems won him wide acclaim. Lyricist Javed Akhtar said with his death, an era had ended in Hindi literature. “I have learnt a lot from the father-son relationship. Amitabh has looked after his father very well all these years,” Akhtar added.

After meeting the bereaved family, the Chief Minister said: “we have lost a great poet who gave Hindi poetry an entirely new prospective”.

Former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh described Harivansh Rai as a great poet of Hindi literature. PTIBack

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |