Leftist poet Naushervi dies at 83

Leftist poet Naushervi dies at 83

Prof Hamdardveer Naushervi

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2

When Khalistani guns were silencing voices of dissent across Punjab’s hinterland, he would fearlessly roam villages with a red badge bearing Lenin’s image on his worn-out coat. He would speak at the funeral of fallen comrades at a time when it was forbidden to attend the last rites.

Prof Hamdardveer Naushervi, a renowned Leftist poet, who inspired generations of rebels, passed away at his home town Samrala on Tuesday. He was 83. He was cremated in the afternoon.

He wrote around 20 books.

Prof Naushervi, along with Gursharan Singh, was one of the founders of the revolutionary cultural movement under the banner of the Punjab Lok Sabhyacharak Manch. “It was on his suggestion that in 1982 the Punjab Lok Sabhyacharak Manch was abbreviated as PULS Manch, the organisation which understands the PULSE of the people,” says Amolak Singh, president of the Punjab Lok Sabhyacharak Manch.

Naushervi’s real name was Buta Singh Pannu; he hailed from Naushehra Pannuan in Tarn Taran district. After serving in the Air Force for a brief period, he joined as a lecturer at Malwa College, Bondli, near Samrala.

He fondly named his house in Samrala as “Kavita Bhavan”. It was known as the centre of literary activity in the area. “He built a room in the basement, where he would read and write. In jest, he would tell his young revolutionary comrades: ‘We poets often suffer from the illusion that living in a basement is equivalent to an underground life’,” recalls Amolak Singh.

Whenever somebody would ask him his date of birth, he would say, “Don’t ask that question. I want to die young.”

Truly, Professor Naushervi died young.

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