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New Delhi: Eminent Urdu scholar, literary critic and former chairperson of Sahitya Akademi, professor Gopi Chand Narang passed away in the United States on Wednesday, June 15 at the age of 91.
He was living with his son Dr. Tarun Narang in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Narang was born in Dukki, a a district in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. According to a tribute to Narang in the Indian Express, he was introduced to literature by his father, who was a scholar of various languages including Baluchi, Pashto, Sanskrit and Persian. After the Partition, Narang moved to Delhi’s Karol Bagh.
According to the Hindu, professor Narang started his teaching career at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. He also taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Oslo, and University of Wisconsin. After Wisconsin, professor Narang returned to India to teach at Jamia Millia Islamia and rejoined Delhi University in 1986.
He worked extensively on explaining and analysing the works of Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir and later Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Firaq Gorakhpuri. He penned about 60 books, and also designed 10 books for children under the title Let’s Learn Urdu in English and Hindi.
He was awarded the prestigious Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) (2012) by the Government of Pakistan and Padma Bhushan (2004) and Padma Shri (1990) by the Government of India. As per news reports, he is the only Urdu writer to be honoured by the presidents of both India and Pakistan.
In 1995, professor Narang won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his comprehensive work Sakhtiyat, Pas-Sakhtiyat aur Mashriqui Sheriyat (Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, and Eastern Poetics).
Some of the Urdu books written by him include Ameer Khusroo Ka Hindavi Kalam (Ameer Khusro Society Of America, Chicago, 1987); Ghalib (Sahitya Academy, Delhi, 2013); Kaghaz-E-Aatish Zada (Delhi, 2011); and Rajinder Sing Bedi (Sahitya Academy, Delhi, 2009).
— indianhistorypics (@IndiaHistorypic) June 15, 2022
We are saddened to inform you all about the demise of one of the most respected Urdu critics, theorists and linguists Prof. Gopi Chand Narang.
We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.#Rip #RipGopichandNarang
— Rekhta (@Rekhta) June 15, 2022
Prof Gopi Chand Narang the giant of a scholar of Urdu,the ulimate authority on Urdu language has passed away leaving behind a void which will never never be filled . It is a very sad day for anyone who cares for languages and loves literature RIP
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) June 16, 2022
A man who was an institution of Urdu literature in himself has left us all grieving.
Join us in paying our heartfelt tribute to the legendary #ProfGopiChandNarang
— Jashn-e-Rekhta (@JashneRekhta) June 16, 2022
One of the most respected Urdu critics, theorists and linguists Prof. Gopi Chand Narang passes away. He was 91. pic.twitter.com/8wFOMzhndp
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) June 15, 2022
زباں رکھ غنچہ ساں اپنے دہن میں
بندھی مٹھی چلا جا اس چمن میں
ZabaaN rakh ghunchaa saaN apne dahan meiN
Bandhii muTThii chalaa jaa is chaman meiN
—Meer Taqi Meer
— Sarim Haider Zaidi (@beingsarim10) May 29, 2022
Sad to know about the demise of Prof Gopi Chand Narang, well known Urdu scholar and author. Always an animated conversationalist, with a deep understanding of the history of languages. RIP.
— S lrfan Habib (@irfhabib) June 16, 2022