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Noted Kannada poet Nisar Ahmed passes away

Bengaluru: Noted Kannada poet Prof. K. S. Nisar Ahmed died in Bengaluru this (Sunday) afternoon. He had celebrated his 84th birthday only five days ago.

Widely respected Kokkare Hosahalli Sheikh Haider Nisar Ahmed (official name K. S. Nisar Ahmed) is best known for his poetry collection titled ‘Nityotsava’.

He was conferred with Padma Shree and Kannada Sahitya Academy Award in 2008. He served as the President of the Kannada Sahitya Academy for one term. He had been invited to inaugurate the 407th edition of the Dasara Celebrations atop Chamundi Hills in Mysore on September 21, 2017 by the then Government headed by Mr. Siddramiah. This was a rare honour for a Muslim as Dasara Celebration atop Chamundi Hills is organized officially by the Government of Karnataka. Mysore has been organising the celebrations for over 400 years. It is a huge tourist draw accompanied with several fairs, and sports and cultural events.  

Nisar Ahmed was a geologist by training ( he was M.Sc in Geology) and taught at the Central College, Bengaluru for several years. He was conferred with an honorary doctorate by the Karnatak (repeat Karnatak) University, Dharwad.

Nisar Ahmed inaugurating the 10-day Dasara celebration in Mysore in 2017

Doyen of Kannada literature, Nisar Ahmed made contributions in several genres of literature and poetry in Kannada including children’s literature, literary reviews and translations. He was also conferred Soviet Land Nehru International Award, Naadoja and Kannada Rajyotsava Award (highest award by the State Govt) and the Sahitya Academy Award. ‘Seemateetana Sirivanta Suggi’, was the final literary work by the noted poet which was released by former chief minister of Karnataka Veerappa Moily in 2017, a day ahead of the Dasara celebration. He was also invited to inaugurate the 73rd edition of Kannada Sahitya Sammelana at Shivamogga in 2007.  

Nisar Ahmed had also worked with Mines and Geology Department of Karnataka Government at Gulbarga. It was while working there in 1959 that he came in contact with Kuvempu, greatest of Kannada poets, who invited him to Kannada Poets’ Meet that year. It was the beginning of a journey with Kannada litterateurs and poets which continued for six decades.

Nisar Ahmed was suffering from cancer for some time and had been to the United States for treatment last December. Unfortunately, his son too was suffering from cancer. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (official name of the Bangalore Metropolitian Municipal Corporation) had sanctioned him Rs. 20 lakh on January 1 this year by way of financial assistance for treatment.

His wife Shahnawaz begum died a year ago. She had worked as a teacher in a private school. The couple had two sons and two daughters.    

By M. A. Siraj

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