"Jin shehron mein goonji thi Ghalib ki nava barson
Un shehron men ab Urdu benaam-o-nishan thehri
Azadi-e-kaamil ka ailan hua jis din
Maa'toob zubaan thehri, ghaddar zubaan thehri
Jis ahad-e-siyasat ne yeh zinda zubaan kuchli
Us ahad-e-siyasat ko mehroomon ka gham kyun hai ?
Ghalib jise kehte hain Urdu hi ka shayer tha
Urdu par sitam dhaa kar, Ghalib par karam kyun hai ? "
Sahir Ludhianvi, at the Ghalib's death anniversary function in Agra in 1969
Today, 27th December, 2014 is the 217th birth anniversary of Mirza Ghalib
When several years back I appealed for award of Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib, many people called me crazy. Obviously Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh thought Sachin Tendolkar more suitable. Even the present government does not think Ghalib to be deserving.
Some people said that if we award Bharat Ratna to Mirza Ghalib why not to Gautam Buddha and Ashoka ? I explained that Ghalib was a modern figure, not an ancient or medeival one.
Many people have got Bharat Ratna posthumously, e.g. Dr. Ambedkar and Sardar Patel. So why not Ghalib ?
I will keep appealing until one of two things happen : the award is given to Ghalib, or I die.