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BEKAL UTSAHI, prominent Urdu poet, died of brain haemorrahage in a Delhi hospital on 2 December at the age of 88 years. In addition to Urdu, Hindi he also composed folk poems, geet in  Avadhi language, a dialect of Hindi. A resident of Balrampur (U.P.) whose real name was Muhammad Shafi’ Khan but famous by the name of Bekal Utsahi, after a stroke of brain haemorrhage he was admitted in Delhi’s Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia hospital but could not survive and died on 2 December. His most famous Urdu poetic work is Kulliat-e Bekal Utsahi. An eminent poet, he was honoured with many awards including Indian government’s Padma Shri Award and UP government's Yash Bharti Award, He was laid to rest in his native place, Balrampur.
Prof. IQTEDAR HUSAIN SIDDIQI noted historian, former professor of History in AMU, also a scholar of Urdu, Persian and Mysticism and a former Member of Rampur’s Raza Library Board died  after a prolonged illness at the age of about 80 years. Hailing from Bijnor (UP) he authored about 13 books, mostly on history among which are Sher Shah Suri, Islam and Muslims in South Asia : A Historical Perspective, Authority and Kinship under the Sultans of Delhi etc. He also contributed a lot on Islamic Encyclopaedia.
RAOOF RAZA, Delhi’s noted poet died of heart attack on 2 December at his residence in Delhi at th age of….  years. His anthology of poems titled Dastaken Meri (My knocks) was published about ten years ago. He was compiling his second anthology of poems which was left incomplete because of his death. He leaves behind his wife, one son and four daughters.
HAKEEM MUFTI AHMAD HASAN TONKI, head of All India Unani Tibbi Congress, Rajasthan State died in Jaipur on 27 November at the age of 102 years. Born in Tonk, the only princely state in pre-Indepedence India which was considered a Sharaee state and which produced many Urdu men of letters, he was a Mufti, noted Unani hakeem and well versed in Arabic language and literature. He was also honoured with World Urdu Day Award in 1999 by United Muslim of India and Urdu Development Organisation.
ABUL RAOOF KHAN, interim chairman of Maharashtra State Urdu Academy and a true lover and promoter of Urdu died in Mumbai last month (November). He was so keen on promoting Urdu that he set up an Urdu school and Urdu junior college on his personal land in Bhusawal (near Mumbai) and did every thing possible for the promotion of Urdu. He is counted among the most dynamic and successful interim chairmen of Maharashtra State Urdu Academy during whose tenure Urdu Academy made much progress.             

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 December 2016 on page no. 12

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