Born in 1908 in Hyderabad, Makhdoom Mohiuddin was a prominent Urdu poet and activist. Having experienced poverty in his earlier life, Mohiuddin deeply felt for the poor and kept fighting against Capitalism, class exploitation throughout his life. He remained active in many leftist political organizations and movements of his time, including the Progressive Writer’s Association (PWA), the Hyderabad trade union movement, and the Telangana peasants’ movement, an armed struggle of peasants of Telengana against the Nezam rule of Hyderabad in 1946-47. Despite intense political activities, however, he also successfully retained rare aesthetics of romantic sensibilities in his poetry. Khwaja Ahmed Abbas aptly summed up Mohiuddin by calling him “the gun of the revolutionary guerrilla and also the sitar of musician”. Many of his ghazals and lyrics have been used in films. Besides poetry, he also wrote plays and translated works of Bernard Shaw and Chehkhov in Urdu. He was also awarded Sahitya Akademi Award in recognition of his literary services. He died in 1969.

In today’s time period, when we lack the vocabulary to express, understand, feel love, beauty, justice, the works of Mohiuddin are required to be read more than ever.

Ask the departing soldier

Where he is going

Who is the sad woman singing

Consoling hungry children

It smells of burning bodies

It is life that screams out–Makhdoom Mohiuddin on world war 2