‘Nityotsava Kavi’ Nissar Ahmed passes away in Bengaluru
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‘Nityotsava Kavi’ Nissar Ahmed passes away in Bengaluru

May 3, 2020

Bengaluru: Renowned Kannada poet Prof. K.S. Nissar Ahmed, popular as ‘Nityotsava Kavi,’ passed away at his residence in Bengaluru this morning. He was 84.

According to sources, the celebrated poet was suffering from cancer and was hospitalised too. 

Born on Feb.5, 1936, at Devanahalli in Bengaluru Rural district, Kokkare Hosahalli Shekh Haider Nissar Ahmed leaves behind two sons, two daughters and a host of relatives and friends. His wife Shahnawaz Begum (77), a retired teacher, had predeceased him on Mar.23, 2019. 

Winner of several awards including Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry, Rajyotsava Award, Padma Shri among others, Prof. K.S. Nissar Ahmed had inaugurated Mysuru Dasara-2017 atop Chamundi Hill on Sept. 21. He was accompanied by his wife Shahnawaz Begum, son Naveed Ninad, daughter-in-law Ruman Naveed, grandson Akhib Ninad and others.

Prof. Nissar Ahmed gave us an anthem “Jogada Siri Belakinalli…,” a poem about the glory of Karnataka that is exceptionally meaningful and lyrical. He was a major poet who never shied away from writing about being a Muslim among Hindu poets. His knowledge about Hindu and Islam classical texts were deep. He was able to talk about any incident from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita and the rest of Hindu religious texts.

Nobody believes that the famous song on Krishna “Benne Kadda Namma Krishna Benne Kadda” is written by Nissar Ahmed. He used satire to the best possible result, to bring out the conflicts of living amidst two different cultures.

The maiden audio cassette of Kannada music was released with the song “Nityotsava” in 1978. The song became widely popular, not just because of the tune but because of the lyrics written by Nissar Ahmed.

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Writing poems was his passion. Rashtrakavi Kuvempu read Nissar’s poems and invited him to participate in Dasara Poets’ meet in 1959. His “Kurigalu Saar Kurigalu” was made popular by Mysore Ananthaswamy when he sang it. That poem became a legend.

Prof. Nissar Ahmed is known for appearing in public dressed in suit. Nobody has ever seen him in any attire other than a suit. Be it a cold winter or hot summer, Nissar Ahmed would always turn up immaculately dressed in suit.

It may be recalled that at a Council Meeting in December last, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had decided to provide Rs.20 lakh medical assistance to poet Nissar Ahmed, who was suffering from cancer. His son Naveed too has been diagnosed with cancer. However, Naveed was handed over a cheque for Rs.10 lakh when he was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Bengaluru in January.

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