'Majhe Vidyapeeth' Poet Narayan Surve Passes Away

'Majhe Vidyapeeth' Poet Narayan Surve Passes Away
Noted Marathi poet Narayan Surve, who depicted the struggle of Mumbai's working class through his works, passed away today at the age of 83 following brief illness.

Surve, known best for his poetry collections like Majhe Vidyapeeth (My University), was ailing for some time and was in a private hospital in neighbouring Thane.

Through his poems, Padma Shri Surve described the world of urban population that lived in Mumbai by doing whatsoever work they could lay their hands on to eke out a living.

He brought before the world the bitter truth of those whose life was a mess in search of a mere morsel and also the lives of toiling workers whose life was filled with the struggle to make a living.

Veteran poet Mangesh Padgaonkar described Surve as a man who made it on his own despite humble beginnings.

"His love for poetry was not for commercial reasons but spiritual practice," he said.

Another well-known poet Pravin Davne lamented that Surve was not conferred the Jnanpith award.

Born on October 15, 1926, Surve was raised by a mill worker. He grew up in the streets of Mumbai. He slept on the pavement and earned a meagre livelihood by doing odd jobs. He taught himself to read and write.

Surve actively took part in the workers' union movement in Mumbai and supported himself as a school teacher.

Expressing grief over Surve's demise, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said, "We have lost a legendary poet and thinker who represented the common man."

Deputy Chief Minister Chaggan Bhujbal said, "Surve had become the voice of the depressed class through his poetry."

Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said Surve was "people's poet and gave words to the pain and suffering of the people who had no voice. He was the voice of Mumbai's working class in Marathi literature."

Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Surve vociferously proclaimed social revolution through his poems.

"He created a unique style of poetry using colloquial language of workers," Shinde said and described Surve's poems like Majhe Vidyapeeth, Jahirnama and Aisa Ga Mi Brahma as significant works.
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