Ehsan Danish was a prominent Urdu poet from the Indian subcontinent. At the beginning of his career his poetry was very romantic but later he wrote his poems more for the labourers and came to be called "Šāʿir-e Mazdūr" (Poet of the workmen) by his audience. His poetry inspired the common people’s feelings and he has been compared with Josh Malihabadi. He holds the unique position as one of the best poets of all times, with fine, romantic and revolutionary, but simple style of poetry
Danish was born in Kandhla, a small town in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, India. He belonged to a poor family and he could not continue his study due to financial reasons but still learned the Arabic and Persian languages on his own. Later he migrated to Lahore and settled there permanently. He struggled very hard to earn his living. He worked as an ordinary labourer for years in odd jobs, finally becoming a poet of excellence. His autobiography, Jahan-i-Danish, is a classic and has inspired many people. Danish has written more than 80 books and hundreds of articles about and including poetry, prose, linguistics, philology, autobiographies and the famous interpretation of "Diwan-e-Ghalib". Much of his literary work is still unpublished.
He died on March 22, 1982 in Lahore, Pakistan.
Maulvi Saeed talks of Ehsan Danish, the poet. He recalls:
"In 1928, when we lived in Mozang I happened to be present at a gathering in the street adjoining ours where a short-statured but a well-built darkish young man recited a naat in a voice which kept the audience spell-bound. The poet was Ehsan-bin-Danish (now Ihsan Danish, for ‘bin’ though in Arabic stood for ‘son of’, in Hindi meant ‘without’). The poet had come from across the Yamuna in search of employment — and perhaps recognition, too. Lahore gave him both; employment which hardly did any credit to this city, recognition, of course, which it never held back.
Ehsan was seen in the evening at the mushairas; in the morning, at the building sites with a brush in one hand and the lime-bucket in the other; or doing a gardener’s job on the Simla Hill. He has recorded the experiences of his early days in a fascinating autobiography — Jehan-i-Danish. In the realm of poetry, he was not a mere labourer, but a master architect."
- Jahan-i Diger
- Awaz sy Alfaz tk
- Urdu Mutaradifaat