27 Dec 1797
15 Feb 1869
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Ghalib (Urdu: غاؔلب‎; Hindi: ग़ालिब) born Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan (Urdu: مرزا اسد اللہ بیگ خان; Hindi: मिर्ज़ा असदुल्लाह् बेग़ ख़ान), on 27 December 1797 – died 15 February 1869),[1] was the preeminent Indian[2] Urdu and Persian-language poet during the last years of the Mughal Empire. He used his pen-names of Ghalib (Urdu: غالب, ġhālib means “dominant”) and Asad (Urdu: اسد, Asad means “lion”). His honorific was Dabir-ul-Mulk, Najm-ud-Daula. During his lifetime the Mughals were eclipsed and displaced by the British and finally deposed following the defeat of the Indian rebellion of 1857, events that he wrote of.[3] Most notably, he wrote several ghazals during his life, which have since been interpreted and sung in many different ways by different people. Ghalib, the last great poet of the Mughal Era, is considered to be one of the most popular and influential poets of the Urdu language. Today Ghalib remains popular not only in India and Pakistan but also amongst Indian diaspora communities around the world.

In 1850, Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II bestowed upon Mirza Ghalib the title of “Dabir-ul-Mulk”. The Emperor also added to it the additional title of “Najm-ud-daula”.[1] The conferment of these titles was symbolic of Mirza Ghalib’s incorporation into the nobility of Delhi. He also received the title of ‘Mirza Nosha’ from the Emperor, thus adding Mirza as his first name. He was also an important courtier of the royal court of the Emperor. As the Emperor was himself a poet, Mirza Ghalib was appointed as his poet tutor in 1854. He was also appointed as tutor of Prince Fakhr-ud Din Mirza, eldest son of Bahadur Shah II,(d. 10 July 1856). He was also appointed by the Emperor as the royal historian of Mughal Court.[1]

Being a member of declining Mughal nobility and old landed aristocracy, he never worked for a livelihood, lived on either royal patronage of Mughal Emperors, credit or the generosity of his friends. His fame came to him posthumously. He had himself remarked during his lifetime that he would be recognized by later generations. After the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rise of the British Raj, despite his many attempts, Ghalib could never get the full pension restored

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