New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and other political leaders across the country on Wednesday mourned the demise of actor Irrfan Khan, calling him a "rare talent" who will be greatly missed. The 54-year-old actor lost his battle with a rare form of cancer and died in a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday. He was buried at the Versova graveyard in the afternoon.
President Kovind called Irrfan a "brilliant actor" and said that his remarkable performances will forever be remembered by the audiences. "Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Irrfan Khan. A rare talent and a brilliant actor, his diverse roles and remarkable performances will remain etched in our memories.
"A big loss to the world of cinema and millions of film lovers. Condolences to his family & admirers," the president said on Twitter. PM Modi said that Irrfan's death is a loss to the world of cinema and theatre.
"He will be remembered for his versatile performances across different mediums. My thoughts are with his family, friends and admirers. May his soul rest in peace," the prime minister said in a tweet. Home Minister Amit Shah said the country has lost an "exceptional actor and a kind soul".
"Anguished over the sad news of Irfan Khan's demise. He was a versatile actor, who's art had earned global fame and recognition. Irfan was an asset to our film industry. In him, the nation has lost an exceptional actor and a kind soul. My condolences to his family and followers," Shah tweeted.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed Irrfan was an actor "par excellence" and he is "deeply pained" by the news of his demise.
"He was an epitome of artistic brilliance and versatility. He enthralled audiences with outstanding performances in films like 'Lunch Box'. His contribution to films will be remembered for long. Deeply pained by his untimely demise," Singh posted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also mourned the death of the actor. "I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Irrfan Khan. A versatile & talented actor, he was a popular Indian brand ambassador on the global film & tv stage. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family, friends & fans at this time of grief," Rahul said.
Another Congress lead, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, tweeted, "His acting broke the boundaries of languages, nations and religions, creating an accent of acting that united all humanity through art and compassion."
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also condoled Irrfan's death, saying he was a hard-working and multi-faceted artiste whose journey from the Indian cinema to Hollywood was an inspiration to budding actors.
"He has been snatched away despite putting up a valiant fight against the rare form of cancer," he said, adding that Irrfan accepted the reality of his diagnosis and faced the treatment bravely. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said he is "saddened and shocked" by the news of the death of the actor, who hailed from the state.
"My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. May God give them strength. May his soul rest in peace," he added.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Shocked to hear of the demise of Irrfan Khan, one of the most exceptional actors of our time. May his work always be remembered and his soul rest in peace." Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Indian cinema has suffered a "great loss" in Irrfan's demise.
"It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of actor Irrfan Khan. He was an actor par excellence and his untimely demise is a great loss to the Indian film community. We convey to his family and to every one who enjoys the works of the actor our deepest sympathy," he tweeted.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee said Irrfan's vast body of work will be his "legacy for generations". "Saddened at the passing away of the critically acclaimed film actor Irrfan Khan. He leaves behind a large body of work which will be his legacy for generations. I fondly recall him calling on me in Kolkata a few years ago. My condolences to his family, colleagues, fans & admirers," she tweeted.
BJP president JP Nadda said, "The passing away of versatile actor Irrfan Khan is an irreparable loss to the world of art and cinema. Artists always lives in our memories with their work. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and fans."
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav shared his photo with the actor on Twitter. "Saddening to hear about the demise of one of the most versatile actors of Indian Cinema, Irrfan Khan! Met with Irrfan when he came calling at Patna residence! A multi faceted man, a great human being! My sincere condolences to his family, friends & fans," he tweeted.
Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan deputy chief minister and senior Congress leader, said Irrfan's contribution to cinema will always be remembered. "My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and fans. May his soul find eternal peace," he added.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said, "No stereotypical looks, no six-pack, no fancy dance steps, no dynastic claim to a place in Bollywood. It was just talent & a breathtaking screen presence. #IrrfanKhan your courage to speak up when others chose silence was your biggest asset & will be missed the most. God speed."