Popular Indian comedian passes away at 58: Leaders and celebrities pay tribute!

Popular Bollywood comedian Raju Srivastava passed away on Wednesday - September 21 at the age of 58 in Delhi. He had been hospitalized for over a month in AIIMS, Delhi where he breathed his last. For the fans and fraternities who hoped for his recovery in the wake of some improvements in his health, the news of his demise has come as a shock and several political leaders and celebrities are paying tribute. 

Raju Srivastava was admitted to AIIMS Delhi on August 10 after he experienced chest pain and collapsed while working out at a gym. He also had suffered a heart attack and he was put on a ventilator. In a prolonged treatment, there were signs of improvement as he responded to the treatments. Recently, his brother Dipoo Srivastava said that the comedian was recovering slowly but was unconscious.

Speaking to PTI, Dipoo said, "The recovery is slow. He will be fine soon. He is stable and on a ventilator. He is still unconscious. It's been 35 days but doctors are saying they are doing their best. We need all your prayers." "He will be treated at AIIMS and we will take him home after he has recovered. We have faith in the doctors", Dipoo added.

On September 6, Raju's wife spoke to a news agency during which she said, "All I can say is that his condition is stable and he is still on a ventilator. The medical team is doing their best and we all want your prayers, so that he recovers and is back with us." Along with his family, Raju's fans were also praying that he will come back soon with a complete recovery.

However, it has been reported that his health got deteriorated and the comedian breathed his last on Wednesday. His family has confirmed that Raju has died. The comedian's nephew Kushal Srivastava said, "Yes, it is true. He passed away half an hour back. We all are at AIIMS. His entire family is here. We haven't decided on the last rites yet." 

Raju died at 10.20 am on Wednesday after hospitalization for 41 days. The news of his demise has swiftly drawn nationwide attention. Raju was in the entertainment industry since the 1980s and shot to fame after participating in the first season of the reality stand-up comedy show, 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge' in 2005. 

A native of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Raju has also appeared in supporting roles in Hindi films such as Maine Pyar Kiya, Baazigar, the remake of Bombay to Goa and Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya. He also had served as the Chairman of the Film Development Council, Uttar Pradesh. After learning about his demise, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, "Raju Srivastava is no more with us. I, on behalf of the people of UP, pray that his soul rests in peace. I extend my condolences to his family." 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and wrote, "Raju Srivastava brightened our lives with laughter, humour and positivity. He leaves us too soon but he will continue to live in the hearts of countless people thanks to his rich work over the years. His demise is saddening. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti." 

Union Ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh and BJP President JP Nadda have extended their condolences. Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav said, "It's regretful that Raju Srivastava is no more with us. He came from a poor family with his talent & hard work; created his presence in the world. Very few talented comedians like him. I remember how he wanted to contest from Kanpur when he joined SP." 

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri said, "My brother, friend & the country's wave of happiness, Raju Srivastava is no more. I'm deeply saddened. An artist like him is rarely seen, India hasn't seen another like him. I pray that his soul rests in peace. My prayers are with his family and fans." Born Satya Prakash Srivastava, Raju was survived by his wife and two sons.