Literary activity in 2009 | Urdu renaissance
Literary activity expected to thrive in 2009
Karachi, Jan 09: The vibrant activity in literary circles in Karachi in 2008,
despite an insecure latter half of the year, has encouraged many to think that
2009 would be equally, if not more, dynamic. In literary terms, 2008 was a
combination of both the good and the bad. Whilst the year was filled with
conferences on literary themes and the launch of new books, poetry, and short
stories by old and emerging writers, it has also been marred with the tragic
deaths of eminent personalities.
The Arts Council witnessed a hub of
activity with plays being staged, musical sittings being organised and book
launches being held. A week-long Urdu Conference was held in memory of Joan
Eilya, and attended by Dr Gopi Chand Narang, Dr Shamim Hanafi, Dr Ziaul Hasan,
Ali Ahmed Fatimi, Zahid Ali Khan and other Indian writers and journalists, who
reviewed all major aspects of language and literature. Despite the Mumbai
attacks and the prevailing violence in the city, the conference proved to be
The decline in book readership in the country was also
addressed in a function held at the Arts Council that was organised by Professor
Mumtaz Hussain Adabi Committee in collaboration with Irtiqa Adabi Forum and
Anjuman Tarraqi Passand Musanifeen.
Despite the trend, the Council still
witnessed the launching of many books, such as the four books on prose and
poetry by Ahfazur Rehman leader of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).
The books discuss the exploitation of down-trodden classes, and were
well-received. Jamiluddin Aali launched his poem 'Insaan' and was praised by a
number of critics. Dr Farman Fatehpuri presided over the function, where City
Nazim, Mustafa Kamal was chief guest. Anwar Shaoor also launched his poetry
collection Endokhta and received glowing tributes. In addition, poetry
collections and prose books by Rasa Chughtai, Dr Naim Qureshi, Syed Sarwat Zoha,
Dr Fatima Hasan, Farhat Parveen, Ubaira Aamir, Rauf Niazi and many others were
launched by the Arts Council Literary Committee.
The Arts Council held a
lecture on the work and role of Allama Rasheed Turrabi, and honoured writers
Himayyat Ali Shaer, Mushtaq Yousufi, and musicians Ustad Hamid Ali Khan and
Literary sittings were also held at Goethe Institut, Karachi
Press Club, Pakistan American Culture Centre, Muhammad Ali Jinnah University
Auditorium, and the arts auditorium at the University of Karachi.
Canadian-Pakistani writer Ashfaq Hussain launched his book 'Ahmed Faraz-Yadoon
Ka Aik Sunhera Warq' at Karachi Club. Dr Muhammad Ali Siddiqui, who presided
over the function, and prominent writer Mehmood Shaam, chief guest, commended
Hussain's literary services. President Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences, Dr
Jaffer Ahmed, journalist, Mujahid Barelavi, critic Shahida Hasan representative
of National Councils of Academics, Hasan Zaheer, also praised Hussain's efforts.
Ahmed Faraz, on whom the book is based, died on August 25.
As well as
those launched at the Arts Council, the year also saw the arrival of several new
books, such as the unique Urdu 'Tasveer-khana' on 'Khaka Nigari' (pen-sketches)
Mumtaz Rafique. Earlier, a poetry collection in Sindhi 'Rat Ji Raani' by Mumtaz
Soomro was also launched by Karachi Press Club Literary Committee. The
illustrations for the collections were made by Wasi Haider and Wali Haider
Zakir. Wasi Haider also put his work on display Citi Art Gallery run by art
critic, Saleem Ahmed.
A quarterly humorous Urdu magazine, 'Mizah Plus'
was also brought out by Anwar Ahmed Alvi and Muhammad Asghar Khan. Nasri Daira
Pakistan also launched 'Qura'atul Ain Haider Number' published by Urdu quarterly
'Roshnayee' and edited by short story writer and journalist Ahmed
Meanwhile, short story writer and critic, Dr Anwaar Ahmed,
presented a study on the depiction of social realities in contemporary
literature, stressing that the portrayal of social facts and the common man
should be done creatively. Dr Fahmeeda Hussain was chief guest on the occasion
whereas Professor Dr Farman Fatehpuri presided over the function.
addition, before being evicted from the Hindu Gymkhana, NAPA actors staged
famous Urdu short stories written by Ghulab Abbas, Usmat Chughtai and other
Such noted events, however, were dampened by the demise of
several poets and artistes. Renowned Urdu poet, Khaitar Ghaznavi, died in July,
just a month before Ahmed Faraz. Noted journalists Muhammad Ali, Athar Hashmi
and Shujjauddin and actor Badar Muneer also passed away, while the alleged
murder of fashion designer Shaikh Aamir Hasan also rocked the city.
"salam. i m ali jan plz m student hooon,or books khreed nahi sakta plz agr mujhe khuch books free m dey jay to sir.aap ki meher baani hogi,or m apni reading complete kr sakoo ga thanks. c\o ali jan m.s student department of sindhi, university of karachi. "
City, Country: karachi,pakistan
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Beginning of the Urdu renaissance?
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology
(FUUAST) has decided to launch the 'Implementation Urdu Programme' to highlight
the negligence of Urdu and to emphasise the need to adopt Urdu for everyday use
while trying to envisage a methodological solution to the problem.
Vice Chancellor, Dr Muhammad Qaisar, said "The university has arrived
at this decision because no concrete steps were being taken to adopt Urdu in
offices, schools, colleges and in our everyday life." The FUUAST now teaches
arts, science, pharmacy among other subject in Urdu, while it has also published
text books in Urdu to facilitate students who want to adopt the language as
their medium of instruction. "Now we want to create awareness about the
importance of the national language to the country; we have to prioritise and
learn to love our language," he said.
Expressing surprise over scepticism
of the programme, the VC cited the successful examples of Usmania University,
Hyderabad (Deccan), which was established in the 19th century and the Maulana
Azad National Urdu University which was set up in 1998, also in Hyderabad
(Deccan). Maulana Azad National Urdu University has been a great success and it
has opened its regional offices (for distance learning) in every major city of
India. "Though it is located in Andhra Pradesh where majority of people speak
Telugu, still the university is flooded with students who want to learn through
the medium of Urdu," he added.
Dr Tariq Rahman, a
distinguished national professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University, said: "Urdu,
presently the national language of Pakistan and a symbol of identity for Indian
Muslims, is also associated with Islam in South Asia. This association was
forged during the British colonial rule. During this time, Urdu was disseminated
by networks of education and communication in colonial India. It became the
medium of instruction in Islamic seminaries (Madrassahs) and the language of
religious writings. It also became part of the Muslim identity and contributed,
next only to Islam, in mobilising the Muslim community to demand Pakistan, which
was carved out of British India in 1947."
The language is also a source
of communication in the wider region, as it is also associated with the Muslim
community in India. Urdu is not considered sacrosanct in itself because it is
not Arabic, even though it is written in the script of Persian (Nastaliq), which
in turn, is based on Arabic (Naskh). It also has a number of words of Arabic
origin though, for that matter, it has even more words of Persian and some of
Turkish. For all these importations of Muslim lexicons, it is a derivative of
Hindvi or Hindavi, the parent of both modern Hindi and Urdu.
Farrukhi, noted Urdu author, critic, poet, linguist, scholar and broadcaster
appreciated the programme and hoped that Urdu would soon be adopted as a tool
for education, business, poetical expressions and of course as a language of
communication. "The main reason, as I understand, is the capitulation of the
society to English. The Western civilisation – English being its tool in
Pakistan, is spreading its tentacles while our society is in the final stages of
losing its own identity including, our beautiful language. We have to provide
protection to our civilisation that has been forced upon us from outside along
with a miniscule section of our society."
University of Karachi (KU)
Registrar, Prof. Rais Alvi, a distinguished poet and writer himself, appreciated
the idea and said that it is time for all those who love the language to step
forward and help the FUUAST in its endeavours.
"Urdu is the language of
communication in the subcontinent. Even in those countries where Urdu Diaspora
has reached, the language is the lingua franca among immigrants from various
countries. The language should get the recognition it deserves," he added. The News
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