Islamabad:As an unchanged ‘literary ritual’ to mark the 29th death anniversary of a literary giant, the National Language Authority, Josh Adabi Foundation and the Josh Memorial Committee joined together once again to pay a tribute to the revolutionary poet, Josh Malihabadi, attended by a galaxy of literary, political and sports stars.
However, while raising the same questions and concerns regarding the preservation and promotion of his works, none of the speakers or representatives of literary organisations had anything to share about their individual efforts in this regard.
Dr. Farooq Sattar, parliamentary leader of MQM, chaired the conference, while sports star Sarfaraz Nawaz also joined in. NLA Chairman Iftikhar Arif, eminent poet Shabnam Shakeel, and Ghazanfer Mehdi shared their correlated views on the great revolutionary spirit of Josh and the utter official neglect meted out to this great literary giant of Urdu literature.
While Farooq Sattar made a speech on the urgency of transferring the message of Josh to the younger generation, the official neglect meted out to Josh, and stressed that everyone needs to play a role in promoting the literary contribution of Josh, Shabnam Shakeel raised the most pertinent concern by urging to move beyond annual events and introduce his works to the masses in all true colour and spirit portrayed by the poet. Shabnam Shakeel stressed that it’s high time that the works of Josh reach a larger literary arena around the world through translations and fresh publication of his works.
While weaving the literary sketch of Josh, NLA Chairman Iftikhar Arif also shared his views about various ‘conspiracies’ against Josh even after his death by ignoring his massive contribution towards Urdu language and literature.
Josh Literary Foundation President Ghazanfar Mehdi, Josh Memorial Committee chairperson and granddaughter of Josh, Tabbasum Ikhlaq, and grandson of Josh, Farrukh Jamal Malihabadi shared the same old concerns about sheer official neglect, failures of literary organisations and commitments made in last 29 years for the preservation and promotion of his works. Apart from the failure to translate and document his literary works, even the promise of giving Josh a civil award or naming a road or avenue after him remains unfulfilled till now.
Dr. Yahya Ahmad and Afshan Malik also shared their views on the life and works of Josh. Malik Fida-ur-Rehman conducted the proceedings.
Josh was always recognised as the product of a peculiar culture, social mores, literary traditions and religious ideals that held certain values in great esteem and respect. An ardent supporter of independence, he challenged the colonialists and imperialists in his patriotic poems of the 1920s and 1930s. He sang of nature and liberty and mocked hollow formalism, be it religious or otherwise. The hallmark of his poetry is an irreverent and contemptuous demeanour towards certain religious icons and practices, especially the ones that denote an ostentatious religiosity. Pathologically averse to any authority and naturally inclined towards rationality, he never backed down in the teeth of opposition.The news