Impediments in promotion of Urdu analysed
The issue of promotion of Urdu language and literature came up under discussion at two separate functions held recently, where the prominent scholars and writers underlined various hurdles being faced in achieving this task.
At one of the functions held at Karachi Press Club, the speakers lauded the services of an Urdu monthly titled ‘Ismat’ in this regard that was being brought out for about last 105 years on a regular basis by the Khairi family.
The magazine was started by the then famous campaigner for women empowerment, writer and journalist, Allama Rashidul Khairi. He had written Urdu short stories on serious issues being faced by women of the sub-continent. Khairi had won laurels as ‘Musawar-e-Gham’ (a writer painting agony of women in words). Famous TV Playwright Haseena Moin told the audience that the magazine by Khairi was the only known monthly that was read and owned by the masses. She said that almost all educated Muslim families read this famous magazine. Other noted writers, Zahida Hina and Shahida Hassan also supported the plea of Haseena Moin that ‘Ismat’ was the only famous magazine that was allowed for girls of that time to read and publish their works in. The speakers, paying homage to great short-story writer Rashidul Khairi, termed him a true role model of his times. They said he raised voice against the exploitation of Muslim women of the sub-continent. The stuff published in that magazine not only depicted the plight of the women in the forms of stories, articles and editorials but also presented a kind of guidelines for Muslim women. The magazine also served the cause of promotion of Urdu language by publishing perfect articles and other stuff of a good quality.
The speakers observed that the Khairi family, including Raziqul Khairi, who is the son of Rashidul Khairi, and other family members, published the magazine regularly and maintained the same principles and policy set by the great Khairi.
Scholar Dawood Usmani observed that the conditions were very difficult when Khairi started ‘Ismat’ but he was not bothered and remained determined. In two separate incidents, the magazine’s archives were burnt, but the predecessors faced the conditions courageously and continued publishing the magazine without even a single break, Usmani added.
Presently, the magazine was being published by Safoora Khairi, the grand daughter of Rashidul Khairi, as an editor along with her husband, Niazuddin Khan.
Niaz being a renowned journalist himself has supported his wife as co-editor. The speakers paid rich tributes to Safoora Khairi, Niazuddin and other team members of the magazine for making the publication a worth-reading Urdu monthly.
Noted TV anchorperson Shagufta Yasmeen, while underlining the quality of the magazine’s content, appreciated the role of the editorial team. Well-known poetess, short-story writer and journalist Sahar Hasan presented two papers on behalf of two famous writers, Intizar Hussain and Aslam Farrukhi, who were unable to come due to some other engagements. The two in their separate messages said the magazine had a historical status.
Noted scholar Prof Nusrat Ali also paid rich tributes to Safoora’s family and the entire team of the magazine.
He observed that most of the famous women had been part of ‘Ismat’ as it had been publishing their short stories, articles and poetry on regular bases.
President of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) Imtiaz Khan Faran expressed his felicitation over completion of more than 100 years of publication of the magazine. He said it was a part of the struggle made for the freedom of expression.
Renowned Poet Anwar Shaoor, Safoori Khairi, Niazuddin Khan, Shoiab Ahmed, Majeed Rehmani, Naeem Akhtar, Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Amin Yousuf, Iqbal Jafferi, Saeed Mughal, Iftikhar Ali, Rizwan A Siddiqui and others attended the function.
Another function, held at the Faizi Rehmeen Art Gallery, discussed at length the ways and methods to promote Urdu language in corporate sector.
The seminar organised by the Institute of Culture and Ethics in collaboration with the Friends of Adam was coordinated by Haleem Sharar.
Prominent writer, poetess, critic and Secretary Anjuman Tarraqi-e-Urdu Dr Fatema Hassan, who presided over the event, stressed upon promotion of Urdu in all walks of life; especially in offices, colleges and universities. She told the audience that she being a teacher had never delivered a single lecture in English either at Karachi University or other colleges of the city. “Instead, I prefer Urdu as a medium of my expression in delivering lectures.”
Other speakers noted that as a language Urdu was so effective and stressed that if it was implemented also as an official language it could bring about more profitable results.
The speakers urged the journalists and writers to play their due role in the promotion of Urdu.
Those took part in discussion included noted scholar Abid Rizvi, Prof Younus Hasani, Dr Shadab Ehsani, Haleem Sharar, Jahangir Syed, Moosa Kaleem, Ghaffar Khan Ghauri, Naeem Tahir, Hatif, Tahir Bin Ghaffar, Syed Abdullah Ali and others.
Haleem Sharar, while concluding the discussion, observed that scholars, journalists, teachers and opinion-makers should come forward to promote Urdu.
He agreed to a suggestion made by Abid Rizvi that a distorted version of language being presented in the electronic media must be discouraged “as it was promoting ‘slang‘ and not perfect Urdu language.”