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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Literary festival: Integrated efforts stressed for Pashto promotion

By Bureau report
February 26, 2024

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a discussion during the ongoing literary festival in the provincial capital stressed the need for integrated efforts both at the official level and in a private capacity for the promotion of Pashto language and literature.

Participant speaks during a Peshawar Literary Festival. — Facebook/Peshawar Literary Festival
Participant speaks during a Peshawar Literary Festival. — Facebook/Peshawar Literary Festival

They were speaking at a panel discussion on “Colonialism and Pashto Literature: A Critical Study of Pashto Literary Genres in the British Raj”. The discussion was attended by a good number of students from different universities.

Head of the English Department at Edwardes College Peshawar Dr Gulzar Jalal and journalist Dr Yousaf Ali were the panelists who spoke in detail about the inception and promotion of various genres of Pashto literature especially those influenced by English and British Raj.

They said that Pashto literary genres reflected the employment of the clutches and control of the British Raj, colonialism, postcolonialism, feminism, Marxism, and social reforms. The growth of drama, short stories, novels and poetry were discussed in the light of colonial perspectives. The novel was introduced in Pashto in the last quarter of the 19th century, the speakers said.

The novel started in the form of a translation. Two novels of Maulvi Nazir Ahmad were translated: Mara’at-ul-Uroos by Mian Hasib Gul Kakakhel under the title of Naqsh-e-Nagin and Taubat-un-Nasooh, by Mian Mohammad Yusuf, said Dr Gulzar.

However, Baiy Tarbiata Zvi (an ill-bred Son) by Noor Muhammad Tarakai 1940, is the first novel in Pashto Literature. Similarly, the Pashto drama Tarbor (Cousin) by Abdul Akbar Khan Akbar is the first Pashto drama staged in 1926, he pointed out.