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January 12, 2015

Trendsetter of creative criticism in Urdu literature remembered


January 12, 2015

Prof Ali Haider Malick had introduced a trend of creative criticism in Urdu literature and his services would never be forgotten.
The prominent writers and scholars viewed this while addressing a condolence reference organised by the Anjuman Tarraqi-e-Urdu for Malick on Saturday.
Renowned short story writer, critic, translator, columnist, journalist and educationist Prof Malick passed away last year on December 30.
The speakers, including renowned Indian poet, critic and writer Satyapal Anand, Dr Fatima Hassan (who made an introductory speech), Prof Sehar Ansari, Dr Raza Kazmi, A Khayyam, Saba Ekram (who conducted the proceedings), Naseem Anjum, Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, Ahmed Zainuddin, Zahid Rasheed, and others paid glowing tributes to Malick saying his death had caused a great loss to Urdu literature.
Anand said whenever he visited Pakistan he desired to hold meetings with Prof Malick, ‘a true scholar and creative writer’ as such meetings were a great experience.
He mentioned that the he did not believe that Malick was no more, because the meaning of ‘Intiqal’ (demise) was a shift from one place to another place, and in this way the professor had not died and was very much present in spiritual terms.
Other speakers said that Malick was too bold and all his writings were evident of his boldness, truth, decency and innovation.
Prof Malick emerged as modern short story writer in late seventies and won his laurels after the appearance of his first collection of Urdu short stories in early eighties titled, ‘Be Zameen Be A’asmaan,’ that had contained a symbolic touch of seeing serious issues of life.
His stories had discussed the tragedy of separation of defunct East Pakistan in relation to the feelings and sufferings of common man.
The stories including ‘Be Zameen Be A’asmaan’, ‘Uthle Jal Ki Machli’, ‘Imdad’ and others had raised thought provoking questions over the forces of repression, claims of

advancement, killing of environment and nature, cries and woes of weak and also to live a life without being involved in any conspiracies on the part of the rulers and the influential powers.
In his stories (he wrote later on) Malick had discussed the life and question of beingness in a system where people had no choice to live a life of their own choice.
His stories strongly resisted the forces of falsehood under any cover and those stories yet have to be published in the form of a collection.
However, later he emerged as a critic on short stories and fiction and his criticism was considered to be very authentic among writers and scholars and lovers of Urdu literature for he set a fresh trend of criticism in terms of content, treatment, knitting and a meaning of what is hidden in the undercurrent.
His creative criticism was very liked by the contemporary critics and writers. His two books consisting of critical articles and his papers on criticism titled, ‘Afsana Aur Alamati Afsana’ and ‘Adabi Maroozaat’ provided a guidance to the critics, scholars and students of literature in understanding the art of perception of modern literature; especially Urdu short stories and fiction, as well.
Malick served the Urdu College (now Urdu University) as a lecturer and professor for years and got retired from there.
Besides, he also used to act a part time journalist and interviewed a number of writers of this sub-continent for Urdu newspapers.
He had also acted as editor of monthly ‘Qaumi Zuban’ and served other newspapers and finally joined the Jang Group (Akhbar-e-Jahan) and used to write a weekly column titled ‘Karachi Ka Adabi Manzarnama’ that gained ground among the writers and lovers of literature not only in Pakistan but other countries where ‘Akbar-e-Jahan’ is read and he wrote his column till last breath.
Prof Malick was also known as a very good host conducting a number of functions at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi Press Club, Fiction Group and programmes of other organisations.
He had been conducting functions of ‘Aalami Urdu Conference,’ an annual event at Arts Council and also read a lot of papers on writers and poets at book-launching ceremonies.
He had also compiled a book titled ‘Inn Say Baat Karen’ that consisted of interviews of famous Urdu short story writer Krishn Chandar and other writers.
His translation work compiled under the title of ‘Umar Khayaam Aur Doosri Ghair Mulki Kahanian’ presented wonderful translations of stories from different countries and he was highly appreciated for his translations skills.
Malick and another renowned writer A Khayyam’s joint venture had also compiled the unpublished work of a late writer and critic Shehzad Manzar.
In this research based book, the two writers had brought to light the artistic work by the late critic in order to pay him homage after his death and the effort by Malick and Khayyam was commended by the contemporary writers.

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