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August 13, 2020

Urdu novels no less than literature of any language in the world

Islamabad

August 13, 2020

Islamabad : In the last twenty years, excellent Urdu novels have been written in Pakistan. Our literature is no less than the literature of any language in the world. It can be compared to any other language in the world but, unfortunately, we have a certain kind of inferiority complex. The British ruled over us for almost a hundred years, so everything from the West has become important to us and our attitude toward literature is similar.

These views were expressed by Nausheen Javaid Amjad, Federal Secretary, National Heritage and Culture Division, as a guest of honor at the online discussion Program on "Freedom and the Narrative of Urdu Novel" organized by the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) in connection with the weekly Independence Day celebrations.

The event was presided over by playwright Asghar Nadeem Syed, while the chief guests were Nasir Abbas Nayyar and Khalid Mahmood Sanjarani.

Participants included Dr. Tahira Iqbal, Dr. Qazi Abid, Rafaqat Hayat, Muhammad Asim Butt, Dr. Aurangzeb Niazi, Dr. Sefer Haider and others, who discussed the topic. PAL chairman Dr. Yousuf Khushk presented an introductory note. Dr. Muhammad Naeem moderated the discussion.

Nausheen Javaid Amjad said that when translations come to us from English or any other language of the world, we are immediately attracted to them. That is why our new generation knows Paulo Coelho but he has no knowledge of people like Qaratul Ain Haider, Abdullah Hussain who has now become classics in Urdu.

"The only reason for this is that we have considered English as the standard of knowledge. We have assumed that the man who will write in English, or who will be translated into English, will be a great writer. This misconception needs to be dispelled."

The secretary said it was necessary to inculcate in the minds of the new generation that literature does not grow big or small because of any language. It has to look at how it presents a human situation.

She said many literary masterpieces still exist, but their languages are extinct. As far as the Urdu novel is concerned, the novel came to us much later, but it is not that very little has been written. The PAL has recently published a two-volume novel number of its quarterly Urdu journal ‘Adabiyat.’ The second volume of this special issue covers only 21st-century novels, which suggests that we have written some very good novels in Urdu in the last twenty years.

She said that Dr. Yousuf Khushk has mobilized the PAL as chairman. To hold so many Independence Day celebrations in a week by PAL is appreciable. She congratulated the PAL on holding the Independence Day celebrations.

Dr. Yousuf Khushk said that the novel is currently the most popular genre in the world. It is an ancient genre, as can be seen from the Nobel Prize-winning writers of the literature of the last fifty years. The novel has also emerged as a popular genre in Urdu. The first Urdu novel was published in 1869.