Independence Day Bi-lingual Poetry Recitation in Washington
By Zafar Iqbal, PhD
Left: Mr. Tariq Farooqi, Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Dr. A. Abdullah, Dr. Rafat Husain, Professor Asghar Wajahat and Professor Satya Pal
Anand. Right: Drs. Zafar Iqbal, A. Abdullah, Asghar Wajahat and Satya Pal Anand
Washington , DC: "The future of Urdu and Hindi is tied together and both depend upon each other," said Professor Asghar Wajahat at the third bi-lingual poetry recitation program held Sunday, 16th August 2009, at the Montgomery County Executive Office Building in Rockville, Maryland. Professor Wajahat, a noted Hindi fiction writer and chairman of Hindi Department, Jamia Millia Islamia, was presiding over the bi-lingual “Yaum-e-Azadi” mushaira-kavi sammelan.
The program, initiated by the Washington Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA) in 2007 to celebrate the independence of the Indian Subcontinent, was this year joined by the Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the Global Organization of the People of Indian Origin (GOPIO).
Wajahat, himself an Aligarh University alumnus, was pleased to see that AAA had launched this program to bring speakers of Urdu and Hindi to a common platform. He further noted that the standard of literature coming out of Northern America was very high.
Professor Satya Pal Anand, a stalwart academician, writer, and poet was impressed with the sentiments expressed about peace and friendship between communities by poets of both languages. He said, “….. program has proved that we all are one; we may have differences but there are no ill-feelings amongst us.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by other participants and audience during conversation among them. Mr. Fatehul Azam, a senior Aligarian visiting from Chicago, said, “Urdu and Hindi are like twin siblings that were surgically separated.” He added that the communities nurturing these siblings should keep on making efforts to let the siblings interact more often.
Wajahat also released a recently published book, Satya Pal Anand ki Nazm Nigari edited by Dr. A. Abdullah. The book is a compendium of articles written by prominent Urdu writers and critics about Dr. Anand and his contributions to the language.
Dr. Rafat Husain, AAA president welcomed the audience. He said that through this program we want to celebrate the common heritage of the subcontinent. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, General Secretary of GOPIO, greeted the audience as its president Dr. Renuka Misra could not reach in time due to certain unavoidable circumstances. He thanked The Aligarh Alumni Association for giving GOPIO an opportunity to join hand in promoting a noble cause.
- Abdullah, Akram Mahmood, Astha Naval, Aziz Quraishi, Baquer Zaidi, Dhananjaya Kumar, Gulshan Madhur, Madhu Maheshvari, Mohammad Anwar, Narendra Tandon Sahil Lakhnavi, Naseem Farogh, Razi Raziuddin, Rekha Maitra, Sadiq Bajwa, Satya Pal Anand, Suman Shukla, Suman Verdhan, Shakeel Azad, Sehba Ali, Tahira Rida, Vishakha Thakar, Yousuf Rahat, Zafar Syed, and Zaheer Parvez recited their inspiring poetic creations in front of a large audience in a spacious hall. The nizamat was conducted by Dr. A. Abdullah.
In his introductory remarks, Dr Abdullah recalled that 35 years ago The Association started the Mushaira tradition in the US. One of the goals of this activity was to provide a forum where people could get together transcendenting political, religious, regional and geographical boundaries. He recalled that in 1975, after six month of active search, he could find only 23 people in the entire North America who could be considered a poet. “ Today, 24 poets from our own city are participating at this event,” he informed.
A colorful souvenir containing sample of poetry of participating poets, in both Urdu and Hindi scripts, and their short biography and photograph was also released on the occasion.
The Aligarh Alumni Association honored Dr. A. Abdullah with a plaque in recognition of his long and dedicated services for the promotion of Urdu language and literature.
Mr. Rajiv Ranjan, Counselor, Community Affairs, represented the Embassy of India in Washington. He was impressed with the substance and message conveyed by the poets and stayed for the entire program.
Mr. Masood Farshori was the master of ceremony. The program was coordinated by Dr. Zafar Iqbal.