Fourth Independence Day Bilingual Poetry Recitation in Washington
By Dr. Zafar Iqbal

(Left): Dr. Zafar Iqbal (Program Coordinator), Dr. Razi Raziuddin (Chairman AAA Board of Trustees), Dr. Renuka Misra, Mr. Sanjay Sinha (Minister for Community Affairs), and Mr. Masood Farshori (President, AAA). (Right): Poets who presented their kalam. Seated, left to right: Zaheer Parvez, Satyapal Anand, Mohammad Anwar, Ashok Narain, Rakesh Khandelwal, and Salahuddin Nasir. Standing, 1st row, left to right: Zafar Iqbal, Khurram Yusufzai, Kiran Nath, Rekha Maitra, Musarrat Jahan Baig, Madhu Maheshwari, Vishakha Thaker, Narendra Tandon, and Gulshan Madhur. Standing, 2nd row: I. D. Ramaswami, Razi Raziuddin, A. Abdullah, Sudhir Nath, Prem Sethi, and Sadiq Bajwa

It was a balmy Saturday afternoon in Gaithersburg , Maryland. The Aligarh Alumni Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC (AAA), in cooperation with The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin of Metro Washington (GOPIO), had organized a Mushaira and  Kavi Sammelan on August 7, 2010 at the Forest Oak Middle School auditorium. 

The guests and the poets, dressed in their national attires, started filling the auditorium early in the evening. It was a cool ambience reflecting the Ganga-Jumni culture of all faiths and traditions. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, coordinator of the program, welcomed the guests to the 4 th Yom-e-Azadi Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan to celebrate the Independence Day of the sub-continent. He expressed hope that the community would continue to support such events to bring the people of the subcontinent closer. Mr. Masood Farshori, president of the AAA, and GOPIO president Dr. Renuka Misra, also welcomed the guests and thanked them for their participation, enthusiasm, and love of Urdu and Hindi poetry.

The highlight of the evening was the book release ceremony of Dr. Zaheer Parvez’ poetic collection, Sada-e-Dil. Mr Sanjay Sinha, Minister for Community Affairs, Embassy of India performed the book release by receiving a copy of the book from the poet. This session was chaired by a noted poet Mr. Abdurrahman Siddiqui. Dr. Moazzam Siddiqi described his personal association with the poet during their stay as graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr Siddiqi said that most of the poems were written during the mid-sixties to mid-seventies, an important period in the political, social and cultural history of the United States.

Left to right: Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Mr Sanjay Sinha, Dr. Zaheer Parvez, and Mr. Abdur
Rahman Siddiqui

Dr. Mazher Jaweed, a long-time friend of the poet, alluded to Dr. Parvez’ love of Urdu poetry from his early college days. He characterized his poems as an expression against war, poverty, and injustice as well as personal memoir of important life events.

After a short break, the second session was begun with remarks by Dr. A. Abdulla emphasizing the contributions of poets in the integration of communities and the role played by mushaira and kavi sammelan in sharing literary and cultural ethos. He said it was pleasing to know that Washington had many reputed poets in the city. He expressed regrets that a number of poets could not be accommodated in this function due to time constraints.

 Twenty-three Urdu and Hindi poets shared their compositions with over 200 people in the audience.  The poets included: A. Abdullah, Abdurrahman Siddiqui, Ashok Narayan, Dhananjaya Kumar, Gulshan Madhur, I.D. Ramasuwami, Kiran Nath, Khurram Yousufzai, Madhu Maheshvari, Mohammad Anwar, Musarrat Jahan Baig, Narendra Tandon Sahil Lakhnavi, Prem Sethi, Rakesh Khandewal, Razi Raziuddin, Rekha Maitra, Sadiq Bajwa, Salahuddin Nasir, Satyapal Anand, Suman Verdhan, Surekha Vij, Vishakha Thakar, and Zaheer Parvez. The nizamat was conducted by Dr. A. Abdullah and the function was presided over by Professor Satyapal Anand.

The dignitaries present at the event included Mr. Sanjay Sinha, Minister for Community Affairs, Embassy of India; Mr. Natwar Gandhi, Chief Financial Officer, Washington, DC; Mr. Ashok Narayan, a retired IAS Officer from India; and Dr. B. Manejwala.

The AAA presented a recognition award to Dr. Renuka Misra for her continued service to the community at large, and the AAA in particular.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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