November 29, 2020

Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi

آرٹس کونسل آف پاکستان کراچی‎

8th Urdu Conference 2015

The four-day 8th International Urdu Conference concluded last Friday evening with the passage of a resolution that Urdu and other national languages be given due importance to create a national character and develop national integrity; and to introduce a hassle-free process of exchange of books between India and Pakistan as part of the efforts to defuse tensions between the two countries, presented by Ahmed Shah, Secretary Arts Council.

The organisers of the conference have done a great job by arranging the moot for eight years continuously and are followed by other cities of the country, now there are also conferences held in Lahore and Islamabad. They must keep the good work going.

Initiated in 2008 by the Arts Council Karachi, Urdu conference has been a regular annual feature eagerly awaited by the literary enthusiasts and cultural figures of the city. Noted scholars from India, United Kingdom, London, Canada, Turkey, Iran and all over the world participated and present their research papers, theses and creativity. 


Full Story:

Literary luminaries from Pakistan, India and other countries spent the next few days discussing the state of Urdu language in the contemporary world at the eight International Urdu Conference at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, which was inaugurated last Tuesday, with a session dealing with the topic “The pitfalls and benefits of making Urdu the official language of Pakistan”.

Every era had its priorities, the time in which we are living is a digital age and world has become a global village. The younger generation is much interested in science and technology rather literature and culture. And if the trend continued, there would be rapid decline in intellectual pursuits, something that writers and thinkers should guard against.

Today literature and language are not on top of society’s priority list. Although on a collective level language helps to communicate with one another and on an individual level it fulfils our urge to create or be creative. Language fulfils human’s social as well as creative needs. We need to express ourselves and language is a medium to do so.

Renowned Indian scholar Professor Shamim Hanafi was of the view that languages travelled like human beings. He said that the world witnessed one of the biggest mass migrations (in 1947) and Urdu also migrated with the people to different areas of the world. M. Hasan Askari presented his opinion as Urdu ki Hindustaniat and Professor Hanafi distinguish between a science-based welfare state and science-based warfare state as a difference between information and misinformation about a language.

Professor Sahar Ansari called for concerted efforts to make that had never been made to standardise Urdu in accordance to pronunciation, spellings, grammar etc. While delivering the second keynote speech of the inaugural session he said though Urdu had been revered and respected but the said situation is creating problems for younger generation to understand and use the Urdu language in a proper way in daily life as well as in literature. He emphasised the need for having a darul tarjuma in every province.

“It was once planned that a linguistic map would be created for regional languages, but the plan never materialised, he said. He said 56 languages were spoken in the country, out of which 16 had their scripts. It was decided in 1973 that Urdu would be the official language of Pakistan, and efforts were even made during Benazir Bhutto’s tenure to implement it, but to no avail.”

He was of the view that the bureaucracy was in the way of Urdu becoming the official language of Pakistan. He said, “After former Chief Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja’s verdict on Urdu, a bureaucrat wrote in a newspaper that it could not happen because there were many technical terms which were not translatable in Urdu.”

Some of the literary luminaries shared their thoughts after the keynote address including: Dr Alia Imam, Imdad Husaini, Nisar Khuhro, Dr Pirzada Qasim, Kishwar Naheed, Dr Abul Kalam Qasmi and Intizar Husain. Professor Ajaz Faruqui gave the vote of thanks. Chaired by Dr Pirzada Qasim the second session dealt with the topic of Urdu Curriculum. The speakers included: Anis Zaidi, Professor Haroon Rasheed, Dr Jaffer Ahmed, Mazhar Jamil, Dr Anwaar Ahmed and Dr Pirzada Qasim were of the view that the need of the hour is to rework curriculum and we must understand the difference between learning Urdu as a language and as a dialect. They discuss about the structural problem that needed to be addressed and all these issues must be dealt with seriousness in future.

Before the concluding session, renowned artiste Zia Mohyeddin recited Urdu nazms and read out excerpts from Urdu prose in his inimitable style, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. He began with Ibn-i-Insha’s ‘Ustad Marhoom’ while going through Ayub Khawar’s poem ‘Dua’ followed by Josh than a poem ‘Darvesh’ by N M Rashid and at the end a rib-tickled piece by Musthaq Ahmed Yousufi.

A distinguished poet Dr Munir Raisani from Balochistan talked about Maulvi Mohammad Hasan Barahvi who wrote ghazals and hold mushairas which were well established in Balochistan by 1911. And in 1915 poet Abid Shah Abid compiled a collection of Urdu poems penned by poets from Balochistan. He was speaking in a session on Urdu’s relations with other regional languages of Pakistan on the second day of the 8th International Urdu Conference at the Karachi Arts Council. He explained how many common words in Balochi and Persian are used in a more or less similar fashion in Urdu.

Other speakers included Ahmad Ataullah, Dr Anwaar Ahmed Khan, Ahmed Fawad, Dr Qasim Bughio, Poet Imdad Husaini and Mazhar Jamil all spoke about the progress of languages while living alongside one another.

Another session was on contemporary criticism in Urdu literature where a paper on progressive criticism and contemporary consciousness was read by Ambreen Haseeb Amber. Stylistics in Urdu literature were discussed by Dr Rauf Parekh. According to Dr Shadab Eshani improvement is needed in the criticism. Mubin Mirza said that criticism was an expression of our cultural conscience. While Dr Saadat Saeed, Dr Najiba Arif, Dr Nomanul Haq and Dr Abul Kalam Qasmi also focused on the topic.

Novelist Abdullah Husain, who passed away on July 4, was remembered in down memory lane segment. Playwright Asghar Nadeem Syed and Writer Intizar Husain commemorate Abdullah Husain in their own unique way. The day ends with a session on ‘Urdu Ka Naatia Adab’. There were also book launches and a discussion on Urdu drama and film and a sitar recital by Ustad Raees Khan.

On the third day a segment was hosted by poet Amjad Islam Amjad that was dedicated to the popular humorist and satirist Anwar Masood. The day commenced with a session on Urdu poetry, its tradition and possibilities.

Indian scholar Anees Ashfaq said the question was whether ghazal was a declining art form or reaching its zenith. While Indian poet Obaid Siddiqui’s topic was Urdu ghazal and the contemporary world. Dr Ziaul Hasan read a paper on regional languages’ influence on contemporary Urdu poetry. Nasir Abbas Nayyar talked on neo-colonialism and Urdu nazm. Dr Fatema Hasan’s paper was on the topic of new literary trends and women poets. Jazib Qureshi’s focused on modern poetic styles.

A session on fiction writers Ismat Chughtai and Rajindra Singh Bedi was presided over by Professor Shamim Hanafi and Intizar Husain. Asif Farrukhi, Zahida Hina and Dr Abul Kalam Qasmi presented their theses on the writers. The session on new regions where Urdu was being used as a form of expression included the speakers Mahmoodul Islam, a Bangladeshi scholar. Poet Iftikhar Arif and Broadcaster Raza Ali Abidi also spoke on the occasion.

The organisers of the conference have done a great job by arranging the moot for eight years continuously and are followed by other cities of the country, now there are also conferences held in Lahore and Islamabad. They must keep the good work going.

The four-day 8th International Urdu Conference concluded last Friday evening with the passage of a resolution that Urdu and other national languages be given due importance to create a national character and develop national integrity; and to introduce a hassle-free process of exchange of books between India and Pakistan as part of the efforts to defuse tensions between the two countries, presented by Ahmed Shah, Secretary Arts Council.

Earlier Ahmed Shah, Secretary Arts Council welcomed the guests and said; “The conference was an academic event and a cultural congregation. Giving importance to Urdu did not mean that anyone was being less considerate towards English or regional languages. “

(Thanks to Business Recorder)

1st Day


2nd Day


3rd Day


Schedule

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