‘Faiz Naama’, brought out by Chintana Pustaka, launched

At a time when both politics and literature seem to have dragged each other down to an all-time low, great poets such as the late Faiz Ahmed Faiz are examples of how both can complement and elevate each other, said Hassan Nayeem Surkod, writer and translator.

Speaking at the launch of “Faiz Naama”, edited by Mr. Surkod and brought out by Chintana Pustaka here on Sunday, he said that Faiz was constantly and seriously involved in both literary and Left political movements in the undivided India and later Pakistan.

Writer Fakeer Mohammed Katpadi said that Faiz’s poetry at once reflects his faith in the struggle of the oppressed for a better world and his fine artistry as a poet. Writers like Faiz and Mukhdoom Mohiuddin maintained their political idealism till the end, even as they were uncompromising in their pursuit of poetry, he added.

He regretted that the critical tradition in Kannada tends to look upon writers who carry the “progressive” tag on them as necessarily inferior as poets and writers, while that dichotomy does not exist in literary traditions in Urdu.

It was unfortunate that Urdu had come to be identified with one religion and there was a clear “conspiracy”, particularly in Karnataka, to culturally divide the language, said Mr. Katpadi.

The decision of the BJP Government to make the Urdu Academy as part of the Department of Minority Welfare was a clear indication of this, he added.

Mohammad Azam Azad said that writers such as Faiz belonged to the progressive tradition, but never allowed their poetry to become propagandist.

“He saw the role of a writer as not just a witness of events, but as a crusader who can change the course of events,” said Mr. Azad. The former bureaucrat Chiranjeevi Singh, who presided over the function, said that Karnataka had contributed greatly to the development of Urdu with pioneering writers such as Ali Bijapuri and Khwaja Bande Nawaz.

The book includes prose writings on and by Faiz translated by Mr. Surkod and poetry translations by L.K. Atheeq and K. Shareefa.

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