Delhi

Doyen of Urdu poetry Shahryar presented Jnanpith Award

Actor Amitabh Bachchan presenting the 44th Jnanpith Award for 2008 to eminent Urdu poet Akhlaq Mohammad Khan Shahryar at the Air Force Auditorium in New Delhi’s Subroto Park on Sunday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.

Actor Amitabh Bachchan presenting the 44th Jnanpith Award for 2008 to eminent Urdu poet Akhlaq Mohammad Khan Shahryar at the Air Force Auditorium in New Delhi’s Subroto Park on Sunday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.

For his distinguished contribution in enriching Indian literature, the 44th Jnanpith Award for 2008 was presented to renowned Urdu poet Professor Akhlaq Mohammad Khan Shahryar at a glittering ceremony organised by the Bharatiya Jnanpith at the Air Force Auditorium in Subroto Park here on Sunday.

The award was presented by actor Amitabh Bachchan in the presence of distinguished poets, authors and artists such as Gulzar, who, along with the audience, rose in a standing ovation to felicitate the celebrated poet's achievement. Mr. Bachchan put his famous baritone to use by reciting a few lines from the ghazals and nazms penned by Prof. Shahryar.

In his acceptance speech, Prof Shahryar said: “We are fortunate to live in a world where people can imagine other's pain and sadness, and feel the same emotions. In this way, one person gets entwined in a relationship with the other person, and the manner in which litterateurs reflect this through is known to all.”

“The purpose of artistes is to make the world beautiful and accomplished, and I too belong to this category. I pray that till I am alive I can do this job with integrity and effort.”

He also recited a few lines from his poems which were lapped up by the audience for combining both intense lyricism and deep pathos, despite his stating that he is known as a good writer but a “bad orator” of his own works.

Born on 19 June, 1936, in Anwala district in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Prof Shahryar obtained his Ph.D degree in Urdu from Aligarh Muslim University. He taught at the AMU Urdu Department of then retired as professor and Head of Department in 1996 after making a memorable contribution to Urdu literature as a teacher, critic and creative writer, according to the award citation.

His major published works in Urdu, Hindi and English include Satwan Dar , Hijr Ke Mausam , Khwab Ka Dar Band Hai , Mere Hisse ki Zamin , Kahin Kuchh Kam Hai , The Gateway to Dreams is Closed and Selected Poetry of Shahryar .

Considered one of the foremost writers of ghazal and nazm , Prof Shahryar has published 10 collections of poems in Urdu and even before the publication of his first collection of poems Ism-e-Azam in 1965, he came to be considered among important writers, according to the citation.

Awards and honours conferred on Prof Shahryar include the Sahitya Akademi Award and Urdu Academy Award among others.

“Shahryar's poetry is a celebration of voices of our times in which meaningful sounds of pain, remorse, expectation, resistance, love, change and progress can be heard. The conflict between the individual and society, images of solitude, many aspects of modernity and secrets of unending life are some of the concerns that have found articulation in his creative work. His ghazals in films like Gaman and Umrao Jaan have left a strong impact on the public mind,” the citation stated.


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Printable version | May 29, 2022 5:30:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/doyen-of-urdu-poetry-shahryar-presented-jnanpith-award/article2467289.ece