Noon Meem Rashid (Nazar Muhammad Rashid)

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Nazar Muhammad Rashid (Urdu: نذر مُحَمَّد راشِد‎), (August 1, 1910 – October 9, 1975) commonly known as Noon Meem Rashid (Urdu: ن۔ م۔ راشد) or N.M. Rashid, was born as Nazar Muhammad Janjua. He was an influential Pakistani poet of modern Urdu poetry.

Early years:

Rashid was born in Janjua family of Village Kot Bhaaga, Akaal Garh ( Now Alipur Chatha), Tehsil Wazirabad, District, Gujranwala, Punjab, and earned a masters degree ineconomics from the Government College Lahore.[1]He served short in Royal Indian Army during second world war and reached to captaincy.

Career:

Rashid served for the UN and worked in many countries. He is considered to be the father of Modernism in Urdu Literature. Along withFaiz Ahmed Faiz, he is one of the great progressive poet in Pakistani literature. His themes run from the struggle against oppression to the relationship between words and meanings, between language and awareness and the creative process that produces poetry and other arts. Though intellectually deep, he is often attacked for his unconventional views and life-style. In an age when Pakistani literature and culture acknowledge their Middle Eastern roots, Rashid highlighted the Persian element in the making of his nation’s history and psyche. Rashed edited an anthology of modern Iranian poetry which contained not only his own translations of the selected works but also a detailed introductory essay. He rebelled against the traditional form of ‘ghazal’ and became the first major exponent of free verse in Urdu Literature. While his first book, Mavra, introduced free verse and is more technically accomplished and lyrical, his main intellectual and political ideals reach maturity in his last two books.

His readership is limited and recent social changes have further hurt his stature and there seems to be a concerted effort to not to promote his poetry. His first book of free verse, Mavra, was published in 1940 and established him as a pioneering figure in free formUrdu poetry.

He retired to England in 1973 and died in a London hospital in 1975. His body was cremated as requested in his will. This created an outcry in the conservative Pakistani circles and he was branded an infidel.Anyhow,he is considered a great figure in progressive Urdu literature.

Poetry:

N M Rashed was often attacked for his unconventional views and life style. According to Zia Muhiyyuddin, a friend of Rashed, “In the time when everybody was in quest of learning English, which was must for getting some decent job, Rashed was busy in making paintings or poetry.”

The themes of Rashed’s poetry run from the struggle against domination to the relationship between words and meanings, between language and awareness and the creative process that produces poetry and other arts.

Initially his poetry appeared to have influence of John Keats, Robert Browning and Matthew Arnold and wrote many sonnets on their pattern, but later on he managed to maintain his own style. It was his initial exercises of poetry, which could not last for longer period of time and ultimately he developed and maintained his own style.

He rebelled against the traditional form of ‘ghazal’ and became the first major exponent of free verse in Urdu Literature. While his first book, ‘Mavra’, introduced free verse and is more technically accomplished and lyrical.

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Syed Ahmed Shah Patras Bokhari

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Syed Ahmed Shah (Urdu: سید احمد شاہ ) (commonly known as Patras Bokhari – پطرس بخاری) HI, (1 October 1898, Peshawar – 5 December 1958, New York) was an Urdu humourist, educator, essayist, broadcaster and diplomat from Pakistan.
Patras received his early education from Peshawar and in 1916 he moved from Islamia College Peshawar to join Government College Lahore. After completing his Masters in English he was appointed as lecturer at the same institution.
Patras Bokhari left Government College Lahore in 1925 to study at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University to complete a Tripos in English. Many years later, the Bokhari English Prize was established there in his honor.
In 1927, he came back to Government College Lahore, and as a Professor remained there till 1939. Before the formation of Pakistan in 1947, he was the Director General of All India Radio. Being a Professor of English Literature he also served as the Principal of Government College Lahore from 1947 to 1950. The Urdu poets Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Noon Meem Rashid, were among his students. After the formation of Pakistan, he served as the first permanent representative of Pakistan in the United Nations from 1951–1954. From 1954-1958 he remained as the Under Secretary of the UN, Head of Information. He died during his diplomatic service and is buried in New York, USA.
He got a great success in his life, and was bestowed upon with many honors by Allah Almighty. Some of his successes and honors are mentioned below.
• His volume of essays, Patras Kay Mazameen – پطرس کے مظامین (Essays of Patras), published in 1927 is considered as an asset of Urdu humor.
• He accompanied Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan on his first visit to the United States as the Prime Minister’s speech writer.
• In 1945 Patras Bokhari was awarded the Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE) Award.
• Bokhari Auditorium on Government College University is named after him.
• The Government of Tunisia, named a Road after him in Tunis, as a recognition for his contribution towards the freedom of Tunisia from French Colonial Rule in 1956.
• There is also a road named after him in Islamabad, Federal Capital of Pakistan.
• Editorial appears in the New York Times on 6 December 1958, a day after his demise, in which he was described as a Citizen of the World.
• In October 1998, to mark his birth centenary, the Government of Pakistan issued a postage stamp with his photograph under the series, Pioneers of Pakistan.
• On 14 August 2003 President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf announced the conferment of Hilal-e-Imtiaz, posthumously to Patras Bokhari, the country’s second highest Civilian Award.

Muhammad Yusuf Khan Khattak

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Muhamad Yusuf Khan Khattak (18 November 1917 – 29 July 1991) was a Pakistan movement activist. A scion of one of the most influential families in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he was a son of Khan Bahadur Kuli Khan Khattak, and brother to former Governor Aslam Khattak, Lt Gen Habibullah Khan and Kulsom Saifullah Khan, Yusuf Khattak was a Pakistan movement activist against the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (then NWFP) Congress government under Dr Khan Sahib. A close confidante of Liaqat Ali Khan he became Secretary General of the Muslim League after partition. However, he fell out with Muslim League Chief Minister Abdul Qayyum Khan, who actively organised a campaign to oust him and his colleagues like Barrister Khan Saifullah Khan, from any role in provincial politics.

He was then elected Secretary General of the Provincial Muslim League, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in 1949. He was soon elevated to the prominent position of Secretary General of All Pakistan Muslim League the same year thereby succeeding Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan as Secretary General of the League.

Frequently in the opposition, he was elected the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and was a prominent leader in the campaign of Fatima Jinnah against Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s military government.

A prominent critic of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khans Pakhtunistan policy, he also rejected the National Awami Party’s claim to be the sole representative of Pashtuns.

Reconciling with Qayyum Khan before the bye elections 1971 election, he joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Qayyum faction and contested and won the election from Qayyum Khan’s vacated Peshawar seat.

As part of Qayyum Khan’s alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party, Yusuf Khattak was appointed Federal Minister for Fuel, Power and Natural Resources in Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Cabinet. He was re-elected to his seat in the 1977 election despite the Qayyum League’s rout.

In 1990 the Government of Pakistan gave him a gold medal for his services to Pakistan.

Josh Malihabadi

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Josh Malihabadi was born as Shabbir Hasan Khan on 5th December, 1898 at Malihabad. He did his senior Cambridge from St. Peter’s College, Agra in 1914. In 1918, he spent about six months at Shantiniketan. He studied Arabic and Persian. Due to the death of his father, Bashir Ahmed Khan, in 1916, Josh was unable to avail of a college education.

In 1925, Josh started work at the Osmania University, supervising translation work. He was exiled from the state of Hyderabad for writing a nazm against the Nizam. He then started the newsletter/magazine called the ‘Kaleem’ in which he openly wrote articles in favour of independence and against the British. Soon, he was being called “shaayar-e-inquilaab”. He also got actively involved in the freedom struggle and became close to quite a few of the political leaders of that era, specially Jawahar Lal Nehru.

On the advice of director W.Z.Ahmed, he also wrote songs for Shalimar Pictures. During this time, he was staying in Pune. After independence, he became the editor of ‘Aajkal’. He was later honoured with the Padmabhushan. Josh spent the latter part of his years in Pakistan.He passed away on 22nd February, 1982 in Islamabad. Some of Josh’s important works are: Shola-o-Shabnam, Junoon-o-Hikmat, Fikr-o-Nishaat, Sunbal-o-Salaasal, Harf-o-Hikaayat, Sarod-o-Kharosh. His autobiography is titled “Yaadon ki Baarat”.

Best Poetry:

kisane vaadaa kiyaa hai aane kaa
husn dekho Gariib Khaane kaa

ruuh ko aaiinaa dikhaate hai.n
dar-o-diivaar muskuraate hai.n

aaj ghar, ghar banaa hai pahalii baar
dil me.n hai Khush saliiqagii bedaar

jamaa samaa.N hai aish-o-ishrat kaa
Khauf dil me.n fareb-e-qismet kaa

soz-e-qalb-e-kaliim aa.Nko.n me.n
ashk-e-ummiid-o-biim aa.Nkho.n me.n

chashm-bar-raah-e-shauq ke maare
chaa.Nd ke intazaar me.n taare