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Aali urges support for Urdu varsity — April 19, 2004

KARACHI, April 18: Noted poet Jamiluddin Aali urged the well-wishers of Urdu language to help the newly established Federal Urdu University of Science and Technology function smoothly.

Speaking at the launch of his book, titled Bus ek gosha-i-bisaat, he made it clear that the seat of learning needed no financial assistance. "The relevant government has been very obliging and the university has enough financial resources. However, it needs the help and encouragement of the well-wishers of the Urdu language," he said.

Mr Aali also urged people to ignore the negative propaganda against the university. "For instance, it was recently reported in a section of the press that a certain question paper had been leaked to students before their exams.

The Urdu University administrator, Aftab Ahmad Khan, immediately called in experts from Islamabad who conducted an inquiry and absolved the teacher concerned, Rana Iqbal, of all responsibility for the crime," he recalled.

He apologized to the audience for whatever mistakes he might have committed in the past. The audience broke into laughter when he added that he could not promise whether he would repeat the mistakes or not.

Speaking about the literary merits of the book, Prof Naushaba Siddiqui said that she thoroughly enjoyed reading vignettes in Aali's book. "As a rule, I enjoy reading vignettes. For example, I never saw my father, but I like to read his vignette in Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqui's book.

In Aali's book, there are instructive vignettes of Sirajuddin Khan Sayal Dehlavi, Jigar Muradabadi, Meera Ji, Makhdoom Talibul Moula, Mumtaz Hasan, Jamil Nishtar, Saleem Ahmad, Akhtarul Iman, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, Mohammad Hasan Askari, Rifat Saroosh, Hameed Kashmiri, etc," she explained.

Poet Sahar Ansari said that all his life Jamiluddin Aali helped men of letters who were mostly in dire financial straits. He instituted many awards and did his utmost to acknowledge the contribution of writers, Prof Ansari added.

He observed that Mr Aali had command over various styles of writing. "For instance, when the former editor of Mah-i-Nau, Rafiq Khawar, asked him to write an article for the Ghalib Number, he instead wrote a piece in the style of Ghalib," he said.

The administrator of the Urdu University, Aftab Ahmad Khan,said that Mr Aali had a multi-faceted personality. He was at once an excellent poet, a literary journalist, a prose writer and a banker, Mr Khan said.

He said despite the fact that the Indian government had never been supportive of the Urdu language, there were at least six Urdu varsities in India. In Pakistan, he added, Mr Aali played a major role in the establishment of the Urdu University.

Others who spoke at the function, which started at least two hours late, were Senate chairman Mohammedmian Soomro, Jang editor Mahmood Sham and Dr Hanif Fauq.

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