Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

Ummid Assistant

Gandhi Fellowship for Nation Building

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Special Reports

Forgetting Ghalib is forgetting history, says writer-diplomat

Saturday December 25, 2010 02:24:36 PM, Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS

Related Article

Campaign to resurrect Mirza Ghalib's legacy gathers momentum

The campaign to resurrect the poetic legacy of Mirza Ghalib, the iconic 19th century classical Sufi lyricist and poet, is gathering momentum with the installation of his   »

Ghalib still waiting for an 'ashiana' in Agra

Mirza Ghalib to be remembered at unique two-day event

Tom Alter, the perfect man for ''Ghalib'' role: Director

New Delhi: It worries and even angers diplomat-writer Pavan K. Varma that Delhi, of all places, has almost completely forgotten Mirza Ghalib, the great poet and lyricist of the late Mughal period. The city was Ghalib's home as well as muse.


"Without pride you can't have a great capital," believes Varma, who has authored the book, "Ghalib: The Man, The Times".

Ghalib is a metaphor for the great culture of this city, he said.

"Why is there so much neglect of a literary icon like Mirza Ghalib who belonged to this city, so much ignorance? Why is there so much of amnesia about history? No one bothered about Ghalib for almost 100 years after his death in 1869. His memory and his legacy are important," Varma said at the beginning of a three-day celebration to mark Ghalib's 213th birthday Monday.

"Most people of Delhi have no knowledge of recent history. Nearly ninety-nine percent of people who live in Masjid More, Hauz Khas or Safdarjung do not know the significance of the places.

"There is no sense of pride left. Without pride, you can't have a great capital. This is a great city - why is it the banana capital of the world in cultural terms?" Varma, the Indian ambassador to Bhutan, asked.

Varma, who is associated with a citizens' movement to revive the memories and legacy of Ghalib in Delhi, said his book on Ghalib was spurred by similar apathy.

"The year was 1984. I went to a leading bookshop in the capital and asked for a book on Ghalib because I wanted to know him. I could not find any. A search in other bookshops yielded a few extended booklets - mostly translations into English of some of his Urdu 'diwan'. I learnt Urdu, went through old documents and decided to write a book about Ghalib," he told IANS.

Varma took five years to write the book. "You can go to St Columbus, St Xavier's and St Stephen's, but you can still be a cultural orphan if you don't learn Sanskrit or Urdu," he said.

The writer-diplomat said his book was not just a homage to a great man, "but at a personal act of penance and a pilgrimage. An effort to overcome in my own life the sense of inadequacy many of my age have felt growing up in such culturally nondescript times."

Mirza Mohammad Asadullah Khan Ghalib, who was born in Agra to a family of Turkish origin in 1797, began to write poetry in Persian at the age of nine.

The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II conferred upon Ghalib two titles, "Dabeer-ul-Mulk" and the "Najm ud-daulah," and appointed him poet-tutor in 1854, three years before the mutiny.

However, the 1857 uprising destroyed Ghalib's lust for life as he saw his friends die, the emperor humiliated and his "beloved Delhi change for ever". The poet longed to die.

Varma divides his book into five segments to cover Ghalib's years in the capital which coincides with the last chaotic decades of the declining Mughal empire.

He says in his book that "Ghalib, apart from being one of our greatest poets, was through his letters (of which he was a prolific writer), a chronicler par excellence of his times".

According to Varma, Ghalib lived in Delhi through a fascinating period.

"Mughal power was slowly but surely fading. The British had ensconced themselves as the 'de facto' rulers. Ghalib, who prided himself on belonging to the feudal nobility, was caught between his loyalty to the Mughal kings and his need to cultivate the new rulers, from whom in the form of hereditary pension, he received his only source of income," Varma said.

Varma observed that the period of Mughal political decline coincided, ironically enough with a phase of unprecedented literary growth.

"Urdu, a hitherto plebeian cousin of Persian, came into its own and acquired a new sophistication, self-assurance and maturity and authenticity that manifested itself in a myriad ways - not the least of which was an increasing sway of Sufi secularism over Delhi's way of life.

"Ghalib's writing and life illumined and mirrored the different facets of Delhi - its problems, diversions, pettiness, achievements, despairs - in a manner rarely seen," he said.

A bust of the poet will be installed at his old family residence in Gali Qasim Jaan at Chandi Chowk Dec 26 by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
 


(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at madhu.c@ians.in)

 

 

 


 

 

  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

More Headlines

250 marriages to be solemnised at Bhopal Muslim convention

Stage all set in Bhopal, 63rd International Tableeghi Ijtima begins today

PM warns of terror becoming internal problem

Mumbai NGOs join hands to organise Career Fair for students

MP Urdu Academy literary awards presented amidst thunderous applause

Campaign to resurrect Mirza Ghalib's legacy gathers momentum

Buddhadeb wants India-Bangaldesh working group

'Muslim academicians deliberately denied placements in MP varsities'

Christians converge on Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas

The real battle for the idea of India

PM queries Pawar on onions, announces relief for Maharashtra

Kerala Govt to transfer land for AMU Malappuram Dec 28

Why no night shelters for street kids, NHRC asks Delhi

Ahmadinejad calls UN Security Council 'political retards'

Jamia Millia to host Inter-University hockey

Pope delivers unprecedented Christmas message on BBC

Islamic banking thrives in financial crisis

 

 

 

Top Stories

CBI raids Kalmadi's Delhi, Pune residences, Games office

CBI Friday raided the Delhi and Pune homes of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi as well as the Games office here, two months after the mega event ended amid allegations of major financial irregularities.    »

Suresh Kalmadi's premises raided by CBI

 

Picture of the Day

Union Minister for Textiles Dayanidhi Maran at the Handloom Fashion Show, in New Delhi on December 21, 2010. Secretary (Textiles), Mrs. Rita Menon is also seen.

(Photo: N. Varadharajan)

 

  Most Read

Islamic banking thrives in financial crisis

Islamic banking has emerged as one of the most rapidly expanding sectors of the global financial industry, with expectations that it will play a growing role in the years to come. Banks and financial institutions that comply with Islamic law (sharia) showed   »

The real battle for the idea of India

What's India’s ruling Congress party up to now?

Is it really undergoing a radical metamorphosis or is this yet another clever, little trick out of its ancient bag? When was the last time you had senior Congress leaders hold forth on Hindu extremism being a grave threat to India's security  »

 

  News Pick

Anarchists behind Rome mail bombs

Package bombs exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome on Thursday, wounding the two people who opened them, in attacks that bore similarities to  »

Kerala Govt to transfer land for AMU Malappuram Dec 28

The Aligarh Muslim University move to establish a state-of-art AMU Centre at Malappuram has received a big push. The Kerala government has acquired a total of 392 acres of land for setting up the AMU Centre and decided to   »

Rights activist Binayak Sen convicted, arrested

Rights activist Binayak Sen, accused of links with Maoists, was Friday convicted for sedition and conspiracy by a Chhattisgarh court and arrested soon after, leaving his family and fellow activists shaken and disappointed.   »

Pope delivers unprecedented Christmas message on BBC

In a first for the Vatican and British broadcaster BBC, Pope Benedict XVI Friday was given a radio slot to deliver a Christmas message   »

A madrassa starts yoga, propagates communal harmony

Shortly after reciting 'Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim' from the Holy Quran, hundreds of students at a madrassa here fall in line for their first lesson of the day - yoga taught by a Hindu teacher. Imdadul-Jamia-Uloom Madrassa   »

 

 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Religion

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Culture

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

 

Contact us

Business

Career

     

Education

       

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.