Dr Anwer Sadeed
Dr Anwer Sadeed

KARACHI: Renowned Urdu critic, research scholar, poet, journalist, columnist, satirist, short story writer and essayist Dr Anwer Sadeed died in Sargodha on Sunday and was buried the same day in Sargodha. He was 87.

Born Muhammad Anweruddin on Dec 4, 1928, in Miani, a small town near Sargodha, Punjab, Dr Anwer Sadeed was a prolific writer and penned some 70 books and an enormous number of articles and columns. He remained active till very last and used to contribute to literary magazines regularly even at the ripe age of 87. His most recent articles have been published in the latest issues of monthly `Alhamra’ (Lahore) and monthly`Takhleeq’ (Lahore).

Dr Sadeed’s literary career spans over six decades. He was an engineer by education and profession but literature was his first love. He began writing in his early 20s, contributing short stories to esteemed literary journals of the day, such as Nairang-e-khayal and Humayun. He struck a friendship with Dr Wazir Agha, the renowned scholar from Sargodha, which lasted till Agha Sahib’s death in 2010. Having done his MA and PhD in Urdu from Punjab University out of passion for literature, Dr Sadeed earned name and fame as a quick-witted critic and a discerning research scholar.

Wazir Agha, Anwer Sadeed and some other writers of their circle — informally known as Sargodha School or Wazir Agha Group — were involved in some literary and ideological controversies and rivalries with Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi and his progressive comrades — informally referred to as Lahore School or Qasmi Group — but Wazir Agha’s and Anwer Sadeed’s scholarship and insight were beyond any shadow of doubt. These literary skirmishes only added zest to the literary recipe that already had some sweet and sour taste. Pakistan’s literary scene became more colourful with the rejoinders and counter claims penned by the both sides.

Dr Sadeed had edited Urdu zaban, a literary magazine published from Sargodha, for about 18 years and after retiring from the irrigation department in 1988 as executive engineer, he took to journalism and remained associated for quite some time with some newspapers, magazines and literary journals published from Lahore, such as, Nawa-e-waqt, Zindagi, Khabren, Qaumi digest and Auraaq. In addition to critical articles and research papers for literary journals, he wrote columns for Hurriyet, Imroz, Mashriq and some other newspapers. For Qaumi zaban he wrote his column `Kuchh waqt Hindustani kitabon ke saath’ for quite some time.

Some of his books admired for their depth and articulation are Urdu adab ki tehreeken, Urdu adab ki mukhtasar taareekh, Safarnama Urdu adab mein, Urdu mein Hajj namon ki rivayet, Iqbal ke classiki nuqoosh, Urdu afsane mein dehaat ki peshkash, Pakistan mein adabi rasael ki taareekh, Urdu adab mein inshaiyya and Fikr-o-khayal. Ghalib ke nae khutoot is a parody of Ghalib’s letters. He began composing poetry in quite an old age and his verses had a different colour and mood.

Surprisingly, Dr Anwer Sadeed kept on reading new works and contributing to various publications until about a week before his death though his kidneys had become badly affected. He was brought to Sargodha from Lahore for some rest and recreation but fell unconscious on his way to Sargodha and died a few days later.

Dr Sadeed will be missed for his thought-provoking articles and columns.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2016

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