On literary journals

Published January 29, 2022

THIS is with reference to the article ‘Urdu’s literary magazines surviving against all odds’ (Jan 24). The weekly column by Dr Rauf Parekh is by and large informative and often illuminating. A regular reader of his writings, I had mixed feelings on going through his piece on literary journals. Admitted that the subject demanded more space, I must say that he should have made a mention of Saqi (a random image ofwhich is reproduced above from the Rekhta website), which was brought out by Shahid Ahmed Dehalvi with distinction from Delhi and later from Karachi when he migrated to Pakistan.

There was another reputed journal, brought out from India (read Bangalore) and later from Karachi. No prizes for guessing, the magazine was Naya Daur. Two more journals merited mention and they were Seep and Auraq.

Dr Parekh may like to recall that there were two literary digests, published regularly for quite a few years. The two monthlies featured selections from literary periodicals. One was Naqsh and the other Jaiza, which was brought out by the Pakistan Writers’ Guild.

Dr Parekh mentioned the name of Qaumi Zuban in passing. One may like to add that the highly respected journal was first brought out by no less a scholar than Baba-e-Urdu Dr Maulvi Abdul Haq way back in 1948. Qaumi Zuban may have had its ups and downs, but it is now very regular and what is quite salutary is that the management of the Anjuman-e-Tarraqi-e-Urdu Pakistan publishes meritorious books from time to time. The latest is the translation of Munshi Premchand’s wife Shivrani’s narration of her life with the stalwart from Hindi to Urdu by Dr Hasan Manzar. To say that it is highly readable is to say the least.

Asif Noorani

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2022



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