KARACHI: Mr Aziz Qureshi, a writer from India, was a guest at the Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu on Saturday morning. The other guest was the noted writer Razia Fasih Ahmad, living in the US for the last seventeen years.

Ms Razia, a novelist, story writer and poet, has earned the Adamji award for her novel ‘Abla Paa’. She has written another popular novel Sadiaoon ki Zanjeer’ in the background of the East Pakistan debacle.

She briefly spoke about Urdu literary moots in the US, particularly in Chicago where she lives and holds a monthly meeting of Urdu language readers and writers.

Ms Razia read out a short story (Khamosh Cheekhain) ‘Silent Shrieks’ about the marital relationship between a Pakistani young man and an American girl, both parents of a child not acceptable by the former’s mother, and yet she changes her mind after a shocking experience.

The story was liked by everyone present including Iftekhar Ahmad Adni, Ahmad Zainuddin, Aftab Ahmad Khan, Umrao Tariq and many others.

In the present circumstances when a total communication blockade persists between Pakistan and India, a guest from the later was warmly welcomed. Mr Aziz Qureshi is a popular figure in India’s literary and educational circles. He is the president of Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu, Madhya Perdesh (Bhopal) and chairman ‘Iqbal Shamim, an award giving body for creative writing. He was chairman of the committee which founded the famous Urdu University at Aurangabad (South) named after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was also chairman of the committee formed by the University Grants Commission to improve the conditions of the minority languages including Urdu.

To the questions regarding Urdu’s future in India Mr Qureshi’s answer was plain and simple. Urdu was not the language of Muslims only (140 million) but it was the language of a large number of Indians. Maharashtra and Gujrat too were the strong areas of Urdu. It was the second official language in Behar, and to be acknowledged as such along with Punjabi in Delhi’s administration as well, very soon.

He lamented the backwardness of the Muslims (particularly in the feudal dominated areas of UP) due to lack of education, lowest in the eight minority communities of India. However, in an optimistic tone he said the Muslims had begum to realize that their salvation lied in education. They were determined to fight for their rights like others.

Mr Qureshi said all the Hindus were not racists. “You talk to an average Indian youth and he will condemn the communalists. In a large class of secular and liberal people, human rights bodies, NGO’s and secular parties, the Muslims have their support and they have confidence in their strength,” he said. Concluding Mr Aftab Ahmad Khan thanked the guests.—Hasan Abidi

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