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KARACHI: Prof Shafqat Rizvi laid to rest

December 31, 2009


KARACHI, Dec 30 Prof Syed Shafqat Rizvi, a veteran research scholar, critic and academic, was laid to rest at the Mewashah graveyard on Tuesday. He died on Dec 27 at a private hospital where he had been admitted for treatment after returning from the United States. He was 82.

Shafqat Rizvi was known for his critical and research works on Urdu literature. Reticent and publicity-shy, he avoided literary gatherings and remained quietly busy in his research works. Despite having written over 20 books and commanding the respect of literary and academic circles, he never wished for any reward or patronage and was pleased and content to do what he did best researching the classical Urdu literature and writing about it.

Born in Hyderabad (Deccan) on March 15, 1927, Shafqat Rizvi obtained his master's degrees in political science and Urdu from Usmania University, Hyderabad. After teaching at schools in India for quite some time, he migrated to Pakistan in 1961. Here he joined Karachi's National College and retired from here on March 14, 1987. His writing career commenced quite early and in the beginning he wrote some plays and short stories. Later, he turned to criticism and ultimately research that earned him fame. Right from beginning his works were accepted for publication in prestigious literary magazines.

Prof Rizvi was considered an authority on Hasrat Mohani (1881-1951), a great political leader, poet, journalist and critic. Prof Rizvi had thoroughly researched Hasrat Mohani's life and works, coming up with a number of invaluable articles and eight books on him. In addition to compiling collections of Hasrat's articles and critical essays, one of Prof Rizvi's great contributions was to sift meticulously through Hasrat Mohani's famous journal 'Urdu-i-moalla' for years and the result was an edited and annotated version of Hasrat's 'Tazkirat-ush-shuara'. An amazing feat indeed, considering that the complete record of this rare journal is not available in any library either in Pakistan or India.

His other books include 'Mutala-i-Hasrat Mohani', 'Mazameen-i-Hasrat Mohani', 'Begum Hasrat Mohani Hayat-o-seerat', 'Oudh punch aur punch nigaar', 'Divan-i-Meh Laqa Bai Chanda', 'Siraj Aurangabadi Hayat aur fikr-o-fun', 'Faizaan-i-Deccan', 'Makhdoom Mohiuddin Hayat aur adabi khidmaat', 'Tehqeeqi nuqoosh' and 'European shuara-i-Urdu'. His two books, 'Urdu ke European nasr nigaar' and 'Hasrat ki sahafat' were in press.

Prof Anees Zaidi, his long-time colleague, informed Dawn that Rizvi sahib's Soyem would be held at Martin Quarters Imambargah on Thursday.