Baba-i-Urdu remembered (Dawn News August 26,2005)
An evening on the life and work of Baba-i-Urdu Dr Molvi Abdul Haq was held at Bahadur Yar Jung Academy with noted poet and writer Jamiluddin Aali in the chair. The speakers and writers who enlightened the audience by their deliberations included Prof Hasnain Kazmi, Prof Saher Ansari, Prof Matinur Rahman Murtaza and Prof Khawaja Qutbuddin, honorary secretary of the academy.
Mr Aali narrated how Molvi Saheb followed the teachings of his mentor Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who tutored and encouraged the youth to work for Urdu, part of Sir Syed’s nation-building plan.
Baba-i-Urdu loved and patronised young students about whom he thought that they would be the founders of Urdu University.
Mr Aali sadly narrated the last four or five years of Molvi Saheb’s life spent in miserable conditions, because of the maltreatment of powerful people sitting over the Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu.
Describing the background of the founding of Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu and later the present Urdu University, Mr Aali said the former was passing through troubled times, and he badly needed the support of talented men, who could volunteer their support to save the Anjuman from total collapse.
Prof Matinur Rahman Murtaza in his paper recalled the anti-Muslim policies of the All India Congress, the rise of Hindi, and the slow-poisoning of Urdu.
He recounted the role of Baba-i-Urdu in making Urdu an inherent part of the Pakistan movement and successfully running affairs of the Anjuman.
Prof Saher Ansari dilated upon the academic work of Molvi Saheb spread in many directions – his role as a researcher, introducing ‘Dakni’ poets and bringing them in the mainstream of Urdu poetry, his managerial skill at the Anjuman, his moqaddamas (prefaces) on valuable literary books, and the art of sketch writing, introducing some uncommon, yet men of great merit.
Prof Hasnain Kazmi admired Molvi Abdul Haq for his lifelong commitment to literature, research, but above all for his love for Urdu.
Earlier, Prof Mir Hamid Ali, President Bahadur Yar Jung Academy welcomed the speakers and the audience.—HA