Special Reports

Yaum-e-Azadi musha’ira in the US

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The 5th Yaum-e-Azadi (Independence Day) musha’ira (poetry recitation) programme, organized by the Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington DC (AAA) in cooperation with the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin-Metro DC (GOPIO) was held on 23 July at spacious auditorium of The Universities, Rockville, Maryland. The goal of this musha’ira was to provide a forum where people could get together transcending political, religious, regional and geographical boundaries promoting Ganga-Jamuni culture of the Subcontinent. Coordinator of the program Dr. Zafar Iqbal started the programme greeting participants and audiences and invited presidents of participating associations Mrs. Shakila Raza of AAA and Dr Renuka Misra of GOPIO to formally welcome the audience and the participating poets.

In keeping with the tradition of releasing of a recently published book, this year Ab Saher NahiN Hogi, by Uzma Sehar was selected for the event. Dr Satya Pal Anand, a well-known literary personality living in this area gave a brief description of the book and the poet, Uzma, who came to USA as a child with her widowed mother Naiyar Jahan from Bangladesh soon after the fall of Dhaka. He said it was amazing to see that a child who grew up in this country had such a good command over the language and good grasp of the culture of the Subcontinent. Dr. Anand admired Naiyar Jahan, who collected poems from Uzma's school note books and personal diaries and got it published posthumously. Dr Anand said it was a befitting tribute to a talented young poet jo bin khiley murjha gayi. Mrs. Naiyar Jahan, affectionately known as Naiyar Apa, the Secretary-General of Urdu Markaz International, Los Angeles, CA released the book by presenting a copy of the book to Dr. Anand.

An additional attraction of this year's function was the release of a CD GooNgi AwazeN produced by The Urdu Markaz International, Los Angeles. The CD has nazms of six female Urdu poets living of North America. These poets have distinguished themselves by dealing with a variety of topics such as immigration, cultural harmony, changes in woman's body with age, and ecology etc. The commentary on the CD and introduction of poets is narrated by Dr. Abdullah and poems are presented in combination of tarannum by Nuzaira Azam and tahetallafz by Dr. Abdullah in an effective way. Naiyar Jahan released the CD by presenting a copy to Mr. Frank Islam, Chairman and CEO of FI Investment Group.

The second session of the program was dedicated for Musha’ira/Kavi Sammelan. Evergreen nazim of poetry recitation events, Dr. Abdullah, said in his opening remarks that six decades ago the sun of freedom dawned on the sky of the Subcontinent. Unfortunately, however, it dawned with an eclipse and the eclipse has been too long. The Subcontinent has yet to see the bright sun as the real freedom has yet to come. We have yet to free ourselves from the chains of communalism, regionalism, linguistic bias, poverty, and illiteracy, etc. It is encouraging to see positive changes in some areas, but in few other areas biases have taken deeper roots. It is incumbent upon us to work harder for the real freedom of the entire Subcontinent.

A large number of poets representing Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati and Panjabi languages participated in the poetry recitation session, which was presided over by Mrs. Naiyar Jahan. Participating poets included (in alphabetical order) A. Abdulla, Akram Mahmood, Astha Naval, Aziz Qureshi, Delar Deol, Gajinder Sign Ahuja, Haris Hasan, Harvinder Kamna, Kiran Nath, Naiyar Jahan, Narendra Tandon, Natwar Gandhi, Panna Nayak, Rakesh Khandelwal, Razi Raziuddin, Saad Hadi, Satyapal Anand, Suman Vardhan, Vandana Singh, Vishaka Thakar, and Zaheer Parvez.

Sample of poetry recited at the event:

Yaad jati nahin is dil se, tere jane se/Naqsh mit-te nahin tasvir ke mit jane se/Is tarah dil se mere tera nikalna mushkil/ jaise paani ko nikale koi teh-khaane se -- Hadi Syed

Bari taizi sey badla hai zamana/waqt key chakkar ney ham ko ek naii duniya dekhaii hai/kahaN wo apne bachpan ki kheyaali daastaneN/kahaN yeh scincy tahzeeb jismeN bank haiN/qarzoN pe mubni ek maeeshat hai/ jaha arboN key soadey computer pe hote haiN/yahan har koii uljha hua hai kagzi daulat kamaaney meN -- A. Abdullah

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2011 on page no. 17

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