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Sahitya Akademi seminar on Faiz

New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi arranged a 3-day international seminar during 11-13 March in Delhi on Faiz Ahmad Faiz to mark his centenary celebrations. Speaking on the first day of the seminar, Prof. Gopichand Narang said that “the poetry of Faiz Ahmad Faiz is like a glowing bonfire, which is burning with the time. In Urdu, after Iqbal there is no poet who received so much acclaim and popularity as Faiz. There are other poets also in this age but only Faiz is regarded as the voice of his age. And he is the greatest gift of progressive movement to Urdu”.

Narang said that though protest against injustice and hope for a better and just society is found with other poets also, but they lack the healing touch of Faiz. Faiz has made classical structures inebriated with new taste and new meaning. He used old words and idioms to give new meaning. Narang said that with the passage of time some parts of Faiz’s poetry might be blurred but the major portion will always remain brilliant as ever.

Zehra Nigah, a poetess from Pakistan, while inaugurating the seminar said that Faiz’s poetry reflects his personality and he is a poet of the metaphor of love. Muniza Hashmi, daughter of Faiz, presenting her paper on “Some memories, some reflections,” said that Faiz’s poetry represents social values and speaks for the entire humanity.  

Another guest from Pakistan, Fakhruzzaman opined that a poet doesn’t belong to a particular country, that is why Faiz is not a poet of only a particular age or a country, and rather he is a symbol of bonhomie and tolerance between India and Pakistan.

Sunil Gangopadhiyay, chairman of the Sahitya Akademi, said in his presidential address that Faiz was a man of many-sided personality as well as an international poet having a universal message. After the inaugural session, seven business sessions were held and the deliberations were concluded each day with holding a poetry recitation session. Among other important scholars and intellectuals, who participated in this seminar, were Prof. Taqi Abedi, Najib, Jung,  noted fiction writer Intizar Hussain, Shahid Mahdi, prof. Akhtarul Wasey, Dr. Kamal Ahmad Siddiqi, Prof. Sadiqurreman Qidwai.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 20

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