National seminar on Urdu Day
New Delhi: United Muslim of India and Urdu Development Organisation jointly held a national seminar on Urdu Day on 9 November, celebrating Allama Iqbal’s birthday. The conference was chaired by Prof. Abdul Haq who said that Iqbal was a unique personality of history. He expressed his grief that in the presence of Iqbal’s marvelous song, “Saarey jahaan se achha Hiudustaan hamaara”, we have adopted as national anthem a song which was composed to welcome the British emperor during his Indian visit in 1911. He praised Dr. Syed Ahmad Khan and described him as a “one-man army” who is selflessly organising this and similar programmes and doing what universities cannot.
Dr. Syed Farooq wondered how strange it is that when India and Pakistan gained their independence, Iqbal’s “Saarey jahaan se achcha” was sung from the parapet of the Red Fort while Jagannath Azad’s song was adopted by Pakistan as its national anthem but soon both the countries changed their national songs.
Delhi University’s Dr. Ibn-e Kanwal said Urdu is our identity; we will lose our identity and culture if we lost Urdu. He demanded that Tibbiya College, founded by Hakeem Ajmal Khan a hundred years ago, should be converted into a Unani university.
Prof. Mahindra Singh Basu said how painful it is that our own children are ignorant of their mother tongue. He said, how can you read the Qur’an if you do not know Urdu.
Senior Urdu journalist and Congress leader M. Afzal said that instead of crying for Urdu, let each of us do whatever he can in his personal capacity and this will be a great service to the language. He exhorted people to educate Urdu to their children at home.
A number of awards were presented on this occasion including Jagannath Azad Award for research and educational services to Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Wastanwi, Poetry and Literature Award to Dr. Abul Faiz Usmani, Award for Humour and Satire to Syed Asad Raza, Award for Journalism to Amir Saleem Khan of Hamara Samaj Urdu daily, Award for Publishing to Dr. Zafarul-Islam of Pharos Media, Benefactor of Urdu Award to Dr. Lal Bahadur Mauriya and Award for Promotion of Urdu to Dr. Muhammad Arshad.