Indo-Pak writers exchange views on literature

Saadia Salahuddin
Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

LAHORE: Novelists and scholars of literature from Patna, New Delhi and Aligarh talked on Urdu novel writing in India and Urdu novels being published across the borders. The talk was online, at the Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature, LUMS here on Friday.

Speakers Abdus Samad from Patna, Dr Sarwarul Hoda from New Delhi and Shafey Kidwai from Aligarh University were brought together to speak to Pakistani audience by Nasir Abbas Nayyar in Lahore.

Abdus Samad has written 11 novels and 5 short stories and has won several awards. His novel ‘Do gaz zameen’ is part of the syllabus in university. He is writing novels for the last 40 years. He read out an excerpt from his latest novel ‘System’ which is on police. Through a policeman, he has exposed the system that is manipulated by those in power. While the world sees the police as villain, through his powerful writing he has brought out the injustice that both the police and the people face.

Dr Sarwarul Hoda, Professor of Urdu at Jamia Millia Islamia, has written a novel that is about to be published. He has also written a book on Muhammad Hassan Askari. His collection of short stories, articles, and e-books in Urdu are there online. He said that Nasir Abbas Nayyar, short story writer, critic, columnist and essayist from Lahore is very much read in India.

He talked about the novelists in India and enumerated 37 novels written in Urdu that merit mention. The writer should live in his age and form a relationship with his age, he said. Some of the novelists mentioned were Musharraf Alam Zauqi, Siddiq Alam, Khalid Javaid, Syed Muhammad Ashraf and many others.

‘Samundar muntazir hai ‘by Fazle Rab, Kaii chand thay sar-e-asmaan by Shamsur Rehman Faruqui, ‘Khawab saraab’ by Anees Ashfaq that explores Umrao Jan’s story that Hadi Ruswa missed, ‘Naimat Khana’ by Khalid Javaid were some of the novels that got special mention. He also talked about ‘Marg-e-Amboh’ by Musaharraf Alam Zauqi from Pakistan.

“You have to do homework to write a novel. Novels that have attained the level of classic are historical. A novel’s canvas is big. People of our age have started saying that its only novel that keeps an age, a period alive.” A number of novels were written from Azeemababad, he said.

The third speaker Shafey Kidwai was from mass communication department. He talked about the three novels written during Covid and deserved attention.

They are ‘Ek khanjar paani mein’ by Khalid Javaid, ‘Kashkol’ by Abdus Samad and ‘Zindan’. All the three novels are on the pandemic.