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  • Jun 18th, 2005
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Maulana Hasrat Mohani's death anniversary is regularly observed in Karachi. Besides his admirers, quite a few of Maulana's relatives live here. The city has a library and an auditorium after his name. The library has still to have all of Maulana Mohani's work for readers. Bazm-e-Kehkashan commemorated Hasrat-Mohani's death anniversary this year. Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad, Governor of Sindh, presided over the meeting.

Maulana Hasrat Mohani was a great freedom fighter. His political integrity and indomitable zest for India's freedom has a class of its own. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, paying his tribute in Parliament on Maulana's passing away, had rightly termed him as one of the architects of India's freedom.

In Pakistan as well, he is remembered as a highly respected leader. Maulana's impatience with the demand for 'dominion status,' for India is known to all. It was Maulana Hasrat's demand for complete independence that forced both Congress & Muslim League to set their sights higher to work for this goal.

He worked from the platform of many political parities ie Congress, Muslim League, Khilafat Committee & Trade Union Movement.

He was also one of the founders of the Communist Party of India, being the chairman of the reception committee of its inaugural session in Kanpur in 1925. No one could dare question his even-handed warmth for religion and communism.

Hasrat Mohani is credited with the coining the well-known slogan 'Inquilab Zindabad' according to Professor Suraiyya Husain, Asim-bin-Yahya and Furqat Kakorvi. Maulana Hasrat Mohani's campaign for 'complete independence' succeeded in the shape of Lahore's Congress session in December 1929.

Mahatma Gandhi had been opposing this resolution since 1921 but the Lahore session saw Mahatma Gandhi himself moving this resolution. Pandit Nehru was presiding over the session and Dr Saifuddin Kitchlev of Amritsar was the chairman of the reception committee.

It was Maulana Hasrat Mohani's sustained effort to bring the Muslim League in line with his call for 'complete independence' that the All India Muslim League also adopted the call for 'complete independence' in AIML's Lucknow session of 1937. It is interesting to note that long before Muslim League's emergence as a political party, Maulana Mohani was a Congressite and had attended Congress's Bombay session of 1904.

He joined the Muslim League in 1915 - two years after the Quaid-i-Azam. The Mualana wanted to bring Hindus & Muslims together and was of the opinion that the granting of 'complete independence' to the Indians would automatically eliminate Hindu - Muslim differences.

The following couplets confirm his catholicity viz-a-viz Hinduism.

Maulana Hasrat Mohani stood for a confederal constitution after freedom. Outlining his scheme in Urdu-i-Mualla (January, February & March 1944). He was for six federations of: 1. East Pakistan; 2. West Pakistan; 3. Central India; 4. south-eastern India; 5. south-western India; and 6. Hyderabad (Deccan).

He wanted all of the above federations form part of a confederal set up. Each province of the federation was to enjoy, in his scheme, the status of Republic on the pattern of USSR.

SERVICES TO LITERATURE: Manulana Mohani's services to Urdu literature are commendable. His Kulliyat was first published in 1928 and then in 1943. His poetry operates on two planes - the political as well as lyrical (romantic). His advocacy of ghazal was exemplary.

Khwaja Ahmed Abbas is right when he says that Hasrat Mohani would have been regarded as the first progressive poet even if the PWA had not been founded in 1936.

He published selections of Momin, Zauq, Mazhar-i-Jan-i-Janan, Mir Taqi Mir, Khwaja Mir Dard, Mir Sauz, Hasrat-o-Juraat, Mushafi, Aseer or Ameer, Atish-o-Saba, Nasikh, Barq, Rashk-o-Wazir and Ghalib besides selections of Diwans of Ashraf, Juraat, Jafar Ali Hasrat, Shaifta, Qaim, Mushafi, Mir Hasan Hatim, Urdu-i-Mualla and Tazkiratual Shuara, Sharh-i-Diwan-i-Ghalib, Mushahadat-i-Zindan, Roznamcha (this has not seen light of the day).

My goodness! This is a colossal work of a poet who was all the time busy in politics. One wonders how did he achieve this great output.

His Nukat-i-Shuara & Tazkiratual Shuara are papers, the unforgettable efforts, which inspite awe for the time and effort they must have required.

CLASSICS' VINTAGE: Agha Amir Husain of the Classics country's well-known publishers of the kind of books, which very few publishers once dared to publish, has come out with the two-volume collection of 12 books under the title of '2004 Ki Behtreen Kitabain'.

I believe that Agha Amir Husain has earned for him a niche in our book trade. One cannot remember how many times his bookshop has been set on fire on grounds which are trivial. We are shamed by recounting those tragic happenings. One could, perhaps, take a cue from these 'bonfires' that we, as a nation, lack courage to see books we don't want to read, let alone tolerate a fair interplay of conflicting views in order to see dialectics take its own course.

The books in the two-volume Classics' presentation entitled '2004 Ki Behtreen Kitabain' are as follows:


-- Hasan Nisar

-- Maula Hussain

-- Chowtha Josh

-- Kahkashan Dar Kahkashan

-- Rupaiya Ka Jin

-- Fikr-o-Nazar Ke Zawiye

-- Taqsim-i-Barre Saghir

-- Mazamin-i-Shah

-- Chehra Numa

-- Mahatama

-- Dua (Dr Ali Shariati)

Monthly Classic, Lahore, has been publishing one book a month in the form of its magazine and the two-volume collection is the collection of 12 books it publishes in the course of a year.

I believe that book lovers should go through Classic's Best Books so that they could have an idea of a publishing house's choice of books for its readers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2005

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