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Showing posts from March, 2015

Dr. Sughra Mehdi (1937 – 2014): Jamia Urdu Professor, Writer Extraordinaire

A fiction writer, an academician, a women’s rights activist, a noble soul and what not; these are the superfine elements that comprise the eminent personality of Professor Sughra Mehdi,  lovingly known as Sughra Aapa in Jamia community and among her near and dear ones. Those who have a slight acquaintance with the historical and cultural background of Jamia must be aware of her personality. For those having a deep sense of Urdu fiction, she was an institution and illuminant in Urdu fiction writing. Sughra Aapa exhaled her last breath on the 17th of March in 2014 in Abid Villa, her Jamia Nagar residence. Apart from the million dollar memories she left behind, there is an invaluable treasure of literary work that she carried out throughout her active life, including about 35 books that she authored and compiled since her first novel published. Syeda Imamat Fatima, who was later named Sughra Mehdi, was born on 8 th August 1937 at Qasba Badi in Bhopal district in the f

Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi: Penman in the Battle against Communalism

Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru mounted the scaffold on 23rd of March 1931. The Whole nation was in utter anguish,   streets were flooded with protesters agitating against the British Government for the ‘Murder’ of their Beloved Bhagat Singh and his Comrades. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and all other communities irrespective of their indifferences were mourning the death of their heroes. All of them were supposed to come together and stand up against the exploiters’ government of British imperialists. But, Kanpur was going in a very different way that brought the nation’s head down with shame and disgust. When the whole nation was standing united against the Britshers, Kanpur was burning in the fire of Communal riots. And that riot took away a dearest son of the nation, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi. Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, a journalist, a social worker, an esteemed politician, a fearless freedom fighter, who fought both with pen and the sword was born on 26 October, 1890 in his ma

Celebrating Bihar Utsav 2015 at Dilli Haat

Bihar Utsav 2015 at Dilli Haat Artwork from Bihar More than 100 years of glorious art and culture of Bihar, handicrafts and handloom , Madhubani Paintings, Sikki Craftwork, Bhagalpuri Silk and  very famous food items like Litti Chokha, malpua, makhana kheer, you can find it all at one place at Delhi's cultural hub, Dilli Haat. Bihar is celebrating its 103rd foundation Day and the event is marked with the exhibition of Bihar's Cultural Heritage, its artwork, its food, folk music and Dance. Bihar Utsav, started from 22nd of March will last till 30th. You can enjoy cultural events everyday at 5:30 in the evening.  Woman Showing Artwork Bihar is famous all over the world for Madhibani art. Though Madhubani or Maithila style of painting is practiced in the northern areas of India and Nepal also but, Bihar has a uniqueness in this style that no one competes. You can also find Bhagalpuri Silk, Jute work from Patna and Sikki artwork from Madhubani a

The Last Letter

Sardar Bhagat Singh, born in a family of revolutionaries and political activists, had seen a lot around him since his birth. Even, while he was in the womb of his mother, all the male members of his family ,excluding his grandfather, Sardar Arjun Singh were forced to stay away from the house. His father, Sardar Kishan Singh, was living in exile in Nepal whereas both of his uncles, Sardar Ajit Singh and Sardar Swarn Singh, were in jail due to their involvement in revolutionary activities. It was the day when   of Bhagat Singh was born on 28 September 1907 at Chak No. 105 in Lyallpur Banga, his father and uncles got relief from the prison. It was believed in the family that it was the fate of this new born that brought such a joyous moment for them hence he was named Bhaganwala. Later he was named Bhagat Singh, according to the family traditions.  Bhagat Singh was growing up, but there was a chaos of revolutionary activities and the turmoil of socio-political events around hi

Bhagat Singh Series: To the Mockers of Secularism

Bhagat Singh, an atheist, an advocate of socialist reform of pre - independence Indian political and social system, was an extreme supporter of the prevalence of the Secular values amongst the masses of Indian nation who were channelized by narrow minded preachers of communalism and revivalistic mentality. Bhagat Singh and his associates always spoke against the mental set up followed by religious intolerance and narrowness o f social entity based on religious disparity. The comrades of HSRA and Naujawan Bharat Sabha, both having concrete influence of Bhagat Singh and other mind like revolutionaries like Sukhdev, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Kedar Nath Sahgal etc, always condemned communalism in strong words and considered it one of the obstacle in the path of freedom of the motherland. The ideology of all these revolutionaries that they cherished was depicted in all there words and actions. Following is and excerpt from the Manifesto of Naujawan Bharat Sabha when it came

Bhagat Singh Series: The Admirer of Urdu Poetry

                        Koi dam ka mehman hun ai ahl e mahfil                           Charagh e sahar hun bujha chahta hun!                                                                      - Allama Iqbal This was one of the couplets along with others that Bhagat Singh scribed in his last letter written to his younger brother Kultar Singh on the 3rd of March 1931. Bhagat Singh like many other youngsters of his era was fond of Urdu poetry, Mirza Ghalib was his favourite poet in the classics while  Iqbal in contemporary poets. Bhagat Singh often used to chant famous couplets of Ghalib when in a good mood.  Urdu poetry was the voice of most of the youth at that time. It contained a lot of couplets that were the metaphors to the desires of revolutionaries. Ram Prasad Bismil's love for poetry and his poetic skills are well known. His song "Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna... " was the most loved composition among the revolutionaries. From the court room to the scaffold, this w

Bhagat Singh Series: Bhagat Singh in Love?

A large number of books have been written about Bhagat Singh, encircling his personal life as well as the life of revolutionary that he lived up to the gallows. Almost all of them have mentioned the incident of Bhagat's escape from Lahore in train with Durga Bhabhi (Wife of Bhagwati Charan Vohra, a comrade of HSRA and accused in the Lahore Conspiracy Case) towards Calcutta. I found it very strange and surprising synchronously while reading a different perspective on that incident shown by veteran Journalist Kuldeep Nayar in his book "Without Fear: The Life and Trial of Bhagat Singh." Kuldeep Nayar had given, though not clear indication, but some absurd hints about something that happened between Durga Bhabhi and Bhagat Singh. He writes,  while both were regularly talking to each other during the whole journey, there may be chances of any possible emergence of some kind of affection in Bhagat Singh's heart, though he never expressed it in clear

Bhagat Singh Series : Jaun Elia About Bhagat Singh

Famous Poet Jaun Elia was deeply moved by the courage of Bhagat Singh as a revolutionary. He had admitted his affection for Bhagat Singh along with two others in an interview published on 12 March 1994 in Roznama Jung, Pakistan . Jaun Elia speaks in elated terms, " Three lads have impressed me a lot ( in history ) and these are Bhagat Singh, Gama Pahelwan (wrestler) and Sultana Daku ( the famous Decoit of UP). Bhagat Singh was the symbol of rebellion during the reign of British Imperialists. Gama Pahelwan was the metaphor of our (United India's ) physical strength and Sultana Daku gave an extremely tough time to the Imperialist government of UP."