More and more Indians are getting to know Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s work, said Prof Dr Abdul Haq of Delhi University at a seminar on Monday.
The seminar Understanding Iqbal in India was organised at the University of Sargodha’s MBA Hall.
The Delhi University professor told those present that for about two decades, from 1947 to 1960s, not many Indians approved of Iqbal and mentioning his name was frowned upon. Now, he said, Iqbal’s poetry could be found pasted in several areas of India and Kashmir “in shops, bookstalls and even homes”. People seek guidance from his work, Dr Haq said. He mentioned a Mumbai newspaper, Inqilab which, he said, regularly carried Iqbal’s poetry.
He said it was a tribute to the great poet that a poem that he wrote in 1904, Lab pay aati hai dua ban kay tamanna meri, was recited the world over. Dr Haq said he was always amazed by the quality of Iqbal’s work, “His maternal tongue was Punjabi but he wrote excellent poetry in Urdu and Farsi.”
The professor said he respected Iqbal’s work because it focussed on the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) love for Allah.
Dr Haq suggested that the University of Sargodha and Delhi University should sign an agreement which would facilitate a student-exchange programme between the two varsities.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Akram Chaudhry, on the occasion, said that Urdu was one of the most widely spoken languages of the world. He said Bollywood movies had become immensely popular when producers and directors stared making films in Urdu. They used to make films in Hindi, Gujrati, Tamil and other local languages, Dr Chaudhry said, but they weren’t popular.
He said Iqbal was respected and loved decades after his death because his poetry had been inspired from the Quran. Iqbal set a new standard in Urdu with his poetry, the VC said, and took Urdu and Farsi ghazals to a new level.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2012.