Veteran Sindhi nonagenarian progressive writer and intellectual Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo has been nominated for the highest literary award of the country for his contribution to literature. The announcement was made by a panel of judges at the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) on Wednesday.
The panel of judges comprising noted writers Masood Ashar, Dr Fahmida Hussain, Zahida Hina, Dr Saadat Saeed, Dr Raaj Wali Shah Khattak, Dr Tauseef Tabassum, Dr Anwar Zahidi, M R Shafaq and Wahid Bux Buzdar, also announced National Literary awards for the best books published during the year 2011-12.
Kamal-i-Fun is the highest literary award given for “Lifetime’s achievement” for creative and research work carrying Rs500,000 cash prize.
Speaking on the occasion, Masood Ashar, noted fiction writer and columnist said, “The jury unanimously chose him for his great services to literature.”
Another member of the jury and Sindhi Language Authority chairperson Dr Fehmida Hussain said that Joyo’s literary career spans over 70 years and at the age of 98 he is still working. His research and critique is of great quality and has helped the people to rise above any prejudices.
Responding to a question Ashar said “Good literature is being produced in all Pakistani languages but the reading culture has gone down particularly after the 70s with the advent of television and lately social media it has taken a further slump.
Dr Hussain said that a writer should not be judged on the basis of his or her language. She suggested that so much good literature is being produced in the national languages but it needs to be translated in other languages so that it reaches the international audience and writers get due recognition. She said Tagore mostly wrote in Bengali but translations of his work earned him Nobel Prize.
She said that there should be separate lifetime achievement awards for all the national languages to end disparity.
National Literary Awards for 2011
For Urdu poetry “Allama Muhammad Iqbal Award” was given to Manzar Hussain for his book “Satar Nooh”. In Urdu prose “Baba-I-Urdu Molvi Abdul Haq Award” was given to late Mansha Yaad on his book “Door Ki Awaaz”. In Punjabi “Syed Waris Shah Award” has gone to Dr Inaamul Haq Javed on his book “Mauj Mela”. In Sindhi “Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Award” has been given to Fazllulah Qureshi on his book “Kuj Yaadon Kuj Ghalion”. In Pashto, “Khushhal Khan Khattak Award” has been given to Dr Javed Khalil on his book “Pashto-o-Mustashraqeen”; in Saraiki “Khwaja Ghulam Farid Award” has been given to Muhammad Ismail Ahmadani on his book “Yaaden Da Khawab Mehal”; in Brahvi language, “Taj Muhammad Tajal Award” has been given to Dr Abdul Rehman Brahvi on his book “Be-Baha” and for best translation works “Muhammad Hassan Askari Award” is given to Mehmood Ahmed Qazi on his book “Katha Nagar”.
For Urdu poetry “Allama Iqbal Award” has been given to Khalid Ahmed on his book “Num Grifta”; in Urdu prose “Baba-i-Urdu Molvi Abdul Haq Award” has gone to Dr Wazir Agha on his book “Tanqeedi Theory Ke So Saal”; In Punjabi “Syed Waris Shah Award” has gone to Zahid Hassan on his book “Ghaleecha Unn Wali”; in Sindhi “Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Award” has been given to Ayaz Gul on his book “Meli Ji Tanhai”; in Pashto “Khushhal Khan Khattak Award” has been given to Prof Muhammad Nawaz Tahir on his book “Tampa-o-Yand”; in Saraiki “Khwaja Ghulam Farid Award” has been given to Saleem Shehzad on his book “Ghaan”; in Brahvi “Taj Muhammad Tajal Award” is given to Munir Ahmed Badeni on his book “Tena Heet Teen Tun”. In English Pitras Bukhari Award has been won by Athar Tahir for his book “The Gift of Possession”.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2013.