Stories about Firaq Gorakhpuri

Remembering Josh Malihabadi: The poet of revolution

Today marks the 121st birthday of one of the finest Urdu poets of the 20th century, Josh Malihabadi. The year 2018-2019 is thus being marked as the 120th birthday of Josh. The last days of Josh were spent in an atmosphere reminiscent of the final years of the Chilean socialist poet Pablo Neruda; both passed away under their respective countries’ worst military dictatorships. The difference being that while no one was allowed to attend Neruda’s funeral, about a hundred-odd people did attend Josh’s funeral, led by the great socialist poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Josh has been christened as the ...

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East is East and West is West

Last week, I had mentioned a thought provoking article Shamim Hanfi read at the International Urdu Conference, particularly his citation of Firaq Gorakhpuri’s view that Asian literature is no match for the European literature produced since the Renaissance. Despite holding Firaq in high esteem I was unable to digest this. Firaq was a great poet as well as the kind of critic I quote a lot. However, he had also been a teacher of English literature and I thought this quote came from Professor Gorakhpuri and not Firaq the poet and critic. Many people I have heard from have been ...

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