Urdu symbol and a vehicle of India’s composite culture, says Najma Heptulla.
New Delhi: Leading Urdu poets from seven countries regaled the audience at the 19th edition of Jashn-e-Bahar in Delhi on Friday. Their verses not only drew ‘waah-waah’, but also stood as testimony that Urdu and its iconic poetry rules hearts in India.
“Urdu has been taught in Japan for over 100 years,” Japanese poet So Yamane said, insisting on speaking in Urdu. Reciting a couplet of 18th century poet Mir Taqi Mir, he said it’s the second time he is participating in Jashn-e-Bahar, India’s biggest international mushaira.
Fifteen Urdu poets from Japan, England, the USA, Canada, Qatar, Kuwait and India participated in the Friday event. “Nayaa mausam to badlaa hai, magar pedon ki shaakon par naye patton ke aane ke aane mein abhi kuchh din lagenge (Though the new season has arrived, it will take a while for the new leaves to appear on branches of the trees),” famous poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar said, reciting one of his shayaris.
Manoor Usmani from Moradabad, Basir Kazmi from Manchester, Aziz Nabeel from Doha and Meenu Bakshi from Delhi who were part of the poetic galaxy also captivated hundreds of poetry lovers present on the grounds of Delhi Public School, Mathura Road.
Use of cutting edge technology added contemporary dazzle to the set décor reminiscent of the classical age of Urdu poetry. Eminent artist M.F. Husain’s calligraphy depicting Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s famous line — Hum parvarish-e-lauh-o-kalam karte rahenge (We shall nurture the tablet and the pen forever) — was a major attraction on the stage.
“Urdu is the language of peace and love as well as a language of protest against all kinds of injustice. But today we see it being used for parochial poetry infused with hate,” founder of the non-profit Jashn-e Bahar Trust Kamna Prasad said.
Manipur governor Dr Najma Heptulla, who attended the event, said: “Urdu which was born of the need for communication among India’s various linguistic minorities, has united hearts since its very inception. It’s a symbol and a vehicle of India’s composite culture.”
Mushaira Jashn-e-Bahar 2017 was organised with the support of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Delhi Public School, Takshila Educational Society, among others.