MI5 launches Urdu version of website
Thursday May 26, 2005
MI5 made another move yesterday to reach out to Britain's ethnic minorities by launching an Urdu version of its website.
The initiative is designed to attract people in the British Pakistani community, where Urdu is widely spoken.
Urdu speakers are told how they can help MI5 with useful information. They can also browse the website to see if they want a job in the security service.
"In protecting all members of UK society from threats to national security, the security service needs to recruit people from across all the communities it serves," the website says.
It adds: "The service relies heavily on public assistance and support to do its work effectively."
The website encourages members of the public to send it any information they think could be relevant to its work to "help keep their communities safe".
Last year, MI5 published a section on its website called How You Can Help, in Arabic, in what it described as a move "to build on the cooperation of the Muslim community". It will later be translated into Hindi.
Yesterday, Eliza Manningham-Buller, MI5's director general, said: "The security service exists to protect the United Kingdom from the threats which face us.
"To do the best possible job, we need to communicate effectively with the whole community."
She added: "Members of the Muslim community make a vital contribution to countering the terrorist threat ... . By communicating directly with the public through our website, we hope to debunk a few myths."
She described the Urdu version of the website as "an important step forward".
The website also makes clear that MI5 wants to recruit people from different ethnic minority communities.
MI5 says it is particularly keen to talk to people who speak Sorani, Arabic, north African Arabic, Urdu, Gujrati, Bengali, Fujianese, Tamil, Turkish, Farsi and Pashtu
and you can visit MI5 Urdu here :
UP Urdu academy awards
earlier we reported West Bengal and Bihar Academy's awards now it is time for UP Urdu Academy award list:
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Award of Rs. 1, 11,000 : Prof. Asloob Ahmad Ansari
Service to Urdu literature (Rs. 51,000):
Ms. Zahida Zaidi & Asad Badayuni
Maulana Abdul Waheed Siddiq Award for Journalism (Rs. 10,000):
Masoom Muradabadi, editor of khabardaar jadeed
Urdu Academy, Delhi selected Haneef Tareen's book ababelaiN nahiN aayiN as best book of the year for 2004.
courtsey : www.milligazette.com
Report cards in your language
While Indian and Pakistani schools are moving to English report cards, in New York, it is your mother tongue that gets the honor.
City schoolchildren should be able to get report cards in one of eight foreign languages by this time next year, city educrats said yesterday at a City Council hearing.
The Education Department already translates many student records into Spanish, Chinese and Russian, the most common foreign languages in the city.
But with the city's immigrant population exploding - and a new $5.3 million translation unit within the Education Department - officials hope to add Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Urdu and Arabic.
The hearing was on a separate Council bill that would vastly increase translation services in city schools. Administration officials testified against the bill, saying they are already boosting services.
A Course in Urdu Poetry
We are trying to recruit a few more students in the DC area for a possible seminar (A Course in Urdu Poetry) at SAIS/Johns Hopkins --
Teacher: Dr. Moazzam Siddiqi
Time Frame: May-July
Plese communicate with Maggie Ronkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are in the DC area and may be interested . . . .
Thanks in advance if you can provide some assistance in helping us link up with possibly interested folks in the area, Nazo.
A SAIS-Johns Hopkins Advanced-Level Urdu Seminar: Urdu Poetry in Society
This course highlights the evolution of Urdu poetry from its beginnings in the sixteenth century Deccan to its linguistic and literary development in other important urban literary centers, e.g. Delhi (early eighteenth century), Lucknow (nineteenth century), and Lahore (twentieth century), and the advent of the modern era, including influences of European social and literary movements, and the Progressive Writers Movement.
For more information on the possible seminar, please contact Maggie Ronkin at email@example.com .
A Course in Urdu Poetry
A historical perspective, highlighting the evolution of Urdu poetry from its beginnings in the 16th century Deccan to its development in other important literary centers of Delhi (early 18th century), Lucknow (19th century) and Lahore (early 20th century), and the advent of the modern era. A discussion of the literary environment in which this poetic tradition grew. The Indian and Indo-Persian elememts influencing this poetry in its formative years. The Hindi influences. The European, largely English influence. Religious and political influences in the wake of post-Industrial Revolution literary movements brought over largely from Britain. The impact of socialism and communism and the Progressive Writers Movement.
Study of selected writings of representative poets from each period.
The Dakhani Period: Quli Qutub Shah and Wali Dakhani
The Delhi Period: Mir Taqi Mir, Khwaja Mir Dard, Mirza
Rafi Sauda, Mir Hasan and Nazir Akbarabadi. Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib. Dagh.
The Lucknow Period: Jur’at, Insha and Mushafi. Nasikh and Atish. The Marsia poems and Mir Anis and Dabir.
The Modern Age
Ghalib’s response to the intellectual awakening ushered in by the Industrial Revolution.
Ghalib’s younger contemporaries, Hali and Azad and the modern elements in their poetry.
Muhammad Iqbal, the Poet-Philosopher of the East and West.
Some poets of the Progressive Writers Movement and other Modern Poets: Mira Ji, Akhtarul Iman, Ali Sardar Jafri, Majaz Lucknawi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, N. M. Rashid.
... and we wonder where all the money going? "aashiyaaN jal gaya ghar ke chiraagh se"
SRINAGAR, may 7 The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) has launched a scheme to set up computer training institutions across the country to transform Urdu speakers into a technological work force.
As many as 176 computer training centres have been established, including 20 in the Valley, under the HRD ministry scheme which spends around Rs 2 lakh on each centre every year apart from setting it up.
The training centres are supposed to be managed by NGOs that have experience in ‘‘education’’ on a charitable basis for at least three years. But in the Valley, most of the centres are run by NGOs run by relatives of politicians.
When asked why these centres were allotted to politicians and their close relatives, NCPUL director Hamidullah Bhat says: ‘‘In Kashmir we have relaxed the rules because there are no proper mechanisms to check the credentials of the NGOs. We allotted centres to whosoever approached us.’’ Even he is involved in running a centre.
Look who run them:
• Mumtaz-un-Nisa Soz
People’s Empowerment Mission, Rawalpora Housing Colony, Srinagar.
Mumtaz-ul-Nisa is the wife of senior Congress leader, former minister and Rajya Sabha member, Saif-ud-din Soz.
Soz says: ‘‘It is run by an NGO which has been working in the field of education in Kashmir for several years. I am a patron of the NGO, it’s a non-profitable job. I have recommended several upcoming boys for NCPUL centres. I never used any political influence to get this centre.’’
• Jabeen Tabassum
People’s Infotech, Gulmarg Road, Magam.
Tabassum is the daughter of J-K Urban Development and Tourism Ghulam Hassan Mir.
Ghulam Hassan Mir says: ‘‘My daughter fulfilled all the criteria and norms required to get this centre. We are not an isolated case, there are thousands of centres running across the country. The computer centre has nothing to do with politics. My daughter deserved it so she got it.’’
• Javid Hassan Baig
Murtuza Educational Trust, Pattan.
Baig is a nephew and till recently public relations officer (PRO) of J-K Finance Minister Muzzuffar Hussain Baig. He says: ‘‘I am no longer the PRO of the finance minister. We are not earning any money from this centre.’’
Minister Muzuffar Hussain Baig says: ‘‘I am shocked. I don’t know about it. I will personally check it up.’’
• Abdul Gani Vakil NCUPL Centre, Rafiabad
Shiekh-ul-Alam Education Trust, Sopore
Abdul Gani Vakil is senior vice-president of JK Pradesh Congress and legislator. The centre is run by a relative from his ancestral house and the trust is run by Vakil himself.
Vakil says: ‘‘This computer centre is run by Sheikh-ul-Alam trust. It has five members and I am the chairman of the trust.’’
• Imtiyaz Panditpuri
NCPUL Centre, Handwara town.
Panditpuri is the son of former minister and Peoples Democratic Party legislator, Mohammad Sultan Panditpuri.
Mohammad Sultan Panditpuri says: ‘‘I don’t know which NGO my son is running. He has established the centre four-five years ago. There is always some political influence but those, who have been given these centres, are not necessarily political activists themselves.’’
• Sajid Rashid
National Institute of Computer Education, Pattan
Rashid is a close relative of Abdul Rashid Shaheen, National Conference leader and Baramulla MP.
Shaheen says: ‘‘I am the patron of this NGO (which runs the computer centre). It has been established in 1975 but we have not done much work. We have not done anything in education sector.’’
• Fast Track School of Information Technology
Khidmat Complex, the Bund, Srinagar.
This centre has state-of-the-art infrastructure and is located in a plush uptown building owned by the Congress Trust. And, in fact, the NCPUL director Hamidullah Bhat himself is linked to this centre.
Bhat says: ‘‘This centre is run by society. I am an honorary member of this society. I don’t have any personal benefit from it.’’
West Bengal Urdu Academy Award
West Bengal Urdu Academy announced awards on books published in the year 2001.
All India Level:
Award of Rs. 3000:
Ana ko aane do: Ahmad Sagheer
Homeopathy ke nuskhey: translation by Prem Lal "Ashk"
Award of Rs. 2000:
pyaas ka sehra: Mubina Imam
jawwaz wa intekhabaat: Kausar Mazhari
maloomat ka samundar: Rahmani Saleem Ahmad
Award of Rs. 1500:
chhhoti guriya: Adil Hayat
West Bengal Level:
Award of Rs. 5000:
mashriqi hind meN urdu nukkarh naTak: Dr. Mohd. Kazim
Award of Rs. 3000:
sayyed harmatul ekram: Hayaat wa khidmaat : Dr. S. Haider
shaeraat-e-bengala: hayaat wa khidmaat : Dr. A. Ansari
Award of Rs. 2000:
tamheez wa tajzia: Dr. Yusuf Taqi
unchaiyoN se utarti sada: Prof. Abu Nasr Ghazali
sag-e-gazeeda: Dr. Husain Ahmad Zahidi
naid sadi ki beti: Jaleel Ishrat.
[ from Milligazette 16-30 April 2005]
West Bengal Urdu Academy
Minorities Development & Welfare Department
Govt of West Bengal
75/2A, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road
Kolkata -- 700 016
Inside Out with Iqbal Niyazi
This Sahitya Kala Parishad Award-winning playwright has finally published a compilation of his seminal works.
Mumbai, February 8: What is Iqbal Niyazi’s ‘first book’ Sab Theek Hai about?
A prominent Urdu playwright-director, Niyazi’s book comprises his five best-known plays, including the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award-winning Aur Kitne Jalianwalla Bagh. And critics in Urdu journals are already raving about it. “I never realised this book was so important,” says the 44-year-old, who has written over 30 plays in the last two decades.
Why has he written 17 versions of Aur Kitne Jalianwalla Bagh?
When he first penned it in 1982, it won him the Best Script Award at the Indian People’s Theatre Association’s (IPTA) inter-college drama competition. “I wrote it to protest the corruption and criminalisation of politics in our society. We all live in a fortified ground, like Jalianwalla Bagh, and are being assaulted all the time,” feels the playwright, who began writing and directing plays while studying at Ismail Yusuf College, Jogeshwari. There he also adapted Neil Simon’s plays like Barefoot In The Park as Deewana Hoon Pagal Hoon, and The Odd Couple as Aa Bail Mujhe Maar. “But as I grew older, I saw new forms of corruption. Only the faces changed; the crime thrived,” he shrugs.
Why is drama an essential outlet for him?
“Agar natak na likhoon to pagal ho jaaon (If I don’t write plays, I will go mad),” explains Niyazi, who set up his own group, Kirdar, a decade ago. Along with larger political issues, his work also tackled the social milieu. One of his more popular plays, Amma Main Kya Karoon, is a hilarious Muslim social satire, “showing how a middle-class family copes with day-to-day problems,” explains Niyazi, whose father, Shor Niyazi, was an actor with famous Parsi Theatre director Agha Hashr Kashmiri. “I grew up listening to my father talk about Agha and his plays. So I guess it came to me naturally,” he says.
What about his research work on Habib Tanvir?
His doctoral work on the theatre doyen is almost complete. “Three years ago, I decided to do my thesis on Habib saab. When I approached him, he was pleasantly surprised: ‘You are the first person who will do a paper on me, in Urdu. I am quite excited’,” recalls Niyazi, who had extended interactions with Tanvir at the latter’s Bhopal house. “Apart from being a great artiste and director, he’s a man of determination. See how he has nurtured his Naya Theatre in Chhattisgarh. He has kept alive the folk culture of Madhya Pradesh through his plays,” feels Niyazi, who hopes to submit his dissertation to the University of Mumbai in a few months.”Habib saab is getting older and frailer. He told me to bring it out in his lifetime.”
What does he next have up his sleeve?
He’s now working on a book of plays, based on popular stories in Urdu. “It’s called Kahaniyon Ka Rangmanch and will include several authors, including Mumbai-based Salam Bib Razzak and Sajid Rashid. It should be out in a few months,” he informs.
Funding for Urdu computing
The PTCL Research and Development Fund have approved nine projects worth Rs 10.58 million to promote research and development in various sectors with focus on information technology and telecommunication.
In another decision, the meeting also okayed Rs 1.9 million grant for ‘Urdu morphological analyzer’ to be produced by Shafiqur Rahman and his team from the National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences Lahore, and a Rs 1.97 million funding for the ‘Computerization of the classical script styles of Urdu and other regional languages’ project to be implemented by Aamir Wali and his team from the National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences Lahore.
The committee also recommended Rs 1.49 million grant for ‘Development of a framework for Urdu handwriting recognition on handheld computing devices’. The project will be executed by Dr Muhammad Akmal Butt and his team from the National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences Lahore during a period of 12 months.
Mirza Ghalib: The great Urdu poet
We roll back the years till we see Ghalib as the child of a feudal aristocracy, embodiment of a class, rather than of a class, rather than of a nation, for nationhood had not yet been born in India. We see him happy, while his father and uncle were alive after their death Ghalib became a part of the extended family of cousins.
Interestingly at the age of 10, Ghalib was already writing verse, not indeed his best, for it was rather florid, but it was promising. His ghazal were shown to Mir Taqi Mir, the cham of his age, whose contempt for his contemporaries was a byword. Mir read the poems and remarked laconically that if a competent mentor could be found to guide the boy, he would become a great poet.
Perhaps Mir was right, Ghalib found his "mentors" not in any particular person, but in the atmosphere in which he lived. The correct writing of Urdu poetry was a matter for intensive study.
Ghalib who had by now moved to Delhi was obsessed with the city. His house on the corner of Ballimaran and Gali Qasim Jan was built on the customary Delhi pattern. High brick façade facing the street, surmounted by arched corridors on three sides that enclosed an open courtyard. Since he needed privacy, the structure suited him.
Ghalib had already begun to use the sophisticated idiom that was to distinguish all he wrote. "There are two Ghalibs", he said. "One is the Seljuk Turk who mixes with badshahs (emperors) and the other is poor, in debt and insulted". Ghalib, indeed, was dogged all his life by the problem of how to maintain a standard of living worthy of his class with very small, income.
Ghalib was a part of his city and his times. He dallied with several women, accepted the institution of the courtesan without censure, and at the age of 23, had what was the most traumatic love affair of his life. He wrote later of this, though we know little of the girl, who died early. "In the days of my youth, when the blackness of my deeds outdid the blackness of my hair and my heart held the tumult of the love of fair-faced women. Fate poured into my cup too the poison of this pain, and as the bier of my beloved was borne along the road, the dust rose from the road."
Hard time of Ghalib
Like most Muslims of his time and class, Ghalib almost invariably lived beyond his means, though these were never really substantial. The story of his pension has been told too often to be repeated here. But it took years for this battle to be fought and lost. It is said that when heavily in debt, he would not stir out of his house. But once, he was summoned to be physically present at court. The presiding judge asked Ghalib if he had anything to say in his defense. Ghalib replied:
"Indeed I drank on credit but also knew for sure my spend-thrift poverty one day, my ruin would procure".
The judge smiled, decided the suit against Ghalib, but paid the money due from his pocket. This was, however, a rare instance of official magnanimity.
Ghalib the Poet
Meanwhile, Ghalib continued to write poetry in a fine frenzy. He first compiled his Urdu verse in 1821. Four years later he collected the general principles of Persian letter writing in a popular booklet Panj Ahang. In 1828 he complied Gul-I-Rana, a selection of Urdu and Persian verse. His Urdu Diwan was first published in 1841 and sold out immediately. It was reprinted in 1847. As late as 1855, Ghalib complained that he could not lay his hands on a copy - the booksellers had taken them all. A collection of his Persian verses appeared in 1845.
A critic says of Ghalib that his vocation was not only writing poetry, but in a much broader sense, it was the mastery of all attributes of literary excellence. He also wrote prefaces and introductions to other writer's works.
And so Ghalib continued to live his life as destined. During summer he lived in a dark little room over the main entrance to his house. In winter he sat in the adjoining verandah where the sunlight came in. He drank wine in the evenings - French wine when he could get it, diluted with rose water. He played chess and chausar (backgammon). He ate mangoes, a compulsive addiction. The ups-and downs that characterized his life were for him, as for all men, a source of joy, a source of grief. The shortage of money was a constant irritant, and his health disturbed his many "friends". He ate a diet almost entirely of meat and bread.
Mustafa Khan Shefta
Gambling played an important and crucial part in his life. Once he hosted a session that the police broke up. His guests appear to have been let off, but he, as host, was sentenced to a six-months imprisonment. Most of his friends deserted him. One man remained loyal - Mustafa Khan Shefta. Shefta did his best to have the prison sentence waived but did not succeed. Ghalib was, however, released after three months. Shefta defrayed the expenses of the trial and appeal. He paid the fine. During Ghalib's imprisonment he visited the poet almost daily. Ghalib remained indebted to him for the rest of his life. In a famous poem, Habsiyya, written in prison Ghalib paid Shefta tribute. On his release, Ghalib wrote the famous couplet:
''Let us remove to such a place
''Where none else should be,
''None to speak one's tongue
''Or share one's thoughts should be;
''Build a house sans walls or floor,
''No neighbor, no person, close should be,
''If one is sick, none need be there to care
''And if one were to pass away
''Nobody to mourn should be.
The new phase in Ghalib's life
Life went on, and so did the loom of history. Mughal power slowly dwindled. British power grew and by 1842, they were securely installed as the rulers of India, with their capital at Calcutta. Delhi felt the reverberations of their rule, and Ghalib registered these.
Delhi College opened and he was offered the post of Professor of Persian. Thomason, Secretary of the Government of India, asked him to come in for an interview. Ghalib alighted from his customary palanquin, expecting Thomason to come out and receive him.
Thomason did not do so, and explained that he saw no reason to follow the custom as Ghalib was coming in the capacity of applicant. To this Ghalib replied: "I contemplated taking a government appointment in the expectation that this would bring me greater honor that I now receive, not a reduction in those already accorded to me." Thomason said: " I am bound by regulations". Then, said Ghalib " I hope that you will excuse me", and left.
The incident is a typical example of the clash of cultures. There is still something to be said for Ghalib's insistence that a bureaucracy that overlooks the standing of a poet does so at its own historic risk.
Zauq, poet to the Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, died in 1854, and Ghalib succeeded him as the king's ustad. There is a legion of anecdotes about this period, but one of the best is that once when the king was present in court, the conversation turned on the close relationship between the medieval saint Nizamuddin and his personal poet-friend, Amir Khusro. Ghalib sprang to the occasion with:
''Two holy guides; two suppliants.
''In the God's power we see,
''Nizamuddin has Khusro;
''Sirajuddin has me.
Bahadur Shah Zafar's real name was Sirajuddin.
And then came 1857, the First War of Indian Independence broke out and power was formally transferred from the Mughals to the British. Ghalib is an invaluable chronicler of this turbulent period. The structure of Delhi crumbled as if in an earthquake. One by one, Ghalib saw the bazaars - Khas Bazaar, Urdu Bazaar, Kharam-ka Bazaar, disappear, whole mohallas (localities) and katras (lanes) vanished leaving not a trace behind. The havelis (mansions) of his friends were razed to the ground. Ghalib wrote that Delhi had become a desert. Water was scarce. Delhi was now " a military camp". It was the end of the feudal elite to which Ghalib had so consciously belonged. He wrote:
''"An ocean of blood churns around me-
''Alas! Were these all!
''The future will show
'\'What more remains for me to see".
Sadly, there was little that remained for him to see. He had to prove his neutrality during the First Independence War so as not face persecution from the British, who were now ruthless. Always short of money, he was assisted by the Nawab of Rampur who had been pro-British during the uprising. So to Rampur Ghalib traveled with his ageing wife and two adopted grandsons (he never had any children of his own). But he longed for Delhi and returned to it meeting with accidents along the way. He kept repeating: " Nothing exists but God".
Then his claim on fame, "that last infirmity of noble minds" disturbed him. Would he be remembered? He had his doubts. In this dissatisfied mood, he wrote:
''In eternity without beginning,
''My star has reached the zenith of acceptance;
''But in this world the renown of my verses will be after me.
He died in Delhi and lies buried in what was once the small village of Nizamuddin, now an integral part of New Delhi. His tomb lies close to that of saint Nizamuddin Auliya.
Homage to the great poet
He need not have worried. He underestimated his popularity, for he was applauded while he lived. What the government had withheld, the people of Delhi gave to him in abundance, from their hearts. As we do today, in homage.
Book introduces Urdu ghazals to Tamil readers
by Gowri Ramnarayan
GHAZAL — Paadappaada Paravasam: Abulkalam Azad; Kizhakku Padippagam, 16, Karpagambal Nagar, Mylapore, Chennai-600004. Rs. 45.
THIS BOOK tries to introduce the Ghazal, a specialised verse genre in Urdu, to Tamil readers. Think of the difficulties in the process. Tamil is incapable of reproducing all the sounds of Urdu. The Tamil script cannot represent Urdu words accurately.
The Ghazal ambience is foreign to Tamil culture, even perhaps to Tamil Muslim culture. Ghazal-singing is closer to Hindustani music than to the Carnatic or folk strains of Tamil Nadu. And the author himself confesses to unease in translating certain Urdu images into Tamil. Names too don't escape errors — Jagdish for Jagjit (Singh), or Tallat for Talat (Aziz).
If the author succeeds at all, he can thank the pervasive influence of Bollywood cinema, which has familiarised the Ghazal to generations of listeners in every part of India, from "Anarkali" and "Pakeezah" to "Umrao Jaan". In fact the book draws upon cinema in almost every page.
Some of the poems are from evergreen movies, or by poets who became popular through films.
For illustrations and parallels, Azad goes to Vairamuthu ("Shabana Azmi is Kaifi Azmi's best poem") and Yuga Bharati.
And though there are references to Begum Akhtar and Ghulam Ali, the book abounds in Anup Jalotas and Hariharans as well.
Starting with the rules of rhyme and metre, and the special features of the first and last verse, Azad travels into the past and the present in search of Ghazals, arranging them in terms of themes, images and metaphors.
We enter the chandelier-hung, wine-lit musical soirees of nawabs and kings. This historical background gets a few references in superficial strokes. Bahadur Shah Zafar and Ghalib are introduced respectfully, but skimpily. And though the author talks about the metaphysical and mystical dimensions of the Ghazal, they remain at the periphery.
Each chapter offers a translation of a chosen Ghazal. This passes muster by avoiding the literal.
The well-designed book goes beyond dilettante labours. However, in making the text reader- friendly, the author sacrifices depth.
Anjuman Faroogh-i-Urdu Adab award
By Our Staff Reporter
KARACHI, April 30: Well-known short story writer Hajira Masroor has been awarded lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to Urdu prose by the Qatar-based Anjuman Faroogh-i-Urdu Adab. The award, which carries a sum of Rs150,000, was instituted 10 years ago and is given to prose writers in recognition of their literary works.
Ms Masroor will receive her award at a ceremony to be held in Doha in December. Other recipients of the award include Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi, Ashfaq Ahmad, Intizar Hussain, Bano Qudsia, Mukhtar Masood, Mustansir Hussain Tarar, Mohammad Khalid Akhtar and Shaukat Siddiqui.
Fateh Mohammad Malik, Iftikhar Arif, Dr Saleem Akhtar and Dr Sohail Ahmad Khan are members of the panel of judges which adjudicated on this year’s award. Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi headed the panel.
Links for Hajira Masroor:
Bhag Bhari is a famous story written by Hajira : a critical reading of the story published in AUS journal: