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Urdu novels more popular than poetry, says novelist.

URDU novels have become more popular than Urdu poetry, thanks to the mundane realities of the contemporary times and inadequacy of the linguistic strength of the majority of poets, says eminent Indian novelist, critic and linguist Ghazanfar Ali. Ali who has penned nine novels and has several works of literary criticisms, textbook materials and books on teaching to his credit said, "Urdu poetry, traditionally, deals with subjects that are alien to the contemporary sensibility. The ugly realities of today's life such as corruption, moral and environmental degradation do not fit into the scheme of Urdu poetry, which deals with beauty and love." "Another reason why we do not have today poets like Mirza Ghalib, who was born two centuries ago, and Akhlaq Mohammad Khan 'Shaharyar', who died recently, is that most poets today do not have the same linguistic skills as their predecessors had.

They have enough passion in them but do not have adequate language to express it," he added. Regretting that few people were studying Urdu today, Ali said that the attitude towards learning the language itself was wrong. He said, "Urdu is a beautiful and polite language with extremely mellow sounds. But, people do not want to learn it as it will not provide them jobs.

It is treated as a poor man's language." It is worth mentioning here that Ali has invented Urdu language games to attract children in Grade 1 and Grade 2 to the language. He has also tried to explain the use of compound words in Ghalib's poetry and written a dictionary of socio-cultural items. Thanking Urdu poets and writers based in Qatar for contributing to the growth of the language by practising creative writing themselves and encouraging the youth to do the same, the noted writer observed that Doha-based Urdu poets, though less in number, were contributing immensely to the growth of the language. "Their contribution to Urdu is, in fact, far greater than that of those based in India. The Doha-based poets and writers are training aspiring writers. They are giving them a platform in the form of Urdu mushairas to recite their poems.

I am told that Urdu mushairas are held regularly in the city", he said. When asked about the quality of poetic output of Doha-based poets, he remarked, "Their poetry springs from their hearts and, therefore, has direct connection with the hearts of the readers or listeners." Speaking about his latest novel Pani he said that it was about the politicisation of a common man's issue, which makes the problem more complex and beyond solution. Ali said that most of his novels deal with corruption in public life, a major issue in Indian politics today.

He, however, added that his novel titled Fusun is about the life in the university campus and based on his personal experiences. Ali's other novels include Kenchali, Kahani Uncle, Divya Vani, Vish-Manthan, Mum, Shorab Hairat Farosh and Manjhi.

Ghazanfar Ali has also written about 200 ghazals and nazms, 60 short stories and has been one of the members of the Jnanpith award jury. He has been honoured with prestigious awards by UP Urdu Academy and Bihar Urdu Academy as well as by Filfort Himachal Drama and Fine Arts Club and Urdu magazine Naya Safar.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Jul 3, 2012
Words:555
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