Zafar Iqbal (Washington, DC)


Zafar Iqbal and his associates have been organizing programs symbolizing the historic cultural links between Hindus and Muslims in India for quite some time. Here he provides some details of a successful Urdu-Hindi poetry recital in America’s capital city, Washington.


“It is with great pleasure we welcome you to the first combined Hindi-Urdu poetry recitation session arranged at our Embassy,” said Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India greeting the audience assembled to felicitate Professor Satyapal Anand and for a mushaira-kavi sammelan program at the Embassy of India Auditorium on Friday, 10th June, 2011.  He acknowledged the support of the community members in the organization of the event and expressed hope to establish a tradition to holding such functions in the future.  He also paid tribute to Professor Satyapal Anand for his outstanding contributions to the literature of Urdu, Hindi, English and Panjabi languages.


Thanking Ambassador A. K. Singh and Dr. Virander Paul, Minister, Press, Information and Culture, Embassy of India for their support in organizing the event, Dr. Zafar Iqbal apprised the audience that for the last three years the Embassy of India has been supporting Yaum-e-Azadi (Independence Day) Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan programs jointly organized by the Washington Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA) and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin of Metro Washington (GOPIO) every year to promote Subcontinent’s Ganga-Jamuni culture.  It was very pleasing to note that such events are gaining increasing popularity, he added. Introducing Professor Satyapal Anand- the honoree, Dr. Iqbal said that Professor Anand is a stalwart literary personality of our times; he has enriched the literature of Urdu, Hindi, English, and Panjabi languages authoring more than 70 books.  Almost all reputable Urdu magazines of the Subcontinent and the Europe and Northern America have published special numbers acknowledging his remarkable contributions to the field. An indication of Dr. Anand’s recognition is the fact that the US Library of Congress has acquired 18 books authored by Dr. Anand, an honor not shared by any other Indian author in USA. Copies of documents listing publications and a brief biography of Dr. Anand were also distributed at the meeting.


Acknowledging tribute paid to him, Professor Anand thanked Ambassador Singh, participating poets and the organizers of the program. He also mentioned a few anecdotes related to his interactions with contemporary poets, writers, and critics during his many decades of literary life in India and other parts of the globe.


Dr. A. Abdullah, the evergreen conductor of poetry recitation sessions, mentioned in his introductory remarks that Urdu and Hindi are like twin sisters, but unfortunately people with political motives—starting with the British Empire—have tried to inculcate sibling rivalry between them. The faithful lovers of both languages have realized that the progress of Hindi and Urdu is interdependent on each other. He also mentioned that the Aligarh Alumni Association and GOPIO have been successfully providing a common platform for the interaction of Urdu and Hindi literary personalities under one roof for the last three years and that increasing number participants and audience is in these programs is a testimony to the desire of people to share the common heritage.


Participating poets included Professor Satyapal Anand, Professor Rajkumar Qais from San Diego, Mr. Krishnakumar Singh Mayank from Lucknow, Dr. Narendra Tandon Saahil, Dr. A. Abdullah, Smt. Madhu Maheshwari, Dr. Astha Naval, Mrs. Bhupinder Katohora, Dr. Vishakha Thaker, Mrs. Rekha Maitra, and Ms. Rashmi Sanan,


Samples of the poem by Professor Satyapal Anand (others can be obtained by writing to Zafar Iqbal:


Bharey poorey meley mieN gaye thay kis ke saharey, bhool gaye

Kis ki ungli muThhi mieN thi, hum be-charey bhool gaye


Jiwan ki jab shaam huui, tow socha, ghar bhi ho aayen

Kitney din yauwan ke thay, aur kahaN guzarey, bhool gaye


Ik charwahi pagdandi par pad-chinh ginti rehti hai

Us basti ka rasta jab se hum bunjarey bhool gaye


Doli uThi ya chita pe baiThi, sab tha aik smaan usey

Yaad rahiN do roti aankheN, chehrey saarey bhool gaye


paR gaye apni jaan ke laaley, kaisey saperey thay hum bhi

Ik nagan ko galey lagaya, mantar saarey bhool gaye.


The program was followed by a sumptuous dinner hosted by the Embassy.

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