'Hasrat Mohani: poet, politician, journalist par excellence' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Hasrat Mohani: poet, politician, journalist par excellence’

Hasrat Mohani was an honest man; he was a man of integrity who had deep convictions and excellence of mental capability that distinguished him as a smart but principled politician, a poet of unparalleled quality, especially in Ghazals and a journalist who suffered multiple incarnations by the British for his brave reporting. He was also a practicing Muslim who was a confirmed secular too, speakers at a day-long conference on “Political, Journalistic and Literary acumen of Hasrat Mohani” said Saturday.

The event was organised at the University of Karachi (KU) Arts Auditorium by the Pakistan Study Centre, KU in collaboration with Hasrat Mohani Memorial Trust (HMMT), to mark Mohani’s 57th death anniversary.

Dr Farman Fatehpuri, the eminent Urdu linguist, researcher, writer and critic was the keynote speaker at the conference narrated his association with Mohani at Kanpur and praised Mohani for his strength of character, deep conviction and a staunch follower of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). “I consider it the greatest honour of my life that I met him many times. I combined the character and literary quality of a poet or writer. If both are faultless he becomes my ideal. Hasrat Mohani is my ideal”.

Dr Fatehpuri reminded the audience that although a practicing Muslim from head to his toes, Mohani was not a dry person who would shun merriment and laughter. “On the contrary, he was witty and full of humour. He would delight a child or an old man with his conversation with equal felicity”. Fatehpuri also mentioned the visit of Mohani to Karachi in 1951 when he was returning from Saudi Arabia after performing Hajj. Shaukat Siddiqui and others met him at Hotel Nigar near Pakistan Chowk and requested Mohani to migrate to Pakistan. Mohani refused telling that ‘he could not and would not leave the Indian Muslims as others did’.

Prof Pirzada Qasim, Vice-Chancellor of KU talked about the enduring influence of Mohani on his contemporaries and the generation after him to date, what he termed as ‘Impact Factor’. “He had a versatile personality and every part of character was unmatched. He was ‘Shaheshah-e-Taghazzul’ (King of the Ghazal). Politics, Literature, Journalism, and Culture – all of these lead to Hasrat Mohani. He was a freedom fighter who demanded complete freedom from the British colonial masters and made no compromises on it”.

Dr Tahir Masood, Professor at the Department of Mass Communication read his paper on ‘Mohani as a Journalist’ and talked about the magazine “Urdu-e-Moalla” edited and published by Mohani, was the frontrunner against the British rule while other newspapers and magazines followed the rulers’ bandwagon. “He refused to divulge the name of his ‘source’ and accepted prison term for two years. Such was the conviction of Mohani. He was member of Indian Parliament and was entitled to travel first class but he always travelled in third class compartment of the trains”.

Poet Sahar Ansari, gave his views on ‘Hasrat Mohani and Poetical Traditions’ and informed the audience that he changed it by bringing men as the persons wishing to meet their lovers than the women which was the general norm. “Hasrat Mohani was a great feminist and proved it by allowing his wife to shun veil and travel to different places to serve the cause of her husband who was often in the prison”.

Dr Hilal Naqvi, Raisa Mohani (niece of Hasrat Mohani) and Dr Syed Jafar Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.
Source: the News
Date:5/18/2008