Urdu conference reflects on the new face of mass media -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Urdu conference reflects on the new face of mass media

ISLAMABAD, March 12,2005: The International Urdu Conference took a new turn with discussions ranging from the poetic genius of Ghalib, Iqbal, and Faiz affecting the mindsets to the changing colours of Urdu journalism and the media.

Diverse points of view expressed at the moot were aimed at finding the raison d’etre of the deteriorating standard of Urdu language and literature. Speakers at both sessions of the day expressed their views on the new face of the mass media.

The first session was about the poetic genius of Ghalib, Iqbal, and Faiz affecting the mindsets. Justice (retd) Dr Javed Iqbal said Iqbal never called himself a poet but he used his poetic genius as a mode to spread his message in a bid to urge Muslims to come out from the darkness and explore their strength and capacity to compete with other nations of the world. He said sovereign leaders and open-voiced intellectuals are important for a progressive nation.

Russian scholar Ludmila Vasalova based her talk on Faiz and his times spent in Moscow that left a lasting impression on his poetry.

Talking about Ghalib, Dr Aftab Ahmad said the legendary poet blended his work with literary traditions of his times enfolded in the contemporary trends with his powerful literary genius. He said Ghalib incorporated the mundane day-to-day feelings of ordinary life with a uniqueness that made it look new. Ghalib’s experimentation of individualistic exploration made him an enigmatic occurrence of Mughal era, he said.

Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik summed up the session by saying that Iqbal, Ghalib and Faiz gave a new concept to society. He said all three poets were very much aware of the problems faced by Muslims in their times and their impact on their future, which they tried to solve through the spiritual-mysticism in their poetry.

Indian scholar Gopi Chand Narang chose to speak on Mir Taqi Mir instead of the three poets discussed at the session. He said Iqbal, Ghalib and Faiz were the three great poets of their times known as ‘Zehensaaz Shaer’ for changing the mindset of people, but he wants to talk about Mir Taqi Mir, who according to him was an ‘Ahedsaaz Shaer’ capable of changing the time. The second session was conducted by Khushbakht Shujaat.

The topic under discussion was the changing colours of Urdu journalism. Well-known columnist Khalid Hasan and Indian writer, journalist and broadcaster Zubair Rizvi were the key speakers, while Agha Nasir, Zia Jallundhri, Iftikhar Arif, and Abdur Rauf shared their views on the topic.

Khalid Hasan talked about the evolution of Urdu in American society. After giving a resume of different newspapers, journals and radio channels in Urdu, he summed up his paper by saying that American Urdu journalism has managed to beat Pakistani Urdu journalism due to its open policies. However, he said that in the “melting pot of America,” the younger generations are forgetting Urdu.

Comparing the Urdu media of Pakistan and India, Zubair Rizvi said that in Pakistan, Urdu is a line of communication as well as the national language but not official language, while in India, Urdu remains limited to a community so it has failed to compete with other stronger media languages.

Iftikhar Arif talked about the onslaught of commercialism and consumer languages on the Urdu language. However, he expressed satisfaction over the fact that 90 per cent newspapers published in Pakistan are in Urdu and literature is taken as a major news item in Pakistan unlike Europe and other advanced countries.

Abdur Rauf talked about the relationship between literature and the media. He said the new language of consumerism has taken over and the new generations have adapted themselves to this new invasion. Agha Nasir based his views from the perspective of electronic media. He said due to the massive onslaught of multinationals, language has lost its force and strength.

Zia Jallundhri based his talk on the invasion of foreign terminologies and the changing media scenario of Urdu.

Along side the academic discussion and debates, cultural festivities organised on the occasion have added extra colour of entertainment. The ‘Nautanki Mela’ organised as part of cultural extravaganza for the delegates taking part in the Urdu conference is being held everyday at the NIC Auditorium till March 13. The ‘Mela’ aims to emphasise the contribution of theatre in promoting the history and heritage of Urdu language and literature in Pakistan. The most important aspect of this ‘Mela’ is that prominent theatre groups of the sub-continent are presenting their best plays.

The first theatre play – ‘Hatak’ by Samina Ahmad Productions-performed on March 10, was based on Manto’s fiction, depicting the darker side of human psyche which is a disparaging for humanity yet its existence in our day-to-day life cannot be ignored. Jawad Ahmad adapted and directed the play.

‘Ghora aur Mohabbat’ staged on Friday (March 11) was a presentation of Lahore Engineering University. The theatre play was a hilarious depiction of societal attitudes covered in extraneous and trivial expression with a concealed yet meaningful connotation.

The other groups participating in the Nautanki Mela are: Saji, Rafi Peer Theatre, Grapevine Communication, Tahir Theatre Foundation and Ekjoot Theatre Group.

The festivities also include a ‘Fuji Film Mela’ held everyday at the Pakistan Red Crescent Society Auditorium. The films to be screened till March 13 include ‘Neela Parbat,’ ‘Garam Hawwa,’ ‘Muthi Bhar Chawal’ and ‘Anjuman.’
Source: The News