Qalandar Momand remembered
Peshawar: Poets and writers gathered on Monday to mark the 16th death anniversary of noted poet, critic and journalist, Qalandar Momand who was born in 1930 and passed away on 2003.
Scholars presented research papers on various aspects of life and services of Qalandar Momand who had contributed to more than one discipline of the Pashto language and literature.
Organizers also launched fourth edition of Qalandar Momand’s celebrated poetry volume ‘Sabawoon’. Asma Ikhlas a young girl from Malakand was the lone poet who paid poetic tribute to Qalandar Momand. Speakers said Qalandar Momand was a close companion of Bacha Khan and suffered rigorous imprisonment due to his views and stood up in strong opposition to General Ayub Khan’s one unit policy.
He raised objections to anthology of Pashto titled ‘Pata Khazana’ (Hidden treasure) believed to be the first-ever book of Pashto and earned worst criticism from stalwarts of Pashto literature. They termed Qalandar Momand as the Dr Johnson of Pashto literature because of his close similarity with English literary critic for his extensive study and influence on the readers. Being a trendsetter, Qalandar Momand gave a new dimension to Pashto poetry when he brought out his maiden poetry collection ‘Sabawoon’ way back in 1976.
It was followed by his short collection ‘Gajray’. He found his own literary organization ‘Sahu Leekunko Adabi Maraka’ in 1962 and produced several poets, scholars and literary critics. Qalandar Momand is still respected and considered a great source of inspiration by young literary circles.
Born and bred in Peshawar’s Bazidkhel village, Qalandar Momand did masters in English literature and joined teaching profession but was removed from the job owing to his political activities.
He had mastery over English, Arabic, Persian, Hindi and Urdu and wrote about 19 books. Momand also served as founding president of Peshawar Press Club and used to contribute articles to different English, Urdu and Pashto newspapers and journals. Salim Raz, Prof Fazal Rahim Marwat and others also spoke at the event.