The Department of Urdu, University of Hyderabad organized a mesmerizing programme named Meet the Poet with celebrated 87 year old poet of Urdu, Padmashree Prof. Kaleem Ajiz in the Auditorium, School of Humanities, University of Hyderabad (UoH). The programme was chaired by Prof. Mohsin Usmani Nadvi, Ex Dean, Dept. of Arab Studies, EFL University, Hyderabad. The Head, Department of Urdu, University of Hyderabad Prof. K. Muzaffer Ali welcomed the Guests. Dr. Md. Zahidul Haque, Assistant Professor in the Department of Urdu introduced the guest and presented the salient features of the poetry of Prof. Kaleem Aajiz. Prof. Alok Pandey, Dr. Gajendra Kumar Pathak and Dr. Shyam Rao from the Hindi Department, University of Hyderabad, Dr. Muzaffer Alam and Dr. Mohd. Ayub Siddiquee from the EFL University, Dr. Habeeb Nisar, Dr. A. R. Manzar and Dr. Mohd. Kashif from the Dept. of Urdu, UoH actively participated in the programme. The Programme was largely attended by the students and research scholars of the Department of Urdu in particular and the Department of Hindi, Political Science and other departments to name a few in general.
Prof. Kaleem Ahmed having pen name of Aajiz is born on 11th October 1926 in the village Telhara, present day Jehanabad district of the state of Bihar. He got his primary education in his village and later moved to Calcutta for higher education which he discontinued there and came back to Patna. He obtained M.A degree from Patna University, one of the oldest Universities in north India with gold medal. Later he achieved doctoral degree from the same university. He joined the Department of Urdu, Patna University as a Lecturer and superannuated from there only from the post of Professor.
Prof. Kaleem Aajiz is a celebrated poet of our times, having four poetry collections and other eight books comprising autobiography, travelogue, letters, research and criticism to his credit. His first poetry collection was published in the year 1976 and the last in 2008. The Government of India conferred on him the prestigious Padmashree award in the year 1989. Apart from this award he is a recipient of Imteyaz-e-Meer Award, Lucknow, Maulana Mazharul Haque Award of the Rajbhasha Parishad, Govt. of Bihar and Bihar Urdu Academy (Govt. of Bihar) Award. He has also been conferred the honorary citizenship of the Oklahoma State of the US.
Prof. Kaleem Aajiz lost his mother and younger sister alongwith other relatives in the communal riots of 1946, the worst riot of its kind in the pre-independent India. He last met his mother and sister on 26th October 1946 and just after ten days, on 5th November 1946, the day of Eidul Azha his mother and sister were killed in the communal riot. As he mentions in the dedication of his first poetry collection namely “Woh Jo Shaeri Ka Sabab Hua” that the martyrdom of his mother is the total asset of his life. He remembers:
Humne jo diya hai who hameen jaan rahe hain,
Sarmaya-e-gham muft kahan haath lage hai.
Ab ke phir barsaat mein ganj-e-shaheedaan pe chalein,
Aasmaan royega aur apni ghazal gaayenge hum.
This is the salient feature of his poetry. A person who saw or faced such devastation in his personal life may have been deviated and adopted the path of guns and weapons, but Prof. Kaleem aajiz gave an alternate model to the world by adopting pen and paper even in the worst situation. This took him towards universal brotherhood, universal humanitarianism and love for all. He says:
Apna to kaam hai ke jalaate chalo chiraagh,
Raste mein khwaah dost ya dushman ka ghar mile.
Koii Bazm ho Koii anjuman ye she-aar apna qadeem hai,
Jahan roshni ki kami mili waheen ek chiraagh jala diya
He challenges the present feudal, irresponsible and anti people system in his own words like this:
Mere hi lahoo per guzar auqaat kari ho,
Mujh se hi ameeron ki tarah baat karo ho.
Daaman pe koii chheent na khanjar pe koii daagh,
Tum qatl karo ho ke karaamat karo ho.
During the emergency proclaimed on 25th June 1975, he wrote eloquently against it and raised his voice of protest against the withdrawal of basic fundamental rights. He wrote:
Kya qayamat dhaaegi jab ta kamar aa jaayegi,
Teri zulf-e-fitna parwar jo abhi ta dosh hai.
Mujhe kya agar tere dosh se teri zulf ta ba kamar huiii,
Ke main aisa khaana kharaab hoon kabhi chhaon mein na basar huii.
The poetry of Kaleem Aajiz is optimistic, full of passion, realistic and encouraging. It attracts the youth a lot towards it.
Nazar ko aaiiina dil ko tera shaana bana denge,
Tujhe hum kya se kya aiy zulf-e-jananaan bana denge.
Na itna chhed kar aiy waqt deewana bana humko,
Hue dewaana hum to sab ko dewaana bana denge.
Na jaane kitne dil ban jaayenge ek dil ke tukde se,
Woh todein aaiiina hum aaiiina khaana bana denge.
The programme ended with thunderous applause for the poet as well as the organizers.
–By Dr. Md. Zahidul Haque, Assistant Professor, Department of Urdu