Urdu Academy pays tribute to Akhtar ul Imaan
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The Urdu Academy of North held a literary event on July 19, 2020 via Zom. The event was dedicated to the life and work of a prominent Urdu poet and movie script writer, Akhtarul Imaan who was born in 1915 in Qila Patthargarh, Najibabad, in what is today Uttar Pradesh.
Ayesha Anjum Ansari was MC of the event. She presented a well researched Maqala on Akhtar ul Imaan.
As usual a number of Urdu enthusiasts recited poems of Akhtar ul Imaan: Mukesh Kackar, Abdus Sattar Ghazali, Tasadduq Hussain Attari, Hatem Rani, Mehboob Alam, Sarwat Iqbal, Zeba Rizvi, Tashie Zaheer.
Nisar Sheikh shared his encounters/experiences with Akhtar ul Imaan in Bombay.
Dr. Sulaikha Chaudhry and Surbhi Kohl amused the audience with their melodious voices.
Akhtarul Imaan was educated at Delhi College and Aligarh Muslim University, where he came in contact with Progressive writers. After graduation, he worked in various capacities, including as a staff artist for All India Radio.
In 1944 he joined Shalimar Pictures of Poona/Pune and was associated with the film industry for the rest of his life.
Akhtarul Imaan started writing poetry in 1933 and published eight collections, the most important being Girdāb (Whirlpool; 1940), Tārīk sayyārā (Dark Planet; 1946), Sab rang (All Colors; 1947), Āb-jo (Rivulet; 1955), and Yāden (Recollections; 1961), the last receiving the 1963 Sahitya Akademi Urdu Award.
Confining his poetry in the main to the naz̤m, he considered himself a major bridge between the Progressives and the Modernists in Urdu poetry. Among his best-known poems are “Āzādī ke bād” (After Freedom), “Ek savāl” (A Question)* and “Ek laṛkā (A Boy).
Though he was a member of the Progressive Writers' Association, his verse resists any ideological regimentation and is individualistic in its portrayal of character and its original treatment of human experience, using colloquial language.
Akhtar ul Iman had a major influence on modern Urdu nazm. He preferred nazm over more popular ghazal as a mean of poetic expression. He left behind a substantial legacy for new generation of poets to follow which explores new trends and themes in modern Urdu poetry giving a new direction to the modern and contemporary Urdu nazm with emphasis on philosophical humanism.
He was a close friend and supporter of the controversial modernist poet Miraji (Muhammad Sanaullah Dar; 1912-1940), who, physically and mentally ill, lived with Akhtarul Imaan and his wife, Sultana, during his last months before being confined to a mental hospital in Bombay/ Mumbai, where he died.
Akhtarul Imaan is considered one of the pillars of modern Urdu Nazms & Dialogue writer. Wrote dialogues for more than hundred films including "Waqt" & "Qanoon". (Jin ke ghar sheeshe ke hote hain wo doosron par pather nahin phenkte-One of his dialogues made famous by Rajkumar in Film Waqt).
In short, Akhtar ul Iman had a major influence on modern Urdu nazm. He preferred nazm over more popular ghazal as a mean of poetic expression. He left behind a substantial legacy for new generation of poets to follow which explores new trends and themes in modern Urdu poetry giving a new direction to the modern and contemporary Urdu nazm with emphasis on philosophical humanism.