Urdu Academy of North America pays tribute to Nazeer Akbarabadi
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The Urdu Academy of North America held its monthly literary session on September 19, 2021. The event was dedicated to the life and work of Nazeer Akbarbadi. Zeba Rizvi presented a well researched maqala about Nazeer Akbarabadi.
Senior member of the Urdu Academy Arshad Rashid welcomed the audience on behalf of the Academy.
As usual Urdu lovers recited the poetry of Nazeer Akbarabadi: Haider Rizvi, Tasadduq Hussein Attari, Hatem Rani, Manorma, Mukesh Kacker, Arshad Rashid, Abdus Sattar Ghazali, Anjum Zishan, Qazi Habib and Dr. Anshuman Chandra.
At the end Tashie Zaheer, president of the Urdu Academy of North America spoke in detail about Nazeer Akbarabadi.
Nazeer Akbarabadi (born Wali Muhammad; 1735–1830) was an 18th-century Indian poet known as "Father of Nazm", who wrote Urdu ghazals and nazms under nom de plume (takhallus) "Nazeer", most remembered for his poems like Banjaranama (Chronicle of the Nomad), a satire.
His father was Muhammad Farooq and his mother was the daughter of Nawab Sultan Khan who was the governor of Agra Fort. Agra, the Indian city, was known as Akbarabad after Mughal emperor Akbar at that time. He used simple, everyday language in his poems.
Nazeer's date of birth is not certain but most of his biographers believe that he was born in Delhi.
It is said that Nazeer's poetic treasure consisted of about 200,000 verses but unfortunately a bigger portion of it is destroyed and only 6000 verses are available in printed form. No other Urdu poet used as many words as Nazeer did.
Nazeer's poetry conveyed the plight of the common people in their own everyday language and was very popular among the masses. It was due to this lack of the "elite" element perhaps that Nazir's genius was not recognised until much later.
But in spite of this neglect, some of his poetic treasure is still available and some of his poems, such as "Banjaranama" (chronicle of a nomad/gypsy), "Kaljug nahin karjug hai yeh", "Aadmi Naama" (chronicle of man), etc., became immortal. Such poems find their place in school text books and discerning fans of Urdu poetry will not fail to recognise the greatness of Nazeer's verse.
He left for us about 600 ghazals, although his nazms are said to be more worthy of admiration.
Nazeer Akbarabadi's contemporaries were Mirza Muhammad Rafi Sauda, Mir Taqi Mir, Sheikh Qalandar Bakhsh Jur'at, Insha Allah Khan Insha, and Ghulam Hamdani Mushafi. He was young during the age of Sauda and Mir and might be a middle aged man during the age of Jur'at, Insha and Mushafi.
Nazeer died in 1830 AD, at 95. [Wikipedia]