The novel, by and large, is the product of the industrial society. In Europ, realistic fiction came into being after the industrial revolution. In India, there was no trace of industrial development in the 19th century. But the new social and economic, judicial and educatiojal set up which was replacing the old system certainly had in it certain democratic values of the west. As a result of this state of affairs, the novel became a popular literary form in Urud. (Qamar Rais, 1984:710)
Nazir Ahmad (1836-1912) wrote the first novel in Urdu. His basic concerns, as he was deeply influence by Sir Syed, revolved around reform of society, particularly the Muslim society, through proper upbringing and education of young, children and women. He wrote Mirat-ul-urūs (1869) Banāt-un-Na‘sh (1873). He believed that women could achieve a state of happy married life through fidelity, love, devotion and efficient-performance of household duties. Taubat-un-Nusūh (1877) advocates strict observance of discipline. Fasana-e-Mubtala (1885) Ibn-ulwaqt (1888) are some of his other literary works.
Abdul Haleem Sharar (1860-1926) was a prolific writer. He left behind, in all, 102 books. He often wrote about the Islamic past and extolled virtues like courage, bravery, magnanimity and religious fervour. Malikul Azia Vārjina, Firdaus-e-Bareen (1899), Fateh Maftūh (1916), Aina-e- Haram, Husn kā Daku and Zawāl-e- Baghdad are some of his famous novels.
Rashidul Khairi is the author of Subh-a- Zindagi, Shām-e-Zindagi, Mah-e-Ajam and Naubat-e-Panj Roza.
Ratan Nāth Sarshār (184501902) the author of Fasānā-e-Azad (1880), Kāmini Kundar (1894), Jām-e-Sarshār (1887), Sair-e-Kohsar (1890) Khudā Faujdar (1903), Bichhri Dulhan and Pee Kahān. Fasānā-e-Azād recreates the Awadh of his time with wit, humour and a myriad manifestation of life. In a climate of cultural decay he created memorable characters like āzād and Khojī. Sajjad Husain is free of religious and political prejudices. He has the capacity to create a humorous character like Haji Baghlol.
Mirza Mohammed Hādi Ruswā (1858-1931) is an important novelist of the period. He is the author of great masterpiece Umrāo Jān Adā (1899), Sharīf Zāda and Zāt-e-Sharīf. In Umrāo Jān Adā he renders into flesh and blood the decadent Lucknow involved persona.
Aghā Shāir evolved a novel with psychological ramifications.
Mirza Mohammed Saeed brought out in Khwāb-e Hasti and Yāsmin the conflict between the individual and the social order and in the process discovered some bright aspects of the western civilization.
Niaz Fatehpuri is a romantic novelist given to hyperbole.
The beginnings of industrialization in India are some of the factors that shaped a new sensibility and a climate for a speedier progress towards realism.
Premchand (1880-1936) emerged on the literary scene around the beginning of the twentieth century, perhaps, with his first published story Ishq-e Duniyā-wa-Hubbe Watan. He is a stalwart among the Urdu novelist of the twentieth century. His first Novel Isare-Muābid was written between (1903-05). Its theme is religious and social reform. Hum Khurmah-o-Hun Sswab also carried a similar rheme. Pratap Chander (1922-42) of Jalwa-e-Eesār is the image of Vivekanand. Bazar-e Husn (1916) was about the life of a prostitute. Gosha-e-āfiat (1920) deals with the problems of farmers and Dalits. Perhaps, for the first time in Urdu that the problems of Dalit was dealt with through genre of novel. Chaugha-e-Hasti is almost of epic dimensions in terms of narration and thematic range. Parda-e Majaz (1935) focuses on human beings. Bewa is virtually a rehash of Hum Khurmah-o- Hum Sawab. Premchand captures the spirit of the times without going into the detail of political struggle in Gaban. Maidān-e-Amal (1934) derived its inspiration from the boycott of Simon Commission and how popular political struggle deeply affected the lives of people. Godan (1936) is infact the magnum opus of Premchand.
Critics observed that the period from 1926 to 1936 was a lean period in the context of Urdu novel. Premchand died in 1936. His death saw the passing away of a stalwart. Though writers like Sudershan, Mehdi Taskeen, Majnoon Gorakhpuri, Niyaz Fatehpuri, L.M. Ahmad, K.P. Kaul, Q.A. Ghaffar and some others were very much there on the literary scene, it is only Qazi Abdul Ghaffar who stands out significantly amongst all of them. He is a romantic and stylist. His novels Laila ke khutūt (1932) and Majnū ki Dairy do not conform to the usual recognised structure of the novel. They neither have a regular plot nor conventional characterisation. As compared to other novelists of the period to which a reference has been made, Azim Baig Chughtai, through wit and humour, had a disregard for reflecting religious compulsions. According to Balraj Komal, “After the Russian Revolution of 1917, sympathy for Marxist and socialist ideas rapidly grew among writers of the world. Urdu was no exception. The publication of Angārey, formation of the Progressive Writers’ Association and subsequent issuing of manifesto by it created a climate congenial for the growth of radical ideas”. (2002: 161) Krishan Chander (1914-1977) was quite prolific. His forty novels included Shikast, Jab Khet Jāge, Asman Roshan Hai, Ek Gadhe ki Sarguzasht, etc., which highlighted problems of the poor, exploited down trodden. He handled a variety of subjects and themes over the years in his highly engaging romantic vein and attractively readable style.
Ismat Chughtai (1915-1991), the author of Ziddi, Terhi Lakeer, Masooma, Saudai and Ek Qatra-e Khūn, was bold and forthright and also had an inimitable style. She portrayed in her fiction the childhood, adolescence, youth and declining years of women of middle class families with a rare alchemy of wit, humor and conversational brilliance.
A part of post-Independence Urdu fiction consists of novels that revolved around the unfortunate events, large-scale riots and migration of people during partition. They rendered into expression the crisis of the composite culture that had assumed the proportion of an established way of life over the centuries.
Sajjad Zahir in his novelette London ki Ek Rāt (1938) combines both ideas and experiments with stream of consciousness.
Krishan Chander, Aziz Ahmad, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Sajjad Zahir, Ismat Chughtai, Hayatullah Ansari, Rajender Singh Bedi, Mumtaz Mufti, Balwant Singh and Ahmad Nadim Qasmi were some major novelists, who appeared on the literary scene in the pre-Independence years but continued to be actively engaged in literary activity in various fields even after independence. Aziz Ahmad (1894-1981) is one of the major novelists. His first novel Hawā published in 1932. Marmar aur Khoon, Gurez, Aisi Bulandī Aisī Pastī, Shabnam and Aag are his other important novels. Hayatullah Ansari in his long novel Lohoo ke Phool and K. A. Abbas in his novel Inqalāb created a saga of the Indian people and their struggle for Independence of India. The tendency of rediscovering the past and the missing links between the present and the past is also traceable in the works of Qurrat-ul-Ain Haider, Intizar Husain, Abdullah Husain, Shaukat Siddiqi, Khadija Mastoor and Jogender Paul.
Qurrat-ul-Ain Haider (1928) has produced many significant works. Her contribution to fiction in the history of Urdu literature is unparalleled. Her best achievements are āg ka Darya (1962), Chāndni Begum, Gardish-e-Range Chaman, ākhiri Shab ke Hum Safar (1979) and some novelettes, Sita Haran, Chāe ke Bāgh, Agle janam Mohe Bitia Na Kijo, Patjher kī Awaz, etc. But Qurrat-ul Ain Haidar's āg kā Darya is a masterpiece of the world fiction. It is unique novel as regards its technique, subject matter and treatment. It covers the history of 2500 years of the growth of Indian culture. Its main characters die and are reborn in every stage of the resurgence of Indian culture. Qurrat-ul Ain Haidar presents the events of civilisation and episodes of cultural and historical development by the technique of the stream of consciousness and the flow of time, with deep creative artistry.
Intezar Husain is one of the most important novelist of modern age. His famous novels are Tazkira and Aage Samandar Hai. "Intezar Husain, too, like Aini aapa, weaves melaphor, dāstān, kathā, symbol, allegory, mythology, fable, legend and parable into the fabric of his fiction, but he looks at time, history and the annihilation of values in a different way. He, it seems, resurrects the past and tries to understand the present in the perspective of the past". (Balraj Komal, 164, Indian Literature, p.208).
The trend of rediscovering of the past is evident in some other novels of Urdu also. Several other novelists have rendered these aspects of human agony in their novels, for instance, Rajender Singh Bedi’s novelette Ek Chādar Maili Si, Mumtaz Mufti’s Ali Pur Kā Aeli and Alkh Nagri, Mustansar Husain Tarad’s Bahāo and Rākhi, Gain Singh Shatir’s Gain Singh Shatir, Rewti Saran Sharma’s Safar-e be Manzil, etc.
All major contemporary Urdu novelists have either been influenced by history or drawn inspiration from history to understand our time, but Qazi Abdusattar is the only contemporary fiction writer who has chosen the historical novel as his preferred area of creative fiction. Ghalib, Dāra Shikoh, Salahu Din Ayyubi, Khalid bin Waleed are his well-known historical novels. Qazi’s Shab Gazeeda also focuses on the cultural heritage of northern India. He tries to understand the human situation, both past and present, in the simultaneity of historical landscape.
Jilani Bano’s Aiwan-e Ghazal's deserves special mention, for it she presents domestic life of the decadent feudal class in the last days of the Nizam's rule. She created two female characters named Chand and Ghazel, and rendered them immortal in Urdu fiction. Sajida Zaidi has also created a powerful and beautiful woman in Mauj-e Hawā-Painchan. The leading women character of this novel is asserting her feminine identity and claiming to be an independent entity in her own right.
According to Balraj Komal, “Contemporary Urdu novelists often realistically render into their fiction the decline and decay of all established institution". (208. Indian Literature, p.207) Dacades covering 80 and 90’s -mark emergence of novels dealing with issues that are sensitive to minorities and exploited people. Abdus Samad’s Do Gaz Zamīn and Khābon kā Saverā, Ilyas Ahmad Gaddi’s Fire Area, Ghazanfar’s Kahani Uncle and Divya Bani are important novels in this context.
It is not possible to discuss all the important novelists. Husainul Haq, Paigham āfaqi, Syed Mohammad Ashraf, Ilias Ahmad Gaddi, Iqbal Majeed, Ali Imam Naqvi and others are some important names who produced quality writings in Urdu fiction.
Although Firoz’s Tausif Nāmā (1465) is said to be the first biography in Urdu (Deccani), in the strict sense of the term Urdu biography began with Altaf Husain Hālī. In the 17th century, a certain prudishness and gentility pervaded biographical works in Urdu (Deccani). Ishaque Momin Mysori's Isrār-e-Ishq (1681) Mulla Wajhi's Qutub Mushtari (1609) and Nusrati’s Ali Nāmā (1655) are about the lives of rulers. These Masnavies are not didactic, but the truth is glossed over to meet the needs of respectability, and are more poetic than candid. The genres Masnavi and Marsia have some biographical elements in them. The commemorative and didactic strain came to a close with the tazkiras, a sort of biographical criticism, in the 18th century. Tazkira provides a short account of poet's life and his works. Hanse Meer’s Nikatus Shoara (1851), Hamid Aurangabadi's Gulshan-e Guftār (1752), Fateh Ali Gurezi's Tazkira-e- Rekhtā Goyān (1753), Enayatullah’s Reyaz-e Hasni (1754), Lachmi Narayan Shafique’s Chamanistan-e-Shoara, Mīr Hasan's Tazkira-e-Shoarā-e Urdu, Mustafa Khan Shaifta's Gulshan-e-Bekhār (1834), Nasir's Khush Mārka-e-Zaiba (1845) and Karimuddin's Tabqāt-e- Shoara-e-Hind (1848) are fine exaples of this genre. The development of Tazkirā writing reached its zenith in Mohammad Hussain Azad's āb-e-Hayāt. It is not a biography of a particular, individual Rather written as a fragment of literary history, it is claimed to be a biography—the biography of an age.
The Tazkira period is followed by the age of the Urdu Chronicle. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's Asārussanādīd (1857) is, in essence, chapter- length biographies of Delhi luminaries. The spirit continues through Shibli Numāni who is generally considered as one of the best biographers in Urdu. He handles the problems carefully, and successfully blends history with biography. Al-Māmūn (1889), Sīratun-Numān (1889), Al-Fārūq (1898), Al-Ghazali (1902) Sawāneh Maulānā Rūm (1902) and Sīrat-un-Nabi (1901) are his acclaimed biographical creations. Although his last work, Sīrat-un-Nabī is in six volumes, Shibli could complete only two volumes. The remaining four volumes were completed by his disciple, Sulaimān Nadvī.
Maulana Hālī was perhaps, the first Urdu writer to write biography with intent rather than by accident. Hālī wrote four full- length biographies, Sawāneh Hākim Nāsīr Khusru (1882) Hayāt-e-Sādi (1884) Yādgār-e-Ghālib (1896) and Hayāt-e-Jāwaid (1901).
Another biographer of Urdu literature, a genius of the Shibli school of thought, is Syed Sulaiman Nadvi. His notable works are Hayāt-e-Shibli, Rahmate-e- ālam, Hayāt-e Imām Mālik and Sīrat-e- āeshā. These are religious works and demonstrate a strong sense of morality. The other examples of biographies, after Shible-Hali period, are Hussain Allahabadi's Hayāt-e-Sādi, Hayāt-e-Zauque and Hayāt-e Sultān Sahabuddin, and Mirza Hairat Dehlavi's Hayāt-e-Taiyabā, Hayāt-e-Firdosi and Sīrat-e-Mahammadiā. There were also some highly individualistic books of a biographical nature, namely Molvi Iftekhar Alam's Heyātun Nazīr, Habibur Rahman's Sīrat-e-Siddiq, Masud Hasan Rizvi Adeeb's Wajid Ali Shāh, Razzaq Malihabadi's Zikre Azad and Saleha Abid Husain's Yādgār-e- Hālī.
Most Urdu autobiographies are records of self-indulgence and forbearance. The legend poet Mīr Taqui Mīr's Persian autobiography, Zikr-e-Mīr, was the model for the writing of autobiography in Urdu. The first Urdu autobiography of any note is Syed Raza Ali's āmāl Nāmā. Hakim Ahmad Sujas’ Khūn Bahā (Bloodshed) is a brief and interesting autobiography.
A widely read and discussed autobiography is Josh Malihabadi's Yādon Ki Barāt. Though incomplete, Gholamus Syedain's Mujhe Kahnā Hai Kuch Apni Zabān Main (I want to say something in my own tongue) has added a new dimension to Urdu autobiography.
Another autobiography with a difference is Mushtaque Ahmad Yusufi's Zar Guzasht and āb-e-Gum. Yusufi is a monarch of wit and his indulgence in buoyant descriptions of his life makes the book the most readable autobiographies in Urdu. Notable too is Abdul Majid Daryabadi's āp Bītī. Several other autobiographies have been published in the special issues of the Naqūsh (Lahore) and 'Nigār' (Karachi). Akhtarul Iman's Es ābād Kharabe main, Ale Ahmad Saroor's Khwab Bāqee Hain, Masud Husain Khan’s Warūd-e-Masūd, S.M. Mohsin’s Lamhon Ka Kārwan etc. are some few important entries in this genre.
Letter writing be it private letter, letter of affairs, open or general letter addressed to newspapers for publication, etc is very common genre of Urdu literature. It’s use has been felt by the biographers. In fact, Ghalib's letters have proved perpetual source for his biographers. For instance, Nizami Badayuni's Nikat-e-Ghālib, Gholam Rasool Mehr's Ghalib have been written by using his letters as the source. After the fame of the writing style of Ghalib, various famous writers wrote many literary letters in Urdu like Sir Syed, Shibli, Hālī, āzād, Nazīr Ahmad, Akbar, Sharar, Rayāz Khairābādi, Iqbal, Abulkalam āzād, Abdurahman Bijnori, Mehdi āfadi, Hasan Nizami, Niyaz Fatehpuri, Zakir Hussain, Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui, Ale Ahmad Suroor, etc. A remarkable biography derived from a personal diary is Abdul Majid Daryabadi's Mohammad Ali. Majid Daryabadi was in touch with Mohammad Ali Jauhar from 1912 to 1930. He recollected major events and minor details and focussed attention on the life, freedom struggle and times of Mohammad Ali.
Besides letters and diaries of individuals, there were several sketches and Pen-portraits written in Urdu literature. There is an increasing interest in the analysis of a character. The origin of sketches and Pen-portraits may be attributed to Darya-e-Latafat (River of Pleasure) by Insha Allah Khan Insha. He introduced a few living characters. But the full length Pen-portraits developed with Azad's ābe Hayāt' and Farhatullah Beg’s Nazir Ahmad ki Kahāni, Kuch Unke Kuch Meri Zubāni. They were the first major writers of pen-portraits. Beg was followed by a galaxy of renowned writers whose prime concern was to study a character in depth. Such writes are Khwaja Hasan Nizami, Abdul Haq, Mohammad Ali Jouhar, Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui, etc. Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui in his Gang-e- Giramāyā has written sketches of some of his colleagues at Aligarh Muslim University. Yāde-Raftagān, his second volume, has wider range and sketches of Abul Kalam Azad, A.S. Bokhāri (Petras), Jigar Sulaiman Nadvi, and a few others.
After independence, several other writers have contributed to the development of sketch writing for example, Malik Ram's Chand ham Asr, Abdul Majid Salik's Yāra-ne kohan, Ejaz Hussain's Mulke- Adab ke Sahzade, Shokat Thanwi's Shīsh Mahal, Saadat Hassan Manto's Ganje Frishte, Shahid Ahmad's Ganjina-e-Gauhar, Tufail Ahmad's Saheb and Janāb, Noorul Hasan Naqvi's Yaden Ujālon ke (Memories of lights), S.M. Hasnain’s Namūd-e-Hasti, Navā-e-dīd, etc.
Travel literature in Urdu was introduced by Yousuf Kambal Posh in 1838, but the real literature of travel is growing rapidly. The leading figures of modern travels are Ehtesham Husain, Akhtar Riāz-ud-Dīn, Col. Muhammad Khan and Ibne Insha. Ehtesham Husain's Sāhil aur Samundar, Akhtar Riyaz-ud-Din's Sāt Samundar pār and Dhanak par Qadam, and Col. Muhammad Khan's Ba Jang āmad made a hit for their style. Sāhil and Samundar gives a vivid picture of U.S.A and U.K. Sāt Samundar Pār captures social and cultural life of Tokyo, Moscow, Leningrad, and the latter takes us to an enchanting journey of Hawaii, London, Mexico, San Francisco, New York and Hong Kong. Ba Jang āmad gives an account of Col. Khans’ early training as lieutenant and of what he saw and went through in the near East during Second World War.
Literature is created by individuals and not by movements. Yet, movements generally provided the necessary impetus and suitable conditions for the overall development of literature. The term ‘Literary Movement’ is usually applied to those common patterns of literary creations which come into existence owing to common socio-cultural motivations or shared ideals. The emergence of purely literary movement is a phenomenon characteristic of the modern age. But in Urdu, the literary communion was founded in the middle of the 18th century when a new style of writing emerged and was given recognition as Ihām – goi (‘the art of using words with a double meaning in such a way that not the plain but the secondary meaning is intended’). Even before the Ihām – goi style of writing came into existence, the Islamic Sufism and Hindu bhakti had already made their discernible impact on the development of literary traditions. However, the primary concern of the sufi and saints was trans-literary and trans-linguistic. They did not pay much attention to the issues pertaining to language.
Mystic thought provided cultural and ideological synthesis of Hinduism, Budhism, Sikhism and Islamic concepts. The mystic impact on Urdu has been divided in to three parts:
(a) Mystics used Urdu language as a medium of communication for their ideology to reach the masses. The Sufis and Bhakts composed prose and poetry and used folk forms set in popular parlance and conventional imagery.
(b) Mystic ideas and thoughts pervaded the literary, especially poetic parlance. The Ghazal accepted mystic thought, imagery and symbols as its mainstay. Wine (saqi) rose, nightingale (Bulbul) all were used in a metaphorical and allegorical sense.
(c) The mystic ideals of catholicity, antiritualism, humanism and rejection of worldly glory and material comfort were so deep seated as to become an integral part of Urdu literature.
The Diwān of Wali Daccani’s arrival in Delhi, is usually considered to be the beginning of Urdu poetry, although verses in Hindavi are scattered in many earlier works written in the northern India. Hence Amīr Khusro was not the only Indo-Muslim poet who wrote poems alternating Persian and Hindavi lines. Such poetry was called rekhta (the mixed or broken). But the literary term rekhta is applied to music which contained meaningful text in Persian and Urdu, and was later extended to designate Urdu poetry in general. Infact during the entire 18th century, Urdu poetry was always called rekhatā, an art of composing poetry adysting the style of Persian and imposing it on the language of the high camp (Urdu-ē-Muallā) of Delhi. The movement towards Urdu writing in Delhi was inspired by Wali’s Diwan and directed into orderly ways by Sirajuddin Ali Khan ārzū, a scholar of Persian, ārzū was mainly a scholar, interested in the purity of the language. Among ārzū’s pupils, one who usually stands out, is Shah Mobārak Najmuddin ābrū, one of his relatives, who belonged to the real pioneers of Urdu poetry in Delhi. Besides writing Ghazals, he has also been an author of Arayish-e-Māshūq, romance masnavi and has been rightfully called the leader of the Ihamists (Sadiq, 1984: 99). Besides ābrū, the sources mention the name of Shaikh Sharfuddin Mazmūn. To the same group belongs Mustafa Quli Khan Yakrang, who showed his poems to Mazhar Jānān, but is also known as a pupil of ārzū, ābrū, Figān and Mīr Shouk. Mīr Mohammed Shākir Nāzī, brother of the Qāim, was noted for some facetious verses and mukhammas about Nadir Shah’s ransacking of Delhi. The most renound figure in this period is probably Zahūruddin Hātim. He begain his poetry under the influence of Wali Daccani. But his early poetry has the general characteristics of the Ihamist school. He then fell under the influence of the reformers, and late at the age of his life, he made a selection from his larger diwān, called Diwanzada. It is considered to be a path maker, informing a poetical trend in Urdu literature. According to Schimmel.
“Hātim words against the vernacularized forms of the long words were reverted some decades later by Inša who did not hesitate to regard as correct the forms of imported words in the pronunciation of native speaker of Urdu. (Schimmel, 1975: 166-67)
After ihamist the new era of Delhi school started from the mid eighteen century when most of the Indian languages were passing through a comparatively lean period, occasionally illuminated by the presence of a few remarkable poets. But Urdu already had a glorious period. Among the four pillars of the classical Urdu poetry of Delhi school were Mazhar, Sauda, Dard and Mīr.
Mazhar Jāne Jānā (1700-1780) was much more dynamic as a religious figure than as a poet. In fact, he was one of the outstanding mystics of 18th century of Delhi. He represented one of the aspects of Naqshbandi teaching (silsilā). As a literary-figure, he introduced a considerable amount of Persian into his Urdu poetry. In fact, Mus-hafi refers to him as the ‘first sculptor of rekhta (Mus-hafi, nd. p.120)
Besides Mazhar, whose role in the development of Urdu poetry was more or less ephemeral, the most interesting figure was Khwaja Mīr Dard (1721-1785), the first real mytic poet of Urdu. Dard’s Urdu poems, altogether not even a thousand lines, are extremely simple. The vocabulary of the great masters of Sufism is introduced with such ease that one almost forgets its lofty implications.
Mirza Rafiud Din Saudā (1713 – 1781) was simply brilliant. He studied poetry for a while with ārzū and Hātim. Sauda was a man of exuberant spirit. His style is praised by most critics as unsurpassable. Sauda’s reputation as a powerful author of highflown qasidas, is an established fact.
Mīr Taqi Mīr (1724 – 1810) was admired as the Grand master of poetry. The main characteristics of his poetry is that every reader will find verses which express his own feeling. Bored of rhetorical artificiality, Mir’s verses are the voice of the grief-stricken human heart, neither burdened with philosophy nor theology. Annemarie Schimmel comparison of Mīr and Saudā’s poetical approach is worth mentioning here.
It is certainly easier to translate Sauda’s satires than Mīr’s Ghazals; for Saudā is, despite his brilliant, even shocking and fantastic exaggeration, more down to earth and has massage to convey. Mīr is all soul, an introvert in the best tradition of Ghazal poetry, whose verses live from sheer sound and reflect a forlorn persons’ soul in hundreds of small poetical mirrors ‘Strong river and vast ocean’, a mine of diamonds and a mine of colourful gems. (Schimmel, 1975 : 183 –184)
The Delhi school of Urdu poetry flourished at a time, marked by the disintegration of the Muslim aristocracy. Since the time of Shah ālam, deposed and blinded in 1754 by his minister, many poets started leaving Delhi and moved to Faizabad, then the capital of Oudh state, which was later shifted to Lucknow. According to R. B. Saksena:
Mīr, Sauda, Hasan, Inshā, Mus-haffi and others went to seek their fortune at the opulent court of Lucknow. The Nawabs were rich and generous and imitated the kings of Delhi by not only writing poetry but posing as patrons of poets. The impoverishment of Delhi was the gain of Lucknow, poets from Delhi were welcomed with open arms. Jāgīrs, titles, honour, wealth, pensions and rewards were showered in profusion”. (Saksena, 1990 : 99)
Lucknow was developing as a new cultural centre after the establishment of the capital of Awadh.
The Nawābs of Awadh were enamoured to Art and poetry. āsafuddaula himself composed poetry and had many books and manuscripts on his personal collection. His successor, Sādat Ali Khan had to cede half of his kingdom to the British to enjoy their protection. He was created king by the British as Ghaziuddin Ali Haidar. Ghaziuddin had set up the first letter-press in Lucknow, which printed some beautiful books in Arabic and Persian. The last ruler of Audh, Wajid Ali Shah Akhtar, represented the most sensual and pleasure oriented aspects of Lucknow life.
The poets of Lucknow wrote high-flown panegyrics and indulged in detailed descriptions of female attire, of jewellery and physical beauty; the genre of sarāpā ‘from head to feet’ was used to describe the charms of a woman in more or less decent words. Matter- of fact love stories, adventures with the beauties of the bazār, elegant but uncommitted plays with the human heart, expressed in increasingly formalist style, replaced the more melancholy mood of previous Urdu poetry. There was no place for mystical love or the dreams about an inaccessible beloved, or the tragic aspect of life, which had inspired the former poets to tender verse. According to critics, while Delhi school was more natural and fluent, the Lucknow school was rhetorical and artificial. But Ram Babū Saksena highlighted another aspect on dimension of the poetical attitude of Delhi and Lucknow schools. According to him, …characteristic of Delhi school to picture emotion in simple and fluent verses. Imagery and words were subordinated to feeling and thought… the poetry of Lucknow reflects the civilization and life of the era of which it sprang. The Ghazals of the age of Nāsikh and his pupils mirror the effeminacy of the times. (Saksena, 1991 : 100-101)
The major poets of the Lucknow school were Shaikh Ghulam Hamadāni Mus-hafi (1750 – 1824) who migrated from Delhi to Lucknow, Isha Allah Khan (1756 – 1817) who came from Murshidabad; Shaikh Qalandar Bakhsh Jurāt (d.1838), Kawaja Haidar Ali ātish (d.1846), Mīr Babbar Ali Anīs (1802 – 74) and Mirza Salamat Ali Dabīr (1803 – 75). Among these poets Mushafi’s fame in Urdu literary history rests not so much on the elegant diction of his poems or the achievements of his disciples as on a literary feud between him and Inshā. He was a very prolific writer both in Persian and Urdu. He had composed four Persian diwans but two diwans were stolen from him (one in the style of Jalāl Asīr, and another in the style of Nāsir Ali). He also wrote a tazkira of Persian poets and a part of the Shāhnāmā. Most famous of Mus-hafi are his voluminous Urdu diwāns and his Tazkira- e- Hindi. He also wrote two tazkiras of Urdu poets in Persian (Aqad-e-Suraiya and Riyazufosahā). He is also regarded as a great teacher of some famous Urdu poets (Ustādul Asātazā) such as ātish, Zamīr, Khatīq, Aseer and Shahidi.
The other most powerful writer of this age is Insha Allha Khan Insha, a man of dynamic and versatile personality. He is a writer of Daryā-e- Latāfat, the first grammar of Urdu by an Indian. “He carried experiment in the language to inordinate lengths. Had he exercised restraint and discretion he would have been acclaimed as a master of the Urdu language”. (Saksena, 1991: 84) As a poet the most noticeable feature of his verse is its virtuosity. His diwān is full of Ghazals written in the most intractable rhymes. “He writes a series of Ghazals in the same qāfiya with a change of the radīf”. (Sadiq, 1984: 175) He was a prolific writer and has left voluminous works behind him. Insha’s major works are:
(A) A dīwān of Urdu Ghazals (B) Collection of rekhti Ghazals, and ruchti riddles, mustazād, etc. (C) Qasīdā in Urdu (D) Qasīdā in Persian (E) Diwān of Persian Ghazals (F) Persian masnavi entitled Shir Biranj (G) A Persian masnavi in which only those letters are used which have no dots (Ghair Manqūtā) (H) Shikārnāmā in Persian (A book on hunting) describing the hunting expedition of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan (I) Shikāyat-e-Zamānā and other masnavies like Murgh-nāmā (J) Mait-ul-āmil –An adaptation of an Arabic masnavi into Persian. (K) Satires on heat, hornets, bugs, flies and vermin; lampoons on Mus-hafi and other contemporaries (L) Kahani Theth Hindi men (A story in pure Hindi idioms)
Sheikh Qalandar Bukhsh Jurāt, (ed. 1810), whose proper name was Yahya Khan, was a disciple of Jaafar Ali Khan Hasrat, a famous Persian and rekhtā poet of Delhi. Jurāt has left a diwān of Ghazals in Urdu and two masnavies, one of them satirises the monsoon and other is entitled Husn-o-Ishq. According to Saksena, “He was eminently a poet of assemblies flowing with wine and lit up with the beauty and laughter of dancing girls… He adopted the style of Mīr but never sounded the depth of his emotions”. (1990 : 89)
Saadat Yār Khan Rangīn (1756 – 1835), a stylist without much poetic feeling, wrote several masnavis and works of prose. But what made him popular to his patrons were his Rekhti. This artificial word, a feminine of rekhta, means the dialect spoken by women in the female quarters (Zanān Khāna) and also by female of doubtful reputation. Women’s dialect has its peculiar linguistic characteristics, the vocabulary was at its worst, anything but chaste, expressing sexual topics with frankness. Rangin’s follower, Mīr Yār Ali Khan, known as Jān Sāhib, used to dress like women and read his poems with intonation and gestures peculiar to women’s speech.
Shaikh Imām Bakhsh Nāsikh, who was said to have been a pupil of Mus-hafi, was both a language purist and reformer who language and a poet. As language reformer he has played very important role in formulating rules of style and grammar, modelling Urdu on Persian. He made the poetic language rigid and sophisticated, widening its distance from the language of the people.
Nāsikh’s contemporary Khawaja Haider Ali ātish (d. 1846) lived humbly like saint and followed a different and tradition of poetry, free from sensuality and pedantry, and wrote in a language nearer to the speech of the people. The Lucknow literary gathering was divided in its allegiance between Nasikh and ātish. Indeed, Urdu poetry itself was divided into two distinct streams. Two great masnavi writers of the time of ātish were Pandit Dayā Shankar Nasīm (1811-1843), a pupil of ātish, and Mīr Hasan. While Nasīm was known by his Masnavi-e-Gulzar-e Nasīm, Mīr Hasan was famous for his Sihrut Bayān. Though both belonged to same school, they differed in style-one was highly artificial and self-conscious, the other was natural and simple.
Besides producing a considerable amount of elegant, licentious and not exactly pious poetry, Lucknow is also the place where the ‘marsiya’ came into full bloom. In Lucknow there were two group of marsiya poets. One group was represented by the family of Mīr Zahik, Mīr Hasan’s father. Mīr Hasan’s middle son, Khaliq (1774-1804), was an outstanding marsiya writer whose poetical instruction was carried out by Mus-hafi. Khaliq’s son, Mīr Babbar Ali Anīs (1802-1874) was yet another outstanding marsiya writer, who followed his father’s styles. Mirza Salāmat Ali Dabīr (1803-1875) represented another group of marsiya poets. Both the groups had thousands of followers. The lives of these poets represent one important feature of Urdu literature, a constant tension between naturalness and artificiality. In fact, scholars have pointed out that every period of Urdu had pairs of poets – Mīr and Saudā, ātish and Nāsikh, Ghalib and Zauk, Dāgh and Amīr etc. The former more natural and the latter more artificial. Lucknow’s Urdu literature of this period was conspicuous for its obsessions with a fixed set of poetic conventions and also for its sophistication.
The mutiny in 1857 forced the enlightened Muslims in India to reconsider their situation. The old feudal system had almost disintegrated. New set of problems in society, education and professional life confronted the former rulers of the subcontinent. The Indian Muslims were fortunate to find in Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817 – 1898) the qualities of a leader and of statesmanship, who, though attacked by the orthodox, tried to open a way for the Indian Muslims towards participation in a western-oriented society while still maintaining their Islamic identity. The rebellion of 1857 was a turning point in the life of Sir Syed. His literary works before the Mutiny were mainly theological in nature, except his āsārus sanādīd (A Treatise on the Monuments of Delhi) in 1847, and an edition of Aīn-i-Akbari (1857). He was convinced of the importance of modern thoughts of west and its usefulness. His first task was to try to exculpate the Muslims of the chief share in the mutiny and to this effect he wrote Asbāb-e-Baghāvat-e Hind (The Causes of the Indian Mutiny) in 1859. Sadiq writes, “His main contention is that the Munity was not a religious crusade, but was mainly due to the despotic character of the British government, and the spread of missionary activities giving colour to the suspicion that the Government intended to force Christianity on Hindus and Muslims a like”. (1984: 332)
The work and achievements of Sir Syed at a glance.
i. Wrote Loyal Muslims of India (1860)
ii. Founded Translation Society in Ghazipur (1863)
iii. Started Aligarh Institute Gazette (1866) (at first a weekly, and then Bi-Weekly)
iv. Published Tahzib – ul-Akhlāq (weekly, first published on 24 Dec. 1870. Its publication continues even today and it is published every month).
v. Founded Muslim Anglo Oriental College, Aligarh in 1875, which began functioning in 1877 and later developed into a University in 1920 (called Aligarh Muslims University).
vi. Wrote Khutbāt –e Ahmediya (‘Religious Addresses’) in 1876. It discusses the pre-Islamic condition of Arabs, the reforms introduced by the Prophet Mohammed.
Syed Ahmad Khan was, undoubtedly, endowed with literary genius and practical wisdom. It is on account of this practical wisdom that he was able to salvage the sagging morale and glory of the Indian Muslims and ushered them to the sphere of enlightenment and modern education, which, he rightfully considered, to be important and perhaps, inevitable. His literary genius catapulted him to occupy prominent place in Urdu literature where his contributions are immense, which are realized and acknowledged even today. Syed Abdullah wrote about Sir Syed’s greatest contribution to the development of Urdu in the following words: “He applied Urdu to social goals and made it easy and smooth so that it could translate the common social life and explain scientific purposes”. (Syed Abdullah : Sir Syed Aur Unke Nāmwar Rufaqā – 1960, Lahore, p.4) His ideas have made a great impact on a number of Indian youths and young Urdu writers, the prominent being. Altaf Husain Hali (1837 – 1914), Shibli Nomani (1857 – 1914), and Mohammed Husain āzād (1830 – 1910), who gave a new dimension to Urdu literature. Mushtaq Husain Wiqārul-Mulk (1839-1917) Sayyed Mehdi Ali, Mohsin-ul-Mulk (1837-1907) and Maulwi Chirāgh Ali (1844 – 1895) were some other scholars and writers, who followed Sir Syed’s fort steps and contributed to the development of a new literary genre, i. e. the essay.
The most important name in Aligarh movement is that of Altāf Husain Hāli, the founder of modern literary criticism in Urdu, who emphasized that literature has to be instructive and be useful. His ideas inspired a whole group of writers of natural poetry. Sadiq wrote, The new literary and religious self-consciousness found its first adequate expression in the writings of Hāli…To Hālī also goes the credit of having first introduced the art of biography, conducted on critical lines… Hali is the first important writer to introduce western canons of criticism to his countryman. (Sadiq, 1984: 348, 351, 358)
Hālī’s major works are:
1. Hayāt-e Sādī (1886) 2. Yādgār-e- Ghālib (1892) 3. Muqaddama-e Sher – o- Shāiri (1893) (A great mile stone of historical and scientific criticism in Urdu) 4. Diwān-e Hālī (1897) 5. Hayāt-e Jāved (Biography of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan – 1901) 6. Maddozar-e Islam (Ebb and Flood of Islam, usually called the Musaddas - Six lined Stanzas)
Shibli is another most important representative of Aligarh movement and a great scholar of the new scholarly Urdu prose. He is the founder of historical writing in Urdu. He began his literary career with short tracts and poems. He compiled a number of monographs on some of the heroes of Islamic history. Like Hālī, Shibli is also an outstanding figure in Urdu criticism. His masterpiece of literary criticism are Shirul-Ajam and Mowāznā-e Anīs – o- Dabīr.
Shibli’s major works are following:
1. Al-Māmūn (1887), (a biography of Abbasi Khalifa al-Ma’mūn)
2. Al-Fārūq (1899)
3. Al-Ghazāli (1902). (A famous medieval theologian)
4. Sawāneh-e Maulānā Rūm (1903) (biography of mystical poet Maulānā Jalaluddin Rūmī)
5. Ilm-ul-Kalām (1903)
6. Muvāzanā-e Anīs -o- Dabīr (1907) (comparing the two masters of the Urdu marsiya.)
7. She’r-ul-‘Ajam (5 vol, 1908 – 1918) (A History of Persian and Urdu poetics & poetry.)
8. Sīrat-un-Nabi – (A comprehensive and critical life of the Prophet in 5 vol: Vol.V was completed by Syed Sulaimān Nadvi.)
The third truly outstanding contemporary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, though not a member of his circle but highly impressed by Sir Syed thoughts, was Muhammad Husain āzād. According to Sadiq, The most outstanding feature of Azād’s mind is his romantic love of the past. The past was to him what the cave must have been to Alladdin before he discovered that there was no exit to it – a glamorous world, over flowing with beauty, courtesy, refinement, and good fellowship. (Sadiq, 1984: 383)
āzād, as a scholar and a poet, has been praised as the greatest stylist, the ‘Hero of Urdu’ (Shibli). His main contribution to Urdu literature is his āb-e Hayāt (1880), a comprehensive collection of biographies and critical analysis of Urdu poets and poetry. Sadiq evaluates āb-e-Hayāt in the following way:
This book has called forth more praise, and more blame …, has been more read, more criticized, more cited than any other prose work in Urdu. And the reason is plain: it is the first book on Urdu poetry on modern lines, and, therefore, every new find in the lives of the poets, every eddy in critical opinion, had reacted on it and still reacts, in a favourable or unfavourable way. (Sadiq, 1984: 381-2)
Another important contribution of āzād to the development of Urdu prose are the Qisas -e- Hind, which retells Indian stories in a lucid style; ‘Nae Range khayāl’, collection of essays on allegorical subjects, adopted from English, particularly from Johnson and Addison. Besides Sūrat – e āam aur Baqā--e-Davān kā Darbār, next important books of Azad are Sukhāndan-e Farās (2 Vol.) and Qisas-e Hind. The former based on a series of lectures delivered in 1872-4 by Azad, and the latter is a collection of stories from medieval Indian history. It is well known as a children’s classic in Urdu. Darbār-e Akbarī is another book of Azad.
Maulvi Wahid -ud-Din Salim’s contribution in Aligarh movement is well known. He was secretary of Sir Syed and a champion for the cause of bringing simplicity in Urdu. His major work is Vazē-Istelāhāt, a comprehensive guide to word formation.
Maulvi Abdul Haq, called Bābā- e- Urdu, was yet another pioneer who devoted his life for the promotion of Urdu.
Aligarh movement has inspired a number of writers and has contributed immensely towards the development of Urdu literature. Schimmel while talking about Aligarh movement says: The Aligarh movement inspired writers all over the country to work for the reform of education. They were well aware that literature had to serve the progress of the people, a progress which, as they realized, would come only slowly. But their work in literary criticism, poetry and history laid the foundation on which the writers of the early 20th century could develop their ideas concerning progress, freedom, and national consciousness. (1975: 230)
According to Mohammad Hasan: “The main contribution of the Aligarh movement was in the realm of Urdu prose, which achieved credibility and maturity during this period. Firstly, since social awakening was the main objective of the movement, … then, important writings on history, religion, civilization came into vogue”. (Hasan, 1985: 1274)
The early 1930s witnessed the emergence of Marxism as a new trend in Urdu literature. The first Conference of the Progressive Writers Association (Taraqqi Pasand Musanifin) was held in Lucknow in 1936. At a time of heightened political consciousness, the problem of social commitment of literature soon assumed importance. The banning of a short story collection Angarey added fuel to fire and soon a powerful group of writers took up the cause of the peasants, the workers, the helpless and the have nots, the exploited and the oppressed. The movement was largely associated with the efforts of Syed Sajjad Zahir (Banny Bhai), who was influenced by similar trends during his service with the BBC in London. He attempted to bring a new consciousness to the realm of Indian literature. The movement initially began as a broad-based forum of progressive writers and thinkers. It included luminaries like Sardar Jafri, Makhdum Mohiuddin, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Krishan Chander, Ismat Chughtai, Rajendra Singh Bedi, Asrarul Haq, Majaz, Kaifi Azmi, Moin Ahsan Jazbi, Ale Ahmad Suroor, Ehtesham Hussain, Sahir Ludhianvi, Jan Nisar Akhtar, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Nazar Mohammad Rashid, Mira Ji, Manto and others. Very soon the social commitment became the official creed of the movement. According to Mohammed Hasan, …the major contribution of the movement was the broadening of the literary sensibility by giving it an ideal of total social responsibility. The movement linked up literature to the broader context of social development and insisted on the responsibility of literature not only of reflecting society but also of giving it some impact for change. (Hasan, 1985: 1274-75)
(i) Fort William College: Founded in 1800 to commemorate the victory of the East India Company forces over the lion of Mysore, Tippu Sultan, the FWC was instituted in Calcutta to educate new British entrants to the company’s service in Indian languages and traditions. The College was instrumental in getting various books on culture, literature, geography, history and other subjects written in simple colloquial Urdu, the most celebrated and epoch making being Bagh-o-Bahar (the Orchard and the Spring) by Mir Amman.
(ii) Delhi College: It was established in 1824/25 with M. Felix Boutros as its first Principal. It became a great center of intellectual activity and contributed significantly to the modernization of Urdu literature. The medium of instruction even in subjects like mathematics, physics, chemistry and geography was Urdu. It also published several important Journals like Fawāidun Nāzirīn, a fortnightly jourlan edited by Master Ram Chandar and Mohibi Hind. Zakaullah, Nazir Ahmad and Ram Chandar etc. were the significant writers of this College
(iii) Anjuman-e-Punjab Society: Founded in 1865, it advocated the revival of Oriental learning and its diffusion through the medium of the Indian languages. Dr. W.G. Leitner was its patron. The objective of this Society was the advancement of knowledge through Urdu. Under its banner several literary and social issues were discussed. In 1874 it arranged Mushāira (Poetic Symposium) to give a new direction to Urdu poetry and this proved to be a turning point in launching a new genre called nazm (a complete theme-oriented poem) in Urdu.
(iv) Aligarh Scientific Society: It was founded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in 1862 to popularize modern ideas, particularly scientific thinking, among Urdu speaking Indians. It brought out a Journal devoted to such subjects, held seminars and symposia with the view to encouraging scientific thinking on various educational and cultural problems in its early phase. Sir Syed pleaded for science education through Urdu medium, but later the medium of instruction ceased to figure as an issue and liberal education was stressed.
(v) Dārul Musanefīn: It was founded by Shibli Nomani in 1913 at Lucknow. With a view to fostering a synthesis of the best in the oriental and occidental cultures, Shibli started an Oriental College, called Nadwatul Ulemā in 1894 at Lucknow, where medium of instruction was Urdu and English was taught as a compulsory subject. He established another research center in Azamgarh, called Dārul Musanefīn, where scholars could permanently resided and dedicated themselves to writing treatises mainly on history, scholasticism and literature. Distinguished scholars like Abdul Salam Nadvi, Sulaiman Nadvi, Sabahuddin Abdur Rahman and others had been the product of Darul Musanefin. Its monthly Journal Muarif (Knowledge) is still being published.
(vi) Dārul Tarjumah: Osmania University, Hydrabad, had a distinction of being first of its kind where graduate and postgraduate education in all disciplines was taught through Urdu. The Darul Tarjumah (Translation Bureau) was set up to translate and compile textbooks in Urdu in all subjects for graduate and postgraduate classes. Scholars of eminence like Mirza Mohammad Hadi Ruswa, Nazm Taba Tabai, Josh Malihabadi served in this institution and translated valuable treatises dealing with various subjects such as medicine, psychology, law, history, geography, physical and social sciences.
(vii) Anjuman Taraqqi-e Urdu (Hind): Founded in 1903 at Aligarh with Shibli Nomani as its first secretary, the Anjuman was dedicated to the cause of Urdu language and literature under the secretaryship of Bābā-e-Urdu, Dr. Abdul Haq. Anjuman, with its headquarters in Aurangabad (and later shifted to Delhi), launched a massive program of publishing edited text of rare Urdu manuscripts, which threw new light on the early period of Urdu literary history. Hamāri Zabān has been a regular weekly publication Anjuman.
“Though Dalits were reduced to non-persons or even sub-human creatures socially, deep concern about their kind of existence and their aspirations found expression in literature and philosophical speculations.”
(Venkat Swaminathan, Indian Literature,193, Sept-Oct. 1999)
In India, there is a multiplicity of endogamous and mutually exclusive caste and sub-caste groups. Dalits are the most economically oppressed, culturally ostracized and politically marginalized people in modern India. The primary motive of Dalit literature is the liberation of Dalits in particular and the liberation of the oppressed in general. It is fundamentally a cultural activity coming under the broad movements of Dalit political liberation and taking the form of protest. Dalit literature is people’s literature. It is liberation literature like black literature, the feminist literature and the communist-socialist literature. It is an integral parts of the Dalit culture, representing the original, particularly the historical and the struggling, Dalit
The language of the Dalits becomes the most crucial constituent of Dalit literature. Their language gives a violent disturbance to the seemingly natural posture and superficial orderliness of the status quo, and goes against the notion of ‘standard’ language - pure, classical, divine, and ‘cultured’ language – the academic language. The vocabulary and speech are different and there is conscious and deliberate attempt to deviate from the rules of the ‘dominant’ grammar.
In Urdu, the trend of writing Dalit literature has not yet fully begun, and only Jabir Husain and Ghazanfar are said to have been the pioneers of Dalit literature of Urdu fiction. Divyavani sets the wheel in motion of Dalit literature in Urdu. Written by Ghazanfar, it is “a novel of protest where the issue of social ostracism is raised with guts and questioned with authority” (Ashrafi, 2006:12) It is reflective of “the idea of struggle against the excesses committed by the Brahmin society symbolized through a host of characters reflecting the lot of the marginalized”. (2006:12) Divyavani is an attempt towards “dismantling the assiduously built Manuvadi ideology” by documenting despair, “lost hopes of the negligent sections” and unfolding the face by those “sections of the human society, guilty of maltreating its fellow members”. (2006:27)
“A feminist approach is of course, by no means confined to literature but subsumes many areas of knowledge and experience. In its application to literature, a feminist approach has usually meant either, or both, of two things:
(i) A re-examination through creative literature of the role and status of women in society and a new way of portraying women in creative literature which does justice to her identity as an individual;
(ii) A re-interpretation and revaluation of literary text, old and new, from a woman-centered point of view.
For convenience we may call the two types of literary feminism, creative feminism and critical feminism”. (R.K. Gupta, Indian Literature,180, p. 157) .
Before taking up a study of the emergence and growth of feminism in Urdu literature, two preliminary remarks must be made. First, many modern Urdu writers have continued to project and sustain traditional values and extol old roles and models in their presentation of women. Secondly, it must not be imagined that feminism emerged in Urdu literature. Rather, it has grown slowly and steadily, some of its aspects having been anticipated and adumbrated in earlier authors, like Nazir Ahmad and Mirza Mohammad Hadi Ruswa. Both had depicted women who showed rare courage and strength in critical situation and played a pivotal role in their sphere of operation.
The very first novel in Urdu, Mirat-ul Arus (the Brides Mirror), written by Nazir Ahmad, was released in 1869 and sold over 100,000 copies within a few years. G.E. Ward translated it into English in 1903. It vividly portrayed the married life of two sisters – Asghari and Akbari, married to two brothers in Delhi. The social locale pertained to the Delhi of the 1860s. Nazir Ahmad, in the first chapter itself, discussed the position of male and female beings: “Boys and Girls ought to consider how their life will be passed after they are separated from their parents.” To begin with, he assigned the traditional role to women: “It is a happy thing for women that, as a rule, they are preserved from the toil of earning a livelihood or making money. Look at all the hard work of different kinds which is performed by men.” Having said so, he soon qualified his statement: “But for all this you must not suppose that women have no share at all in the business of the world beyond eating and sleeping. On the contrary, it is women who do the entire work of housekeeping. Man brings his earnings home and lays them down before women, and they, with their women’s wit, make the money go so far, by economy and good management, … So that, if you look into the matter carefully, the world is like a cart which cannot move without two wheels-man on one side and women on the other.” These observations and remarks of Nazir Ahmad clearly reflect the role of gender in culture and society. A gender study is more of a recent phenomenon. It is essentially a socio-cultural attribute and it refers to masculine and feminine qualities, behavior patterns and responsibilities. Gender has no biological origin. It is subject to change. It is gender, not sex, which has traditionally considered women inferior to men. It is generally believed that men are the heads of households, breadwinners, and active in day-to-day activities and in their profession. Women, on the other hand, are expected to bear and raise children.
The ‘women’s question’ has been variously dealt by novelists in Urdu and in other Indian languages. But Mirza Muhammad Hadi Ruswa’s greatest Urdu work Umrāo Jān Adā, internationally accepted as the first realistic presentation of life, is a biographical narration with a dominant female protagonist. It is a story of a helpless girl trapped in the net of circumstances. The novel projects life of women, told with compassion and feeling, sensitivity and sophistication.
Premchand also created perhaps the most memorable portraits of women in Urdu literature in his novels and short stories, and was himself something of a feminist by conviction, as were some of his heroines – Ghania in Godān, for example, and more particularly, Sakina in Maidān-e-Amal. He held radical views about the emotion and values of women oppression.
Exploitation of women in a patriarchal society has been an ever-present theme in Urdu literature. This theme had been a recurrent one in Krishan Chander and Rajender Singh Bedi, although in Krishan Chander it often suffered from the romantic glow. Rajender Singh Bedi was considered a master craftsman of Urdu fiction. He dealt with the romantic lives of the middle class men and women. In one of his famous short story Apne Gham Mujhe De Do he described the plight of a lower middle class housewife, who had to slave her whole life to keep up ‘the bondage of marriage’. His masterpiece, Lājwanti, written after the holocaust of the partition of India, is a story of an abducted woman, who was rehabilitated in her own home by her husband. Though she was accepted by her husband (Sundar Lal ), but the conjugal relationship between the husband and wife was broken forever because she was worshipped as a Goddess and not given the same position she enjoyed as wife before her abduction. In a way, her acceptance in her own home became a total rejection of her womanhood. Bedi’s fictional characters, particularly women characters, are very much Indian. Sita in Babbal, Kalyani and Kirti in Mythun are not only symbolic names, they are very much ingrained in the Indian psyche as the deities. On the subject of feminism, besides Bedi’s Rano in Ek Chader Mailee Si, which is a masterpiece, one can also fall back upon Urdu writers like Ismat Chughtai, Qurratul Ain Haider’s Sita Haran, Khalida Asghar’s Seti, Mumtaz Sheerin’s Stories, Zahida Hina’s Titliyān Pakadnewāli and Zard Hawāin Zard āwāzen. Rashid Jahan who, as early as in the 1930s, in her stories in Angare (1931) and Aurat (1937) had dealt with the problem of women, especially of Muslim women, with daring unconventionality. Ismat Chughtai is intimately related to the corpus of Indian literature that represent female consciousness. The language used is of everyday speech – idiomatic, past, racy and smart, with a liberal sprinkling of especially feminine expressions and colloquialism (Begmāti zubān). Some other big names in this genre of writing are Jaelani Bano (Mom ki Mariam), Qazi Abdul Sattar (Razzo Baji, Mumtāz Mufti āpā), etc.
The situation has much changed now and it is often possible for women to combine family responsibilities with professional work. Today’s writers have greater opportunities for creative expression and intellectual fulfillment than before, a fact, which is reflected in modern literature in the portrayal of women characters. Fiction writers like Shrawan Kumar Verma, Wajda Tabbasum, Zahida Zaidi, Sajda Zaidi, Bano Qudsia, Jilani Bano and poets such as Parveen Shakir, Kishwar Naheed Sara Shagufta and others are worth mentioning here. Women-oriented themes can also be seen in the creative writings of Tariq Chattari’s Cābiyān and Ghazanfar’s Kenchali.
Do gaz Zamīn Author- Abdus Samad Translator:Abdus Samad Mirātul Urūs Author- Nazeer Ahmad Translated in the name of Grahrī Darpan Translator: Madan Lal Jain Gyān Singh Shātir Translator- Khurshid Alam Pakheru Author- Ramlal Translator: Zakia Mushahdi Pathar kī āwāz Author- Qurratul Ain Haider Translator: Majda Asad Pākistāni Kahāniyān Translator- Abdul Bismillah Balvant Singh Ke Behtrīn Afsāne Editor- Gopi Chand Narang Translated in the name of – Balvant Singh kī Shresht Kahaniyah Translator: Janki Prasad Sharma Khawāb Kā Dar Band Hai Author- Shaheryār Translator: Abdus Samad Chauthā āsmān Author- Mohd. Alvi Translator- S.K. Nizam Parindā Bharā āsmān Author and Translator – Balraj Komal Pichle Mausam kā Phūl Author and Translator- Mazhar Imam Muqadma-e- Sher-o- Shāiri Author- Hali Translators: Hansraj Harbar, Sureshchandar Gupta,and K. Badiuzzaman Do Gaz Zameen Author- Abdus Samad Translated into English- in the name of A Strip of Land Two Yards Long Translator: Jai Ratanam Krishan Chandar: Selected Short Stories (Collection of 26 short stories in Urdu) Author- Krishan Chandar Selected and Introduced by- Gopi Chand Narang Translator: Jai Ratan Bāz Goyī Translated name- Retelling Translator- Avtar Singh Judge Patjhar Kī āwāz Translated name- The Sound of Falling Leave Author and Translator: Qurratulain Hyder Parindā Bharā āsmān Translated name- A Sky full of Birds Author and Translator- Balraj Komal Khawāb Ka Dar Band Hai Translated Name- The Gateway to Dreams is Closed Author- Shaharyar Translator: Baidar Bakht and Leislie Lavinge Jannat ki Kunjī Translated in the name of Key to the Garden of Bliss Author- Ahmad Sayed Dehelvi Translator: A. Jalil Siddiqui The Best of Faiz (Translated) Author- Faiz Ahmad Faiz Translator- Shiv K. Kumar The World of Premchand, Selected Stories of Premchand (Translated) Translator: David Rubin Ghalib 1797- 1869 Volume-I: Life and Letters Translated and Edited by Ralph Russell and Khurshid-ul- Islam
Translation A Literary Texts: Children’s Literature Moron wālā Bāgh (The Peacock Garden) Author- Anita Desai Translated by: Kedarnath Komal Kabootaron Ki Parmaz (A Flight of Pigeon) Author- Ruskin Bond Translated by: Mohd. Hamid Ali Khan Havelī Ki Duniya (World inside the Haveli) Author- Rama Mehta Translated by: A. Hasnath House boat Par Billi (A Cat on the House Boat) Author- Anita Desai Translated by: Tarannum Riaz Chandar Ka Pahar (Chandra Pahar, Bengali) Author- Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay Translated by: Shantiranjan Bhattacharya Gosāin Bāg Kā Bhoot (Gosain Baganer Bhoot, Bengali) Author- Sirshendu Mukhopadhyaya Translated by: Tarannum Riaz Apne Ghar ko Vāpsī Author- Sarojni Sinha Translator: Mansoor Naqvi Adityae (Samanderi Larka) Author- Intiya Saran Translator: Nami Ansari Aaghvā aur dusrī Kahāniyān Author- Gita Minas Translator: Manzoor Usmani Assi din me dunyā kā Safar Author- Joles Varan Translator: Safdar Hussain Pāpa Bhālu Ka Scooter Author- Dharam Rajan Translator: K.P. Rajadah Pilot Christofer Author- Ronia Gandhi Translator: Sadaf Zaidi Patharon ke dil Author- Vishaka Chanchani Translator: Ghulam Haider
Pardesī Author- Partaba Nath Translator: Asif Naqvi Pasand Author- Maya Thomas Translator: Baljit Singh Mutir Pūrbi Deson kī Kahāniyān Author-Clatherani Translator: Ayesha Siddiqui Telephone Kaise Kām Kartā Hai Author- Nokla Rai Translator: Shabana Islam Jānvaron kī Duniyā Author- A. David Translator: Anees Azam Chiryā Ghar kī Batakh Author- Hirni Gopal Swamy Shrinavasan Translator: Najma Naqvi Shaher me ek Jangal Author- Kumaran Sat Sevam Translator: Abbas Asif
(History of Malayam Literature) Author- P.K. Parameswaran Nair Translated by: Syed Sajjad Hussain Othello Author- Shakespeare Translated by: Sajjad Zahir Parchhaiyan (The Shadow Lines) Author- Amitav Ghosh Translated by:– Kadir Zaman Aakhiri Bhoolbhulaiyān (The Last Labyrinth) Author- Arun Joshi Translated by: Akhtar Hasan Achhooot (Untouchable) Author- Mulk Raj Anand Translated by: M.M. Rajinder Saanp aur Rassī (The Serpent and the Rope) Author- Raja Rao Translated by: Balraj Komal Asmaan Mein Kameen Gaher (Poetry) (Trapfalls in the Sky) Author – Shiv K. Kumar Translated by: Yusuf Kamal Voh Taveel Khamoshi (The Long Silence) Author- Shashi Deshpande Translated by: Razia Sultana Ab Na Bason In Gaon (Punjabi) Author- Kartar Singh Duggal Translated by: Rattan Singh Aadamkhor ( Punjabi) Author- Nanak Singh Translated by – Prakash Pandit Haal Muridon Kā (Haal Muridon Da) Author- Kartar Singh Duggal Translated by: Rattan Singh Jal Kī Pyās Nā Jāye (Punjabi) Author – Kartar Singh Duggal Translated by: Rattan Singh Afghanistan men jadīd Fārsi Shāiri Author- Ghulam M. Lal Zad Translator: Shuaib Aazam Zindegāni Be Nazīr Author- Syed Mohd. Abdul Ghafur Shahbaz Translator: Syed Mohd. Hasnain Khusro Shanasi (3rd Edition) Author- Z. Ansari Translator: Abu Alfaiz Saher Sāir Kohsār (Part I) Author- Pandit Ratan Nath Sarshar Lucknowi Translator: Amir Hasan Noorani Ghazāib ul Jamāl Author- Nawab Aziz Jang Vla Translator: Hasanuddin Ahmad Fasānai Aāzād (Part I) (2nd ) Edition) Author- Ratan Nath Sarshar Translator: Amir Hasan Noorani Fasānai Aāzād (Part-II) (2nd Edition) Author- Ratan Nath Sarshar Translator: Amir Hasan Noorani Fasānai Aāzād (Part –III) (2nd Edition) Author- Ratan Nath Sarshar Translator: Amir Hasan Noorani Fasānai Aāzād (Part IV), (2nd Edition) Author- Ratan Nath Sarshar Translator: Amir Hasan Noorani Qutub-e- Mushtarī Author- Asadullah Wajhi Translator: Humairah Jalil Kashiful Haqāiq (2nd Edition) Author- Syed Imdad Imam Asar Translator- Vahab Ashrafi Tārīkh Firoz Shāhī Author- Ziauddin Berni Translator: Dr. Syed Moinul Haq Gulistān-e- Sādī Author- Shaikh Sadi Translator- Maulana Qazi Sajjad Hussain Safinat-ul- Auliā Author- Dara Shikoh Translator: Mohd. Iqbal Saleem Gohindui Diwān-e Hāfiz Author- Qazi Sajjad Hussain Translator: Maulana Qazi Sajjad Hussain Bostān-e- Sādī Author- Sheikh Sadi Translator: Maulana Qazi Sajjad Hussain
Andhere Mein Sulagte Huroof (Andhere mein Sulagte Varnmala, Punjabi) Author- Surjit Patar Translated by: Balraj Komal Amar Katha (Punjabi) (Story) Author- Gulzar Singh Sandhu Translated by: Niranjan Singh Tasneem Chandini Raat Ka Sitam (Ik Chhit Chanan Di, Punjabi) (Story) Author- Kartar Singh Duggal Translated by the Author Kucch Ankaha Bhī (Kujh Ankeeha Vi, Punjabi) (Story) Author- Prem Prakash Translated by the Author Awsī (Autobiography in Punjabi)(Story) Author- Teja Singh Translated by: Prakash Pandit Amrit Aur Vish (Hindi) (Novel) Author- Amritlal Nagar Translated by: Prakash Fikri Ardhanarishwar (Hindi) (Novel) Author- Vishnu Prabhakar Translated by: Khursheed Alam Aurat (Nari, Hindi) (Novel) Author- Siyaram Sharan Gupta Translated by: Rizia Sajjad Zaheer Dhāi Ghar (Hindi) Author- Giriraj Kishore Translated by: Haider Jafri Syed Merī Terī Usakī Baat (Hindi) (Novel) Author- Yashpal Translated by: S.A. Rahman Mittī Kī Mooraten (Pen portraits of Rural India, Hindi) (Novel) Author- Rambriksh Benipuri Translated by: S.H. Razi Azimabadi Neela Chand (Hindi) (Novel) Author- Shiv Prasad Singh Translated by: Zakiya Mashhadi First Edition: 1998 Zindagināmah: Zindā Rukh (Hindi) (Novel) Author- Krishna Sobti Translated by: Haider Jafri Kahīn Nahīn Vahīn (Hindi) (Poetry) Author- Ashok Vajpai Translated by: Sadique Khutī yon Par Tange Log (Hindi) (Poetry) Author- Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena Translated by: Kedar Nath Komal Dādā Kā Hāthī (Enruppapoekoranentarnu, Malayalam) (Novel) Author- V.M. Basheer Translated by: Haider Jafri Do Ser Dhān (Rantitangahi, Malyalam) (Novel) Author- Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai Translated by: Hansraj Rahbar Māhigeer (Chemmeen, Malayalam) (Novel) Author- Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai Translated by: Muzaffar Shah Vallathol (Malayalam Poet) Author- B-Hralayakumari Translated by: Syeda Jaffer Samskāra (Kannada) Author- U.R. Anantha Murthy Translated by: Shafi Ahmad Shariff Basaveswara (Kannada Saint Poet) Author- H- Thipperudraswamy Translated by: Hameed Almas Baisākh (Vaishaka, Kannada) Author- Chaduranga Translated by: K. Muddanna Paar (Daatu, Kannada) (Novel) Author- S.L. Bhyrappa Translated by: S.A.T. Khatai Panje Mangesh Rau (Kannada writer) (Novel) Author- V. Sitaramiah Translated by: Hameed Almas Purandaradasa (Kannada Writer) (Novel) Author- G. Varadaraja Rao Translated by: Maher Mansoor T.P. Kailāsam (Kannada Dramatist) (Novel) Author- L.S. Seshagiri Rao Translated by: Mir Mahmood Husine Mastī Kī Kahāniyān (Sanna Kthegalu, Kannada) (Novel) Author- Masti Venkatesha Lyengar Translated by – M. Hameed Almas Pather Panchali (Bengali) (Novel) Author- Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay Translated by: Iqbal Krishan Sanjog (Jagajog, Bengali) (Novel) Author- Ravindra Nath Tagore Translated by: Raza Muzhari (S.A.R. Kazmi) Gorā (Bengali) (Novel) Author- Rabindranath Tagore Translated by: Sajjad Zaheer Kalmunhī (Chokher Bali, Bengali) (Novel) Author- Ravindranath Tagore Translated by: Abid Hussain Geetanjali (Bengali) (Poetry) Author- Rabindranath Tagore Translated by: Niaz Fatehpuri Bankimchandra Chatterjee (Bengali Novelist) Author- S.C. Sengupta Translated by: Muzaffar Hanfi Jādunāth Sarkār (Bengali Writer) Author- Anil Chandra Banerjee Translated by: Iqbal Krishan Tārikh –e- Benglā Adab (History of Bengali Literature) Author- Sukumar Sen Translated by: Shanti Ranjan Bhattacharya Translation of Non Literary Texts: Firhang Istilāhat Siyāsat Author – Mohd. Mahmud Faiz Translator: Hasan Ali Jafri Akbar Se Aurangzeb Tak (2nd Edition) Author – W.H. Morland Translator: Jamal Mohd. Siddiqui Inqilāb France Author – J.M. Thomson Translator: Mohd. Hussain Auranzeb Ke Ahad me Mughal Umrā (2nd Edition) Author– Mohd. Athar Ali Translator: Aminuddin Aazadi Author – John Stewart Mill Translator: Syed Ansari Tārikh Aasifi Author – Mirza Abu Talib Translator: Sarwat Ali Tārikh Tehrik-e- Aazādi-e- Hind (Vol-I) (2nd Edition) Author – Tara Chand Translator: Qazi Mohd. Adil Abbasi Tārik Tehrik-e- Aazādi-e Hind )Vol-II) (2nd Edition) Author – Tara Chand Translator: Ghulam Rabbani Taban Tārikh Tehrik-e- Aazādi-e- Hind (Vol-III) (2nd Edition) Author – Tara Chand Translator: Qazi Mohd. Adil Abbasi Tārikh Tehrik-e- Azādi-e–Hind (Vol-IV) Author – Tara Chand Translator: Hashim Kidwai Tārikh Tālim-e-Hind Author – J.B. Patnaik Translator: Syed Noorullah Tārikh Tipu Sultān Author – Muhibbul Hasan Translator: Hamid Ullah Afsar Tārikh- Shahjehān (2nd Editon) Author – Banarsi Parsad Saxena Translator: Syed Ajaz Hussain Tazkirāh-al- bilad- ul- Ahkām Author – Meer Hasan Ali Kirmani Translator: Shafi Ahmad Sharif Shafi Jāme Tārikh-e- Hind ( 2nd Edition) Author- Mohd. Habeeb Translator- Khaliq Ahmad Nizami Jūnubi Hind ki Tārikh Zamānā Maqbal Tarikh Author- I. C.H.R. Translator: R.K. Bhatnagar Haider Ali ( 2nd Edition) Author- Narendar Krishan Sinha Translator: Iqtidar Hussain Siddiqui Khilji Khāndān Author- K.S. Lal Translator: Mohd. Yasin Mazhar Siddiqui Deccan Ke Behmi Salātin (2nd Edition) Author- Haroon Khan Sherwani Translator: Rahem Ali Al Hashmi Safar Nāmā Firhang Ser Tālibi fi Bildā Firangi (2nd Edition) Author- Mirza Abu Talib Isfaham Translator: Sarwat Ali Salātin Delhi Ka Siyā si Nazaryā Author- Mohd. Habib Translator: Begum Afsar Umar Sulaiman Khan Shāheedan– e- Aazadi (Vol. I) Author- P.N. Chopra Translator: Bhagvat Singh Shaheedan– e- Azadi (Vol.II) Author- P. N. Chopra Translator: Syed Tafazzal Husain Sher Shāh Suri aur us kā Ahad Author- Alkar Najan Qanungo Translator: Ram Aasra Sharma Subāi Khud Mukhtāri ki Ibtidā Author- S.Gom Translator: Bashishor Prasad Ishārat-e- Talim (2nd Edition) Author- Austen Translator: Noor-ul- Hasan Tālim Samāj Aur Culture (2nd Edition) Author- A.K.C. Anava Translator- Akhtar Ansari Tālim me Nafsiyāt ki Ahmiyat Author- Herbert Sorens Translator: Salamatullah Johar Pārah-e Adrak Author- Shankar Acharya Translator: Krishan Kumar Pathak Tazkirah Ulma-e- Balāgh Author- Safiuddin Waiz Translator: Nazeer Ahmad Mahatma Gandhi ( 2nd Edition) Author- B.R. Nanda Translator: Ali Jawad Zaidi Lisani Mutale (3rd Edition) Author- David Crystal Translator: Naseer Ahmad Khan Aazādi ke bād se Science, Technology aur Taraqi Author- Beni Prasad Translator: Rahem Ali Al- Hashmi Arziyat ke Bunyādi Tassavwrāt Author- Y. Abro Chief Translator: Majid Hussain Insāni Irtiqā Author- M.R.Sahini Translaor: Ahsanullah Tārikh Ijadāt Author- Aegan Larsan Translator: Saleha Begum Jughrāfiya ki Mahiyat aur uskā Maqsad Author- S.W. Dolerg Taranslator: Anees Ahmad Siddiqui Dhoop Chulhā Author- M.M. Huda Translator: Dr. Khalilullah Khan Arya Samāj ki Tārikh Author- Lala Lajpat Rai Translator: Kishwar Sultan Qadīm Hindustān me Shoodar (2nd Edition) Author- Ram Saran Sharma Translator: Jamaluddin Maohammad Hindostān Serzamin aur Avām Author- Narayani Gupta Translator- S.K. Singh Hindostān me Aurat ki Haisiyat Author- I.C.H. R. Translator: Sooghra Mehdi Navabastigi Author- Rasheeduddin Khan Translator: S.M. Mehdi Hindostāni Syāsi Nizām Ka Tadriji Irtiqa Author- H.N. Sinha Translator: Mohd. Saleem Qidwai Hindostāni Khārja Policy ki Bunyāden Author- Bimal Prasad Translator: Mohd. Mahmood Faiz Pātanjali ka Falsafa Yōg Author- Patanjali Translator: Krishan Kumar Pathak Tahlil Nafsi Kā Ajmali Khāka Author- Sigmond Freud Translator: Zafar Ahmad Siddiqui Jadīd Ibtidāi Mintaq ( 2nd Edition) Author- L. Mosan Stang Translator: Sultan Ali Shaida Falsafa Ke Bunyā di Masāil Author- A.C. Aiving Translator: Mr. Valiuddin Falsafāna Tajziā Ek Tārruf Author- John Hospras Translator: S.A. Shaida Fun Sonam Tarāshi Author- Kamlesh Sinha Dinesh Translator: Izhar usmani Hindostāni Musavir (Ahad Mughlia) Author- Parsi Brown Translator: Ubaidaul Haq Hindostān Kī Qauni Tārikh (Part-I) Author- S.N. Jain Translator: S.N. Jain Hindostān Kī Qanuni Tārikh (Part-II) Auhtor- M.P. Jain Translator: Anwar Yaqeen Auditing ke Usūl Aur Practice Author- R. B. Saxena Translator: Sadiq Ahmad Ijarāh Author- N.A.G. Robinson Translator: M.A. Gilani Ujraten Author- Moris Dab Translator: Abdur Rashid Daftari Intizāmiah Author- Bishamber Translator: Mohd. Syed Ibtidāi Nafsiyāt Author- Syed Mohd. Mohsin Translator: Mohd. Rizwan Ahmad Khan Abnormal Nafsiyāt Author- F.R. M. Rizwān Translator: Zakia Mushahdi Insan Apni Talashi Me Author- Rolov Me Translator: Zahida Zaidi
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