Monday, November 22, 2010

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi; an Eminent Urdu Poet and Critic

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (born 1935) is an eminent Urdu critic, poet and theorist, who has nurtured a whole generation of Urdu writers since the 1960s. He is regarded as the founder of the new movement in Urdu literature and has formulated fresh models of literary appreciation. With rare skill and clarity, he absorbed western principles of literary criticism and subsequently applied them to Urdu literature, but only after adapting them to address literary aesthetics native to Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.

He has done MA in English from Allahabad University in 1955.
He worked as a civil servant in the Indian Postal Department and other departments of the Government of India from 1958–1994 and became Chief Postmaster-General and Member, Postal Services Board, New Delhi.

As of 1994, he is a full-time writer and editor of his literary magazine Shabkhoon . The magazine ceased publication in 2005, when it had just entered its fortieth year of regular publication. He has been adjunct professor at the South Asia Regional Studies Centre, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
He also held the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Chair in the Faculty of Humanities at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. He permanently resides at Allahabad, a prominent city in State of Uttar Pradesh in India. In January 2009 he was awarded the "Padma Shri" (or "Lotus Adornment"), the fourth highest civilian honor that the Indian Government bestows.

He contributed a great and valuable literature to Urdu adab. Some of his work is mentioned below:

• Sher, Ghair Sher, Aur Nasr (1973)

• The Secret Mirror (in English, 1981)

• Ghalib Afsaney Ki Himayat Mein (1989)

• Sher Shore Angez (in 3 volumes, 1991–93)


• Urdu Ka Ibtedai Zamana (2001)

• Ganj-i-Sokhta (poetry)

• Sawar Aur Doosray Afsanay (fiction)

• Kai chand thay sar-e asman (novel)

• Jadeediyat Kal Aur Aaj (2007)
An expert in classical prosody and ‘ilm-e bayan (the science of poetic discourse), he has contributed to modern literary discourse with a profundity rarely seen in contemporary Urdu critics.

He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Most recently he was awarded the prestigious Saraswathi Samman for his pioneering work She`r-e Shor-Angez. In this four-volume study of the great eighteenth-century poet Mir Taqi Mir, Faruqi uses a refreshingly eclectic approach and a variety of insightful critical tools to interpret Mir’s art.
Farooqi has brought a new vision to investigate the greatness of the great Urdu poet mir taqi mir but while talking about his art of writing, to forget Muhammad Hasan Askari will leave him with no predecessor. Though he is a self acclaimed modernist, many a times he has gone through a lot of changes in his ideas. Farooqi writes the same way Askari used to wrote. The elaboration and the clarity in his expression comes directly from Askari,a great Urdu critic preceding him.

His writings are a combination of western and eastern theoretical efforts. While rediscovering mir he has chosen to implement the most effect tool of new criticism, close reading. He centralises a particular word and then replaces it with other synonymous words without disturbing the regular meteri attern of the couplet to why only that particular word has enlivened the couplet and imported it with such a charm and meaningfulness that differentiates it from other couplets of the same meaning. His greatness lies in the systematic, logical, and sharp expression lacking in the writings of almost all contemporary Urdu critics.

4 comments:

  1. Shamsur Rahman Faruqi may be a big name in Urdu criticism but a new book has exposed him over the matters lifted by him to write his books and articles. It is alleged Shamsur Rahman Faruqi has been lifting material from various articles and books and then presenting them in somewhat new shape to own credit of the original idea. The most glaring example, is lifting of matter from the famous book of Dr Abu Mohammad Sahar titled “Urdu Imla Aur Uski Islaah’.The plagiarism came to light when Shamsur Rehman Faruqui’s book “Urdu Ka Ibtidai Zamana” was published. Soon after, literary persons of Bhopal raised a hue and cry over the matter. Some people even wanted to sue Shamsur Rehman Faruqui for copyright infringement but Dr Abu Mohammad Sahar, who was a saintly person, prevented them doing so. Interestingly, Shamsur Rehman Farqui had admitted that his book “Urdu Ka Ibtidai Zamana” is akin to the book of Dr Abu Mohammad Sahar. He had made this admission in the year 2003 in a letter to Dr Saifi Sironji, the editor of trimonthly Intesab, published from Sirong. This letter has been published in Sada-e-Urdu, Bhopal, edited by short story writer Naeem Kausar. In the letter, Faruqui had written that he did not know that a similar book by Dr. Abu Mohammad Sahar was in existence and he came to know of it only after publication of his (Faruqui’s) book. He said that he would make a mention of it in the book being published in E0nglish (Which he later did, though under pressure after being exposed). Here is the transliteration of the letter by Faruqui, admitting his plagiarism, which throws light on plagiarism-like activities of Faruqui, who has been unfortunately bestowed with top Urdu literary awards in India, Pakistan and abroad. Due to his manipulations and manoevring Faruqui has established himself as a ‘great’ writer and critic. But in the process he has stooped too low. This is despite that fact he Faruqui was most vocal against Gopichand Narnag, whom he had alleged of plagiarism.

    Shamsur Rehman Faruqui to Dr Saifi Sironji.

    Aap ka taaza shumaara abhi mila. Is shumare ke sufha number 204 par aap ne bradaram mukarram professor Abu Mohammad Sahar ki kitab par tabsira karte huey bilkul durust likha hai ke unhon nay is kitab mein Urdu-Hindi ke mas’ale say muta’alliq baaz haqaaiq meri kitab “Urdu ka ibtidai zamana” kay shaya honay say pehlay bayaan kar diye thay. Koi shak naheen ko baaz baton mein un ko awwaliyat haasil hai. Meri kotahi aur laa ilmi thi ko mein nay unkaa mazmoon us waqt na padhaa tha jab wo awwalan shaya huaa tha aur unki kitab mein nay tab dekhi jab meri kitaab chhap chuki thi. Main nay apni kitaab kay angrezi roop mein (jo zer-e-taba hai) Abu Mohammad Sahar Sahib ko munasib khiraj-e-aqeedat pesh kar diya hai. Meri kitab ka zer-e-bahas hissa “shab khoon” mein chhap chukka tha. Lekin Abu Mohammad Sahar Sahib ki be-niyazi dekhiye ko unhon nay us waqt mujhe mutawajjah na kiya ke tum meri tehrir to dekh lo. Ab kitab milnay par main nay un say ihtijaaj kiya to us mard-e-darwesh ne kaha ke koi baat naheen. Aap munasib mauqe par eiteraaf kar dein. Eitezaar ghair zaroori hai.
    (Taken from monthly Intesab, volume 43 December 2000).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Plagiriasm is a curse in Urdu and such persons as Shamsur Rahman Faruqui and Gopichand Narang have definitely brought disgrace to this sweet language. It was Faruqui in the forefront of the campaign against Narang. Now that he has himself been exposed, all his awards and honours should be withdrawn by Indian and Pakistani governments. Afaq Ahmad, Patna, Bihar, India

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, Afaq, You are very much right with respect to withdrawal of awards and recognitions.

    ReplyDelete
  4. farooqi sb is a great writer. those who read both books are very much clear that farooqi,s work is original.
    Nadim

    ReplyDelete

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