Saturday, February 27, 2010
"Hamza Baba praised as legend of 20th century: 16th anniversary of great poet marked"
Friday, February 19, 2010
Nisar Mahmood in The International News
PESHAWAR: Glowing tributes were paid to great mystic poet, writer and pioneer of modern Pashto ghazal, Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari, at a seminar held here Thursday to commemorate his 16th death anniversary.
Speakers including scholar, poet and short-story writer Syed Tahir Bokhari, director of the Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, Dr Rajwali Shah Khattak, Dr Afsar Khan and Dr Masood said Hamza Baba had a multi-faceted personality and was legend of the 20th century.
Amir Hamza Shinwari Adabi Society and Tribal Union of Journalists had arranged the anniversary programme divided into a seminar and Pashto ‘mushaira’ where poets recited their Pashto poetry.
In the first session, Tahir Bokhari read out a paper on Hamza Baba, throwing light on his life and achievements. Hamza Shinwari had named Tahir Bokhari of Chota Lahore in Swabi popularly known as Bachajee as successor of his own school of thought in Tassawuf (Chishtia Nizamia Niazia).
Bachajee has to his credit translating seven books of Hamza Shinwari in Urdu including the famous ‘Tazkera-e-Sattaria’. Recalling his association with Hamza Baba, Bokhari said he was a poet, drama and film writer and critic, but also a scholar.
Dr Rajwali Shah said after Khushal Khan Khattak and Rahman Baba, Hamza Baba enjoyed wide popularity and was the legend of the 20th centaury. He was founder of the modern Pashto ghazal and earned the title of Baba-e-Pashto Ghazal. However, he deplored that the Pakhtuns did not recognise his greatness and the status he deserved.
Talking about the style and subject mater of Hamza Baba’s poetry, the speakers said people like him were born in centuries. Born in the border town of Landikotal, Khyber Agency, Hamza Shinwari not only contributed to Pashto literature through poetry, drama and film writing but also wrote in Urdu, especially prose, they added.
The speakers said Hamza’s poetry was a guideline that could bring the society out of chaos, especially in the prevailing situation of violence and uncertainty. He always called for peace, love and respect for humanity, they said, adding that giving some one title of ‘Baba” was not just a word of respect, but itself the title that very few deserved in Pakhtun society.
The literati said more work was needed on Hamza Baba contribution to prose like his more than 400 dramas, novel Naway Chapay and travelogues. Haroon Shinwari, president Hamza Baba Adabi Society, said the society had been arranging Baba’s death anniversary programmes regularly for the last eight years, however, the provincial government should officially observe the day as an acknowledgement of his services to Pashto language and literature. He called for more research to popularise the work of great poet in other societies and languages.
Through resolutions adopted on the occasion it was demanded of the provincial government to expedite work on Hamza Baba Academy, staff be provided to the library at Hamza Baba complex, Jamrud Road be named after great sufi poet and Pashto be introduced compulsory subject till 10th class. Noted writer and columnist, Salim Raz, Prof Abaseen Yousufzai, Dr Masood, Kalim Shinwari, Wali Khan Sarhadi, Wasim Akram Shinwari were among those paying tributes to Hamza Baba.