Skip to main content

Ghalib’s Delhi mansion, engulfed in darkness for 364 days, "remembered" on his birthday

By Our Representative
It is indeed lamentable that in this age of communication boom and the onslaught of self-centricity, people appear to have forgotten Mirza Ghalib, about whom, once well-known English novelist Graham Greene wrote that he happens to be the best poet in all languages in terms of thought content. His three-day 221st birth anniversary, “Yadgar-e-Ghalib”, was celebrated in Delhi by Ghalib Memorial Movement under the patronage of renowned Kathak dancer Uma Sharma and other eminent citizens, ending with candle light march on December 30 in Delhi.
Sponsored by the Ghalib Memorial Movement and supported by Friends for Education, the NGO that had got Ghalib mansion restored in 1997, the candle march began at the Town Hall, Chandni Chowk in the old Delhi walled city area, to Ghalib’s Gali Qasimjan haveli.
A mushaira (poetic gathering) for the connoisseurs of Urdu poetry was held on the opening day on December 28, including poets like, Gulzar Dehlvi, Manzar Bhopali, Khushbir Singh Shad, Kunwar Ranjeet Singh Chauhan, Moin Shadab, Sharf Nanparvi, Alok Shristava and the second day, that is, December 29, saw Uma Sharma’s perfect rendition of the ballet, “Shama Jalti he her rang mein seher honey tak,” by her team and youthful artists.
Apart from Kathak maestro and Ghalib lover Uma Sharma, others who participated in the march included , bureaucrat-cum-poet Madhup Mohta, Iqbal Ahmed Khan and Imran Khan, both qawwals, actor Badrudduja Siddiqui Najmi, and activist and chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Firoz Bakht Ahmed.
The three day carnival, “Yadgar-e-Ghalib”, began at the India Islamic Cultural Centre with the traditional mushaira (poetic gathering) that included.
Uma Sharma stated that Ghalib’s name was misused for vested interests, but nobody bothered about preserving his poetic legacy including the agencies that are supposed to look after art and culture. poetry.
Littereateur Pavan K Varma, a participant, said that Ghalib’s poetry is unique, not only for the intensity of feelings but also for the exquisite charm and profound thoughts that are part of his beautiful world with the concept of interfaith bonding and that the government must help artists like Uma Sharma who are trying to revive poets like Ghalib.
Another participant, K Sareen, said, all through the vintage selling street of Chandni Chowk, one became nostalgic witnessing the attarwalas (perfume sprayers), pankhewalas (fan holders), mashals (torches), nagadas (huge trumpets), huqqas (old smoking system) and pandaans (betel leaf boxes).
The nafeeri and tasha (musical instruments of the Mughal era) artistes gaily accompanied the procession to Ghalib’s house at Gali Qasimjan.
At the haveli, while paying homage, Uma Sharma narrated how the struggle to restore Ghalib mansion was begun by activist Firoz Bakht with the help of the Ghalib Memorial Movement two decades ago — a time that she started visiting and conducting programmes at the Ghalib haveli. Uma Sharma praised the efforts of Manish Sisodia, Delhi’s deputy chief minister, and Vineet Palliwal for helping her ideas take concrete shape.
Madhup Mohta stated that the glorious thing about Ghalib is that his poetry never fitted into watertight compartments because his world in the ghazals was too vast and too contradictory.
Bakht, who founded the NGO Friends for Education, opined that poetry is a dying art and the children of this era do not know who Ghalib is and, therefore, the Government of Delhi must make it a point to take Ghalib to schools for the heritage tours to his Gali Qasimjan haveli. Besides, he emphasized, the Haveli-e-Ghalib, instead of being a dead monument, must be a living one by starting a reading room and an evening session to begin Urdu computer classes here so that the local community benefits.
“Apart from that information booklets on Ghalib, his picture postcards too must be availed, the responsibility of which should be of one of the Urdu platforms that are the nodal agencies of the Delhi government like Urdu Academy, National Council for Promotion of Urdu language etc.”, he added.
The haveli became crowded as ordinary people poured in to listen to prominent citizens on what was being done to restore the memory of Ghalib. Badrudduja, who is also a resident near Ghalib’s mansion, lamented that the great poet is rarely remembered except on his birthday. "The haveli is engulfed in darkness for rest of the 364 days", he said.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”