Urdu poet, ‘Umrao Jaan’ lyricist Shahryar remembered at AMU

    By IANS,

    Aligarh : The contribution of Urdu poet Shahryar, a Jnanpith and Sahitya Akademi awardee and writer of numerous Bollywood lyrics including for Muzaffar Ali’s “Umrao Jaan”, was lauded at a symposium at the Aligarh Muslim University Tuesday.

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    “Shahryar is an epitome of excellence in Urdu poetry and his creations will serve as a guide to the amateur poets and will enthrall generations to come,” said AMU Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen. (retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah while delivering the inaugural address on “Shahryar’s life and work”.

    The event was organised by Sahitya Academy.

    Gen. Shah said Akhlaq Mohammad Khan, who used the pen name Shahryar, was an alumnus of AMU and also served there as a teacher for more than two decades, and stressed that he dedicated all his life to promotion of Urdu language.

    Recalling his four-decade-long association with the poet, the Sahitya Academy’s Urdu Advisory Board convenor Chandrabhan Khayal recalled that a famous poet of Sindhi language received the Sahitya Akademi award for his work in Sindhi, but it was later found to be a mere translation of Shahryar’s poetry.

    Delivering the presidential address, Mass Communication Department chairman Shafey Kidwai said Shahryar had expertise in expressing his feelings with great precision. He said the poet succeeded in portraying common human sentiments and that is why his work strikes a chord with the masses.

    Shedding light on the poet’s life, former dean of AMU’s Arts Faculty, Abul Kalam Qasmi said Shahryar provided a link between the two groups of critics in Urdu led by Prof. Gopichand Narang and Prof. Shamsur Rahman Farooqui.

    Khursheed Ahmad, a former chairman of the Urdu department, elaborated on the various attributes of Shahryar’s poetry. The event was conducted by Mushtaq Sadaf.

    Best known for songs like “Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan lijiye”, “In aakhon ki masti ke mastaane hazaron hain” from “Umrao Jaan”, the 75-year-old poet died last year.

    Born June 16, 1936, in a village near Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly, Shahryar graduated from AMU and was subsequently appointed lecturer in the Urdu department. He retired in 1996 when he was chairman of the department of the University.