Book on Bhopal’s noted Urdu journalist ‘Arif Aziz – Ek Tajzia’ released

By Pervez Bari,,

Bhopal: When a journalist is eulogized in a function by speakers after speakers wherein a book critically analysing his works and personality is being released then it is but natural that tears of joy start rolling down the journalist’s cheeks.

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Such was the case with the well-known Urdu journalist Arif Aziz of Bhopal when at the fag end of the function of releasing the book on him entitled “Arif Aziz – Ek Tajzia” (Arif Aziz – An Analysis) here he was asked to speak after the dignitaries on the dais one by one lauded his journalistic and literary services spanning over 40 years. He was overwhelmed by the occasion as the cup of love was brimming or even overflowing. When he rose to address the assemblage he found his voice virtually chocked and eyes welled up with tears. He was seen sobbing involuntarily while standing mute for a minute or two as volunteers ran helter-skelter to fetch water so that he could wet his parched throat. Another volunteer fetched a tissue paper to help him wipe off his tears and gain composure to be able to speak a few words on the occasion.


Arif Aziz, the “Son of the Soil”, struggling for words told the jam-packed Hindi Bhavan auditorium in a chocked voice that whatever has been said about his works and personality is an exaggeration. He is not an iconic figure to be showered such praises upon him by his well-wishers.

“Whatever I did in my life as a journalist I did it with all my honesty and sincerity and saw to it that the profession to which he belonged does not get blotted by his actions”, he added.

He gave credit for his success to his journalist colleague Ashfaque Mashhadi Nadwi. The book concept on him is the brain child of Ashfaque Mashhadi and Urdu litterateur Dr. Akhlaque Asar. It was brought into reality by another journalist colleague Inamullah Khan Lodhi and Arif Aziz’s daughter Mardia Arif, who is also a writer in her own right, as they painstakingly compiled the write-ups and essays on him, he revealed.

“Hajji Mohammad Haroon, president of Jamiat-e-Ulma-e-Hind, Madhya Pradesh unit, placed the icing on the cake by organising such a grand function for me that I did not deserve”, he remarked.

Without any doubt the book releasing function was a glamorous and glittering with eminent writers, columnists cutting across language barriers, and famed personalities who graced the occasion. Arif Aziz’s friends, well-wishers and relatives also thronged the venue in large numbers to make it a most memorable occasion. Not only this outstation relatives, fans and Urdu lovers in large numbers too made it a point to attend the function to make it a memorable one. Apart from Delhi people from Indore, Sagar, Vidisha, Ashta, Sironj, Sehore etc. participated in the function. The representatives of a number of literary organisations and individuals poured out their love for Arif Aziz on the occasion and mobbed him with bouquets, garlands and gifts. Congress MLA Arif Aqueel draped him with a shawl around his shoulders to honour him. About a dozen tiny-tots also did not lag behind and felicitated him with flowers.

It is noteworthy that as the function was moving along telephonic congratulatory messages of Arif Aziz’s friends and fans from across the border poured in hailing his exemplary journalistic journey.


It has been seen that one’s services are usually extolled after one’s death but Arif Aziz is fortunate enough that his untiring efforts were recognized in his lifetime and he saw this all with his own eyes.

The 384 pages book “Arif Aziz — Ek Tajzia” is a voluminous bunch of essays on the personality, services and dedication of authentic, revered writer and Urdu journalist Arif Aziz. It has been compiled by journalist Inamullah Lodhi and Mrs. Mardiya Arif. The function of the release of the book was organised under the aegis of Maulana Barkatullah Bhopali Education and Social Welfare Society, Bhopal with its president Hajji Mohammad Haroon and his team leaving no stone unturned to make the occasion of the book release a big and a grand success.

Arif Aziz is Special Correspondent of “Nadeem”, the oldest Urdu daily of Bhopal. He is a voracious writer and has authored nine books on various subjects. Daily columns written by him are reproduced by over a dozen national and international Urdu newspapers. He has written over 20,000 articles in the last 40 years of his journalistic life. He has been decorated with All India Hakeem Syed Qamarul Hasan Award of Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy and 30 other national and state level awards.

The books authored by Arif Aziz include: 1. Nabz-e-Dauran — Anthology of more than 70 essays on Political, Social & Current topics (1994); 2. Zikr-e-Jameel — Comprising of 38 Bio-Sketches published by Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy, Bhopal (1995); 3. Qadr-o-Qeemat — Anthology of more than 45 critical essays and research papers (1997); 4. Talash-o-Ta’assur — 19 Critical and research papers (1999); 5. Masajid-e-Bhopal — Historical facts of the mosques of world & especially of Bhopal (2003); 6. Had-de-Nigah — An Anthology of 51 Essays on political science & current topics ((2004); 7. Suraj, Chand, Sitare — comprising of 47 Bio-Sketches published by M.P. Urdu Academy, Bhopal (2004); 8. Musafir-e-Haram — Hajj Pilgrimage description (2006) and 9. Azad Hind Mein Urdu Sahafat — from 1947 to 2006 under the project of Makhanlal Chaturvedi Patrkarita Vishvidhayalaya, Bhopal (2010).

The function was presided over by renowned theologian (Aalim-e-Deen), Hazarat Maulana Mohammad Saeed Mujaddadi (popularly known as Peer Saeed Miyan), Rector Dar-ul-Uloom, Taj-ul-Masajid, Bhopal while the chief guest on the occasion was Aziz Qureshi, ex-Governor of Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Mizoram. Other guests and dignitaries who participated in the function included: BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur; BJP Lok Sabha member from Bhopal Alok Sanjar; Congress MLA Arif Aqueel; Urdu litterateur Prof. Afaq Ahmad; Dr. Tariq Zafar, Vice Chancellor Bhoj Open University, Bhopal; Dr. Khalid Mehmood, ex-Head of Urdu Department, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi; Barkatullah University Arabic Prof. Hassan Khan; Maulana (Dr.) Iqbal Masood Nadwi (Islamic Centre, Canada); Senior journalists Masoom Moradabadi (Editor, Urdu daily Jadid Khabar, & fortnightly Khabardaar Jadid, Delhi); Siraj Naqvi, (Rashtriya Sahara, Delhi) and Rajkumar Keswani (Bhopal). Introduction about the book was presented by Prof. Afaq Hasan Siddiqui.

Hazarat Maulana Mohammad Saeed Mujaddadi, Aziz Qureshi, Babulal Gaur, Alok Sanjar, Prof. Afaq Ahmad, Dr. Khalid Mehmood, Alok Sanjar, Dr. Tariq Zafar, and Hajji Mohammad Haroon released the book amidst thunderous applause.

Masoom Moradabadi, Editor of Urdu daily Jadid Khabar & fortnightly Khabardaar Jadid, Delhi, while lauding Arif Aziz and his works strongly pleaded that the veteran journalist be honoured with the Padam Shree award for his yeoman services in the field of Urdu journalism for the last 40 years. He compared him with legendry India’s Freedom Struggle’s first journalist martyr Moulvi Muhammad Baqir, who was editor of Delhi Urdu Akhbar and a great advocate of Hindu Muslim unity. Freedom Fighter Maulvi Baqir was arrested for revolt and without being tried, on September 16, 1957 was tied to the mouth of a canon and was publicly blown up in front of the Khooni Darwaza in Delhi.

Siraj Naqvi, another senior journalist of Rashtriya Sahara, Delhi, also urged that Arif Aziz must be decorated with the Padam Shree award in recognition of his services by the government of the day.

Dr. Tariq Zafar, Vice Chancellor of Bhoj Open University, read out a citation in recognition of Arif Aziz’s services and presented it to him.

Speaking as a chief guest on the occasion Aziz Qureshi while extolling the contribution of Arif Aziz in Urdu journalism and literature lamented that after India’s Independence in 1947 Urdu language has languished due to government’s apathy which history will never forgive. Without batting an eye lid he said that in a calculated move after Independence a campaign was launched to wipe out Urdu. He revealed the campaign was started by the then Union Home Minister Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, who was responsible for the establishment of Hindi as an official language of the Central government and a few states while dumping Urdu into oblivion. The process started from Uttar Pradesh and is still continuing despite court’s order declaring Urdu as second official language in the state.

In another revelation on the occasion Qureshi informed that after the first war of independence in 1857 the ruler of Bhopal Begum Sikandar Jahan had declared Urdu, in place of Persian, as the official language of her government for the convenience of her Hindu subjects. In the development of Urdu language the contributions of Hindus cannot be ignored, he added.

Maulana Saeed Mujaddadi while presiding over the function blessed Arif Aziz for fulfilling his responsibilities with all sincerity. He prayed he would continue to strive to serve the Muslim community through his journalistic efforts and the Almighty Allah (S) will guide him in all his endeavours.

Home Minister Babulal Gaur, special guest on the occasion, also lauded Arif Aziz’s simple life, his write-ups on social issues and dedication to Urdu journalism. He said he never indulged in yellow journalism for material gains.

At the outset Hafiz Qari Hashim Ansari recited verses from the Holy Quran. Urdu poets Iqbal Baidaar and Zafar Naseemi rendered poetic tributes in praise of Arif Aziz which was applauded by the audience. Khalique Siddiqui and jweller Sheetal Bhai Soni presented gifts to him on the occasion. In the end Adv. Mohammad Kaleem proposed a vote thanks.