Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (30 September 1935 – 25 December 2020) was an Indian Urdu language poet, author, critic and theorist. He is known for ushering modernism to Urdu literature. He formulated fresh models of literary appreciation that combined western principles of literary criticism and subsequently applied them to Urdu literature after adapting them to address literary aesthetics native to Arabic, Persian, and Urdu. Some of his notable works included Sher-e-Shor Angrez (1996), Ka’i Chand The Sar-e Asman (2006), The Mirror of Beauty (2013), and The Sun that Rose from the Earth (2014). He was also the editor and publisher of the Urdu literary magazine Shabkhoon.

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi
Shamsur Rahman Farooqi.jpg
BornShamsur Rahman Faruqi
30 September 1935
Pratapgarh, United Provinces, British India
(now in Uttar Pradesh, India)
Died25 December 2020(2020-12-25) (aged 85)
Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Resting placeAshlok Nagar, Allahabad, beside his wife
OccupationPoet, critic
LanguageUrdu
NationalityIndian
Alma materAllahabad University
Notable works
  • Sher-e-Shor Angrez
  • The Sun that Rose from the Earth
  • The Mirror of Beauty
Notable awards

Faruqi received the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honor in 2009. He was also a recipient of the Saraswati Samman, an Indian literary award, for his work Sher-e-Shor Angrez in 1996, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1986 for Tanqidi Afqar.

Early life and educationEdit

Faruqi was born on 30 September 1935 in Pratapgarh, in present-day Uttar Pradesh, and was raised in Azamgarh and Gorakhpur.[1][2][3] He studied at Wellesley High School in Azamgarh and graduated from the Government Jubilee High School in Gorakhpur in 1949.[4] He finished his intermediate education in 1951 from Mian George Islamia Inter College in Gorakhpur.[4]

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Maharana Pratap College in Gorakhpur, and his Master of Arts (MA) degree in English literature from Allahabad University in 1955.[5][3] He pursued a doctorate in English symbolism and French literature with the poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan as his supervisor, but dropped out after a disagreement with Bachchan.[3]

CareerEdit

Faruqi began his writing career in 1960.[5] He founded the Urdu literary magazine Shabkhoon in 1966, and was its editor and publisher for more than four decades.[6][7] He was a visiting professor at the South Asia Regional Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania.[8] He was additionally employed by the Indian Postal Service until his retirement as a Postmaster General and a member of the Postal Services Board in 1994.[5]

An expert in classical prosody and ‘ilm-e bayan (the science of poetic discourse), he contributed to modern literary discourse with a profundity rarely seen in contemporary Urdu critics.[5] He was described as "the century's most iconic figure in the realm of Urdu literature".[9] Some of his notable works included Tafheem-e-Ghalib, a commentary on Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, Sher-e-Shor Angrez, a four volume study of 18th century poet Mir Taqi Mir and Kai Chand Thay Sar-e-Asmaan.

Faruqi is noted for ushering in modernism into Urdu literature through his works.[3] He formulated fresh models of literary appreciation, while absorbing western principles of literary criticism, and subsequently applied them to Urdu literature after adapting them to address literary aesthetics native to Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.[5][7][10] Through his works, he wrote about the Indian–Muslim way of life through the 18th and 19th centuries.[7] A progressive himself, he spoke against the burqa, hijab, and skull cap worn by conservatives, while continuing to emphasize the need for minority communities to express their own identity within democracies.[7] He considered himself to be an outsider in the Urdu literary establishment, challenging the position of incumbent progressive writers for stifling other writers.[7] He also emphasized the need for language to be a binding force for culture and communities, and expressed his concerns that language had been reduced to a tool of identity. He said in an interview, "It is sad that language has become a tool of ownership and hegemony; not the thread that binds people together."[11] His magazine, Shabkhoon (transl.Ambush at Night) between 1966 and 2006, aimed at publishing modernist Urdu literature and authors aiming to break the hegemony of the incumbent progressives.[8][3]

Faruqi also translated many of his own works to English. His 2013 novel, The Mirror of Beauty, was a translation of Ka'i Chand The Sar-e Asman, his 2006 Urdu novel. The book chronicled the life of Wazir Khanum, mother of late-19th-century Indian Urdu poet Daagh Dehlvi, and was set in that time's Delhi.[11][12] The book was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.[11] His 2014 novel, The Sun That Rose from the Earth, detailed the thriving Urdu literature scene in the Indian cities of Delhi and Lucknow of the 18th and 19th centuries, and resilience amidst the Indian Rebellion of 1857. There is no doubt that he was an iconoclast who was sometimes termed as TS Eliot of Urdu Literature.[13]

DastaangoiEdit

In addition to his contributions to Urdu literature, Faruqi is credited with the revival of the Dastangoi, a 16th-century Urdu oral storytelling art form.[14][7] The art form reached its zenith in the Indian sub-continent in the 19th century and is said to have died with the death of Mir Baqar Ali in 1928. Working with his nephew, the writer and director Mahmood Farooqui, Faruqi helped to modernize the format, and led its revival in the 21st century.[15] Starting in 2004, Farooqui and his Dastangoi group performed in India, Pakistan, and the United States.[16][17]

AwardsEdit

He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1986 for his book Tanqidi Afqar, which focuses on modern theories of poetry appreciation.[3] He was awarded the Saraswati Samman, an Indian literary award, for his work Sher-e-Shor Angrez, a four-volume study of the 18th-century poet Mir Taqi Mir, in 1996.[5][11] He was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honor, in 2009.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Faruqi met his future wife, Jamila Hashmi, when she was a student in Allahabad pursuing her master's degree in English literature. She later set up and ran two girls' schools focused on the economically marginalized.[19] The couple had two daughters, Afshan and Baran Faruqi, both of whom are academics.[20] Jamila died in 2007 of complications from hip replacement surgery.[21] Reflecting on the role played by his wife in advancing his career, Faruqi acknowledged that without her influence he would not have been able to invest his efforts in his magazine and stated that in consequence, "my struggle to become a writer of my kind would never have ended."[19]

He died on 25 December 2020 in Allahabad due to complications from COVID-19.[7] It was announced that he would be buried in the Ashlok Nagar in Allahabad.[7]

BibliographyEdit

  • Sher, Ghair Sher, Aur Nasr, (1973)[5]
  • The Secret Mirror, (in English, 1981)[5]
  • Ghalib Afsaney Ki Himayat Mein, (1989)[5]
  • Tafheem-e-Ghalib[22]
  • Tanqidi Afqar (1982)[3]
  • Sher-e Shor Angez (in 3 volumes, 1991–93)[5]
  • Mir Taqi Mir 1722–1810 (Collected works with commentary and explanation)[5]
  • Urdu Ka Ibtedai Zamana (2001)[5]
  • Ganj-i-Sokhta (poetry)[5]
  • Sawar Aur Doosray Afsanay (2001)[5]
  • Kai Chand Thay Sar-e-Asmaan (2006)[23]
  • The Mirror of Beauty (2013)[11]
  • The Sun that Rose from the Earth (2014)[11]
  • Ajab Sehar Bayan Tha (2018) Published by M R Publications, New Delhi
  • Hamarey Liye Manto Sahab (2013) Published by M R Publications, New Delhi
  • Khurshid ka Saman e Safar (2016) Published by M R Publications, New Delhi
  • Tanqidi Mamlat (2018) Published by M R Publications, New Delhi
  • Majlis e Afaq main Parwana Saan (Collecction of Poetry- 2018) Published by M R Publications, New Delhi
  • Sorat o Ma'ani e Sukhan (2010, 2021) Published by M R Publications, New Delhi
  • Sahiri Shahi Sahib e Qarani —Dastan Ameer Hamza ka Mutalea - Dastan Dunya -2, Vol. 5 (2020) Published by M R Publications, New Delhi
  • Afsaney ki Nai Himayat Main (2021) Published by M R Publications, New Delhi

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kumar, Nikhil. "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi: The literary life of a translator". The Caravan. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, noted Urdu poet-critic and Padma Shri awardee, passes away at 85 – Art-and-culture News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 25 December 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "'Ushered in the trend of modernism in Urdu' Noted writer, poet dies". The Indian Express. 26 December 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Farewell Shamsur Rahman Faruqi: The Sun That Set in the Earth". The Wire. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Shamsur Rehman Faruqi – The master critic". Daily Dawn-11 July 2004). columbia.edu. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  6. ^ Amaresh Datta (1988). Encyclopedia of Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi. p. 1899. ISBN 978-81-260-1194-0. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Noted writer, poet Shamsur Rahman Faruqi passes away". The Indian Express. 26 December 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  8. ^ a b Bilal, Maaz Bin. "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (1935–2020): Why this death leaves a permanent patch of darkness in literature". Scroll.in. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Urdu poet and critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi dies of Covid-19 at 85". Hindustan Times. 25 December 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  10. ^ "A Conversation with Shamsur Rahman Faruqi by Prem Kumar Nazar" (PDF). UrduStudies.com. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, noted Urdu poet-critic and Padma Shri awardee, passes away at 85 – Art-and-culture News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 25 December 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  12. ^ "The Last Ustad – OPEN Magazine". OPEN Magazine.
  13. ^ Khalid Bin Umar, Khalid Bin Umar (1 January 2021). "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi – T.S Eliot of Urdu Literature'". /
  14. ^ "Walk Back In Time: Experience life in Nizamuddin Basti, the traditional way". The Indian Express. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  15. ^ Husain, Intizar (25 December 2011). "COLUMN: Dastan and dastangoi for the modern audience". Dawn. Archived from the original on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  16. ^ Sayeed, Vikram Ahmed (14 January 2011). "Return of dastangoi". Frontline. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  17. ^ Ahmed, Shoaib (6 December 2012). "Indian storytellers bring Dastangoi to Alhamra". Dawn. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  19. ^ a b Soofi, Mayank Austen (15 November 2014). "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi: Darcy was a 'damn sexist'". mint. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  20. ^ Bilal, Maaz Bin. "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (1935–2020): Why this death leaves a permanent patch of darkness in literature". Scroll.in. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (1935–2020) 'Link uniting old, new cultures': Tributes pour in for literary icon". Hindustan Times. 25 December 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  22. ^ "Tafheem-e-Ghalib by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi". Rekhta. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  23. ^ Khwaja, Waqas. "Shamsur Rahman Faruqi's "The Mirror of Beauty": Striking a Discordant Note". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit