Eminent Lucknow-based Urdu poet and writer Munawwar Rana is a name which barely needs introduction. Synonymous with Urdu poetry, ghazal and nazm, the poet recently was conferred with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award. In Indore to take part in a function, the poet spoke about a number of things which caught up his attention lately.
You have been known for your sensitive approach especially in the genre of Ghazal, wherein you have comprehensively written verses on your mother. What has been the prime reason for this?
When I was in my youth, my classmates who were Bengalis would always tell me that Urdu and especially ghazal is one genre which cannot be enjoyed in the company of family. They would often point out the vast degradation the language had undergone in the times of different rulers.
It is then that I realised that I need to bring it back to its stature. Though not much change would have been brought to it, but I am happy that I made some contributions.
From being the language of courtesans to being the language which nobody much cares about today, Urdu underwent a lot of decline. What according to you ails this language?
The simple thought of discrimination. The day this word was born Urdu lost its stature. It was never the language of Muslims. It was the language of the common people.
The main reason why the language is not being able to flourish in a fashion it ideally should is because people look at it with the language of a particular section. Moreover, people only complain but nothing much happens for its development.
What according to you should be done to increase its popularity especially among the youth?
Especially with them as they have completely detached themselves from it. When Gandhi took a stand for the language he had suggested that the language be written in such a manner that it comes out as a status of uniformity.
It could be written from either side of the page. Today we need to do the same. Building academies will never solve the problem. We need to light up the flame for this language.
You have particularly written about communal harmony at a time when a number of incidents are happening especially in your state. What according to you is the right approach a person should have?
People should understand that we have been fooled not once but a number of times. Hindustan was always a place where people would live with a lot of love and affection. What difference does it make whether a person is a Hindu or a Muslim. We need to be humans first.
With the Sahitya Akademi Award in your kitty, what are the other projects you are working on?
I am penning down my autobiography, which is slated for release in April-May next year. Also in January 2015 a work of mine titled 'Teen Shehro Ka Chautha Aadmi' is slated to be released.