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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad: A poet who brought glamour and grace to Urdu poetry

lucknow Updated: Oct 17, 2019 00:07 IST

Main eik jaam hoo kis kis ke honth tak pahunchu,

Ghazab ki pyaas liye har bashar lage hai mujhe,

Taraash leta hoo us se bhi aaine ‘Manzoor’,

Kisi ke haath ka patthar agar lage hai mujhe.”

Professor Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad (October 17, 1929-April 22, 2016) was a poet who brought both glamour and grace to Urdu poetry, attracting followers from diverse fields like Bollywood as well as politics. Even stars like Dilip Kumar were mesmerized by his oratory and compering skills. The thespian once said he was afraid of speaking after an orator like Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad had spoken.

No wonder Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad compered the DCM mushaira from 1952 to 2016 for a period of 64 years. He also compered the Indo-Pak mushaira in Ambala for years as well as the Lal Qila mushaira for the longest period, said noted Urdu poet Sanjay Mishra ‘Shauq’.

“His fan following was not limited to Bollywood. He had fans in political circles too, like former prime minister late Inder Kumar Gujral, late prime minister Indira Gandhi, former presidents like Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad and Giani Zail Singh. His fan following was also in Pakistan, USA, Australia, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia,” said ‘Shauq’.

His son Parvez Malikzada who is also a brilliant compere and orator par excellence said, “ In Pakistani news paper ‘The Dawn’ a scholar Amjad bin Amjad had written that there was no one like Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad in Pakistan who could conduct mushairas and literary meetings so smoothly with so much grace. Pakistanis must learn from him how to conduct literary sessions.”

He said his father achieved meteoric heights despite heavy odds. Small wonder his life and works were a topic of research by scholars. During his lifetime, three PhDs were awarded by Jammu University, Nagpur University and Gorakhpur University on his work, showing that he was appreciated in different corners of India. Recently an M Phil was awarded by a university on his work, he said.

Awards galore

Professor Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad served as lecturer in history in Maharajganj, lecturer in English in Azamgarh, lecturer in Urdu in Gorakhpur University and retired as professor of Urdu from Lucknow University.

He penned more than a dozen books in prose and poetry.

He was president of Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy, chairman of UP government’s Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad Memorial Committee, member executive council National Council for Promotion of Urdu, member Prasar Bharti, member, executive council Lucknow University etc.

He was bestowed with more than 80 national & international awards; his age and the awards received were almost equal in number.