Two weeks after inauguration, Sahir Ludhianvi library without books, papers
Two weeks after its inauguration on March 14, the bookshelves of Sahir Ludhianvi library lie bare. Nothing, no books or research papers devoted to India’s famed poet and film lyricist — who was born and brought up in Ludhiana — are available.
Sahir Ludhianvi is the pen name of Abdul Hayee, an Indian poet and film lyricist from Ludhiana known for his famed lyrics, ‘Janey kya tune kahi’, sung by Geeta Dutt and ‘Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai’, sung by Mohammed Rafi in Pyaasa, among others .
Punjabi Bhawan, which has been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the library, has more than 60,654 books with rare manuscripts and PhD theses of Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu (from students of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan) in its own library.
Some of these books, manuscripts and theses, and a collection of poetry, mostly on Sahir Ludhianvi, were to be moved to the library dedicated to the poet-lyricist, but nothing has been done about it as yet.
The library had received funds worth Rs 25 lakh from former chief election commissioner of India Manohar Singh Gill for promoting Sahir Ludhianvi’s literary works.
Though the zila parishad sub-division officer Avtar Singh said the library building was handed over to Punjabi Sahit Akademi during its inauguration, the academy president , Sukhdev Singh, said the books could not be moved immediately as they received charge of the library on the day it was inaugurated.
“Now, the elections of Punjabi Sahit Akademi are scheduled for April 15 and the nomination process will start from April 4. It will be only after the election of the new president that pending work at the library will be completed,” he said.” He also said, “I have received the funds worth Rs 10 lakh for the upliftment of the building from a member of Rajya Sabha Naresh Gujral.”
Ardent readers disappointed
Locals said opening a library dedicated to Sahir Ludhianvi was a welcome step and will help the younger generation learn about his contribution to literary world and society.
Amarjeet Singh, a fan, said, “Sahir was a true nationalist poet. His poetic canvas was large and it has stood the test of time. It was not good to learn that the library which was inaugurated in his name is without any display of books, not even of Sahir. A seminar or an event should have been organised by now with due publicity.”
Sandeep Dutt, who visits Punjabi Bhawan regularly, suggested that instead of just moving books from one library to another, the Sahir Ludhianvi library should acquire his biographies, works, and his songs.
Another admirer of the poet-lyricist, Ashu Garg, said,“This will help popularise the works of great writers and poets among youngsters. The academy should give a platform to artistes to give performances based on his poetry.”