Dr. Nadeem Shafiq Malik

In addition to Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948), Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) is rightly regarded as the founding father of Pakistan.  Throughout his life span and even after his demise, his indebted community has shown unparalleled respect and admiration for him. The tendency reached its apex after the establishment of Pakistan, when Iqbal Day celebrations used to be observed with great dedication. The English dailies of Pakistan have also contributed a lot in that endeavour.  This is the third in the series of surveys that the present author has made. We have made an attempt to trace all such functions as reported in the English newspapers of Pakistan during 1952. It is hoped that this endeavour would reveal, at least to a considerable extent, the perceptions of the great seer and statesman found in the Pakistani journalism and the perspectives that underlie these perceptions.

The press coverage of activities concerned with Allama Iqbal during 1952 began on January 2, 1952, when The Civil & Military Gazette, Karachi published English translation of two poems of Allama Iqbal in prose attempted by G. Ahmed. One poem entitled A prayer was taken from Zubur-i-Ajam while the other Gabriel and Satan’ was chosen from Bal-i-Jibril.1

On January 9, 1952, The Civil & Military Gazette, Karachi published an article contributed by Javid Iqbal under the caption Iqbal and Nietzsche.  In this attempt, Javid has drawn a comparison between ideas of Allama Iqbal and Nietzsche.  He argued that Iqbals name had more than once been closed in brackets with that of Nietzsche for the superficial resemblance in their moral philosophies. Iqbals conception of perfect man had often been confounded with Nietzsches superman, and his stress on conflict as a necessity in life, has been wrongly identified  with  the   German   thinkers  acquisition  of  power’.2 Javid further argued that there was no denying the fact that Iqbal was influenced by Nietzsche but in no way, he was a counterpart of the German philosopher.  ‘Conflict as a necessity of life for Iqbal had an ethical significance. It had nothing to do with Nietzsches doctrine of acquisition of power. Extensively quoting from both the philosophers, Javid has effectively proved that Iqbals ideas were completely different from those of Nitzsche’s thought.3 Other Iqbal scholars support Javids ideas also.  Muhammad Maruf observes that notwithstanding his admiration of Nietzsche for his eager visualisation and blazing heart, Iqbal subjects his philosophical system, particularly his thought of the superman, to condemnation mostly due to his materialistic explanation of historical forces and his misconceived idea of time; his deviation of self as a fact and his denial of immortality and the hereafter; his mechanistic outlook of evolution which he envisaged as an Eternal Recurrence and his failure to realise the true implication of his own vision. According to Maruf, Iqbal epitomises Nietzsche’s total failings in the lack of proper spiritual supervision and attributes this to his academic progenitors like Kant and western way of life.4

A news item appeared in The Civil & Military Gazette, Karachi on January 16, 1952 which revealed that the first instalment of fifteen books on Iqbal  and his poetical works for distribution to American universities had been dispatched by the Iqbal Society to the USA. The paper pointed out that requests had recently been received by the Iqbal Society from American societies and universities for literature on Iqbal and his influence in the shaping of Pakistan.5

All English newspapers of Pakistan were full of material related with Iqbal during the month of April due to Iqbal Day falling on April 21.

The Pakistan Times in its issue of April 3, 1952 stated that Iqbal Day was observed in Sargodha on April 2 under the auspices of Bazm-i-Adab, Government College, Sargodha.  Abul Lais Siddiqi (1916-1994)6, Ebadat Barelvi, Syed Hasan Abadi and Syed Viqar Azeem (1910-1976)7 read papers on the life and works of the celebrated poet.  In the evening a big mushaira’ was held in which prominent poets of the province, including Sufi Tabassum (1899-1978)8 participated.9

On April 4, 1952, The Pakistan Times published the Iqbal Day programme issued by the Secretaries of the Central Iqbal Committee. The programme included recitation of the Quran at the poets mausoleum in the dawn, followed by a maqalat session at the YMCA Hall in the morning to be presided over by M. Raziuddin Siddiqi, Director of Research, Peshawar University and a public meeting outside Mochi Gate in the evening. The paper further informed that the Committee was also arranging through its affiliated branches the celebration of Iqbal Day at centres other than Lahore on different dates. It was being done to make it an Iqbal week’, the paper concluded.10

The Pakistan Times in its issue of April 6, 1952 informed that under the auspices of the Bazm-i-Fikr-o-Adab Montogomery, Iqbal Day would be celebrated on April 19, 1952, at the stadium ground.  According to report, M. Raziuddin, Syed Abid Ali Abid, Hameed Ahmed Khan and Agha Haider, would deliver speeches on the philosophy and poetry of Allama Iqbal. After that, a mushaira’ would be held in which prominent poets would recite their verses.11

The Pakistan Times in its issue of April 7, 1952, informed that a public meeting under the president ship of the Punjab Governor I. I. Chundrigar would be held in Huzuri Bagh, Lahore, near Allama Iqbal’s tomb, on the morning of April 21 in connection with the observance of Iqbal Day. Mian Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani (1905-1918)12, Minister for Interior, would be the principal speaker at the meeting. During the few minutes silence, a RPAF plane would fly overhead and shower flowers on the Iqbal’s grave. The paper further informed that a meeting would be held in the University Hall where papers would be read on the life and works of Iqbal. Ch. Muhammad Ali (1905-1980)13, Minister for Finance and ‘Abdul Wahab Azzam would participate in the meeting.14

The Pakistan Times in its issue of April 8, 1952 informed that the Majlis-i-Adab, Lahore would observe Iqbal Day on April 20, 1952 by holding two sessions in the Town Hall, Lahore. The morning session would be presided over by Khawaja Dil Muhammad in which prominent writers and poets would read papers and recite poems on the ideology of Iqbal. Muhammad Baqir, Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi (b.1916), Ebadat Barelvi, Salahuddin Ahmad, Sufi Tabassum and Qateel Shifai were prominent among those who would speak on the occasion.  In the evening session, which would be presided over by Justice S. A. Rahman, a mushaira would be held in which well known poets of the province were expected to participate. The daily also gave additional information about the Iqbal Day public meeting being held under the auspices of the Central Iqbal Committee, outside Mochi Gate, Lahore in the evening of April 21, 1952. Quoting a statement issued by Agha Shorish Kashmiri (1917-1975)15 and Khawaja Abdur Rahim, Secretaries of the Committee, the paper informed that the meeting would be presided over by Chaudhry Ghulam Abbass and A. R. Sagar and Raja Hasan Akhtar would speak on the occasion.16

On April 12, 1952, The Pakistan Times published a press release issued by United States Information Service (U.S.I.S.) stating that the VOAs Urdu language section would celebrate Iqbal week beginning on April 20. Throughout the week, readings from the poetry of Iqbal were planned including quotations from Asrar-i-Khudi and Bang-i-Dara.  In addition, the VOAs commentator Farid Ahmad would present commentaries based upon the writings of Iqbal. These commentaries would feature messages from American scholars familiar with Iqbals work, which Farid Ahmed would present with Urdu translations. Among the subjects planned for the commentary, services were Iqbal and the spiritual crisis and Iqbal as a bridge between East and West’. In concluding Iqbal week, the VOA planned to hold a mushaira on April 27.17

The Pakistan Times in its issue of April 13, 1952 informed that the Iqbal Day would be celebrated at Lodhran under the auspices of Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lodhran. According to the programme, a public meeting would be held in which Moulvi Islam-ud-Din, MLA, and Syed Alamdar Hussain, MLA, President District Muslim League, Multan would deliver speeches on the life of Allama Iqbal.18

On April 15, 1952, The Pakistan Times again repeated the Iqbal Day programme planned by Majlis-i-Adab at Lahore.19

On April 16, 1952, The Pakistan Times informed that the Iqbal Association, Dera Ismail Khan, was preparing to observe Iqbal Day in a befitting manner.  As per arrangements, a procession would be taken out in the morning and speeches would be made. In the evening, there would be a debate on Iqbal and his philosophy of Jihad and at night, a local mushaira’ would be held in the Government High School premises.20

The Pakistan Times informed in its issue of April 18, 1952 that Kailash Nath Katju, the Indian Home Minister would address the Iqbal Day meeting organised by the Pakistan High Commission in India in which prominent Indian poets viz., Talok Chand Mahroom, Jagananth Azad and Pandit Hari Chand Akhtar were expected to participate.21

In another news item published on the same day, The Pakistan Times, while reporting about finalisation of arrangement of Iqbal Day meeting being held under official patronage at Lahore, revealed that ten public processions would be taken out on Iqbal Day.  These processions, after marching through various parts of Lahore, would converge at Hazuri Bagh and join the public meeting, which was being held under the presidentship of the Punjab Governor. It was further stated that an aeroplane of the RPAF laden with several mounds of rose petals, would fly from the aerodrome and circling over a public meeting, would shower its load on Allama Iqbal’s grave.22

The 14th death anniversary of Allama Iqbal was celebrated with great fervour through out the country and abroad in 1952 which was efficiently covered by the English newspapers of Pakistan and a number of articles, editorials and news items appeared on the occasion which are described here. On April 20, 1952 a meeting was organised by the Majlis-i-Adab, Lahore to celebrate Iqbal Day under the presidentship of Khawaja Dil Muhammad. Salahuddin Ahmed, while speaking on Iqbals concept of millat,” said that he never confined his connotation of millat to the four corner of Islamic society, but extended its significance to humanity at large.23 Muhammad Baqir, read out an article entitled Bal-i-Jibril par aik nazar.Ebadat Barelvi spoke on Iqbal ki Insan Dosti while Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi read an article on Iqbal aur Khudi’ and Sufi Tabassum and Qateel Shafai recited their poems.24

Lahore, which had the honour of providing the last resting-place of the great poet, organised several programmes to celebrate the occasion. His many thousands admirers, including ministers, high ranking civil and military officers and leading public men, gathered at his mausoleum in the early morning and offered fatiha. Quran Khawani was done for about three hours at his grave and in some leading mosques of the city. As usual, Lahore dailies including English newspapers brought out special Iqbal Day supplements and offices of The Pakistan Times and The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, remained closed on April 21 on account of Iqbal Day. The Punjab Government also declared April 21, a public holiday. 25

About ten processions were taken out in the city in the early morning as a mark of deep reverence for Allama Iqbal. The Pakistan Times, The Khyber Mail and The Civil & Military Gazette, Lahore reported that these processions marched through the main thorough fares of Lahore and later converged on to the Hazuri Bagh where a public meeting was held under the auspices of the Punjab Government.26 Speaking on the occasion, which was prominently reported in Dawn, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi and The Pakistan Times, I. I. Chundrigarh said that Iqbal’s poetry awakened the Indians Muslims from the deep slumber of centuries and infused in them the intense passion for freedom. He made them conscious of their past greatness and inherent strength. The political and intellectual awakening among the Muslims ultimately sought its consummation in the establishment of Pakistan. Pakistanis, he said, would always feel themselves under heavy debt of gratitude to Iqbal.27 Chundrigar impressed on his audience the need for building social and economic life of Pakistan on ideals set by Iqbal. He stressed that Iqbal’s one overpowering desire was to see the Muslims attain that vigour and strength, which characterised the life of the early Muslims. Concluding the Governor called upon the people to strive hard for higher ideals that the great poet-philosopher had set for them.28 As he concluded his speech, three R.P.A.F planes soared low overhead and dropped rose petals on the tomb of the preceptor of Pakistan to the accompaniment of lusty cheers of the huge crowd.29

The Central Iqbal Committee whose programme ran more or less parallel to the official programme started the day with Quran Khawani at the grave of Allama Iqbal. It was followed by a special session held at the Y. M. C. A. Hall under the presidentship of Raziuddin Siddiqi of the Peshawar University where Muhammad Baqir, Taj Muhammad Khayal (1904-1961)30 and Raja Hasan Akhtar read papers on various aspects of Iqbals thought and poetry. Baqir in his paper on Destiny of nations as Iqbal conceived it agreed that unlike the other thinkers, who put all the emphasis on material sources, Iqbal believed that Godliness and Righteousness were the only sound basis for the success of a nation. He did attach paramount importance to knowledge and industry but according to him, knowledge about Godliness and Righteousness’ could not keep a nation in power for very long.31 According to early announcement made by the Central Iqbal Committee, message of the Iranian Ambassador and poet’s son Javid Iqbal were also to be read on the occasion and poems were to be recited by Hafeez Hoshiarpuri (1912-1973)31-A, Abdul Karim Samar (1905-1989)32, Tufail Hoshiarpuri (1914-1993)33, and Abdul Hamid Adam (1910-1981)34.

Another report that appeared in The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore informed that the public meeting held under the auspices of the Central Iqbal Committee outside Mochi Gate in the evening, was presided over by A. R. Saghar and was addressed besides him by Raja Hasan Akhtar and Abdus Sattar Niazi.36In his presidential speech, Saghar referred to Iqbal’s attachment to the people of Kashmir and his interest in their struggle for freedom. He said that he met Iqbal in 1928 when he advised the Kashmiris to launch a non co-operation movement on the pattern of the Indian National Congress.  Iqbal in his works, he said, has repeatedly reverted to the oppressive Dogra rule in Kashmir, and called upon the Muslims of Kashmir to shake off the shackles of subjection.37 Speaking on the occasion, Abdus Sattar Niazi said that Iqbal was painfully conscious of the economic backwardness and ruin of the Muslims and many of his poems clearly speak of his feeling on that issue.38 Niazi regretted that after the establishment of Pakistan the Muslims lost sight of the lofty ideals, which inspired Iqbal. Among the educated class had crept a sense of despair and scepticism while the masses were doubtful of the chances of building a true Islamic state.39 In the afternoon, the Punjab Provincial Muslim League (PPML) also celebrated Iqbal Day at a meeting held in the Barkat Ali Mohammedan Hall.40

The Iqbal Day celebrations were rounded off with a meeting held at the Punjab University Senate Hall where Muhammad Ali delivered a discourse on Iqbals message.  In the course of his speech reported in The Morning News, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, and Dawn, Muhammad Ali observed that there was nothing against which Iqbal battled so vigorously and persistently as against the lack of faith, which saps the will to action. He concluded, Not until we recapture faith in Islam as a living force capable of leading humanity to its highest development, not until we place all the resources of our mind in the service of this great cause, not until then would we have the vision to see what Islam can do for humanity.41 Beside Muhammad Alis speech, Syed Akhlaq Husain and Salahuddin Ahmed read articles on Iqbals conception of khudi and poetry relating to Muslim countries.Salahuddin said that Iqbals poetry, which in the beginning was deeply submerged in wataniat and love for his country, was later transferred to millat as a deep fountain of his fikr.42

On April 22, the women section of the PPML organised an Iqbal Day meeting under the presidentship of Begum Shafi in which prominent women of Lahore participated. As per reports which appeared in The Pakistan Times and The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, over a dozen speakers addressing the gathering dwelt on the life and works of the poet while Shamim Jallunduri43, a poetess of Lahore, recited a poem in praise of Iqbal.Begum Tasadduq Hussain said that Allama Iqbal’s poetry carried the message of Islamic goodwill and love to the whole world. His message, she added, now enriched every part of the world by preaching the philosophy and ideology of a true Muslim.44Begum G. A. Khan, in her speech observed that Iqbal did not like the idea of Muslim women imitating the West. He believed that women could rebuild a society and help in the growth of a nation.Begum Bashir Ahmed observed that Iqbal believed that it was with in the power of every human being to become perfect’. He used eagle as a symbol in his poetry to signify the hardships and struggles of life. According to him, man could not become perfect without constant struggle and continued sufferings.45 Begum Shafi in her presidential remarks said that it was possible for every mother in Pakistan to make her son an Iqbal inculcating in him the teachings of Islam.  It was her duty to acquaint her children with the teachings of the great poet who laid stress on love of God and humanity. Among others, who spoke were Surayya Salim, Amina Sultana, Begum Ishaque and Begum Imdad.46

Commenting on Iqbal Day celebrations held at Lahore, the correspondent of The Morning News observed that students of Iqbal felt that popular leaders were fast losing contact with the actual works of the great poet.  More than half a dozen renowned public figures misquoted Iqbals verses during the course of their lectures.  The common man in Lahore was interested in knowing rather discovering’ Iqbal. He demonstrated his interest by sitting in scorching heat of Lahore without any shade for several hours.  Nevertheless, what he heard were some oft-repeated couplets from Iqbal, which he is listening since he was a child, and in some cases, those too were recited wrongly.47

In Karachi various organisations held special Iqbal Day meetings. The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, The Morning News, The Pakistan Times, Dawn and The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi reported that some of the city’s main markets remained closed. The day was rounded off with a mass meeting at Jahangir Park under the auspices of Majlis-i-Iqbal for which special traffic arrangements were made.48 Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Abdul Rab Nishtar, denounced in strongest terms the mounting parochial tendencies in Pakistan, and made an impassioned appeal to the people to imbibe the teachings of Iqbal and to carry forth his message to the outside world. He made a stirring appeal to Pakistanis to study Iqbal again and develop the same spirit, which had won for them their homeland. He said that Allama Iqbal’s greatest contribution was that he aroused the Indian Muslims to their rights and responsibilities.49Mahmood Hussain, spoke on Iqbals part in the re-awakening of Muslim masses.  He said that the poet through his works inspired the Muslims to shake off the feeling of despondence and the spirit of defeatism which enabled them to face not only the British rulers but also the prosperous Hindu majority community. Referring to the Iqbal’s message, he said that he taught the Muslims that action is the essence of life and without self-confidence and faith nothing could be achieved.50 Abdul Wahab Azzam discussed various aspects of Iqbals philosophy of khudi and observed that he held the view that western civilisation was based on materialism and that the salvation of the world lied in following the tenets of Islam. Abdul Majeed Salik and Burny also spoke on the occasion.51

The Karachi branch of APWA arranged a womens meeting in connection with the Iqbal Day at the Gul-i-Rana Club under the presidentship of Begum Abdullah Haroon.Addressing the gathering, Begum Muhammad Ali, wife of the Finance Minister, appealed to the women of Pakistan to help make Pakistan strong and stable. She said that since the dream of the immortal poet had now materialised in shape of Pakistan, it was now for the women of Pakistan to march forward under the guidance of that great message. She also read out a message from Begum Liaquat Ali Khan, President, APWA. The gathering, which was well attended, was also addressed by Begum Siddiq Ali Khan, Begum Niaz Ahmed and Begum Sufi.  Girl-students recited popular poems of Iqbal.52

Iqbal Day was also celebrated in rest of the West Pakistan with due solemnity which was reported by all English newspapers. Dawn and The Morning News, reported that in Bahawalpur State, all the government offices remained close to mark the day.  National Guards and Scouts marched through the main states of Bahawalpur in observance of Iqbal Day. A number of meetings were held in the Baghdad-ul-Jadid when speeches eulogising the services of Iqbal and the beauty of his poetry were made. The Bahawalpur Youth Federation held a meeting in the evening presided over by the Punjab Development Minister Syed Ali Hussain Shah Gardezi. Among those, who attended, were Frontier Minister Khan Jalaluddin Khan (1903-1981)53 and Bahawalpur Revenue Minister Syed Hassan Mahmood (1922-1986)54.55

At Hyderabad, Iqbal Day was observed in the Sind University, Senate Hall under the chairmanship of  I. I. Kazi (1886-1969)56, Vice Chancellor of Sind University. The Pakistan Times and Dawn reported that during the meeting speakers dealt at length with various aspects of Allama Iqbal’s philosophy and poetry.57 At Sukkur, Iqbal Day was celebrated at a well-attended public meeting held at the Islamia High School. Various speakers addressed the meeting and paid glowing tributes to the poet-philosopher. After the speeches, the leading poets of the Upper Sind participated in the mushaira arranged for the occasion. Cement Workers’ Gymkhana of Rohri also planned to celebrate Iqbal Day on May 2 and 3.  A mushaira was planned to be held on May 3, 1952 in which prominent poets from Karachi were expected to participate.58

Iqbal Day was observed in Rawalpindi under the auspices of the Pindi Iqbal Day Committee. The Pakistan Times reported that the largely attended function, was presided over by Lt. Gen. S.M.A. Faruki, Director General of Medical Services, Pakistan Armed Forces. The various speakers who dwelt at length on the different aspects of Allama Iqbal’s philosophy included Lt. Gen. Faruki, Brig. Gulzar Ahmed (1909-1998)59, S. A. Haque, Lt. Col. K. A. Rashid (1912-1983)60, Qazi Nasir Ahmed and Lt. Col. Muhammad Gulzar Ahmed. The function was concluded by a mushaira, which lasted until late in the night.61

At Muzaffarabad, papers were read and speeches were made at a select gathering in which high officials and local gentry participated. Later, a mushaira was held in which poets from Peshawar and Rawalpindi participated.62

At Mianwali, local Government College Union arranged an Iqbal Day meeting presided over by Ch. Nasrullah Khan, Deputy Commissioner Mianwali.  The Pakistan Times reported that it was attended by a large number of students, officials and others and addressed by a number of speakers. A mushaira was also held on the occasion by the Bazm-i-Iqbal.63 Iqbal Day was also celebrated in Sargodha by the local Bazm-i-Uruj-i-Adab and papers on the life and works of Pakistans national poet were read. A mushaira was later held in the evening in which prominent local poets participated.64

At Sheikhupura, according to a report which appeared in The Pakistan Times, the death anniversary of Allama Iqbal was observed in the local Town Hall. Ch. Abdul Ghani (1912-1991)65, MLA spoke on the achievements of Iqbal in the fields of poetry and politics, with special references to his contribution to the awakening of the Indian Muslims and to the movement for the establishment of Pakistan. Later Malik Abdul Qaiyum, Secretary, Muslim League, Sheikhupura, threw light on the life of Allama Iqbal. A mushaira was also held under the auspices of Muslim League in the Town Hall.66

Dawn, The Khyber Mail and The Pakistan Times reported that Iqbal Day was observed through out the Frontier province by holding special meetings in all the big towns of the province. At Peshawar, Bazm-i-Urdu and Bazm-i-Sukhan arranged a public meeting attended by a large number of poets, along with others. At the gathering, poems were recited and speeches made paying tribute to Allama Iqbal.  Peshawar papers also brought out special editions dealing with various aspects of Iqbal’s poetry and his mission in life.67

·                      Raz, the radio commentator of The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore while reviewing Radio Pakistans Iqbal Day programmes stated that he had earlier suggested to Radio Pakistan to make their contents accessible to the common listener in simple Urdu but so far it had not received the attention it deserved. He stressed that what was wanted was a simple exposition of Iqbal’s lectures in Urdu in a series of talks.68

Tributes from East Pakistan

            Glowing tributes were paid to the genius of Allama Iqbal all over East Pakistan on his 14th death anniversary, which was prominently published by English newspapers of both the wings. The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, The Morning News and Dawn reported that institutions and individuals, during various functions held in the memory of the poet, expressed their deep gratitude to the services rendered by him to the nation. The Iqbal Day in the districts were highlighted by mushairas, speeches on the life and work of poet-philosopher, recitation of his poems and their translations in Urdu, Bengali, and English.69

At Dhaka, a varied programme of meetings and functions was gone through, attended by thousands of admirers and followers of Allama Iqbal, under the auspices of Anjuman-i-Taraqqi-i-Urdu, East Pakistan and other organizations.70 The Pakistan Times and The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi reported that the two day celebrations started on April 20 with a debate presided over by Raza Ali Wahshat. The House rejected by an overwhelming majority the proposition that ‘Allama Iqbal was a great opponent of the rights of women. Eight speakers drawn from various walks of life participated in the discussion, and spoke before a hall packed to capacity. Later in the evening, a number of Iqbal’s poems were sung by qawwals, at a meeting attended by a large audience.71

On April 21, 1952, the Iqbal Day celebration at Dhaka began with a literary meeting held at Mukul Cinema Hall under the auspices of Anjuman-i-Taraqqi-i-Urdu. The Morning News and Dawn reported that during the meeting, speeches were made and papers read on various aspects of Iqbal’s life, teachings, and contributions to the Muslim renaissance in the sub-continent and the establishment of Pakistan.72Delivering his presidential speech, Abdur Rahman, the Principal of the Jaganath College, made forceful plea for the establishment of an Iqbal society to undertake the task of translating the poet’s works into Bengali and propagation of his message in every nook and corner of the province. He said that Iqbal was the national poet of Pakistan and his message was the message of Quran and Islam. He expressed his gratification as the people had taken so much interest in the function.73         Earlier Qari Ahmed Husain read an article in Bengali relating to Iqbals contribution in the awakening of the nation.Ali Ahsan, lecture of the Dhaka University read out translations of certain portions of the Asrar-i-Khudi in Bengali. Tahir Farooqi, Reader in the Dhaka University speaking in Urdu exhorted the people to follow in letter and spirit the message of Iqbal, which was the best way of paying tribute to his memory. Iqbal’s poems were recited by Andaleeb Shadani (1904-1969)74, Iqbal Azeem and Saroor Barabankavi. The function was closed after a short speech by Nur-ur-Rehman, Secretary of the Anjuman-i-Taraqqi-i-Urdu.75

The Iqbal Day was also celebrated in the Rahmatullah Model High School, Dhaka under the presidentship of Tamanna “Imadi, and a varied programme was gone through. The Morning News and Dawn informed that the hall in which the meeting was held was packed to capacity and a large number of the elite of the city attended. The students residing at the Fazlul Huq Hall of the Dhaka University observed Iqbal Day with great enthusiasm.76

The students of the Eden Girls College also arranged an Iqbal Day meeting under the presidentship of Principal of the College. Dawn and The Morning News reported that besides paying glowing tributes to Allama Iqbal through speeches, girls recited some of his poems and translations of his poetic works in Bengali and English were also presented. One of most remarkable feature of the function was dramatisation of remarkable poem depicting dialogue between Gabriel and Satan.77

Iqbals death anniversary was also observed under the auspices of the East Pakistan branch of the Krishak Mazdoor League, in a meeting held at its office. Dawn and The Morning News reported that Azizul Hakim in his presidential speech while calling Iqbal the national poet of Pakistan’ observed that the poet was a great champion of the mazdoors and the sufferers. The poor people, he said, had a firm conviction that their future would improve according to the teachings of Iqbal.  Other speakers including Shamsuddin, Abdur Rahman and Tassadduq Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.78

The two days observance at Dhaka, culminated in a brilliant mushaira, held in the Maya Cinema Hall.  The Morning News and Dawn communicated that prominent poets of Urdu from various parts of East Pakistan recited their compositions before a crowded audience of the elite of the city. Among those who participated were the celebrated Raza Ali Wahshat, Syed Mahmud Hussain Tarzi, Andaleeb Shadani, Ahsanullah Ashk, Iqbal Azeem, Suroor and many other Urdu luminaries from all over the province.79 The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore stated that the Radio Pakistan, Dhaka also had special broadcasts on the occasion.80

Besides Dhaka, Iqbal Day was also celebrated at other major places of East Pakistan. The Morning News reported that Iqbal Day was observed at Pabnat and a mammoth public meeting was held under the auspices of the Jamiat-i-Ahle Hadith. The meeting was presided over by Syed Rashidul Hasan, the District and Sessions Judge, Parna-Kushtia.  Prominent writers and poets read out articles and poems in Urdu and Bengali. Two silver medals were awarded to the best writers on Iqbal- one for Urdu, the other for Bengali. Muhammad Abdullah el Kafee al-Quraishi spoke at length on the teachings of Iqbal.  A society called Halqua-i-Adab-i-Iqbal’ was formed under the presidentship of the District Judge to study the literature of Iqbal.81

The Pakistan Observer informed that a representative Iqbal Day Celebration Committee’ was formed at Sylhet with Majiddin Ahmed Choudhary, as President and Moinuddin Ahmed MLA as the Secretary for the observance of Iqbal Day on April 24. Its members included representatives from the Jamait-i-Ulama-i-Islam, the Muslim League, the Motamer Alam-i-Islami, Anjuman-i-Taraqqi-i-Urdu and Muslim Students League.82

At Chittagong, a big public meeting was held at the Railway Sports Institute under the presidentship of Andaleeb Shadani. The Morning News reported that the meeting was organised by the Majlis-i-Iqbal, East Pakistan of which the provincial Governor was the patron. Several essays on the philosophy and poetry of Allama Iqbal were read out in the meeting. Shadani in his presidential address said that the philosophy of Iqbal was primarily the philosophy of action. He was a poet of the highest order and could rank with the greatest poets of the world.  Besides, he was a guide, a sage and a philosopher who moulded the destiny of a nation.  The meeting was followed by a grand mushaira attended by Shadani, Iqbal Azeem, Ahsan Ahmed Ashk, Hasan Azhar, and a number of other poets.83

Iqbal Day was observed at Bogra by different organisations on April 21. The Morning News narrated that APWA Bogra branch, held a special meeting with Begum Zahera Rahman in the chair.  Hasna Begum a teacher of local V. M. Girls H. E. School delivered an illuminating speech on the life and works of Iqbal. Prizes were awarded to Sahira Banu, Shamsun Nahar and Zulekha Begum for recitation from the works of Iqbal, writing essays on poet and singing songs compared by him respectively.84

In the evening a public meeting was held in the Woodburn Public Library Hall where several speakers discussed the life and the activities of the poet. The meeting was presided over by Muhammad Masud, District Magistrate who also addressed the meeting and proposed to form a branch of the Iqbal Academy there. Another Iqbal Day meeting was also held at the Local Marina Hall under the presidentship of Maziruddin Ahmed.85

Iqbal Day was observed at Comilla with great fervour. The Morning News reported that local schools and colleges, which were closed on the occasion, observed the Day recalling the services of national poet for their future guidance. Public meetings were also held under the auspices of various organisations in observance of the Day. At the meeting held in the Basanta Memorial Library speakers dwelt on the life and works of the poet.86

At Rangpur, the Sadar Ansars Club of Rangpur observed the Iqbal Day at a meeting presided over by Mazhar Ali, Sub-Divisional Adjutant of Ansars.  The Morning News communicated that besides speeches of Iqbal, a number of his poems were also recited.

At Mymensingh, the local branch of the All East Pakistan Muslim Students League observed a two days programme of the Iqbal Day.

At Noakhali the day was observed with due solemnity at a meeting presided over by Ahiddin Chaudhry.

Iqbal’s death anniversary was also observed at a meeting in Dinajpur.87

Even a cursory glance on the above paras would reveal that Allama Iqbal being the originator of the idea of newly established state enjoyed a special status among the Pakistani intelligentsia.  A survey of English dailies of Pakistan which existed during 1952 reveals that he was highly respected for his multi-dimensional services and his views were persistently quoted by renowned personalities of every walk of life, like writers, politicians, intellectuals, civil servants and theologians as guidelines to be pursued in reshaping the proposed structure of the motherland. His ideas were presented as a panacea for all the ills and rallying point for the development of a sense of unity and oneness. 

Notes and References



1 G. Ahmad, Two poems of Iqbal, The Civil & Military Gazette, Karachi, January 2, 1952.

2 Javid Iqbal, Iqbal and Nietzsche, The Civil & Military Gazette, Karachi, January 9, 1952.

3 Ibid.

4 Muhammad Maruf, Iqbals criticism of Nietzsche, Iqbal Review, Vol. XXIII, No.3, October, 1982, pp.43-44.

5 15 [fifteen] books on Iqbal sent to US, The Civil & Military Gazette, Karachi, January 16, 1952.

6 Abul Lais Siddiqi (1916-1994); critic, researcher, educationist; lecturer, Urdu Department, Oriental College, Lahore; Chairman, Department of Urdu, Karachi University; chief editor, Board for Advancement of Urdu. Pubs. Lakhnaw ka Dabistan-i-Shiri; Kuliat-i-Mushafi; Aaj ka Urdu Adab; Ghazal aur Mutghazalain; Tarikh Zaban-o-Adabiat-i-Urdu; Tarikh-o-Asul-i-Tanqid.

7 Syed Viqar Azeem (1910-1976); writer, critic, translator, researcher, educationist, Iqbalist; supervisor, Publication and Translation Department Punjab University, Lahore, 1960-70; Chairman Urdu Department, Oriental College, 1965-67; Pubs. Fan Afsanah Nigari; Dastan say Afsaney Tak; Naya Afsanah; Hamrai Dastanain; Hamary Afsanay; Iqbal Batur Shair-o-Falsafi; Fun aur Funkar; Agha Hashr aur Unkay Daramay; Iqbaliat ka Tanqidi Jaizah, IqbalMuasireen ki Nazar Main.

8 Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabbassum (1899-1978); poet, writer, critic, educationist, translator, Iqbalist; lecturer Government College, Lahore; editor, weekly Lail-o-Nahar, Lahore; Chairman Pakistan Arts Council; Vice President Iqbal Academy, Pakistan. Pubs. Anjuman; Naqsh-i-Iqbal; Sara-i-Pardah-i-Aflak (translation of Javid Namah), Sad Shir-i-Iqbal.

9 Iqbal Day in Sargodha, The Pakistan Times, April 3, 1952.

10 Iqbal Day in Lahore on April 21, The Pakistan Times, April 4,  1952.

11 “‘Iqbal Day in Montgomery, The Pakistan Times, April 6, 1952.

12 Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani (1905-1918); politician and worker of Pakistan movement; President, Zamindars Association, Muzaffargarh District, 1925; nominated member, Muzaffargarh District Board, 1926; member Punjab Legislative Assembly 1930, 1937; Parliamentary Secretary, Education and Health, Punjab 1937-42; Director, Publicity and Recruitment, Government of India, 1942-45; Director General, Resettlement and Employment, Government of India, 1945-47; delegate to International Labour Conference Montreal, 1946; Prime Minister Bahawalpur State 1947; Central Minister for Kashmir Affairs, 1950-51; Central Interior Minister 1951-54; Governor Punjab, 1954-55; member, Pakistan Constituent Assembly, 1955-56; Governor West Pakistan, 1955-57.

13 Chaudhry Muhammad Ali (1905-1980); economist, civil servant, politician, lecturer, Islamia College, Lahore, 1927-28; joined the Indian Audit and Accounts Service, 1928; Accountant General, Bahalwalpur State, 1932-36; Secretary to the Finance Member, Government of India, 1936; Deputy Financial Advisor, Government of India, 1939; member, Steering Committee Partition Council, 1947; Chief Adviser to Interim Finance Minister of India, 1946, Secretary General Government of Pakistan, 1947-51; member, Constituent Assembly, 1951-56; Finance Minister, 1951-55; Prime Minister of Pakistan, 1955-56; founder-President Nizam-i-Islam Party, Publs. Emergence of Pakistan; Task before Us.

14 Iqbal Day in Lahore, The Pakistan Times, April 7, 1952.

15 Agha Abdul Karim (Shorish Kashmiri) (1917-1975); journalist, orator, poet, writer, editor weekly Chittan, Lahore. Pubs. Pas-i-Diwar-i-Zindan; Maut say Wapasi; Iqbal Paimabr-i-Inqilab; Syed Attaullah Shah Bukhari; Shab Jaay Keh Man Budum; Maulana Zafar Ali Khan.

16 Iqbal Day plans for Lahore, The Pakistan Times, April 8, 1952.

17 Voice of America to celebrate Iqbal week, The Pakistan Times, April 12, 1952.

18 Iqbal Day plans for Lodhran, The Pakistan Times, April 13, 1952.

19 Iqbal Day plans for Lahore, The Pakistan Times, April 15, 1952.

20 Iqbal Day plans for D.I. Khan, The Pakistan Times, April 16, 1952.

21 Iqbal Day in Delhi, The Pakistan Times, April 18, 1952.

22 Processions on Iqbal Day, The Pakistan Times, April 18, 1952.

23 Glowing tributes paid to Allama Iqbal, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 21, 1952.

24 Ibid.

25 Lahore homage to Iqbal: Glowing tributes paid to poet of the East, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 23, 1952; Iqbal Day, The Pakistan Times, April 20, 1952; Iqbal Day holiday, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 21, 1952.

26 Ibid., Iqbal Day, The Khyber Mail, April 19, 1952; Iqbal Day meeting: Arrangements, The Pakistan Times, April 20, 1952; Arrangements for Iqbal Day meeting at Hazuri Bagh, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 20, 1952; The processions was led by the following persons representing the areas mentioned against their names: Hakim Muhammad Bashir(Kotwali), Major A.H. Hashmi(Mozang), Muhammad Amin (Lohari Division), Kh. Amir-ud-Din (Gowalmandi), Malik Muhammad Ashiq (Ichhra), Mian Muhammad Karam Ellahi (Misri Shah), Dr. Rafiuddin (Old Anarkali), Abdul Aziz (Bhati, Naulakha) and Jamil Siddiqi (New Anarkali).

27 Ibid., Big public meeting in Lahore, Dawn, April 22, 1952; Redouble efforts to make Pakistan strong: Chundrigars address on Iqbal Day, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 23, 1952; Pakistan observes Iqbal Day: Country-wide  tributes to poet- philosopher: Chundrigar & Muhammad Ali address Lahore meetings, The Pakistan Times, April 23, 1952.

28 Ibid.

29 Ibid.

30 Taj Muhammad Khayal (1904-1961); educationist, poet and writer; Principal Zamindara College, 1942-51; Government College Faisalabad, 1951-54; Chairman Intermediate Education Board, Lahore 1958-61; Vice Chancellor, Punjab University, 1961.

31 Iqbals views on the destiny of nations, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 23, 1952; Under the auspices of the Central Iqbal Committee, Iqbal Day, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 21, 1952.

31-A Abdul Hafeez Saleem (Hafeez Hoshiarpuri) (1912-1973); famous poet; journalist and broadcaster; remained Director Radio Pakistan, Hyderabad, Sindh; retired as Deputy Director General Radio Pakistan. Pub. Shan-i-Ghazal.

32 Abdul Karim Samar (1905-1989); famous poet of Urdu and Punjabi, journalist, writer, active worker of Pakistan movement. Pubs. Sachi Sarkar (SAW), Lauh-o-Qalam; Shr-i-Ilham; Safar-i-Hijaz; Kakh-i-Buland; Lagaran, Zindagi.

33 Tufail Hashairpuri (1914-1993); poet, journalist, editor, monthly Mahfil, Lahore. Pubs. Mairay Mahbub Watan; Jam-i-Mahtab; Saghar-i-Khurshid.

34 Syed Abdul Hamid Adam (1910-1981); famous poet of Urdu having fifty books to his credit. Pubs. Naqshi-i-Duam; Zulf-i-Parishian; Kharabat; Qasr-i-Shirin; Ram-i-Ahu; Nigar Khana; Sanam Kadah; Qaul-o-Qarar; Zair-i-Lab; Shahr-i-Khuban; Jins-i-Garan; Gardish-i-Jam.

36 Ibid., Iqbal inspired Kashmiris to launch liberation struggle, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 23, 1952.

37 Ibid.

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid.

40 Big Public meeting in Lahore, Dawn, April 22, 1952.

41 Ibid., Recapture faith in Islam to lead humanity, Muhammad Alis exhortations at Iqbal Day meeting, The Morning News, April 24, 1952; For complete text of Muhammad Alis Iqbal Day speech, see Full text of Muhammad Alis Iqbal Day address in Lahore, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 22, 1952; The problems of Power-I: Muhammad Ali X-rays world systems: Speech on Iqbal Day, Dawn, April 22, 1952; The problem of Power-II: Re-capturing faith in Islam as a living force: Muhammad Ali sums up poet Iqbals message, Dawn, April 23, 1952.

42 Lahore homage to Iqbal: Glowing tributes paid to poet of East, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 23, 1952.

43 Begum Shamim Jalundri (Shamim Afza); poetess, writer, worker of Pakistan movement, social activist, founder-editor, monthly Az-Zahra, Jalandhar, 1932; founded Industrial School for Women, Jalandhar, 1932; Organizer-General Secretary, Women Muslim League, Jalandhar, 1937; editor bi-monthly, Firdous, Jalandhar, 1940-47; founder Qasr-i-Istiqlal Industrial Home for Refugee Women, 1947-50; Women Urdu College, 1950. Pubs. Tehrik-i-Pakistan Main Khawateen Ka Kirdar; Tamir Pakistan main Khawateen ka Hisah; Dr. Farid Bakhsh Marhum; Saqut-i-Azadi say Husul-i-Azadi Tak; Girdab; Nama-i-Sarush; Pahla Insan; Suz-i-Paiham; Ashk-i-Sham.

44 Iqbal Day programme, The Pakistan Times, April 21, 1952; Iqbal Day celebrations: Womens meeting at Lahore, The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1952; Women of Lahore pay tribute to Iqbal, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 25, 1952.

45 Ibid.

46 Ibid.

47 Lahore Newsletter: Scholars forgetting works of Iqbal, The Morning News, April 30, 1952.

48 For details, see Iqbal Day in Karachi, The Morning News, April 19, 1952; Iqbal Day in Karachi, The Pakistan Times, April 20, 1952; Iqbal Day traffic on roads today, Dawn, April 21, 1952; Traffic rules for Iqbal Day meeting, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 21, 1952; Iqbal Day in Karachi, Dawn, April 21, 1952.

49 Nation celebrates Iqbal Day: Poets thought-revolution must move Pak mind, Nishtar: Wests idolatrous nationalism is bane of Muslim unity, Muhammad Ali, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 22, 1952; Iqbal Day observed all over Pakistan: Glowing tributes paid to poet, philosopher, Dawn, April 22, 1952; Pakistan-wide homage to Iqbal, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 23, 1952.

50 Ibid., Also see Dr. Mahmud Hussain address on the age of Iqbal, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 23, 1952.

51 Ibid.

52 In the capital APWA pay glowing tributes to Iqbal, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 22, 1952; Message from Begum Liaquat Ali Khan, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 21, 1952.

53 Jalaluddin Khan (Jalal Baba) (1903-1981); politician; worker of Pakistan movement; member, Abbotabad Municipal Committee, 1932; President, Anjuman-i-Islamia, Abbotabad, 1935-32; founder Hazara Muslim League, 1937; President Hazara Muslim, 1939; member, NWFP Legislative Assembly, 1946; Vice President NWFP Muslim League, 1939; Anjuman-i-Muhajreen, Hazara, 1947; Assisstant Custodian non-Muslim Property, 1948-49; Administrator, Abbotabad Municipal Committee, 1950-51; Minister for Labour & Local Bodies, NWFP, 1951; Central Home Minsiter, 1958.

54 Syed Hassan Mahmood (1922-1986); politician, writer; Chief Minister Bahawalpur State, 1951-56; member, Punjab Assembly and opposition leader, 1985; Pub. : Maira Siasi Safar.

55 Iqbal Day observed in Bahawalpur, The Morning News, April 24, 1952; Iqbal Day observed in Bahawalpur, Dawn, April 24, 1952. Allama Iqbal had a special attachment with the people, ruler and state of Bhawalpur. For details, see Nazar Khaliq, Iqbal kay Riasat Bhawalpur kay Sath Taalluqat ka Tehqiqi Mutalah, Unpublished M. Phil Iqbaliat thesis, Allama Iqbal Open University, 2001. Also see, Ghulam Nazak, Saraiki Zuban Main Iqbal Shanasi ki Riwayat, Unpublished M. Phil Iqbaliat thesis, Allama Iqbal Open University, 2001.

56 Imdad Ali Imam Ali Qazi (I. I. Qazi) (1886-1969); intellectual, philosopher; educationist; writer; lawyer, Vice-Chancellor, Sindh University, Jamshoro; translated Shah Abdul Latif Bhattis poetry into English; Pub.  A Brown Girl in Search of God.

57 Iqbal Day celebrated at Hyderabad, The Pakistan Times, April 21, 1952; In Hyderabad, Dawn, April 24, 1952.

58 In Sukkur, Dawn, April 24, 1952; Iqbal Day at Sukkur, The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1952.

59 Gulzar Ahmed (1909-1998); writer, historian, travelogue and short story writer, educationist, athelete, army officer. Pubs. Difa-i-Pakistan ki Lazawal Dastan; Ghazwat-i-Islam, Askari Qiadat; Jihad Quran-o-Sunnat ki Raushni Main; Tadhkirah-i-Chin; Tadhkirah-i-Inglistan; Yad-i-Ayyam (autobiography); Jalwah-i-Tur; Amir Timu.

60 Khawaja Abdur Rashid (1912-1983); physician, writer, researcher, historian, head, Mayo Hospital, Lahore; Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, Karachi; Director Pakistan Medical Research Council. Pubs. Tadhkirah-i-Shurah-i-Punjab; Maariful Athar; Tadhkirah Athar-o-Ahwal Talib Amili; Maarif ul Nafs; Historical Dissertations, (2 Vols).

61 Iqbal Day celebrated: Rawalpindi, The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1952.

62 Iqbal Day celebration: Muzaffarabad, The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1952.

63 Iqbal Day celebrations: Mianwali, The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1952.

64 Iqbal Day celebrations: Sargodha, The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1952.

65 Abdul Ghani Chaudhry (1912-1991); lawyer, politician, social activist; worker of Pakistan movement; initiated many educational institutions; member, Punjab Assembly, 1951; West Pakistan Assembly, 1956.

66 Iqbal Day celebrations: Sheikhupura, The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1952.

67 Iqbal Day observed: Peshawar, Dawn, April 22, 1952; Pakistan observes Iqbal Day: Glowing tributes to the great poet of Islam: He suggested the idea of separate homeland for Indian Muslims, The Khyber Mail, April 23, 1952; Iqbal Day celebrations: Peshawar, The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1952.

68 Radio review by Raz, The Civil & Military Gazette, Lahore, April 26, 1952.

69 For details, see Stage set for Iqbal Day celebrations in Dacca, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 20, 1952; Iqbal Day programme for Dhaka, Dawn, April 20, 1952; Highlights of Iqbal Day celebrations in Dacca, The Morning News, April 20, 1952.

70 Ibid.

71 Iqbal Day in Dhaka, The Pakistan Times, April 21, 1952; Iqbal as opponent of womens rights: Dacca celebrates [anniversary of] poet of the East, The Civil and Military Gazette, Karachi, April 21, 1952.

72 Iqbal death anniversary observed in Dhaka: Functions all over city: People pay tribute, The Morning News, April 22, 1952; Iqbals Society formation urged: Observance in Dhaka, Dawn, April 22, 1952.

73 Ibid.

74 Wajahat Hussain (Andaleeb Shadani) (1904-1969); poet, writer, Persian scholar, journalist, critic, researcher, translator; remained Chairman Urdu and Persian Department Dhaka University, Dhaka. Pubs. Nishat-i-Raftah; Naqsh-i-Badi; Nush-o-Binish; Sachi Kahanian; Tehqiq ki Raushni main; Sharh Rubaiyat Baba Tahir.

75 Ibid.

76 Ibid., Dacca Girls College observe Iqbal Day, Dawn, April 23, 1952.

77 Ibid.

78 Ibid.

79 Ibid.

80 Iqbal Day broadcasts from Dhaka, The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, April 21, 1952.

81 Iqbal Day at Pabna, The Morning News, April 24, 1952.

82 Iqbal Day in Sylhet, The Pakistan Observer, Dhaka, April 22, 1952.

83 Iqbal Day all over East Pakistan: Glowing tributes to poets genius, The Morning News, April 26, 1952.

84 Ibid.

85 Ibid.

86 Ibid.

87 Ibid.