A SURVEY OF THE ENGLISH NEWSPAPERS OF PAKISTAN DURING 1956
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 sixth 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 1956. 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 first available news related to Allama Iqbal appeared on February 15, 1956, in The Pakistan Times when, while publishing a photograph of Said Nafisy, the distinguished Iranian scholar, the paper stated that he was expected to arrive in Pakistan at the invitation of Iqbal Academy on February 23.1
· In its issue of March 19, 1956, The Pakistan Times informed that the Sialkot Municipality arranged an ‘Iqbal Majlis’ in memory of Iqbal in Islamia High School with Shaikh Manzoor Elahi, Deputy Commissioner, in chair. Literary persons of the town read papers on life of the great poet. A number of well-known poets of the country also recited their poems.2
· In The Pakistan Times in its issue of April 6, 1956, informed that a meeting of the Central Iqbal Committee was held in Lahore at the residence of Shorash Kashmiri under the chairmanship of Raja Hasan Akhtar. The programme for the Iqbal Day celebrations included Khtam-i-Quran, wreath laying at the mazar of Allama Iqbal and a public meeting in the University Hall.3 ►On April 17, 1956, an advertisement issued by the Central Iqbal Committee appeared in The Pakistan Times which gave the details of the Iqbal Day programme arranged by the Committee to be observed at Lahore on April 21, 1956.4
· Since the proclamation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan—an idea first visualized by Iqbal—this was the first Iqbal Day being observed on a countrywide scale. As usual, the English newspapers gave coverage of Iqbal Day celebrations held in various parts of the country, which are, examined the following pages.
The Pakistan Times, Dawn, The Khyber Mail, The Morning News, Dacca, The Times of Karachi, The Morning News, Karachi and The Civil and Military Gazette reported that Iqbal Day marking the 18th death anniversary of Allama Iqbal was celebrated in Lahore with due solemnity. The Lahore newspapers brought out special Iqbal Day supplements. In the morning, Khtam-i-Quran was held at the mazar of Allama Iqbal in which more than two hundred persons participated. After Quran Khawani, wreaths were placed at the mazar by men of the Lahore Garrison, representatives of the Lahore Corporation, Central Iqbal Committee, and Majlis-i-Iqbal of the Government College, Lahore.5 ►Later glowing tributes were paid to Iqbal at a meeting held under the auspices of the Central Iqbal Committee, at the University Hall with the West Pakistan Governor, Mian Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani in chair. Among those who addressed the meeting were Agha Shorish Kashmiri, Salahuddin, Muhammad Baqar and Ashfaq Ali Khan.6 ►Addressing the meeting, Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani said that the services of the national poet could not be forgotten as he infused the idea of establishing an Islamic state among the people. He said that the main object of celebrating the Iqbal Day should be to popularize his message all over the world. He told the meeting that the free Pakistan envisaged by Iqbal did not foresee the mere acquisition of power by the Muslims but it was to found a nation, which should serve as the repositioning of all that is good in democracy. It was meant to enlarge and widen the field of individual and collective liberty so that man might be enabled to rise to the heights marked for him by the Creator and adorn him with the qualities of strength and greatness.7 Gurmani further said that Pakistan was indeed Iqbal’s dream but on a way it was the first half of the dream- the second had been provided by the ‘unification’ of the province of West Pakistan which was the direct result of the Muslim unity of thought . With a single stroke, it had done away with geographical, racial, and linguistic boundaries which had separated various parts of West Pakistan and which was a legacy of prolonged period of slavery. He was sure that that experiment would be a success and prove the forerunner of the ultimate ideal of Islamic unity. Concluding, Gurmani stressed that Iqbal knew that even today Islam had the power to reunite the various factions, which was the cause of its disruption, not only in this sub-continent but also in other Muslim countries.8
►Speaking on the occasion, Agha Shorish Kashmiri suggested the building of a hall in Lahore as a memorial to Allama Iqbal. He also advocated the setting up of an academy where research should be conducted on the works of Iqbal. He appealed to the West Pakistan Government to allot a suitable plot of land for the Iqbal Memorial Hall and contribute funds for the building. ►Dr. Babashi, the Cultural Attachh? to the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan, addressing the meeting said that Allama Iqbal’s works were the common cultural heritage of all the Muslims. ►Messages from the Italian Ambassador to Pakistan and Said Nafisi were also read. 9 ►Salahuddin Ahmed, Ashfaq Ali Khan, and Shams-ud-Din read papers on Iqbal. The correspondent of The Pakistan Times observed that the standard of papers read at the meeting was not up to the mark. ► Iqbal’s poems were recited at the meeting by Shakil Badayuni, Shakoor Bedil and Ravish Siddiqi. ► The West Pakistan Public Relations Department exhibited photo strips on the life of Allama Iqbal in the University Hall10.► Commenting on this function, one M.A. Khan in his letter to the editor of The Pakistan Times, regretted that in a city of a million-and-a half souls only a paltry five hundred people on a most liberal estimate, should turn up to attend the well- published anniversary celebration. He pointed out that about half the audience left shortly after the conclusion of the Governor’s address and the remaining indulged in booing and hooting the speakers without any discrimination. The pandemonium continued until the very end despite the repeated emotional appeals of the stage- managers for restraint in the presence of the Governor and other official dignitaries.11 ► The writer observed that one of the main causes of this fiasco appears to be the low standard of the various papers read on Iqbal and the confused and boring speeches delivered there. To add to that highly fatiguing fare for the public, the uncalled for interventions of the stage managers with their rhetorical sermons to a tired audience further aggravated the situation. The writer criticized the Central Iqbal Committee, which was perhaps formed solely to observe the poet’s death anniversary regularly, some times as an independent public body and some times as an appendix of a government department, according to the politics and convenience of the times.12 ► The author recalled that in the past Iqbal Day was observed in Lahore under the auspices of more than one institutions— a really befitting practice for this great national occasion. It provided ample opportunity for people from various schools of thought and walks of life to speak according to their choice. He argued that the amalgamation of the various agencies under the patronage of the government had unfortunately robbed the occasion of its inherent popular appeal and observed that this thing had not enhanced the prestige of those managing the affairs of the Central Iqbal Committee.13
· According to announcement appeared in The Civil and Military Gazette and Dawn, the All Pakistan Muslim Women’s Conference also planned to observe Iqbal Day by holding a meeting at Women’s Club, Lahore in which Khadija Ferozuddin, Begum Mshtaq Ahmad, Begum Ishaq and Begum Bashir Ahmad were to speak on Iqbal’s message to the nation.14
· The Lahore correspondent of Dawn also informed that the West Pakistan government was understood to have decided to award another square of land to aged Ali Bakhsh, who was in service of Allama Iqbal for long. The reporter revealed that Ali Bakhsh was given a square of land about three years back for his yeomen services to the national poet. He also narrated that thousands of Iqbal’s admirers, who gathered at his grave to offer fateha on April 21, profusely garlanded Ali Bakhsh.15
· Raz in his ‘Radio Review’, appearing in The Civil and Military Gazette on April 25, 1956, reviewed the Iqbal Day programmes broadcasted by Radio Pakistan, Lahore. He regretted that this time everything was effete and jejune. It appeared that every one was exhausted and the Lahore station had nothing fresh and elegant to offer. He maintained that there was not a single item of programme, which could linger in the memory in theme, treatment, or production and presentation. He regretted that Iqbal Day too sounded to have become routine about which nobody seemed to have had bothered particularly.16
► The reviewer further regretted that our Punjabi Poets had not translated at least some of the poems of Iqbal into Punjabi verse. He stressed that the Radio Pakistan should have suggested that long ago to Sufi Tabassum or Abdul Majid Bhatti or some other bilingual poet to translate a selection of Iqbal’s poems into Punjabi. It would have been a service to the regional language on the one hand and an advantage to the Radio Pakistan to enrich its dehati programme with Iqbal’s ideas.17
· The Morning News, Dacca, Dawn, The Morning News, Karachi and The Times of Karachi reported that at Karachi, Iqbal Day was observed by the Iqbal Academy at a meeting which was presided over by well known Iranian scholar Said Nafisy. ► It was attended by a large gathering including the Central Education Minister, Abdus Sattar, who was also the President of the Academy, the Iranian Ambassador, diplomats, officials, teachers, and students.18 ► Mumtaz Hasan, Secretary Ministry of Finance and Vice President of the Academy, introduced the speakers who included Kazi Ghulam Mustafa, Mizanur Rahman and A. S. Nuruddin from East Pakistan; and Academy Director, M. Rafiuddin. ► He also read out the message of Iskander Mirza (1899-1969)19, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan who said that the “best homage we can pay to Dr. Iqbal is to dedicate ourselves afresh to the spirit of his message, which is in essence the message of the Quaid-i-Azam “Unity, Faith and Discipline”. He called Iqbal as one of the rare masterminds whose message inspired dynamic action within the framework of deep spiritual and moral values.20 ►Said Nafisy, in fluent and flowery Persian which was translated into English by Khawaja Abdul Hamid Irfani (1907-1990)21, devoted his address to Iqbal’s mysticism which according to him changed the cult of sufism from ‘static individualism into a dynamic collectivism.’ Nafisy described Iqbal as one of the greatest poets of the symbolic school of poetry who ranked with Rumi, Jami and Hafiz. Iqbal’s philosophy of self, he said, was ‘extremely fine and subtle’ and a ‘beautiful poetic concept.’ Another great quality of Iqbal, Nafisy observed, was that his poetry while spotlighting the problems of his age also suggested the remedies.22 ► Mizanur Rahman, a former Secretary of East Pakistan Government in his speech debunked the popular misconception in West Pakistan that Iqbal and his poetry were not appreciated in East Pakistan. Rebutting this, Mizanur Rahman said that Iqbal has influenced the Bengali literature to a much greater extent than evenly known in West Pakistan. He said that it was in 1905 that Iqbal’s Tarrana-i-Milli was translated into Bengali and it had a great influence on the young minds of Muslim Bengali students. Then in 1927-28, a Bengali journal known as Gulistan published Iqbal’s poems regularly. Mizanur Rahman also made a strong plea for translating Iqbal’s teaching into practice. It would be a great homage to the poet if the people acted upon his teachings.23 ►Kavi Ghulam Mustafa, a well known poet from East Pakistan, spoke on Iqbal’s conception of an ‘Ideal State’. He said that Iqbal conceives of an ideal state in the shape of Millat-i-Islamia where he thinks all the ills of the modern world will be healed up. Pakistan’s mission, Kavi Mustafa urged, would not be fulfilled unless it first united all Muslim countries into an Islamic commonwealth and then establishing one world by inviting the people of the world to come under the horned moon banner.23A ► A. S. Nurrudin read out a paper on ‘the perfect man of Iqbal’. ► Khawaja Abdul Hamid Irfani made a brief speech on ‘Iqbal in Iran.’ He said that the glowing tributes and warm love that Iranians poets, scholars, public officials, and writers had shared on Iqbal had no parallel in their history. He said that Iqbal gave a new style to the Persian poetry and the Iranians were proud of it.24 ► Speaking on the occasion, the Director of the Iqbal Academy announced its plans for the future. He narrated that the Academy had decided to bring out a half-yearly journal, the first issue of which would be out in October. The Academy, he said had published two books and seven more were in the press. Another twenty-one books, he said were written, eight of which were in Bengali. He informed that Jamila Khatoon and A. S. Nuruddin, Fellows of the Academy had completed their research work, which had been submitted to the University of Karachi for their Ph. D degrees. Hosiena Sheikh, another fellow of the Academy, was doing her research on “The idea of superman in Iqbal.”25 The Director complained about lack of funds. He said that the Academy was functioning in a single room of 14ft by 12ft. They got grant of Rs. one lac for the Academy building, which he declared too small, as the minimum needed, was Rs. 4 lacs. He maintained that it was again for the lack of funds that the Academy was not able to open its branches at Dacca and Lahore.26 ► The staff reporter of The Times of Karachi in a supplement report informed that the two books published by the Iqbal Academy during the last two years of its active existence, were ‘Iqbaliyat Ka Tanqidi Jaiza’ by Kazi Ahmad Mian Akhtar and an Arabic translation of Asrar-o-Rumuz by Abdul Wahab Azzam.27
· The Times of Karachi and Dawn also informed that Muhammad Sharif, charge d’ affairs, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in a message issued on the occasion of the Iqbal Day celebrations expressed his happiness to see the realization of Iqbal’s struggle, namely the proclamation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on March 23, 1956.28
· As usual, the Radio Pakistan, Karachi also broadcasted special Iqbal Day programmes. They included, as reported by Dawn and The Times of Karachi a feature programme, ‘Markaz-i-Islam se Iqbal ki wabastagi;’ ‘Khutoot-i-Iqbal’ an Urdu talk by Mumtaz Hasan; ‘Baya Ba Majlis-i-Iqbal;’ a symposium with Khawaja Abdul Wahid, Captain Abdul Wahid and Mumtaz Hasan; ‘Digar Danae Raz Ayad ki Naayad,’ a musical feature by Aslam Furrukhi, and eye witness account of Iqbal Day celebrations at Karachi.29
· The Times of Karachi informed that on April 22, Said Nafisy, the celebrated scholar of Iran, was entertained at a dinner party by the Iqbal Academy. Amongst those who attended the dinner was the Iranian Ambassador in Pakistan, Abdul Qadir (1903-79)30, Governor of the State Bank, Mumtaz Hasan and other leading literary figures.31 It may be pointed out that before his arrival in Karachi, Said Nafisy was also presented with a welcome address at Multan on April 17 by Taj Muhammad Khayal, President Oriental Society of Government Emerson College, Multan.32
· Besides Lahore and Karachi, Iqbal Day was also celebrated in rest of the West Pakistan. The Times of Karachi and The Morning News, Karachi stated that in Hyderabad, under the auspices of Hyderabad Markaz-i-Adab, an Iqbal Day meeting was held. ►Speaking on the occasion, Qazi Muhammad Akbar (1910-1979),33 a former Sind Minister, said that Iqbal was not the poet of the East as he was known, but his message held equally good in the western world, if they could understand Iqbal’s philosophy. He pointed out that Iqbal had created a sense of realization and spirit of self-determination among the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. ► The meeting was also attended by Agha Taj Muhammad (1904-1959)34, Registrar Sind University and Ibrahim Khalil (1900-1982)35, a well-known Urdu and Sindhi poet.36 According to reports, the University of Sind, Hyderabad had also prepared an elaborate programme for the death anniversary of Allama Iqbal.37
►The Pakistan Times, The Morning News, Karachi, and The Times of Karachi reported that at Baghdad-ul-Jadid, Bahawalpur, Iqbal Day was observed at the S. E. College Hall under the auspices of the All Pakistan Youth Movement, Bahawalpur Division with Syed Hashim Raza, Commissioner Bahawalpur Division in the chair. In his presidential address, Syed Hashim observed that Iqbal was a symbol of political awakening among the Muslims of the sub-continent, which at last materialized in the form of Pakistan because of the struggle waged by Quaid-i-Azam. Shabbir Bukhari, Captain Ghulam Muhammad and Muhammad Ahmed also addressed the gathering.38
· At Sialkot a number of meetings were held to commemorate the Iqbal Day. Dawn and The Times of Karachi reported that Hakim Muhammad Hasan Qarshi, an old friend and close associate of the poet presided over a well attended meeting organized by the Bazm-i-Urdu. Hakim Qarshi during the course of a paper read on the life and works of the great poet, made a fervent appeal to the youth of the country to understand his message and contribute to the progress, prosperity and solidarity of the state in that light.39
· The Pakistan Times informed that at Gujrat a big function was arranged under the auspices of the Gujrat branch of Anjuman-i-Azad Khayal Musannifin where papers were read on the life and works of Allama Iqbal. The meeting was followed by a ‘mushaira’ in which Arsh Siddiqui (1927-1997)40, Nazish Kashmiri (1926-1999)41, Mumtaz, Iftikhar Ahmad, Begum Surayia Salim and N. H. Aziz recited.42
· According to The Pakistan Times and The Times of Karachi at Layallpur the Cultural Association arranged a literary meeting in the District Board Hall which was presided over by Mir Abdul Qayyum, M. L. A. Many papers and poems were read which paid tributes to the national poet.43
· At Muzaffarabad, the Azad Kashmir President, Col. Sher Ahmad Khan (1902-1972)44, issued a statement on the celebration of the Iqbal Day, which appeared in The Civil and Military Gazette and The Pakistan Times. In it, he exhorted the people to celebrate the day with a spirit of devotion to the message of Iqbal in which he visualizes a new order for the material and spiritual advancement of humanity. The President recalled that Iqbal was in the vanguard of the Kashmir liberation movement. In fact, his ideas were responsible for rousing the people of Kashmir to cast off their shackles of bondage.45
· At Peshawar, glowing tributes were paid to Allama Iqbal at a meeting held to observe his death anniversary. According to reports appeared in The Khyber Mail, Dawn, The Times of Karachi and The Morning News, Dacca lectures were delivered, papers read and poems recited on the life, works, and mission of the great poet. ► Musarrat Husain Zuberi (1911-1987)46, Commissioner, Peshawar Division, in his presidential speech praised Allama Iqbal for his mission, dynamic poetry and his scientific approach to Islam. He observed that the time had come when unbiased estimate of the personality of the great poet should be attempted. He further said that Allama Iqbal was a great man in the real sense as his works contained practical solutions to many problems not only of the Muslims but also of the humanity in general. ► Prominent among others who took part in the meeting were Mir Waliullah (1887-1964)47, Mazhar Ali (d.1971)48 and Munawar Gilani.49
· The death anniversary of Allama Iqbal was commemorated on April 21 all over Quetta and Kalat Division. The Pakistan Times, Dawn and The Morning News, Karachi informed that the all government offices and educational institutions remained closed as a mark of respect to the memory of the poet.► A public meeting was held in the local Government College, Quetta that was presided over by the Divisional Commissioner. Speakers and poets paid homage to Iqbal. Similar meetings were also held in other educational institutions of Quetta and Kalat.50
The Pakistan Observer, The Morning News, Karachi, The Pakistan Times, Dawn, The Morning News, Dacca and The Times of Karachi reported that at Dacca, the death anniversary of Allama Iqbal was observed by several literary organizations. · The Iqbal Hall Union at a meeting attended by renowned literary figures paid warm tributes to the memory of the poet. ►Paying homage to the poet, G. C. Dev said that Dr. Iqbal’s ideal was not nationalism but internationalism based on love of humanity for the establishment of world peace.► Mahfuzul Huq observed that the central theme of Iqbal’s philosophy was to develop ‘self’ for the welfare of the society and that development of personality, he added, required courage and character as its basis.51
· The Mukul Fouj (a student social organization) also observed Iqbal Day at Dacca. Students assembled in the Parade Ground at Motijheel where speakers threw light over Iqbal’s life and paid glowing tributes to the poet of the East. Many of his poems were also recited. The death anniversary was also observed in the office of the Urdu daily Pasban.52
· The Iqbal Day celebrations in the East Pakistan were at their lowest ebb in 1956. Commenting on it, The Morning News, Dacca, while informing that comprehensive Iqbal Day programmes had been chalked out by literary organizations in every prominent town in West Pakistan, in East Pakistan the only programme for the occasion was special broadcast from Radio Pakistan, Dacca.53
The International Scene
Like previous years, Iqbal Day was celebrated in different cities of the world, which was properly covered by all major English dailies.► Dawn, The Times of Karachi, The Pakistan Observer and The Morning News, Dacca, reported that the Pakistan High Commission in Calcutta commemorated the 18th death anniversary of Allama Iqbal by holding a literary function under the presidentship of H. C. Mookerjee, Governor of West Bengal. Among the guests who attended the function were members of the Consular Corps, high officials of the local government, poets, litterateurs, journalists, and prominent citizens.54 ► The function commenced with recitations from Iqbal’s works and was followed by the speeches of different scholars reviewing the life and works of the poet.► Paying glowing tributes to Allama Iqbal, Hiralal Chopra observed that to label Iqbal, as a Muslim poet was the height of injustice. He was a good Muslim as Milton was a good Christian and Kalidas a good Hindu. However, as a poet he belonged to the whole humanity like the other great poets of the world.55► A. H. A. Baqi, ex-Vice Principal of the Central Calcutta College, paid a tribute to the poet by saying that Iqbal was the controller of the switchboard of human emotions, thought, and conducts. He said Iqbal was interested in man’s place and position, promise and potency and fate and destiny.56 ► Reviewing the works of the poet from the chair, H. C. Mookerjee observed that the complexity of Iqbal’s genius was bewildering. He was an artist of outstanding ability and consummate skill and his versatile genius roamed freely and majestically in the realms of poetry, prose, philosophy, law, and statecraft adding lustre to each domain by his masterful columns.57
· The Pakistan Times, The Morning News, Karachi, The Times of Karachi, and The Morning News, Dacca reported that glowing tributes to Iqbal’s genius were paid at a largely attended mushaira that was held to celebrate the Iqbal Day at the office of the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner, Jallandar. About fifty poets from India and Pakistan participated. The gathering comprising over two thousand people indicated the respect that Iqbal enjoyed among the people in India in general and in the East Punjab in particular.58► Abdur Rahman, Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan, who presided over the function, said that Iqbal’s poetry was not only written in beautiful language, but also gave a philosophy that provided food for thought.►Later, Gurbachan Singh Talib after paying tribute to the poet-philosopher, said that Iqbal put the Punjab on the literary scene and that he belonged to people on both sides of the border.► Chand Narain Chand, until recently Deputy Commissioner, Simla and a very distinguished pupil of Iqbal, recited his own poems in praise of Iqbal. ► Among the poets who participated in the ‘mushaira’ were Sufi Tabassum, Qaiyum Nazar (1914-1989)59, Yusuf Zafur and Qateel Shifai from Pakistan, and Josh Malsiani and Mela Ram Wafa from India.60
· The Pakistan Times, The Khyber Mail, The Times of Karachi and The Morning News, Karachi informed that at Delhi, Iqbal Day was celebrated on April 27, to enable Pakistani poets to participated in ‘mushaira’. ► The programme included a symposium during the day in which, K. G. Sayyadain, Dr. Faridani and Prof. Faruqi read papers on Iqbal and his poetry and philosophy. Sayyadain’s paper on Iqbal’s humanism and universalism was specially appreciated.61 ►Later a very well attended mushairas, participated by leading Indian and Pakistani poets was held which was presided over by India’s Food Minister, Ajit Prasad Jain, and inaugurated by Indian Vice President, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan who observed that Iqbal’s poetry set before the world a classless social order without distinction of rich and poor and high and low. Faiz, Zohra Negah and Syed Muhammad Jafari drew not only prolonged applause from the audience but also repeated requests to recite again.62
· In Colombo, Iqbal Day celebrations as reported by Dawn, The Pakistan Observer and The Times of Karachi started with Quran Khawani and Fatiha Khawani held in Memon Mosque. ► Ceylon Radio devoted one hour special broadcast to the memory of Allama Iqbal which included a talk in English by E. H. Enwar, Second Secretary, Pakistan High Commissioner; a talk in Sinhalese by M. M. Uwais of the University of Ceylon and a special feature in Tamil. English and other language dailies published special articles.
· Iqbal Society of Zahira College of Colombo brought out a publication containing Tamil translation of Iqbal’s Shikwah and Jawab-i-Shikwah. One thousand copies of that booklet were distributed in various institutions.63
· The Khyber Mail revealed that The Iraqi Press paid tributes to Iqbal’s memory by publishing articles on his life and philosophy on occasion of Iqbal Day. The Pakistan’s charge d’ affaires, speaking on Radio Baghdad commended Iqbal’s services for the cause of Islam and humanity at large and described him as the architect of Pakistan.64
· In Istanbul, the Turco-Pakistan Cultural Association organized an elaborate programme on Iqbal Day. A largely attended meeting was opened by Prof. Fahiriz of Istanbul University who called Allama Iqbal as one of the greatest poets of the Islamic world. Speaking next, the President of the Association, Faik Turkmen, described at length the philosophical aspects of Iqbal’s works. He stressed Iqbal’s admiration for Rumi and underlined his influence on him.65 ► Another professor of the Istanbul University, Abdul Kadir Karahan, in a thought provoking address explained the message contained in the works of the poet. He said that Iqbal belonged to the East and his greatest contribution was that he taught the easterners self-confidence. ► Later the well-known poet, Bebchet Kemal Chaglar read out his own translation of Iqbal’s poems on Rumi.66 ► The Turkish press and radio also gave full coverage to the event. Many newspapers came out with articles on the works and life of the poet of East. The Ankara Radio broadcasted speeches by eminent scholars on Iqbal.67
· The Times of Karachi, The Morning News, Karachi and The Morning News, Dacca stated that while addressing a gathering of five thousand at the Cairo University Auditorium on the occasion of Iqbal Day, Tafazzal Ali, Pakistan’s Ambassador in Cairo spoke about the philosophy of Iqbal. Those present included members of the diplomatic corps, writers, journalists, university professors, and students. The University Auditorium, which was the biggest hall in the city, was packed to capacity. Later in the evening, broadcasting from Radio Cairo, Pakistan Counselor, Dr. V. A. Hamadani stressed that Iqbal’s message was really meant for the whole of mankind. Its appeal is universal and it is addressed to every seeker of truth.68
· At Nairobi, Iqbal Day was celebrated under the auspices of the Pakistan Commission, at the Manladad Nursery School as per reports appeared in The Morning News, Karachi, Dawn and The Times of Karachi. More than 300 persons including members of the diplomatic corps and the elite of the town attended the meeting. Students from different schools took part in the programme and spoke on the life and works of Allama Iqbal. S. A. Afzal, the Pakistan High Commissioner awarded prizes to the students.69
· The Morning News, Karachi and The Times of Karachi informed that at Stockholm Iqbal Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm under the auspices of the Pakistan Sweden Friendship Society and the Oriental Society. The meeting was presided over by Dr. Gustar Munthe a well known man of letters and the Vice President of the Sweden Pakistan Friendship Society. A large number of persons from all walks of life including diplomats attended the function that was given good coverage by the Swedish press.70
· The Pakistan Observer and Dawn revealed that in Netherlands, Iqbal Day was celebrated by the Netherlands- England Society in Maastricht (S. Holland) with Rana Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Netherlands in chair. In her presidential speech, Rana Liaquat observed that Iqbal’s stirring message was finding an increasingly wide response among people every where. She thanked the organizers and the audience for their keen interest and paid glowing tributes to the national philosopher-poet for his inspiring and dynamic message of personality development that was getting universal appreciation in the West.71
· The Morning News, Karachi, and The Morning News, Dacca communicated that at London, The Iqbal Society jointly with the Royal India, Pakistan, Ceylon Society, and the Pakistan Students Federation in the UK commemorated the death anniversary of Allama Iqbal at the Islamic Culture Centre, London with Pakistan’s High Commissioner in the UK, M. Ikramullah in chair.72► The guest speakers of the evening included M. Samy Abdoul Fatouh, the Egyptian Ambassador who spoke on Iqbal’s life and works, A.D. Azhar, Financial Adviser to the Pakistan Mission, London, and Ashiq Hussain Batalvi. Those present included the Ambassadors of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Burma, Philippines and a large number of English, Pakistani and Indian guests. After the meeting, a mushaira under the chairmanship of A.D. Azhar was held in which well known Urdu poets in London participated.73
· The Pakistan Times, Dawn, The Times of Karachi and The Khyber Mail gave a detailed account of Iqbal Day celebrations in USA. They stated that at Washington, Iqbal Day was celebrated under the auspices of the Council of Islamic Affairs, a private organization dedicated to increase understanding between the Islamic countries and America. The ceremony that was held under the chairmanship of Dr. Ali Amini, Iran’s Ambassador to the USA and Chairman of the Iqbal Commemorative Programme, drew speakers from Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and the United States.74 ► Dr. Ali Amini in his presidential speech noted with pride that much of Iqbal’s poetry was written in Persian and turned Iqbal a ‘rare man of genius’ whose ‘words of wisdom will long remain a source of inspiration’ to all men. ► Speaking on the occasion, Justice William O Douglas of the Supreme Court paid tribute to Iqbal as philosopher, jurist, political leader, and poet. He observed that Iqbal was a voice from the East that found a common denominator with the West and helped to build a real community that absorbs all differences in race, in creed, and in language.► Khalifa Abdul Hakeem and Azzam Pasha, former Secretary General of the Arab League also addressed the gathering.75
· The Americans friends of the Middle East, as informed by The Times of Karachi, also celebrated Iqbal Day at New York. The Chief speaker was Khalifa Abdul Hakim who discussed Iqbal as a poet, author, linguist, jurist, politician, teacher, and art critic. He observed that Iqbal fashioned the social and political thought of more than one generation of Muslim intelligentsia. He brought a message of hope to a dejected community and reminded it of its great historical and cultural heritage.76
Even a cursory glance on the above materials 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 1956 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
[*] This is the sixth of a series of surveys planned by the author covering the whole gambit of Iqbal Day celebrations for the last five decades or more. For the first, second, third, fourth and fifth parts of the survey, dealing with 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1955 respectively, see Iqbal Review Vol. 41, No. 2, April 2000, Vol. 41, No. 4, October 2000, Vol. 42, No. 2, April 2001, Vol. 42, No. 4, October 2001 and No. 2, April 2002. (Editor)
1 “Prof. Said Nafisy…,” The Pakistan Times, February 15, 1956.
2 “Iqbal Majlis in Sialkot: Mushaira also held,” The Pakistan Times, March 19, 1956.
3 “Iqbal Day programme,” The Pakistan Times, April 6, 1956.
4 “Under auspices….” The Pakistan Times, April 17, 1956. “Under auspices….” The Pakistan Times, April 17, 1956.
5 “Iqbal Day [an advertisement issued by the Central Iqbal Committee],” The Pakistan Times, April 20, 1956; “Iqbal Day programme for Lahore,” Dawn, April 21, 1956; “Iqbal Day,” The Khyber Mail, April 21, 1956; “Iqbal Day programme,” The Civil and Military Gazette, April 21, 1956; “Iqbal Day today: Lahore programme,” The Pakistan Times, April 21, 1956; “Iqbal’s work echo of divine message, Gurmani: Nation wide homage to poet- philosopher,” The Pakistan Times, April 22, 1956; “Popularize Iqbal’s message all over world,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 22, 1956; “Tributes paid to Iqbal at Lahore meeting,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 22, 1956; “Glowing tributes paid to Iqbal at Lahore,” Dawn, April 22, 1956; “Glowing tributes paid to Iqbal,” The Pakistan Observer, April 22, 1956; “Lahore tributes to Iqbal,” The Khyber Mail, April 22, 1956; “Iqbal’s services can’t be forgotten,” The Times of Karachi, April 22, 1956; “Gurmani’s tribute to Iqbal’s memory,” The Civil and Military Gazette, April 22, 1956.
11 M.A. Khan, “Iqbal Day meeting,” The Pakistan Times, April 28, 1956.
14 “Lahore women’s Club to observe Iqbal Day,” The Civil and Military Gazette, April 20, 1956; “Model Town women to observe Iqbal Day,” Dawn, April 21, 1956.
15 “More land for late Iqbal’s servant,” Dawn, April 22, 1956.
16 Raz, “Radio Review,” The Civil and Military Gazette, April 25, 1956.
17 Ibid. The first Punjabi translation of Iqbal’s works was done by Pirzada Fazl Ahmad Farooqi in 1918, which was the translation of Shikwah and Jawab-i-Shikwah. It was followed by Ahmad Hussain Qiladari and Kazim Ali’s translations of same poems in 1963 and 1969 respectively: Abdul Ghafoor Azhar’s translation of Persian part of Arghaman-i-Hijaz in 1973; Khalil Atish’s translation of Asrar-o-Rumoz in 1975; Ahmad Hussain Qiladari’s translation of Asrar-i-Khudi and Musafir in 1976; Sharif Kunjahi’s translation of Javid Namah in 1977; Khalil Atish’s translation of ten long poems of Iqbal in 1977; Qiladari’s translation of Gulshan-i-Raz-i-Jadid and Bandagi Namah in 1984, and Pas Chah Bayad Kard in 1994 and Aseer Abid’s translation of Bal-i-Jabril in 1995. However, uptill 1956 there was a vide deficiency of Punjabi translation of Allama Iqbal’s works. For further details see, Irshad Fazal Ahmad, “Tasaneef-i-Iqbal kay Punjabi Tarajim: Tehqeeqi Mutaliah,” Unpublished M. Phil Iqbaliyat thesis, Allama Iqbal Open University, 1993.
18 “Iqbal Academy invites Bengali poet,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 19, 1956; “Elaborate Programme for Iqbal Day,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 20, 1956; “Iqbal Day today,” Dawn April 21, 1956; “Iqbal Day today,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 21, 1956; “Iqbal Day session: He infused new spirit in Islamic world: Prof. Nafisy’s tribute,” Dawn, April 22, 1956; “Dedicate yourself to spirit of Iqbal: Mirza’s message on poet’s anniversary: Nation-wide homage,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 22, 1956; “City pays homage to Iqbal,” The Times of Karachi, April 22, 1956, “Pakistan celebrates Iqbal Day,” Dawn, April 22, 1956; “President’s message on Iqbal Day,” The Times of Karachi, April 22, 1956; “President’s message,” Dawn April 22, 1956; “Dedicate yourself to spirit of Iqbal: Mirza’s message on poet’s anniversary,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 24, 1956.
19 Iskandar Mirza (1899-1969); civil servant; member Pakistan Legislative Assembly, 1955-56; last Governor-General of Pakistan, 1955-56; and first President of Pakistan, 1956-58.
21 Khawaja Adul Hameed Irfani (1907-1990); Urdu and Persian poet; writer, educationist, Iqbalist; expert on Iqbal and Rumi; remained Principal of Islamia Cllege, Gujranwala and Government College, Quetta; Press and Cultural Attache in Iran. Pubs. Iqbal Iranion ki Nazar Main; Sharh Zarb-i-Kalim; Rumi-i-Asar; Iran-i-Saghir; Iqbal aur Zarb-i-Kalim; Hadith-i-’Ishq’. For a comprehensive review of services of Irfani in the field of Iqbal studies, see Imanullah, “Khawaja Abdul Hameed Irfani Bahasiat Iqbal Shanas,” Unpublished M. Phil Iqbaliyat thesis, Allama Iqbal Open University, 1995.
23 Ibid. For a detailed study of Iqbal studies in Bengali language, see Lutfur-Rahman Farooqi, “Bangla Zuban Main Iqbal Shanasi,” Unpublished M. Phil Iqbaliat thesis, Allama Iqbal Open University, 2000. Also see, Wafa Rashdi, “Iqbal aur Bengal,” Iqbaliat, Vol.32, No.2, July, 1991, pp.89-107.
27 “Iqbal Academy’s work”, The Times of Karachi, April 22, 1956.
28 “Iqbal: An Indonesian’s appraisal,” The Times of Karachi, April 21, 1956; “Jakarta envoy’s tribute to Iqbal,” Dawn, April 21, 1956.
29 “Radio Pakistan’s special programme on Iqbal Day,” Dawn, April 21, 1956; “Iqbal Day on air,” The Times of Karachi, April 21, 1956.
30 Abdul Qadir (1903-79); renowned economist; remained Governor State Bank of Pakistan; Secretary Finance, and Federal Finance Secretary in 1962.
31 “Iqbal Academy fetes Dr. Nafisy,” The Times of Karachi, April 23, 1956.
32 For details, see “Iran scholar’s tributes to Iqbal,” The Khyber Mail, April 18, 1956; “Prof. Nafisy prays for better Iran-Pakistan ties,” The Civil and Military Gazette, April 20, 1956.
33 Qazi Muhammad Akbar (1910-1979); politician, diplomat, journalist, worker of Pakistan movement; Vice President, Sindh Municipality, 1931, 1935; joined the AIML, 1935; Salar, National Guards, Hyderabad District, 1940, member, Sindh Legislative Assembly, 1946, 1952; editor, weekly Sindh Observer; daily Sindh News; Minister for Education, Sindh, 1955; Pakistan envoy to Portugal.
34 Agha Taj Muhammad Khan (1904-1959); writer, poet, researcher of Urdu and Sindhi languages. Pubs. Aaks-i-Latif; Dihati Geet; Hussain aur Islam; Thattah ki Sair; Sindh Kay Rasm-o-Riwaj.
35 Sheikh Muhammad Ibrahim Khalil (1900-1982); poet, writer, researcher, short story writer, psychiatrist; head, Sir Kaoosjee Institute of Psychology, 1941-58; Professor Dow Medial College, Karachi; Liaquat Medical College, Hyderabad. Pubs. Adhkar Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai; Iqbal-Hayat-o-Afkar; Sindh Main Qaumi Shairi; Kuliat-i-Khalil; Intikhab-i-Khalil.
36 “Tributes to Iqbal: Hyderabad,” The Times of Karachi, April 23, 1956; “Universal appeal,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 23, 1956.
38 “Iqbal Day in Bahawalpur,” The Pakistan Times, April 23, 1956; “Symbol of awakening: Tributes to national poet,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 23, 1956; “Tributes to Iqbal: At home,” The Times of Karachi, April 23, 1956.
39 “Glorious tributes paid to Iqbal in Sialkot and Dacca,” Dawn, April 23, 1956; “Tributes to Iqbal: At home,” The Times of Karachi, April 23, 1956.
40 Irshadur Rahman (Arsh Siddiqi) (1927-1997); poet, critic, educationist, short story writer; founder, Urdu Academy Multan; Principal, Multan Post Graduate College, 1975-78; Registrar/Chairman English Department Bahauddin Zakria University, Multan, 1978-90. Pubs. Bahir Kafan say Pa’um; Didah-i-Ya’qub; Muhabbat Lafz Tha Maira; Har Muj-i-Hama Taiz; Takwiat; Mahakamet; Kali Rat Day Ghangharu.
41 Muhammad Sadiq (Nazish Kashmiri) (1926-1999); poet, writer, journalist, columnist, expert of Urdu/English languages; editor, weekly Yadgar, Lahore; Secretary, Anjuman Taraqi Pasand Musannifeen, Lahore. Pubs. Punjab Day Luk Ghiat; Sadhran; Gian Dhian; Gird-u-Paish.
42 “… Nation wide homage to poet-philosopher: Gujrat,” The Pakistan Times, April 22, 1956. Besides Lahore and Sialkot, Iqbal was perhaps most closely related with Gujrat. For details, see Muhammad Munir Ahmad Salach, Iqbal aur Gujrat, Gujrat, Salach Publications, 1998.
43 Ibid., “[Iqbal Day] In Layallpur”, The Times of Karachi, April 22, 1956.
44 Sher Ahmad Khan (1902-1972); prominent leader of Kashmir liberation movement; Minister Azad Kashmir Government, 1949; also remained President Azad Jammu & Kashmir Government.
45 “Col. Sher’s tribute to Iqbal,” The Civil and Military Gazette, April 22, 1956; “Iqbal Day celebrations: Col. Sher’s message,” The Pakistan Times, April 23, 1956.
46 Mussarat Hussain Zuberi (1911-1987); civil servant, writer, remained Commissioner, Karachi; Federal Secretary, Secretary General RCD; first Chairman of OGDCL; Publs. Hazrat Ibrahim Alia Salam; Voyage through History.
47 Mir Waliullah Abboatabadi (1887-1964); Urdu poet, writer, researcher, lawyer; expert of Urdu, Persian, Hindi and Hindko languages; President, Abboatabad Bar Association, 1922-54; first Principal of Peshawar Law College. Pubs. Khulq-i-Azim; Lisan-al-Ghaib (4 Vols); Gulbang; Badah-i-Nab, Kas ul Krim; Namakdan-i-Fasahat; Mah-o-Perveen.
48 Mazhar Ali Khan (d.1971); researcher, theologian, writer and educationist, Prof. of English language and literature, Usmania University, 1943-47; Director Academics, Kakul Academy, 1948-55; Chairman, Department of English and Modern Languages; 1955-71.
49 “Peshawar celebration of Iqbal Day,” The Khyber Mail, “At Peshawar,” Dawn April 23, 1956; “Peshawar homage to Iqbal,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 23, 1956; “Tribute to Iqbal: At home, Peshawar,” The Times of Karachi,, April 23, 1956; “Peshawar observes Iqbal Day,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 24, 1956.
50 “… Nation-wide homage to poet-philosopher, Quetta,” The Pakistan Times, April 22, 1956; “… nation-wide homage: Quetta,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 22, 1956; “Quetta,” Dawn, April 23, 1956.
51 “Iqbal Day observed,” The Pakistan Observer, April 22, 1956; “…. Nation-wide homage: Dacca,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 22, 1956; “Nation-wide homage to poet-philosopher, Dacca,” The Pakistan Times, April 22, 1956; “Mukul Fouj celebrates ‘Iqbal Day’,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 23, 1956; “Glorious tributes paid to Iqbal in Sialkot and Dacca”, Dawn, April 23, 1956; “Tributes to Iqbal: At home, Dacca,” The Times of Karachi, April 23, 1956.
53 “Iqbal death anniversary today,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 21, 1956.
54 “Observance of Iqbal Day abroad: Bharat,” Dawn, April 23, 1956; “Tributes to Iqbal: Abroad,” The Times of Karachi, April 23, 1956; “Iqbal Day abroad: Calcutta,” The Pakistan Observer, April 24, 1956; “Pakistan Mission in Calcutta celebrates Iqbal Day,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 25, 1956.
58 “Iqbal Day celebrated in Jallandar,” The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1956; “[Iqbal Day] in Jallandar,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 24, 1956; “Homage to the poet: Iqbal Day in Cairo,” The Times of Karachi, April 24, 1956; “Iqbal Day in Jallandar,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 25, 1956; “Iqbal Day in Jallandar,” The Times of Karachi, April 25, 1956.
59 Abdul Qaiyum (Qaiyum Nazar) (1914-1989); poet, critic, dramatist; first General Secretary of Halqa Arbab-i-Zouq, Lahore; lecturer, Government College, Lahore; Resident Director, Pakistan National Centre, Lahore, Director Pakistan Arts Council; Chairman, Department of Punjabi, Punjab University, Lahore; Pubs. Qalb-o-Nazar kay Faslay; Qindil; Zindah Hay Lahore; Pawan Jhakolay; Ghass ki Pattian; Phul hi Phul; Urdu Nathr Unuiswian Sadi Main; Sawirah; Ham Safar; Wasukht Amanat.
61 “Iqbal Day mushaira in Delhi on April 27, Radhakrishnan to inaugurate,” The Pakistan Times, April 26, 1956; “Iqbal Day mushaira in Delhi,” The Khyber Mail, April 26, 1956; “Iqbal Day mushaira in Delhi today,” The Times of Karachi, April 27, 1956; “Iqbal Day mushaira in Delhi on April 27, “ The Morning News, Karachi, April 27, 1956; “Mushaira at Iqbal Day in Delhi: Faiz and other Pakistani poets attend,” The Times of Karachi, April 29, 1956; “Iqbal: A poet of humanity: Death anniversary observed in Delhi,” The Pakistan Times, April 29, 1956.
63 “Observance of Iqbal Day abroad, Ceylon,” Dawn, April 23, 1956; “Iqbal Day abroad: Ceylon,” The Pakistan Observer, April 24, 1956; “Tributes to Iqbal: Abroad,” The Times of Karachi, April 23, 1956.
64 Ibid. “Mid East celebrates Iqbal Day,” The Khyber Mail, April 24, 1956.
68 “Homage to the poet: Iqbal Day in Cairo,” The Times of Karachi, April 24, 1956; “Iqbal Day in Cairo,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 24, 1956; “[Iqbal Day] in Cairo,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 25, 1956.
69 “Iqbal Day at Nairobi,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 25, 1956; “Iqbal Day observed in Nairobi,” Dawn, April 25, 1956; “Iqbal Day celebrated in Nairobi,” The Times of Karachi, April 27, 1956.
70 “[Iqbal Day] in Stockholm,” The Morning News, Karachi, April 24, 1956; “Homage to the poet: [Iqbal Day in] Stockholm,” The Times of Karachi, April 24, 1956.
71 “Iqbal Day function in Netherlands. Begum Liaquat’s glowing tributes to poet,” The Pakistan Observer, April 24, 1956; “Iqbal Day celebrated in Netherlands: Begum Liaquat Ali Khan pays tribute to poet,” Dawn, April 25, 1956.
72 “Iqbal Day in London”, The Morning News, Karachi, April 23, 1956; “Iqbal Day in London,” The Morning News, Dacca, April 25, 1956.
74 “Iqbal’s death anniversary: Washington programme,” The Pakistan Times, April 20, 1956; “Preparations for Iqbal Day in Washington,” Dawn, April 20, 1956; “Iqbal Day preparations in America,” The Times of Karachi, April 20, 1956; “Iqbal Day in U.S.”, The Khyber Mail, April 20, 1956; “Tribute to Iqbal: Abroad, Washington,” The Times of Karachi, April 23, 1956, “Iqbal would have been proud of Pakistan, US Supreme Court Justice tribute,” The Times of Karachi, April 24, 1956; “Iqbal Day functions: Washington,” The Pakistan Times, April 24, 1956.
76 “[Iqbal Day] in New York,” The Times of Karachi, April 25, 1956.