M. Hameed Shahid
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Symbolic depiction of a national tragedy

M Hameed Shahid, Mansha Yaad, Fateh M Malik, Iftekhar Aarif
M Hameed Shahid, Mansha Yaad, Fateh M Malik, Iftekhar Aarif

Symbolic depiction of a national tragedy

Schezee Zaidi

Islamabad: Hameed Shahid‘s first novel “Mitti Adam Khati Hai” launched at Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) on Monday is an attempt to portray the national tragedy of 1971 debacle in a more humanistic way. Starting from the title to the neatly woven realistic characters, the author paint a symbolic picture of the debacle, connecting it to the impact left on the hearts and minds of the people of this country.

In an informal ceremony, PAL Chairman Iftekhar Arif, National Language Authority Chairman Professor Fateh Mohammad Malik, eminent writer and literary critic Mansha Yaad and Ali Mohammad Farshi evaluated the book as a unique experiment reflecting the point of view of the author presented through a creative window.

Professor Fateh Mohammad Malik, in his comment on the book, said that it raises those pertinent questions about the 1971 debacle that have remained unanswered even today. Talking about Intezar Hussain’s ‘Basti’ and Mustansar Hussain Tarar’s ‘Rakh’, he said, very little has been written on Pakistan’s independence and 1971 debacle in Urdu Novels and travelogues. Fateh Malik expressed contentment that today’s writers have started reflecting on national thoughts in their writings.

Iftikhar Arif said that very little has been written about the 1971 debacle in Urdu literature and whatever came in writing was one-sided. He said that one cannot blame any one or a group , but there was a need to capture the event on the whole, giving the true perspective of the role of United States, India, the freedom movement of Bengalis and the mistakes made by our leaders of the time that led to this national tragedy. He said that apart from Masood Mufti’s memoir, very little has been written on this national tragedy in Urdu. Iftikhar Arif said that Hameed Shahid’s book raises issues that are our very own in an effort to highlight a point of view expressed with inspired porthole.

Mansha Yaad reflected on the book as an experiment of the author. He said that being an ‘afsana-nigar’ with a number of books to his credit, Hameed Shahid could not refrain from his style and evolved a new style by absorbing both fiction and short story style in his first novel. Giving a detailed snap of the characters portrayed by the author has woven a pragmatic portrait of people experiencing the same sensitivities of ache and pain in the same chronological background.

Ali Mohammad Farshi sketched the technical and philosophical context of the book and the weaving of various characters by the author, terming it as a parallel story linking the national and geographical tragedy. He said that the book depicts a humanitarian element out of a political upheaval.

(The News: Islamabad: 20.03.2007)

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