The Majlis e Frogh e Urdu Adab (MFUA) and other local literary figures have expressed grief over the death of renowned Indian Urdu scholar and critic Prof Dr Shamim Hanafi on May 6, 2021, from Covid-19 in New Delhi. He was 83.
“Hanafi was one of the most respected literary critics, playwrights, poets and intellectuals of the sub-continent,” Majlis chairman Mohamed Atiq said. “His death is a huge loss for the Urdu language, literature and poetry. Only four months ago, he was declared the winner of our Majlis’ Silver Jubilee Aalmi Frogh e Urdu Adab Award for the year 2021 by our Indian jury, headed by Prof Dr Gopi Chand Narang. Now, after his death, we will send his award, a gold medal, to his wife and shall remit the cash prize of Rs150,000 to her account in the next few months,” he added.
Hanfi’s life was spent in Sultanpur before he shifted to Allahabad for his education. Here, he came into contact with Firaq Gorakhpuri, Dr Aijaz Hussain, Prof Ehtisham Hussain and Prof S C Deb, who left a profound impression on him.
He completed his D.Phil from Allahabad University in 1966. He was the first student of D. Litt at Aligarh Muslim University, which he completed in 1976. He served as a faculty member at AMU for seven years before joining Jamia Milia Islamia. He remained connected to the institution in the capacity of Professor Emeritus.
Hanafi was a proponent of the modern movement in Urdu literature. His books on modernism include Jadidiyat ki Falsafiana Asaas and Nai She’ri Rawayat.
His other books on criticism include Ghazal ka Manzarnama, Kahani ke Paanch Rang, Firaq, Shair wa Shakhs, Dayar e Shab ka Musafir, Iqbal ka Harf e Tamanna, Ghalib ki Takhleeqi Haissiyet, Tareekh, Tehzeeb aur Takhleeqi Tajreba, Urdu Culture aur Taqseem ki Riwayat, Khayal ki Musaafat and Qari se Mukalma. He wrote plays, translated books, and wrote four books for children, which he admitted to enjoying immensely. His poetry collection Aakhiri Pehar ki Dastak was published by Rekhta in 2015. He also maintained a keen interest in painting, pottery and the performing arts.
In recognition of his services to Urdu language and literature, he was honoured with many awards, including the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Award, Delhi’s Urdu Academy Award, Ghalib Award etc.
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