POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Sep 24, 2010 AT 23:54 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 24, 2010 23:54 IST

After Firaq, Ali Sardar Jafri, and Qurratulain Hyder, Akhlaq Khan 'Shahryar' becomes the fourth Jnanpith winner in Urdu. While Firaq's ghazals have been sung by such eminences as Begum Akhtar et al, and Ali Sardar Zafri's film output is very limited and not well-known, Shahryar perhaps thus becomes the first Jnanpith winner whose poetry is widely known through popular film music, having been used in such films as Muzaffar Ali's Umrao Jaan and Gaman.

Given that such recent greats as Sahir, Kaifi, Majrooh, Shailendra etc were not considered for Jnanpith, Shahryar's oeuvre should definitely be worth checking out. Would his standing as a scholar and academician have also helped? There is more about him here.

(Talking of Gaman, of course, one is also reminded of the far more famous Makhdoom as well).

There is a compilation here (not sure how reliable).

POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Sep 24, 2010 AT 23:54 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 24, 2010 23:54 IST
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Daily Mail
Oct 04, 2010
07:48 PM
asif sultan
shreveport, usa
Sep 28, 2010
06:53 AM
I haven't read much of Sharyaar except that he was my friends neighbour at Aligarh. Off course ALL his film work (though negligible in numbers) proves the immense talent as a writer.

As regards Saahir (My Faourite of 20th century), Shaliendra and Kaifi being missed by Gnanpith (Saahir did get the Sahitya Academy in around 1969); it may be even incidental.

For that matter, Mir, Momin, GHAALIB, Zouq, are best known through the poetry (without any award)...

I urge all Academies to rpomote Urdy through Devnaagri script this will ensure that the Language remains Alive. Afterall, the best of Indian Poetry lies in Sanskrit and Urdu.
pankaj hedaoo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sep 25, 2010
09:26 PM
Dear Salman Kureishy,

Thanks a lot for that link. Will definitely like to read more.
Sundeep Dougal
New Delhi, India
Sep 25, 2010
09:20 PM
The main story about the award is here (linked in the post above, which is why I did not reproduce it):

As it says, "Jnanpith Selection Board was chaired by noted Oriya writer and Jnanpith award winner Sitakant Mahapatra".

The Jnanpith website, of course, has broken links, and is not updated and the press-release that the PTI quoted yesterday had this to say about him:


Shahryar shaped himself as an "intellectual poet", whose poetry strongly expresses an "ideological non-commitment".

His roots, according to the statement, "lie in the poet's desire for self-realisation and his attempt to understand modern problems."

"Shahryar is not concerned in his poetry with messages or conclusions. Rather, he expresses the spiritual suffering and psychological anguish of what he regards as the wounded modern man," the statement said.

Shahryar, who played a major role in shaping today's Urdu poetry, has received numerous awards including Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy award, Sahitya Akademy award, Delhi Urdu Academy award and Firaq Sammaan.


I have only flipped through an old Sahitya Akadami winning book by him called "khwaab kaa dar baNd hai".

As for film songs, I was just struck by their invoking the "wounded modern man" which reminded me of the above song from Gaman. So no, the jury, to the best of my knowledge did not invoke the film songs. I was just having some fun by making him a "widely heard" Jnanpith winner.

Which is why I would love to learn more about him. I believe the Urdu List has some people who have translated his work, so am looking forward to learn more from them.

I was actually surprised that someone like, say, Naiyer Masud has not been considered for the Jnanpith.
Sundeep Dougal
New Delhi, India
Sep 25, 2010
09:18 PM
Sorry, my comment was confused. I meant that among the "film" names, Jafri Sahib was a true contender for the JP. I did not mean to cast any doubt on Firaq or QH.
C. M. Naim
Bara Banki, India
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