Memories of Azad



Azad in Toronto, Canada

With Amir Jafri & Gul Joya - Early 1980s

The year was somewhere around 1980 when the first grand Urdu mushaira was held in Toronto. I, being one of the founders and organisers, got the opportunity to host your illustrious father janaab Jagan Nath Azad. I took him around for showing him Toronto and its vast lake. My little daughter Gul Joya was also with us. The picutre is near my house.

We had real good sessions with him post-mushaira on numerous occasions. I was deeply impressed by his love and devotion to Allama Iqbal. in fact he used Iqbal's line "Kaafir-i Hindi hoon mein, dekh mira zauque-o-shauque" so aptly when he was anticipating with enthusiasm a glimpse of Masjid-e-Qurtuba when he went to Spain.

His scholarship and poetry embedded itself into our hearts and he commanded everyone's attention by his deep love for his ancestral homeland (Pakistan).

When I went to India a few years back at the invitation of Majlis-i-Iqbal, I was dismayed to learn that he was not awarded the prestigious Iqbal Samaan award. I protested to Prof Afaaq Ahmad of the Majlis and wanted to get this omission rectified for I believe that he was the most deserving of all of that award. It was nothing but political punishment for him for having visited Pakistan and receiving the unprecedented state welcome by President Zia ul Haque. Prof. Afaque assured me that it will be done soon. I am grateful to him that he listened and in the following year Janaab Jagan Nath sahib got the Iqbal Samaan award.

Amir Jafri

Created on 2 February 2016
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