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Makhdoom a people’s poet: Abid Hussain

Special Correspondent

Former Indian Ambassador to US recalls association with poet

— PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

remembering a legend: Abid Hussain at the inaugural session of seminar on ‘Makhdoom Mohiuddin’ on Thursday.

HYDERABAD: Makhdoom Mohiuddin, poet-revolutionary of Hyderabad, was so pained by the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) that he actually wanted to go to Spain to fight the fascists.

The civil war appeared to have had a lasting impression and one could see change in form and content of Makhdoom’s poetry.

This “turning point” was discernible in his poem “Andhera”.

His biographer Aleksey Sokhavich recorded how the Communist and trade union leader always had on his writing table, a copy of Guernica by Picasso.

Several such little known facets from the life and times of Makhdoom like this one by Ali Zaheer were in full flow at the two-day seminar organised by the Alam Khundmiri Foundation in association with National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) and AP Urdu Academy as part of his centenary celebrations here on Thursday.

Makhdoom’s associate B. Narsing Rao, in his paper, recalled the poet’s foray into writing plays, translation of Bernard Shaw and Anton Chekhov’s works and even staging them.

“His daring action was to stage Chekhov’s “Cherry Orchards” translated by him into Urdu as “Phool Ban”. Freedom fighter and poet, Sarojini Naidu’s daughter, Lila Mani had a role in it, the first time ever for a woman, in Hyderabad’s then conservative society.”

Abid Hussain, former Indian Ambassador to US, who inaugurated the seminar, recalled his association with Makhdoom and described him as “a poet who won the hearts of the masses.” His greatest gift was towards love. When love took the form of verse, poetry flowed. When it took the form of activity, it triggered revolution.

His stream of thinking revolved around love, lyrics and revolution, he said. Ali Javed, Director of NCPUL, said Makhdoom struck a balance between being a party activist and a poet which even Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pakistan poet, could not.

The year-long centenary celebrations would see conduct of seminars in all important cities. State CPI secretary K. Narayana and State CPI (M) secretary B. V. Raghavulu spoke, while scholars from New Delhi, Aligarh and Kolkata besides Hyderabad presented papers.

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