Friday, July 25, 2014

A00028 - Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi

Qasmi, Ahmed Nadeem
Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi  (Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi) (Urdu: احمد ندیم قاسمی) (November 20, 1916 – July 10, 2006) was a legendary Urdu language Pakistani poet, journalist, literary critic, dramatist and short story author. With some 50 books of poetry, fiction, criticism, journalism and art to his credit, Qasmi was a major figure in contemporary Urdu literature. His poetry stood out among his contemporaries' work for its unflinching humanism, and Qasmi's Urdu afsana (short story) work is considered by some second only to Prem Chand in its masterful depiction of rural culture. He also published and edited the prestigious literary journal Funoon for almost half a century, grooming generations of new writers.

Born as Ahmad Shah Awan on November 20, 1916 in the village Anga of Khushab District in British India. A graduate of the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Qasmi started his career as a government clerk, which he eventually left to pursue journalism. He became an active member of the Progressive Writers Movement, for a time holding the position of secretary, and was consequently arrested many times during the 1950s through the 1970s.

In his long career as a writer and 
editor, Qasmi had the distinction of editing several prominent literary journals, including Phool, Tehzeeb-i-Niswaan, Adab-i-Lateef, Savera, Naqoosh, and his own brainchild, Funoon. He also served as the editor of the prestigious (now defunct) Urdu daily Imroze. For several decades Qasmi contributed weekly columns to national newspapers; a classic example was "Rawan Dawan" in Daily Jang, which focused on current issues.

In 1948, Qasmi was selected as the secretary general of the Anjuman-e-Taraqqi Pasand Musannifeen (Progressive Writers Movement) for Punjab. In 1949, he was elected the secretary-general of the organization for Pakistan, a position he held for six successive years.

In 1962, Qasmi started his own journal Funoon. The legendary friendship and support of Khadija Mastoor and Hajira Masroor and his support to a host of other writers from Ahmed Faraz and Saqi Farooqi to Najib Ahmed and others is linked to Funoon. The renowned Urdu writers Amjad Islam Amjad, Ata ul Haq Qasmi, Munnoo Bhai and Nazeer Naji proudly claim Qasmi’s patronage. Perhaps his most well known protege was Parveen Shakir, who considered Qasmi her mentor and called him Ammu (father). Her first bestseller, Khushboo, was dedicated to Qasmi.

In 1974, Qasmi was appointed secretary-general of Majlis-Taraqee-Adab - a Board of Advancement of Literature established by the government of West Pakistan in 1958.

Qasmi was a recipient of Pride of Performance (1968) and the Pakistan Academy of Letters’ lifetime achievement award, as well as the country’s highest civil honor, Sitara-i-Imtiaz (1980), for literature.

Published collections of his best-known work include poetry volumes Jalal-o-Jamal, Shola-i-Gul and Kisht-i-Wafa, and short story collections Chopaal, Sannata, and Kapaas ka Phool.

Following an illness, Qasmi died on the July 10, 2006 of complications from asthma at Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore. He was survived by a daughter Dr. Naheed Qasmi and a son Nauman Qasmi.

Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi see Qasmi, Ahmed Nadeem

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