Progressivism in Urdu literature: In conversation with Rakshanda Jalil2 min read
MANIPAL: An interactive session was hosted by Dr. TMA Pai Chair in Indian Literature with writer and scholar of Urdu literature, Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil on February 21, at Gangubai Hangal Auditorium of Manipal Centre of Humanities (MCH). Dr. Nikhil Govind, Head of the centre, moderated the event.
A writer in residence at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dr. Rakhshanda discussed The Progressive Writers’ association and the varied formulation of Progressivism and Modernism in Urdu literature.
“Progressive writing is a style of writing which steadfastly looks ahead rather than looking back and glorifying the imaginary past, which progressive writers consider a regressive kind of writing,” said the writer, elucidating on the idea of Progressivism.
Tracing the journey of the Progressive Writers’ Movement which began in 1936, she reminisced Munshi Premchand and his inaugural address where he states ‘hame khubsoorti ka meyar badalna hoga’ (we have to change the standard of beauty) and urges young writers to consider the women who struggle, sweat, and work in fields, as a fit subject to the realm of literature.
Passionately voicing the ideas of Progressivism, Dr. Rakhshanda put forth her view asserting Progressivism as not merely a literary but also a cultural, political and social movement. A Progressive person sees life as an evolution and is willing to move toward the next step from the point of view of the greater good, the social good.
Addressing the gathering of students and faculty members, she shed light upon the history of The Progressive Writers’ movement, breakthrough writers such as Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughai, and the idea of Progressivism. The house was then, open for questions and the interaction led to a wide spectrum of ideas dealing with concepts such as translation and literacy, writings of Modernism in Urdu, Progressive agendas, clash of ideas between Manto and The Progressive Writers’ movement among and a lot more.
“Rakhshanda Jalil is a realistic speaker and she has the ability to gather the crowd and keep them engaged in her words. The session was very interactive and students, as well as faculty, were keen to absorb Rakshanda’s thoughts on various aspects,” said Shruthi Bangera, a student of MCH and one of the attendees.
Featured Image Courtesy: Divayansh Bargotra
Edited by: Drishti Sanyal