– Radiance News
New Delhi, October 8, 2023: The Inaugural Session of a 3-day National Seminar on “The Direction and Pace of Novels written in Urdu in the 21st Century” was held at the Conference Hall of Jamaat-e-e-Islami Hind here on Friday. Organised by Idara-e-Adab-e-Islami Hind, the seminar’s inaugural session was presided over by its national President Dr. Hasan Raza.
In his key-note address, Professor Khalid Javed of Jamia Millia Islamia said that Fiction, as such, is not fictional. Rather it is a greater Fact. It is the language of consciousness. It is a storytelling process. Earlier, in the days of Lok Katha (Folk Story Telling) the content of the story was direct and there was no need of middlemen and critics to elaborate what was said. The communication was direct. With the complexities of life, this simple process too has not remained straight. So, novel in the new age has become more serious and requires critical appreciation.
Professor Safdar Imam Qadri from College of Commerce, Patna said the practice of appreciating the contributions of authors on decade-to-decade basis at the close is difficult and may lead to faulty results because the content and quality of literary contributions take time to settle in. He cited several examples of critically acclaimed novels in the past which remained unnoticed for several years after their publications. The realisation of their worth or otherwise began slowly thereafter.
Professor Sanjeev from the Department of Hindi in Deshbandhu College of Delhi University raised the issue of the real period of centuries. He said that for the sake of literary appreciation of published contributions, one should not consider the beginning and end of a calendar. Landmarks in history are not marked in this fashion. He opined that the stage of life in India as we are witnessing today began nearly a decade earlier than January, 2000. He pinpointed that moment as the fall of Russia and the opening of two locks in India. The lock of Babri Masjid and that of Bazar (Open Market). Communalism and fascism as we are witnessing now and the issues of Open Market caused by the Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG) of early nineties. There is an unholy alliance of the two. He cited several examples from Hindi novels published in the recent years which addressed these issues. A novelist responds to the social realities in its own manner and this process may or may not be in the nature of documenting the events.
Speaking as the Chief Guest, Professor Shafey Kidwai from Aligarh Muslim University said that earlier the novel writings were based on Utopia. Now it has assumed the nature of Dystopia. It is in the form of a republic of miseries. A Utopia is like a ‘paradise’ while a Dystopia amounts to ‘paradise-lost.’ Now untruth is also getting tributes. In the new approach the line between ‘fiction’ and ‘faction’ has become blurred. It is being referred to as ‘faction.’ He cited several examples from novels written in the Urdu language in India and the English language from the UK and USA. He said the novel writers in Urdu are performing their duties of presenting the present condition of the society in a bold and technically sound manner.
Dr. Waquar Anwar extended vote of thank.