Amitabh Baghel: Lover of Urdu

By Mohd Riyaz Ahmed

Urdu Hai Jis ka Naam Hameen Jaante Hain Daag Saare JHahan mein Dhoom Hamari Zaban ki Hai.

This couplet of Hazrat Daag reflexes the popularity of  Urdu language globally. It is a fact that the Urdu has reached every nook and corner and people are eager to speak and hear Urdu. However, language has no religious barrier and whoever connects it to the religion is biased. As long as Urdu is concerned, the people of sub-continent can easily own it without any hesitation and the same can be said about the people of other regions.

Urdu is a mixture of various sweet languages when no one can deny its sweetness. Urdu has given asylum to many civilizations regardless of caste, creed, colour, race and religion. Urdu has not only honoured people with its love but also filled their hearts with love, sacrifice, kindness, simplicity and sympathy that is why even those who are sick with prejudice and partiality, especially opportunist politician recite the Urdu couplets to embarrass their opponent or to save themselves.

They know that the holy land of India was tied with love through Khusros riddles (Paheliyou) and the Meer’s poetry secured this tie of love. Ghalib has turned everyone mad over Urdu. On the other hand, Vali Deccani was instrumental in making the people aware of life and the beauty of the universe. The Qaseedas of Sauda made a special place in the hearts and minds of people. Meer was instrumental in getting the people redige the greatness of Urdu language whereas, Daag had made it a point to distribute the sweetness of Urdu, its sensibility and human-friendliness owing the lovers of Urdu. He scowed the world that Urdu is popular throughout the world.

Ghalib has given the Urdu the kind towering popularity that even after 151 years of his death, people still recite his couplet even today. In today’s time when we hear the Tavana-e-Hindi Saare-Jahan Se Achcha is echoed. Iqbal has shown the world that as other languages could represent the greatness of Indian than Urdu.

Nevertheless, from Momin, Zauq, Chakbast, Faani, Akhar, Jigar to Schir, Firaq, Faiz, Joan Eliya, Bashid Badr, Rahat Indori all of them have famed the people as a lover of Urdu through their Ghazals and Nazums.

Among many such lovers of Urdu, Amitabh Bhagel is there who is a social activist, social researcher, a top photographer and a poet.

In a time where Urdu is facing worst prejudice by linking it to Muslims, Amitabh Bhagel is determined for Urdu’s promotion.

He was a top official in UP Government who had resigned due to some personal reasons has kept himself busy in social activities, research, photography and in the field of Hindi-Urdu poetry.

His utmost quality is that he has been teaching Urdu to those lovers of the language who are living in different counties of the world through Zoom App. He has established small groups on Zoom platform and arrange 10-12 classes or meetings every month. Both ladies and gents attend the classes where Mr Bhagel make them aware of the delicacies and meanings of Urdu poetry through explanations. The beneficiaries are found not only in South-Asian counties but also in the US, Europe and other countries. All these men and women belong to the age group of 40-50 years and are those who are very much interested in Urdu Ghazal and want to enjoy the sweetness and richness of the Urdu language. In a reply to a query Mr Bhagel who lives in Nainital and Delhi, said that he has been busy explaining the Urdu poetry through Zoom App since last one year. In fact, some Italians had offered him to work with them for the promotion of the Urdu language which he had accepted with please.

The great poetic works of poets like Ghalib, Fiaz, Meer, Daag, Moin, Saud, Asghar Goundvi, Vali Deccan, Firaq, Sahir, Joan Eliya, Adam Gondoi and Jan Nisar Akhtar are discussed. According to Mr Bhagel, Urdu is being used undoubtedly in every sphere of life but it is unfortunate that it is not called Urdu. Its high time to protect Urdu and Urdu poetry. It is gradually becoming instinct which requires promotion.

Not only in India but also in Pakistan where Urdu is a national language, it is gradually fading. In these circumstances, we should all work for its promotion and make the new generation aware of its importance.

Nevertheless, the way Mr Bhagel is working towards the promotion of Urdu language, it is praiseworthy through he has full faith in this couplet of Daag.

Nahi Khel Aye Daag Yaro se Kah Do

Ke Aati hai Urdu Zabaan aate aate.

Mr. Bhagel is not only watering the garden of Urdu but also capturing the nature’s beauty in his camera as he is a photographer par excellence.

Coming from the royal family of Reva, Mr Bhagel said in this regard that he didn’t take any basic training in photography. This passion made him an expert photographer. The combination of art and science can be seen in his photographs that leaue and lasting and amazing impact on the viewers. Colourful butterflies, birds, animals, historic monuments, domes, towering minarets, lush green meadows, mind-boggling mountains, the scenic beauty of sunrise and sunset show his expertise in the art of photography.

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