English Articles


Sketches in Literature

“Widely respected and well-known literary critic Shamim Hanafi completed his masters and then his doctorate from Allahabad University in Urdu. He taught for six years at the Aligarh Muslim University and then moved on to Jamia Millia Islamia till he retired in 2003. He is now a Professor Emeritus there.

A prolific writer he has written Khayal Ki MusaafatTarikh Tahzib Aur Takhliqi TajarbaJadeediyat Ki Falsafiyana AsaasGhalib ki Takhleeqi HissiyatKahani Ke Panch RangNai Sheri RiwayatIqbal Aur Asr-e-Hazir Ka Kharaba besides sketches, plays and newspaper columns…”

Read More: https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/563648-sketches-literature


Colonial Mindset and Cultural Amnesia

“Our literary stalwarts in the past failed to provide us with the proper definitions of modernity and tradition with the result Urdu literature suffered a severe crisis the effects of which could be sensed to date. This was the gist of the arguments presented by Indian scholar Prof Shamim Hanafi while delivering the keynote address at the sixth Prof Mumtaz Husain memorial lecture titled ‘Literary trends and the colonial mindset’ at the Arts Council on Wednesday.

Dr Aslam Farrukhi presided over the event. Eminent writer Intizar Husain was the chief guest.

Prof Hanafi began his speech by touching on the effects of European Renaissance in terms of enlightenment and reasoning (roshan khayal, ta’aqqul) which in his view did not make any impact on the sub-continental mind since it was an imported concept and did not have any connection with the voice of the soul (rooh ki awaz) at the time…”

Read More: https://www.dawn.com/news/769244/newspaper/column


Historical Experience of Indian Muslims

“I am thankful to the Committee on Asian Studies, University of Chicago and the Organizing Committee of the Norman Cutler Conference on South Asian Literature for inviting me to speak here, in the presence of such a distinguished gathering. While looking at the lives of Indian Urban Muslims’ middle class after Independence, we are faced with a very strange experience. This experience comes to us with a sense of surprise, also with some depression. It appears as if the 1947 partition of India also partitioned their very existence, their life. Their time and their space, both suffered a division on account of the partition. Their day to day living, their thought patterns, their priorities ­— nothing remained the same because of this unexpected and yet not so unexpected turn of events in the collective history of the subcontinent. ‘’All changed and changed utterly”. A terrible beauty was born in literature. Partition literature and the aesthetics of violence added a new dimension to the post-1947 literary tradition in Urdu.

Before 1947, the urban Muslim middle class in India had a distinct identity of its own. Muslims had their own ethos. Their pursuits, their institutions, even their pastimes were different and easily distinguishable from those of the rest of their countrymen. Then, all of a sudden, this identity started diminishing. Gradually it almost lost its face. Reasons of this ‘before and after’ spectacle are not confined to only external factors. The change has also come from within. This situation has its roots in the Muslim middle-class psyche. It is also related to an ever-growing sense of a devaluing moral base under a tremendous pressure of historical forces…”

Read More: http://shamimhanafiurdu.blogspot.com/2012/05/historical-experience-of-indian-muslims.html


AUTHOR: Shamim Hanafi: The humble critic

“Succumbing to the common notion that intellectuals are cynical (and they have reason to be so), I was nervous about my meeting with the much acclaimed Indian Urdu short story writer, critic and poet, Dr M. Shamim Hanafi. An interview with a person of his stature on the status of Urdu literature in the present world was indeed a challenge. “Today the situation is that if any Tom, Dick or Harry fails to understand the masterpieces of literature, he holds the writer responsible for it, not his own comprehension,” he writes in his book Khayal ki Musaafat. I couldn’t help imagining myself being one of the three.

On meeting Dr Shamim Hanafi, my fears seemed to subside. Here was a scholar who does not mince his words while putting his mind across. “I am a man of simple words,” he says, “and am quite weary of istilahat and difficult ideologies. Though I write literary essays that demand a certain finesse and standard in the use of language, I am weary of writings that are too loaded.” Khayal ki Musaafat is a proof of his statement as he touches upon the burning issues in Urdu literature with such clarity of thought and a simple style that a lay reader not only understands but is also encouraged to form a humble opinion on these issues…”

Read More: https://shamimhanafiurdu.blogspot.com/2012/03/april-3-2005-author-shamim-hanafi.html

A scholar’s ode to Mirza Ghalib’s humanism at Bayaad-e-Ghalib

“The humanism of Mirza Ghalib is the need of the hour in India, an Urdu scholar said at a programme to celebrate the 19th century poet’s tryst with the city.

“Humanism is the essence of Ghalib’s work. He did not believe in barriers of religion, nation and past history. That humanism is most needed in present times, where you should consider yourself a human before being a Hindu, Muslim or Christian,” Shamim Hanfi, literary critic, author, poet and professor emeritus in the Urdu department of Jamia Millia Islamia, told The Telegraph at Calcutta Madrasah on Friday evening…”

Read More: https://www.telegraphindia.com/west-bengal/a-scholars-ode-to-mirza-ghalibs-humanism-at-bayaad-e-ghalib/cid/1747981