• 16 Apr - 22 Apr, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Spotlight

Sakinan-e Shahr-e- Quaid (SSQ) held a Mushaira on March 22 in Karachi at Expo Centre.

SSQ was formed by five former Unikarian members in 1988. The members were: Azhar Abbas Hashmi, Dr Pirzada Qasim, Safwanullah, Masood Naqvi and Nayar Aziz Nasoodi.

Mushaira (vying poets or poet symposium) is a centuries old literary tradition of the subcontinent. It is part of the culture of North India and Pakistan. It has no cultural parallel anywhere in the world. Ghazal, poems are recited in it, which cover every subject from love to revolution.

Some legends suggest that mushaira was first organised by Amir Khusru (1253–1325), while some others reject this hypothesis and claim that instead, it was qawwali, which was introduced by Amir Khusru, not mushaira.

According to some other experts, mushaira originated in the 14th century in Deccan. It was introduced in Dehli by Wali Deccani in 1700. He recited a collection of his poems in a Decanni language (a form of Urdu) in front of a large public gathering. Until then in Dehli, there were no poetic public gatherings, where Urdu was used, it was Persian, which was in vogue at that time. Later Urdu dominated the literary landscape.

With the passage of time, mushairas helped develop good taste of poetry and sense of appreciation to praise high quality poetry. They promote mutual respect and engender pearls of wisdom in the session. They also played a key role in development of Urdu language and literature.

Coming back to SSQ, it not only promoted mushairas and literary sense in Karachi, it also brought together Urdu poets of the subcontinent.

Mukarar Irshad (repeat again) is integral part of the praise, which is said by participants, it encourages poets.

In 1989, first international mushaira was organised by SSQ. Held in National Stadium, Karachi, the mushaira attracted over 40,000 people, which showed that the people of Karachi love poetry and honour poets.

This tradition is still continuing, however, after two years of suspension owing to Covid, 27th edition of mushaira was held this year.

Many noted poets participated in it. Names of some of them are: Dr Qasim Pirzada, Sehar Ansari, Amjadul Islam Amjad and Tabish Hussain, Wajih Sani, Ambreen Haseeb. Political and social personalities like Saeed Ghani, Shahla Raza, DG Rangers were also present.

A pandal was setup besides food and book stalls. A corner of culture was also set up to expose different Pakistani cultures. Someone commented that mushaira was a family festival. As Dr Jamil Jalibi once said that mushairas inculcate culture and civilisation in the society.

As an organiser, Mahmood Ahmad Khan, the present chief of SSQ, made the best arrangements for the event. Mahmood thanked people for coming in such a large number to make the event a success and said the presence of the people showed just how much they love poetry and literature.

Pirzada Qasim, Fahim Siddique, Ejaz Farooqi and Khalid Shamasi also played a major role in the success of the event. Chief guest of the event was noted lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan. Aitzaz also made a brief speech and recited his poetry. The mushaira was attended by over 15000 poetry lovers, which continued till morning.