Aligarh, Nov 9 (IANS): Celebrating the 136th birth anniversary of renowned poet and philosopher Allama Mohammed Iqbal, speakers at a function here demanded government recognition for him.
The speakers also dwelt on Iqbal's contribution to the interpretation of Islamic tradition and the unity of Islam. Iqbal's "Sare Jahan Se Aacha" is an epic Urdu poem set to music by the late Ravi Shankar that brings the curtain down on the annual Beating Retreat ceremony in the national capital January 29, the conclusion of the Republic Day celebrations.
Farhat Ali Khan, officer on special duty at Jamia Urdu in Aligarh, said Allama Iqbal was not only a great reformer and critic, but also a humanist. He pointed out that some of the intellectuals failed to understand and elaborate correctly the philosophical thoughts of Allama Iqbal in the context of nationalism.
Jasim Mohammad, another speaker at the event, said: "A section of intellectuals treat Allama Iqbal as the founder of Pakistan and a supporter of the two-nation theory, which is very unfortunate. Nobody can cite any speech or couplet which may indicate that Allama Iqbal was not a patriot".
Iqbal, who wrote in both Urdu and Persian, was drawn into the London branch of the All India Muslim League while a student in England, studying law and philosophy. He also maintained a close friendship with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, revered as the Quaid-e-Azam, great leader, of Pakistan.
Jasim Mohammad said Allama Iqbal served Urdu in a historic way, putting the language on the international canvas.
The chairman of Mushawarti Council, Razaullah Khan, said that some people create history; Allama had also made history during his lifetime.
He said that Iqbal was just as worthy of a Nobel Prize for literature as Rabindranath Tagore, if not more.
Registrar of Jamia Urdu Shamoon Raza Naqvi said that Iqbal lived in volatile times and tried to give direction to Muslims, pushing them on the path to progress and development.
Controller of the Jamia Urdu university, Rizwan Ali Khan, said philosophers and writers cannot be aloof from situations playing out on the ground in their times, and that should not prevent us from accepting that Allama Iqbal was basically an Indian.
A resolution was passed at the event, demanding that the government of India observe the birth anniversary of Allama Iqbal officially, as he was a great Indian.