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Muhammad Din Taseer’s address to his son’s murderer – by Naseer Ahmed

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A comment by PejaMistri

کبھی کبھی اکیلے بیٹھے چپ چاپ سوچتا ہوں اگر سلمان تاثیر حضور پاک صلى الله عليه وسلم کے زمانے میں ہوتے اور کسی بد زبان تند خو بد اندیش منافق مسلمان کی کمزور یہودی یا عیسائی کے ساتھ دراز دستی کی خبر آپ تک پہنچتی تو آپ کبھی کبھی ضرور فرماتے کے آج تاثیر کو بھیجو – یہ نڈر بھی ہے ، راست باز بھی اور منافقوں سے ڈرتا بھی نہیں اور کمزوروں کا ساتھ بھی دیتا ہے . اور ہمارے مسلک پر عمل بھی کرتا ہے

…………………

It’s been an year since I wrote this. There is no one anymore in Pakistan who dare wipe Asia Bibi’s tears. A cold wave runs through my spine, when I think about that lady hearing the news of murder of Salman Taseer, by the jailer with a beard and wicked smile on his face. She must have resigned to her fate then and there.

After Salman Taseer’s death, there is no mention of Asia Bibi in any of the newspaper in Pakistan, one day in Jang I saw an article by “Munno Bhai” titled “Asia Bibi” without reading the article I saluted the courage of our great Munno Bhai but when I opened the link I found that he was talking about some girl named Asia Bibi of Mardan, I still salute him for his courage to mention the name of Asia Bibi, people might have asked him to use some other name but I am sure he would have stood his ground

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ڈر لگتا ہے
بہت سال پہلے جب میں پاکستان میں چھپ چھپ کر مارکس کی داس کپیٹل پڑھتا تھا . اور کہیں سے بائبل کا نسخہ لا کر پڑھتا تھا . اور انٹر نَشنل اسلامی یونی ورسٹی کے ہوسٹل میں شراب کی بوتل لا کر چھپ کر پیتا تھا تو مجھے ڈر نہیں لگتا تھا. پنجاب یونی ورسٹی کے ہوسٹل میں کمبل کٹ کھا کر بھی کوئی خوف نہیں آیا. اور ملتان میں تیس دن تک ڈاکٹر اسرار کا خطبہ سننے کے بعد ان کے ساتھ مذاق کرنے سے بھی ڈر نہیں لگتا تھا. نہ ہی ابو کے سامنے غلام احمد قادیانی کی کشتی نوح پڑھنے سے ڈر لگتا تھا اور نہ ہی محسن نقوی کی مجلس پر جانے سے ڈر لگتا تھا.

لیکن کل جب ایک انیس سال کے میرے رشتے کے بھانجے نے سلمان تاثیر کے “قتل” کی مبارک کا اس ایم اس بھیجا تو مجھے اسے جوابی تنبیہ کرنے سے ڈر لگ رہا تھا. نہ جانے کتنے غازی علم دیں شہید ہم اب تک پیدا کر چکے ہیں

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Abdul Nishapuri

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  • Remembering a Personality
    Dr M D Taseer Was A Great Educationist And A Poet With Kashmiri Connections
    TRIBUTE BY DR MUHAMMAD AMIN MALIK
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    Muhammad Din Taseer popularly known as M D Taseer was born at Ajnala, Amritsar in1902 from a peasant named Mian Atta ud Din. His father died when he was a small child and he was brought up by his maternal uncle Mian Nizam ud Din in Lahore who gave him a good education. The child grew up and became one of the most brilliant men of his times. He became an educationist, intellectual, prominent scholar of Urdu and English literature and a great poet whose Urdu poetry and prose has been highly appreciated by literary circles. M D Taseer completed his education with M.A. in English Literature and in 1932 he became Assistant Professor in English at Islamia College, Lahore.
    In July 1933 when M D Taseer left for Cambridge for a Ph. D. program, the great poet Dr Muhammad Allama Iqbal gave him a letter of recommendation which reads as “I am glad to learn that Mr MD Taseer, MA, Assistant Professor of Islamia College, University of the Punjab, Lahore, intends to go to Cambridge for a PhD in English. He has already won a name in the domains of arts and letters in his own country and a young man of such exceptional parts is bound to make his mark wherever he goes….. Considering his brilliant academic career, his experience as a teacher of degree and honors classes in English and quality of literary work already done by him, he deserves preferential treatment and should be granted every legitimate concession.”
    One can imagine the great man’s concern for M D Taseer. In 1934 when M D Taseer arrived at Cambridge University he had to go for M. Litt before Ph.D. but his advisor was highly influenced by his sound background in literature and he recommended him for direct admission to Ph.D. without M. Litt. He completed his thesis “on critical and analytical study of 500 years of English literature” and became the first person in the subcontinent to get his PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University.
    On his return from Cambridge M D Taseer joined Muslim Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College Amritsar as its principal. During his days the college became a hub of literary activities. A lot of academic activities like Mushairas, debates, milads and sports were held. M.D. Taseer and Faiz ahmad faiz were the shining stars and founder members of Urdu’s (leftist) Progressive Writers Movement which was a literary movement consisting of a few different writers groups who were against imperialism and left -oriented and sought to inspire people through their writings advocating equality and attacking social injustice and backwardness. Even today people in Amritsar remember Taseer as a very famous principal of the College. 

    There is an interesting love story about MD Taseer at MAO College. It was the summer of 1937, one day MD Taseer –a bachelor, went to a shop in the Hall Bazaar area of Amritsar- a busy commercial area. After purchasing some articles at the shop Prof Taseer went back to his college but he forgot his purse at the shop. A British young lady by the name of Christable George, tall and slender, picked up the purse and went next day to return it to MD Taseer. To his surprise professor found a beautiful English young lady in his college the next day, who approached him with ‘his wallet’, which he had left in the shop a day before. Christobel had also been a student at Cambridge, therefore an instant friendship started. It was love at first sight. Christobel had come to Amritsar as a tourist in those times and the common connection of Cambridge succeeded to bond them. A year later in 1938 they both got married in Lahore with the marriage ceremony being solemnized by none other than the famous poet Sir AIlama Iqbal who himself drafted the marriage-deed (nikahnama) for the couple. This nikahnama received a great publicity because it included the right of divorce for Christable. Allama Iqbal was perhaps the most enthusiastic advocate of this right that the wife at the time of marriage is at liberty to ask for the power of divorce delegated to her on stated conditions and thus secures equality of divorce with her husbands. Christobel accepted Islam and became Mrs Balquis Taseer. The couple gave birth to three children – two daughters followed by a son Salman Taseer (Pakistan PPP leader) who became the Governor of Punjab in 2008 and in January 2011 he was assassinated by his body guard.
    In 1934 Faiz Ahmad Faiz the famous Urdu poet and intellectual became a lecturer of English at MAO College Amritsar where MD Taseer was principal and Faiz was under the literary influence of MD Taseer. Christobel‘s sister Miss Alys started visiting her sister in Amritsar where she met ‘Faiz Ahmed Faiz’. The younger sister developed a liking for Faiz and married him. Alys too embraced islam and became Mrs. Kulsoom Faiz. Their Nikah was solemnised by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in Srinagar in 1941 at Peri Mahal which was Maharaja Hari Singh’s summer palace where M D Taseer the then principal of S P College was living in its one part, on temporary basis.
    Prof Dr M D Taseer had special connections with Kashmir. We are really proud and privileged to have this giant personality connected with our academics and with our politics. Dr M D Taseer was very close to Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. There are records which show that at the time of partition in 1947, when question of state’s accession with India and Pakistan arose both the leaders Jawaharlal Nehru and Quaid-e-Azam utilized the services of intellectuals and writers with left leanings for convincing the kashmiri leadership to join their domain. Pakistan deputed Dr. MD Taseer and Faiz Ahmad Faiz and others to discuss the future of Kashmir with Kashmiri leadership particularly with Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and Maharaja. They repeatedly traveled to Kashmir to galvanize support in favor of Pakistan. M D Taseer was also associated with the drafting of Naya Kashmir manifesto for national conference in 1944.
    Probably a small number of people in Kashmir also know that M D Taseer had remained principal of our two prestigious colleges and they are S P College and Amar Singh College both in Srinagar. He served the S P College during 1941 to 1942. At that time the S P College was the second largest college affiliated with Punjab University. The majority of the students as well as teachers were Hindus. When M D Taseer was appointed as S P College principle he won over his worst adversaries by his behavior and kindliness and they all joined to admire his intellectual superiority and administrative capability.
    When the role of students in S P College increased tremendously a bifurcation scheme was conceived by the then director of education and principal M D Taseer and Amar Singh College was formed in 1941 at Gobji Bagh. It was an unpremeditated event and all arrangements were made in some days. The technical institute housing the buildings of A S College had to get vacated. M D Taseer was appointed its first principal. And he remained there from Sep 1942 to March 1943 i.e. for a very brief period; perhaps this was not a sufficient time for him to take it on the lines of MAO College.
    Dr Taseer left A S College in 1943. As per the college events mentioned in the Lalla –Rookh, the college magazine issue 1943, when the college opened on 08 March 1943, which reads “a shocking revelation. Dr Taseer borrowed without permission. Every face stands askance. Some murmur for a handful of gold he left us. Others feel happy that their principal has been selected for such a position of honor and usefXZulness in the war-effort.” But during his short span at A S College, Dr Taseer became a great friend of students, an accomplished teacher and a great administrator. He will always be remembered as its founder principal and his name will remain in the annals of college history as are his two photographs hanging, one each in principal’s chamber and other one in Taseer conference hall, besides in S P College too. These photographs have always been inducing curiosity of the bygone era.
    Dr Taseer was taken by Govt of India for a prestigious post which was non-academic but he was not happy their and he begin to yearn for a life of letters, where he could read, write and publish books. He was in Simla and later shifted to Delhi. At the time of partition, the things became different and he arrived in Srinagar deposited his family at some rented house and himself departed for Lahore to begin a new life there. After the partition he became the principal of Islamia College in Lahore.
    MD Taseer was a unique teacher endowed with analytic mind and scientific approach. He was witty and lively. He was deeply influenced by Dr Iqbal and he wrote extensively on him. He initiated the literary and artistic journal Nairang-e-Khayal in July 1924. In October 1932 he laid the foundation of the Bazm-e-Farogh-e-Urdu in Islamia College lahore. He also published artistic and literary journal Caravan in 1933 and pioneered a liberal publishing house called Sangham Publishers in 1947, before the partition. He would certainly have crossed many other heights had he remained alive. The destiny played a cruel joke on him. He lived a short life like a lily flower. This humble soul died untimely of a heart attack in 1950 at the age of 47 which shook the academics and the literary world. (I am extremely thankful to Salma Mahmud eldest daughter of M D Taseer for helping me of doing some little research on Dr M D Taseer)

    The author is HoD physics Amar Singh College, Srinagar. Feedback: amin_malik_ku@hotmail.com

    http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2011/Dec/22/remembering-a-personality-1.asp

  • February 16, 2009

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    Launching of Dr Muhammad Din Taseer’s compiled work

    Follow scholars’ vision for progress: governor

    * Salmaan Taseer says Dr Taseer’s write-ups sound relevant even today

    Staff Report

    LAHORE: Pakistan has to be a democratic and progressive country as envisioned by scholars like Dr Muhammad Din Taseer for the country to achieve its due rank in the international arena, Governor Salmaan Taseer said on Sunday.

    The governor was addressing a ceremony at the Governor’s House to mark the launch of the works of Dr Taseer. Various scholars and academics like Hameed Akhtar, IA Rehman, Dr Mehdi Hasan, Saleema Hashmi, Dr Anwar Ahmad, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Fakhar Zaman, Shujaat Hashmi, Prof Tauseef Afzal and others were present on the occasion. Two books containing the compiled works of Dr Taseer were launched by the Academy of Letters – “Dr MD Taseer: Shakhsiat Aur Fun” compiled by Shabnam Shakeel and “Makaalaat-e-Taseer” compiled by Sheema Majeed.

    Relevant: While addressing the occasion, the governor said Dr Taseer’s write-ups concerned international issues like Kashmir and Palestine so extensively that they sounded relevant even today and he had also exposed the role of politicians and clergy in the society. He said scholars like Dr Taseer, Patras Bokhari, Abid Ali Abid, Hafeez Jalandhari, Ahsaan Danish, Hari Chand Akhtar, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Razi Tarmazi and Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum were universities of literature in themselves.

    The governor said Tabassum had once told him that students from different parts of the Sub-continent used to travel to Amritsar when Dr Taseer was serving there as principal of MAO College and they had to study for months prior to their departure in order to learn from those personalities who used to be together at the time.

    The governor said the Governor’s House had been opened for public and literati for the first time and he was working for the promotion of art, literature and culture. He said he had named the Model Town Link Road after Faiz Ahmad Faiz and the Main Road of Johar Town after Dr Taseer. Addressing the occasion, Dr Mehdi Hasan said it was a sad reality that there were no more teachers like Dr Taseer. IA Rehman said Dr Taseer had achieved a number of landmarks during his short age of less than fifty years.

    Saleema Hashmi told the audience of Dr Taseer’s love for children. She said he was fond of tourism.

    Asghar Nadeem Syed said dictatorial governments never shed light on the works of progressive writers due to certain fears. Dr Anwar Ahmed said Dr Taseer believed in democracy, humanity, and a forward-looking approach. He said the dictators kept the people illiterate on purpose so they could not comprehend their policies. Academy of Letters chief Dr Fakhar Zaman said the academy was founded by late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to highlight the works of intellectuals and writers.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009%5C02%5C16%5Cstory_16-2-2009_pg13_8

  • Taseer also had a son, Aatish, in 1980 with the Indian journalist Tavleen Singh. Though married at the time, Tavleen was from Sikh family. Taseer met Singh during a book promotion trip to India in March 1980. According to Aatish, their “affair lasted little more than a week.”….