A Communicator of ideas: That’s how Khwaja Ahmad Abbas described himself. Who was he? Why was he what he was? What social and ideological impulses motivated him? Why is his vision of continuing relevance? Full text of the Khwaja Ahmad Abbas Centenary Lecture delivered by the vice president of India, Hamid Ansari, titled Literature, Art And Social Awareness, on Saturday, June 7, 2014
Khwaja Ahmad Abbas was a low profile yet iconic personality of an earlier period of independent India. I deem it a privilege to be invited by the Centenary Celebration Committee to talk about him and his work.
Abbas lived and worked at a critical period in the history of modern India. His ideas relating to the evolution of consciousness on societal matters, as it emerged in the independence struggle and in early decades after 1947, remain of relevance to all those who care about the less fortunate segments of society and who attach value to the concepts of creativity and artistic freedom.
Some initial questions would be in order. Who was Khwaja Ahmad Abbas? Why was he what he was? What social and ideological impulses motivated him? Why is his vision of continuing relevance?