Relocating Iqbal in a contemporary idiom

Zafar Anjum’s book is a welcome addition to the corpus of Iqbal studies, writes Naresh ‘Nadeem’: Tehelka

iqbal frontThe volume says it is “an attempt to narrate Iqbal’s life once again for those who have forgotten him” and the author, Zafar Anjum, has succeeded quite well in the endeavour. The book is indeed a welcome addition to the corpus of Iqbal studies. The author acknowledges that it is not “a comprehensive account”, but he has done his best, and the volume, reasonably priced, may well spur curious readers “onto further reading”

However, as for the lamentation that “people in India, both Hindus and Muslims, especially of the younger generation”, do not know much about Muhammad Iqbal, the diagnosis of the reason seems misplaced. The very orientation is changing in the case of a large number of people. Many don’t remember even Tagore, or for that matter, Premchand, Subramania Bharati or Sharat, or even Waris Shah or Bulleh Shah. So, there is no reason to be despondent — some would definitely forget Iqbal in any case, but those caring for culture or literature would equally definitely remember him (and others) in the coming times too. It is with them in view that we pray: May Anjum’s effort bear fruit!

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