Amid a cacophony of cluttering powerlooms, a motley bunch of doctors, lawyers and powerloom owners gather almost every fortnight in Bhiwandi to discuss and savour the cadence and nuances of Urdu poetry.
Almost no one from our group is a poet. Apart from these discussions, the group also set up a WhatsApp group in which Urdu poetry is shared.
It also holds programmes in the city to promote the understanding of Urdu amongst the masses. Keen to confront the view of Urdu as being a foreign language, and a language exclusively of Muslims, the group had, in August last year, celebrated the composite literary tradition in which Hindu writers have enriched the Urdu language. It had then held a mushaira an event in which poetry is read in which only non-Muslim Urdu writers were invited to recite their compositions.
Incidentally, it has been non-Muslims who have played a big role in making Urdu literature what it is today. Munshi Chandrabhan Brahman, who served in the court of Shah Jahan, was one of the foremost Urdu writers. The first publisher, who provided yeoman service to Urdu, was Munshi Nawal Kishore, who also came up with the first Persian-to-Urdu dictionary.
Nagita Slavina Feat. Raffi Ahmad - Kamulah takdirku (lirik)
Interestingly, even though all the present members of the groups are Muslims, the initiative to set up the group was floated by the late Bhiwandi corporator Balkrishna Mukund Mali. He understood the power of literature and arts in bringing people together.
The group, meanwhile, has no plans to expand its base further, but plans to promote regional literature as well. Zeeshan Shaikh Have a comment or suggestion for Common Cause?
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