Josh Malihabadi was a noted Urdu poet born in British India. He was an Indian citizen until 1958, when he emigrated to Pakistan and became a Pakistani citizen. He wrote ghazals, nazm and Marsias under the takhallus (Urdu for nom de plume) Josh (جوش) (literally, “Passion” or “Intensity”).
Soon thereafter, he founded the magazine, Kaleem
(literally, “interlocutor” in Urdu), in which he openly wrote articles in favour of independence from the British Raj
in India. As his reputation spread, he came to be called Shaair-e-Inquilaab
(Poet of the Revolution). Subsequently, he became more actively involved in the freedom struggle (albeit, in an intellectual capacity) and became close to some of the political leaders of that era, especially Jawaharlal Nehru
(later to be the first Prime Minister
of independent India).
After the end of British Raj in India (1947), Josh became the editor of the publication Aaj-Kal .
Josh Malihabadi’s grand-daughter Tabassum Akhlaq
has carried over the legacy of his poetry. Josh Memorial Committee
was formed in 1986 by Tabassum Akhlaq and she is the current chairperson as well. The committee organizes seminars on the personality, history and literary work of Josh Malihabadi. These seminars are usually held on the birthday and death anniversary of Josh Malihabadi on 5th December and 22nd Februaury respectively.
His poetry and publications
Josh is reputed to have had a masterful command over Urdu and was quite strict about respecting the grammar and rules of the language. This is the reason, he is also referred to as, the King of Urdu language. The first collection of his poetry was published in 1921.
On the advice of film director W.Z. Ahmed, he also wrote songs for Shalimar Pictures. One of the pictures is Aag ka darya
. During this time, he was staying in Pune
Josh finally mentioned that his real believe is Humanism