KARACHI- Urdu linguistic experts have applauded the step of the democratic government to confer highest prestigious civil award “Hilal-I-Iimtiazb on Shabbir Hassan Khan Josh Malihabadi (Posthumous award) in recognition of his great services to Urdu poetry and literature.

Josh is considered one of the most prominent poets of the Urdu history in the world, while some ignorant and biased literary people and government officials of Ziaulhaq regime of that time had hatched conspiracy against the poet, and tried to let him down in the literary society, they said, while talking to TheNation.

Prof Dr Hilal Naqvi, a renowned exponent of Marsia and researcher, said that after 30 years of the poet’s death, the government had conferred the award on the great poet, while this act is appreciable. He pointed out that Josh Sahab has been considered the great and prominent political voice of the 20th century.

This award may not enhance the honour of the magnificent literary personality but this step of conferring the award has in fact increased the value of the government.

On the occasion of 65th Independence Day, President Asif Ali Zardari, on advice of the prime minister, conferred awards on Pakistani citizens, including Josh Malihabadi, and foreign nationals for excellence in various fields. For which the investiture ceremony will take place on the coming Pakistan Day – March 23. It is pertinent to mention here that Josh was born on December 5, 1898 in Maliabad. His real name was Shabbir Hassan Khan. He obtained early education in Lucknow and passed Senior Cambridge from St Peters College Agra in 1924. He was the greatest revolutionary poet of the previous century. During Second World War German Radio broadcast some of his revolutionary poems. After independence the Indian government conferred upon him the highest literary award. Josh migrated to Pakistan in 1956, initially stayed at Karachi and later moved to Islamabad.

He also remained associated with Urdu Dictionary Board and Ministry of Information. He died on February 22, 1982. He left more than 25 literary works, including Shola-o-Shabnam, Junoon-o-Hikmat, Fikr-o-Nishaat, Sunbal-o-Salaasal, Harf-o-Hikaayat, Sarod-o-Kharosh and “Irfaniyat E Josh” (all Urdu titles). The first collection of his poetry was published in 1921. Some of his well-known poems are ‘Kissan’, ‘Baghawat’, ‘Bhooka Hindustan’, ‘Husn aur Mazdoori’, ‘Zawaal-o-oJahanbani’, ‘Zaeefa’, etc. He was essentially a firebrand poet; his poetic eloquence and command on a way of expression were the distinguished features of his poetry. Josh was quite strict about respecting the grammar and rules of the Urdu language.

Secretary General (Literary Work) of Anjuman-e-Taraqi-e-Urdu Prof Dr Sahar Ansari said that the government has no proper standard to select people for the civil awards.