Former Indian Judge Remembers Late Mushaidullah Khan’s Love For Poetry
I was sorry to hear of the recent death of Pakistan Senator Mushahidullah Khan. I have never been to Pakistan, but in a Skype interview by Pakistani journalist Sajjad Azhar Peerzada I said if I ever visit Pakistan I would like to meet Mushahidullah saheb and Minister Shibli Faraz (though I have no desire to meet other Pakistani politicians).
This is because of my passionate love for Urdu poetry, which I regard the greatest poetry in the world in expressing the feelings of the human heart, and is greatly needed in this transitional era in our subcontinent.
So far as Shibli saheb is concerned, I would like to meet him as he is the son of Ahmad Faraz, whom I regard among the greatest Urdu poets in recent times, and I am sure Shibli saheb too, though not himself a poet (as far as I know) would have inherited some of his father’s traits and love for Urdu.
As regards Mushahidullah saheb, I have watched almost every speech of his in the Pakistan Senate on YouTube. His knowledge of Urdu poetry was enormous, but in addition to that what was unique in him was that he could recite verses of some Urdu poet, whether Ghalib, Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi, Habib Jalib or others, which was totally apt for the situation (‘mauzu’), a quality not seen in any other politician, and seldom seen even in non politicians.
I wish Mushahidullah Khan were still alive today, and kept entertaining us all with his vast knowledge of Urdu poetry. I am sure if he knew his death was approaching he would have written an Urdu version of Tennyson’s last poem.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.