Ehsan Sehgal

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Ehsan Sehgal
احسان سہگل
Prominent-poet Ehsan Sehgal.jpg
Founding Chairman of Muslim United Nations
Assumed office
Personal details
Born Khawaja Ehsan Elahi Sehgal
(1951-11-15) 15 November 1951 (age 63)
Pakistan Larkana, Sindh, Pakistan
Nationality Netherlands Dutch[1]
Children Memoona Sehgal
Tehmina Sehgal
Residence The Hague, Netherlands
Alma mater University of Karachi
Occupation Activist
Religion Islam
Website Official website

Ehsan Sehgal (Urdu: احسان سہگل‎, Hindi: एहसान सहगल), born Khawaja Ehsan Elahi Sehgal (Urdu: خواجہ احسان الہی سہگل ‎) is a Dutch, Pakistani origin Urdu poet and writer.[1] He moved to The Netherlands in 1978 to escape the political strife under General Zia era in Pakistan,[1][2] and has lived in the Netherlands since 1978. He is also a journalist and an activist for democracy, freedom of the press and the speech.[3][4] He established the Muslim United Nations in 1980 as the founding chairperson.[5] He joined Pakistan Army in War of 1965 at the age of fourteen and received a Tamgha-e-Jang (War Medal} from Pakistan Army.[6]

He was born on 15 November 1951 in Larkana, Sindh, Pakistan and obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Urdu literature. In addition, he also received the LL.B. law degree from Karachi University.[2] He married a Dutch woman and unfavourable events resulted in a divorce.[7]

He has received awards from Indian and European Urdu literary organisations in recognition of his literary achievements, and is famous for his poetry book Zarb-e-Sukhan , in Urdu-speaking world.[8][9][10] The Daily Times describes the book as a "splendid poetry collection." [11] Besides that he has published a collection of aphorisms in Dutch, English and Urdu.[12]

His many ghazals and naats composed and sung by several Pakistani singers.[13] Sehgal has also written a novel and several poetry books, his articles published in various Urdu newspapers.[2]

Personal life[edit]


Sehgal was born in Larkana, Pakistan, in a Punjabi business family.[2][14] His father, Khawaja Manzoor Elahi Sehgal, was from Pind Dadan Khan, Pakistan.[14] Sehgal received his elementary and secondary education in Larkana.[14] He later moved to Karachi. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from University of Sindh, Hyderabad, and obtained Master of Arts Urdu (M.A.) and Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degrees from University of Karachi.[14]

He worked in several firms before he began his career in journalism.[14] Sehgal distinguished himself as a journalist, but "unfavorable conditions" under the rule of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq forced him to leave the country.[2] In 1978, he sought political asylum in the Netherlands, settling in The Hague[15] to work as a freelance journalist.[2][14] He currently freelances for Urdu newspapers and magazines and online daily newspapers.

Marital life[edit]

He married a Dutch national woman named Hetty who converted to Islam as Rubina Sehgal on 31 July 1980 in The Hague, Holland, but during 33 years raised and increased religious, cultural and moral differences between them that resulted divorce on 15 November 2013,[7] with whom Sehgal has two daughters, Memoona Sehgal and Tehmina Sehgal.[1][7]

Literary career[edit]

Sehgal began his literary career in 1967.[8] His first publication was a novel,[14] but his next books were all collections of poetry.[2] He writes mostly in the poetic form called Ghazal,[2] but he has also written Ruba'i,[16][17] Nazm, Qat'aa, and Naat. He also writes in the meter called Beher and has good knowledge in poetry metre of the Urdu language.[14]

Besides the novel and books of poetry, he published a collection of quotes and articles in 1999. In 2010, he published a collection of aphorisms in Dutch, having lived in the Netherlands for over three decades and feeling the desire to share his ideas with a Dutch audience. The book, De Wijze Weg ("The Wise Way"), was written and translated with the help of Naeem Arif.[18] The Wise Way is also published in both the English and Urdu languages.[12]

His many ghazals have been sung by several Pakistani famous singers.[13] He has been praised by many Urdu writers and poets,[19] especially by Ibn-e-Insha who has appreciated Sehgal's literary work in his weekly written columns in Akhbar-e-Jahan karachi.[20] An author writes, "As far as the poetic justice in Sehgal's writing is considered, it is debatable. In spite of some shortcomings, he keeps on writing which is a good. His work over a period of time has been acknowledged." [8] A famous poet of India Nida Fazli compared his poetry with Ghalib.[21]

Sehgal has received awards of Molana Maher-ul-Qadri Award in 2001 from Urdu Trust London, U.K,[9] Allama Shariq Jamal Award in 2005 from Bazm-e-Shaoor-e-Adab in Jaipur, India,[9] and Faiz Ahmad Faiz Award in 2011 from Urdu Tahreek Aalmi London, U.K, in recognition of his best poetry works.[4] He has also received Pride of Performance by Maraqaba Hal Holland, The Hague, Netherlands in December 2013.[22][23] He also writes prose poetry in English, such as:

Ehsan Sehgal and retired general Aslam Baig in Baghdad, Iraq in 1994.


Who has connections, he is greeted
Who has not, he is mistreated
To kill, innocent peoples
Now it is diplomacy
They are keeping
In their hands veto
But they are preaching
To us democracy
We, people of the blue planet
Have to realize, anyhow
It was always; it is always
It will always be that
Where is the might;
It is right.[24][25]

As journalist[edit]

Sehgal started his career as a reporter for the Karachi daily Aghaz in 1970.[20] He soon became the sub-editor with responsibility for the student, magazine and city news pages. He was also editor of the fortnightly Karachi magazine, Tamseel.[20]

Political role[edit]

During Sehgal's childhood he played with Murtaza Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, the children of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, foreign minister in Ayub Khan's cabinet.[20] In Larkana in 1968, when general Ayub Khan's government house arrested Bhutto, there was a big demonstration in protest against Khan's government, where Sehgal read his poem against Ayub Khan favouring Bhutto before the demonstrators. Later, Bhutto thanked Sehgal in the banglow where he was under house arrest.[20] Sehgal also became a basic member of the youth branch of Pakistan Peoples Party Larkana.[20]

Sehgal established the Muslim United Nations during his stay in the Netherlands in 1980. He wrote its charter and sent it to all Islamic states. He remains the founding chairperson of the organisation. He also attended Islamic conference in Baghdad, Iraq, on the invitation of Saddam Hussein's government.[5]

Ehsan Sehgal receiving an award

Army service[edit]

Sehgal has also served as a soldier. At the age of 14, he joined the Pakistan Army during the War of 1965. He got short training and received a Tamgha-e-Jang (War Medal) from Pakistan Army AMC Centre (recording) Abbottabad, Pakistan. The news was published in the newspapers of Pakistan.[6]


  • Molana Maher-ul-Qadri Award in 2001 from Urdu Trust London, U.K.[9]
  • Allama Shariq Jamal Award in 2005 from Bazm-e-Shaoor-e-Adab. Jaipur, India.[9]
  • Faiz Ahmad Faiz Award in 2011 from Urdu Tahreek Aalami London, U.K.[4]
  • Pride of Performance by Maraqaba Hal Holland, The Hauge, Netherlands in December 2013.[22][23]
  • Tamgha-e-Jang (War Medal) by Pakistan Army in the War of 1965.[6]


  • Khushi Bad-e-Gham ("Happiness and Grief"). Karachi: Ameen Brothers, 1968.[2]
  • Sehr-e-Jazbat ("A City of Emotions"). Karachi: Desent Press, Shahzad Farooqi, 1972.[2]
  • Parwaz-e-Takhayyul. Karachi: Altaf, 1995.[14]
  • Andaz-e-Takhayyul. Karachi: Mesahi, 1998.[26]
  • Saz-e-Takhayyul. Karachi: Mesahi, 1999.[2]
  • Naz-e-Takhayyul. Islamabad, Karachi: Baze-Ilmo-Fun-International, 2000.[2]
  • Afkar Ki Khushboo. Islamabad, Karachi: Bazme-Ilmo-Fun-International, 2002.[21]
  • Charag-e-Dard. March 2004. Karachi, The Hague: Urdu Cultural Society, 2004.[21]
  • Zarb-e-Sukhan. Karachi, London, The Hague: Urdu Tahreek, 2009.[4][10]
Quotations and articles

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Daily Hurriyat page 8.14 February 1989 Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "'Martial laws badly affected literary activities'". The News International. 14 April 2002. 
  3. ^ "National News-Book Lounch". Business Recorder Karachi. 28 November 2012. p. 9. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "ھولینڈ کی خبریں". Daily Dharti. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Ehsan Sehgal's family interview by Saeed Khawar". Family Magazine. p. 23. Retrieved 9 May 1998. 
  6. ^ a b c "شاعر زمانہ احسان سہگل نہ صرف ایک شاعر، ادیب اور صحافی ہیں بلکہ وہ ماضی کے ایک فوجی بھی ہیں". Daily Dharti. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "احسان سہگل اور ان کی ڈچ شریک حیات کے درمیان 33 سال کے بعد سرکاری طور پر طلاق ہو گئی ہے". Daily Dharti. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "Urdu, surviving against odds". Daily Rising Kashmir. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "ھولینڈ کی خبریں". Daily Dharti. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Ehsan Sehgal's Zarb-e-Sukhan". Daily Jang. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Book Releases-Notable book releases in the month of March included:". World 5 April 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Dr. Amjad Parvez (1 February 2013). "Bilingual literary read". Daily Times. Retrieved 1 February 2013. The book titled The Wise Way is a very interesting book by Ehsan Sehgal, a Pakistani settled in the Netherlands. It is a book with 37 pages in English and 23 in Urdu. 
  13. ^ a b "احسان سہگل کی نعتوں اور غزلوں کی ریکارڈنگ". Daily Jang Group. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Khan, Mushtaq A. (9 October 1995). "Readers Enchanted by Ehsan Sehgal's The flight of imagination". Times of Karachi. 
  15. ^ Korving, Joke (3 January 1979). "Gevlucht". Haagsche Courant. p. 17. 
  16. ^ "Dr Fareed Parbati: King of Urdu Rubayi". The Daily Rising Kashmir. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Remembering Dr Fareed Parbati: A Tribute (1961-2011)". The Kashmir Monitor. 14 December 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Herberghs, Saskia (29 September 2010). "Even vragen aan: Ehsan Sehgal, dichter". AD Haagsche Courant. p. 5. 
  19. ^ "فن کی روح انسانی اقدار سے تشکیل پاتی ہے.پرفیسر جاذب قریشی". Daily Jang Karachi. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f "Emag-Shams-Magazine-October 2011-page.36". 13 October 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c d e "A splendid poetry collection". Daily Times. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "ہالینڈ کے معروف شاعر خواجہ احسان سہگل کے ساتھیوں نے احسان سہگل کے نام سے ایک پروگرام کا انتظام و انصرام کیا". Geo 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "ایک شام احسان سہگل کے نام". Daily Dharti. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  24. ^ "Might-right-veto". Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  25. ^ "Ehsan Sehgal's Quotes and short autobiography". 26 August 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  26. ^ Hadi, Akhtar (July 1998). "Ehsan Sehgal: Poet of Pathos". Nation Today. 
  27. ^ "Launching Ceremony of Book ھولینڈ کی خبریں". Retrieved 9 January 2013. 

External links[edit]