Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi
Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi
احمد ندیم قاسمی
Qasmi in May 1949
|Born||Ahmad Shah Awan|
20 November 1916
Angah, Khushab District, British India
|Died||10 July 2006 (aged 89)|
|Occupation||Urdu poet, journalist, writer, scholar|
|Education||Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan|
|Alma mater||Govt. Sadiq Egerton College Bahawalpur|
|Literary movement||Progressive Writers Movement|
A member of Progressive Writers' Association
|Notable awards||Pride of Performance (1968) |
Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi (Urdu: احمد ندیم قاسمی) born Ahmad Shah Awan (Urdu: احمد شاہ اعوان) on 20 November 1916 – died 10 July 2006, was an Urdu language Pakistani poet, journalist, literary critic, dramatist and short story author. He wrote 50 books on topics such as poetry, fiction, criticism, journalism and art, and was a major figure in contemporary Urdu literature. His poetry was distinguished by its humanism, and his Urdu afsana (short story) work is considered by some second only to Munshi Prem Chand in its depiction of rural culture. He was also editor and publisher of the literary magazine Funoon for almost half a century. He received awards such as the Pride of Performance in 1968 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1980 for his literary work.
Qasmi was born in the village of Anga in Khushab District, British India into a Awan family. He graduated from a high school in Campbellpur in 1931, (now renamed Attock city in Pakistan), around the time when he wrote his first poem He studied at government college Attock. Later he studied at Sadiq Egerton College in Bahawalpur. He graduated from the University of the Punjab, Lahore in 1935. He had a brother, Peerzada Mohammad Bakhsh Qasmi, and a sister. He became an active member of the Progressive Writers Movement as a secretary and was consequently arrested many times during the 1950s and 1970s. He died on 10 July 2006 of complications from asthma at Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore.
Qasmi edited several prominent literary journals, including Phool, Tehzeeb-i-Niswaan, Adab-i-Lateef, Savera, Naqoosh, and his own journal, Funoon. He also worked as the editor of the Urdu daily Imroze. Qasimi contributed weekly columns to national newspapers like Rawan Dawan and Daily Jang for several decades. His poetry has included both traditional ghazals and modern nazms. Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi was also committed to mentoring and grooming others.
In 1948, he was selected as the secretary-general of the Anjuman-e-Taraqqi Pasand Musannifeen (Progressive Writers Movement) for Punjab. In 1949, he was elected the secretary-general of the organisation for Pakistan. In 1962, Qasmi published his own literary magazine Fanoon, with the support of writers and poets including Khadija Mastoor, Hajra Masroor, Ahmed Faraz, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ata ul Haq Qasmi, and Munnu Bhai . Qasmi was the mentor of the poet Parveen Shakir. In 1974, he was appointed secretary-general of Majlis-Taraqee-Adab, a literary body established by the government of West Pakistan in 1958.
In December 2011, Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik and noted columnist Ata ul Haq Qasmi arranged a seminar on the life and achievements of Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi at the International Islamic University, Islamabad. His literary work has been appreciated and admired by Urdu writers, poets, and critics, although there is also criticism of his literary work and of his personality. Fateh Muhammad Malik is a long-time friend of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi. In his book about the life and personality of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi called 'Nadeem Shanasi', he gives the impression that it is evident from Qasmi's letters to him that Qasmi had a buried disliking for Faiz and perhaps considered himself a poet greater than Faiz. "The letters also reveal that Qasmi had a narcissistic personality and an inflated ego when it came to his contemporaries. He consciously or unconsciously tried to belittle Faiz, though without much effect."
An example of his poetry, with translation
Dawar-e hashr! mujhe teri qasam
 Umr bhar mein ne ibadat ki hay
Tu mera namaa-e-amaal tau dekh
Mein ne insaan se mohabbat ki hay
O Lord of the Day of Judgment
I swear by you
I have worshipped all my life
Look at my balance sheet
I have loved mankind
- Afsaanay (40 best short stories selected by Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi himself)
- Chopaal (1939)
- Gandasa was also a source of inspiration for the legendary character Maula Jatt
- Kapaas ka Phool
- ghar se ghar tak
Awards and recognition
- Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan in 1968
- Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) Award by the President of Pakistan in 1980
- Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pakistan Academy of Letters
- Islamabad 7th Avenue named after Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi.
- Profile and obituary of Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi on BBC News website Published 10 July 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2019
- Pakistan National Council of the Arts honours Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi – his profile with info on many of his awards on Associated Press of Pakistan website Published 19 November 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2019
- "Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi remembered". Pakistan Today. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi's obituary and profile Dawn (Pakistan), Published 11 July 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2019
- Iqbal, Abdullah (11 November 2004). "Gulzar in Lahore to visit his ailing mentor". Gulf News. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
- Kamal, Daud (2008). Flower on a Grave: Poems from Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195474978.
- A Tribute: Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi (1916–2006) All Things Pakistan, Published 16 August 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2019
- "NON-FICTION: Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi: the controversy lives on". Dawn. Pakistan. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- Profile and Afsanay by Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi on goodreads.com website Retrieved 26 June 2019
- Profile and awards of Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi Retrieved 26 June 2019
- CDA approves renaming of 7th Avenue Dawn (Pakistan), Published 25 February 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2019