Tribute paid to Shamsul Ulema Mirza Qaleech Baig

Many scholars and intellectuals who read papers at a moot on Shamsul Ulema Mirza Qaleech Baig’s contribution to Sindhi language and society on Tuesday paid homage to the great scholar and said that literature was essential to bring change in society and promote human values.
The moot was organized by the Mirza Qaleech Baig Chair of the University of Sindh wherein Dean Faculty of Arts, SU Prof. Dr. Javed Iqbal chaired it.
Reading papers in an academic session of the conference, the scholars said that Qaleech visualized needs of the future and focused on promoting Sindhi language and literature.
They underlined the need for reprinting Qaleech’s books and publication and translation of his unpublished manuscripts.
Jami Chandio, a renowned intellectual, said in his paper that Sindh had always been a centre of attraction for people from across the world, especially the scholars from Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Firdousi had also mentioned Sindh in his Shahnama, he said.
He said that Shamsul Ulema Mirza Qaleech Baig who was bestowed title of Qaiser-e-Hind, was one of the greatest writers, poets, historians and a true lover of literature.
He is author of 457 books and translated rare books of other languages that are Persian and English into Sindhi. He is also known as the Shakespeare of Sindh. Of 457 books, 22 are on Persian prose and poetry.
He said Mirza Qaleech translated Chachnama and enabled future generations to read history of their land adding that Mirza Qaleech was a serious scholar as well as a great social reformer.
“It is essential that we encourage our youth to be part of national and international seminars and conferences and provide them opportunity to express their views and share ideas,” Mr. Jami said.
Jami Chandio further said that for many years “comparative literature” had been centre of attention among scholars and literary critics of the world and the first scholar who introduced comparative literature in Sindh and started method of criticism of previous works, was Shamsul Ulema Mirza Qaleech Baig.
He introduced this method in 1906 and for more than two decades wrote or edited more than 457 books, he said and added that he also wrote many poems and adopted style of Saadi of Shiraz.
Prof. Dr. Javed Iqbal, Dean Faculty of Arts, SU, said that Persian was official language of Sindh in the days of Talpur rulers and saw its status gradually declining during the British rule in Sindh. But poets, mystics, historians and scholars of Persian language could still be found in Sindh, he said.
Native Sindhi poets and writers also used to write in Persian language, he said, reciting Persian poetry of Sachal Sarmast, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Mir Karam Ali Khan, Mir Murad Ali Khan, Mir Sobdar Khan, Nawab Wali Mohammad Leghari, Mirza Khusro Baig Gurji and Mirza Qaleech Baig.
He further said that Qaleech produced quality literature and contributed immensely to the promotion of Sindhi literature.
Dr. Iqbal said that Mirza Qaleech is one of the pioneering figures of Sindhi language and literature, who served the language and literature as one serves one’s family.
“Qaleech not only sowed seeds of new ideas and concepts in Sindhi language and literature but also endeavored to transplant in it thought-provoking ideas from different languages to enhance its beauty”. He said.
He said that Qaleech’s library overflowed with books, his writing table, medal and robe were all reminders of his great genius and scholarly work and service to Sindhi literature and to people of Sindh.
He said that Mirza Qaleech Baig was awarded Qaiser-e-Hind medal for his meritorious work in 1906. In 1924, the British government conferred on him the title of Shamsul Ulema, he told.
Ishaq Samejo, Incharge Director of Shamsul Ulema Mirza Qaleech Baig chair, SU, said that the history of Sindh written by Mirza Qaleech Baig was based on old history books viz. Chachnama, Tareekh Maasumi, Tuhfatulkiram.
He said that Mirza Qaleech Baig was lover of Sindh and Sindhi language and did justice with his both lives.
He vowed to organize more lecturers on the topic in order to make the youths studying on the campus familiar with the teaching of Mirza Qaleech Baig.

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