Bashar Nawaz

August 18, 1935 – July 9, 2015

Indian Urdu poet and lyricist, who penned the hugely popular song Karoge Yaad in the Bollywood film Bazaar. He was honoured with prestigious "Pulotsav Samman" and "Ghalib Award" for his contribution to Urdu literature.


About Bashar Nawaz

Urdu poet, critic, and orator Bashar Nawaz was born on 18th August 1935 at Aurangabad, Maharashtra. His Gazals & Poems are included in almost all the anthologies of the best Urdu poetry from 1960 onwards.

Over the last fifty years, he has been regularly publishing his work in various Urdu literary journals/magazines in India and abroad. He was initially influenced by the leftist movement that exhibits from his poems as well,he started composing romantic lyrics about a classless society.

He was fascinated by some renowned progressive writers of the region, but the political, economical and social changes which were sweeping across India after Independence made him wriggle out of romantic lyricism and unreal ideas about evolution and social changes. He along with a group of young writers, were in search of new Idiom. At that time one of his childhood friend, Dr. Waheed Akhtar, wrote an article "Sukhangastarana Baat" which was published in a monthly in Hyderabad. Sayyed Sajjad Zaheer, a staunch progressive writer made a strong response. This was the beginning of a dialogue between the extremism of progressive movement and modernism in Urdu literature. Bashar Nawaz, actively participated in those dialogues and literary discussions and wrote articles as well defending Modernism.

He also participated in the first Modernist Writers Conference held at Allahabad in 1964. In this conference, senior Urdu writers, Poets and Academicians from other Indian languages also participated. His speech "What is the meaning of Modernism in Urdu?" was very well received, appreciated and discussed.

He believes in social values in literature, but gives more emphasis in his composition to classical approach. No literature can be produced and cultivated in any language without the foundation of cultural, traditional & classical values of its language community.At the same time, one cannot bind any language down to its particular idioms, forms & phrases, a language group which has a century long tradition of literature can flourish without any such bindings. Bashar Nawaz therefore has an insightful perception of not only Urdu but other Indian Languages as well.

Bashar Nawaz has written lyrics for Hindi films like Bazar, Lorie, Jaan-e-Wafa, Tere Shahar Mein etc. Renowned gazal singers Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali, Talat Aziz and others have sung his Gazals. He also wrote 13 episodes of the TV serial "Amir Khusru" which was telecast on Doordarshan in the year 1983. He has written 26 episodes of a musical opera entitled "Saare Jahan se Accha Hindustan Hamara" which was broadcasted by All India Radio. He has scripted a serial "Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar" which was televised on Delhi Doordarshan in 2000. He has also written about 60 radio dramas and performed in them. His Gazals and Poems are included in school syllabus from 1st to 12th Standard and in Graduate and Post-Graduate levels in various Universities.

Anwar Saeed of Pakistan has made special mention of Bashar Nawaz in his book 'A Short History Of Urdu Literature'. His first poetic collection 'Kalaam-e-Raigaan' has already been published."Nai Adab Nai Masail" is his critical review. In the field of literary criticism, his contribution is very distinguished. At a time when modernism went through extremes and was bogged down by Western literary theories, he wrote several critical articles explaining the importance of critical approach and how traditions can sustain literature.

In the Urdu literary world, Bashar Nawaz though known as a representative of classical heritage, does not hesitate to experement with new poetic forms and styles of expression. He has immensely contributed to modern Urdu literature through his evocative Poetry, Gazals and Critical essays. Though a born Poet, he has actively participated in Local Politics and was elected as a Municipal Councilor with a thumping majority in three consecutive Municipal elections during the period from 1958 to 1972 when he enjoyed unconditional political support from Leftist parties.

He was honoured with the prestigious “Pulotsav Samman”and "Ghalib Award" for his contribution to Urdu literature.