Punjab Research Group

Prof. Jagan Nath Azad: Creator of Pakistan’s First National Anthem by Adil Najam

Posted in Articles by Pippa on June 9, 2009

I am ashamed that until recently I did not know who Jagan Nath Azad was, or what he did. I am glad that I now know. I hope you are too.

First, the basics: Jagannath Azad (1918-2004) was an Urdu poet, a Punjabi Hindu, and a scholar of Iqbal’s poetry who, on the direct invitation of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, wrote Pakistan’s first national anthem, which remained Pakistan’s official anthem for its first year-and-half and whose first lines were as follows:

Aé sarzameené paak
Zarray teray haéñ aaj sitaaroñ se taabnaak
Roshan haé kehkashaañ se kaheeñ aaj tayree khaak
Aé sarzameené paak

 Jagan Nath Azad was born in 1918 in Isa Khel in the Punjab (later of Atta Ullah Khan Eesakhelvi fame), he studied at Gordon College in Rawalpindi, and the University of the Punjab in Lahore. At the time of partition in 1947, he was a journalist and a poet living in Lahore. Mr.  Jinnah asked him to write a new national anthem for Pakistan. The anthem was used for 18 months, until it was replaced (after Mr. Jinnah’s death). Some time after writing the national anthem, he migrated to India, where from 1977 to 1980 he was a Professor of Urdu and head of Urdu department at the Unversity of Jammu. Prof. Azad was a noted authority on the works of Dr. Allama Mohammad Iqbal. He was awarded the President of Pakistan’s gold medal for his services to Urdu literature.

Read full article: http://pakistaniat.com/2009/06/05/jagannath-azad/

Victor Gordon Kiernan, historian, born 4 September 1913; died 17 February 2009

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on February 18, 2009

It is with regret that the PRG has learned of the recent death of an outstanding scholar, Victor Kiernan.  Some members of PRG had contact with Victor and his work as an accomplished translator of Urdu poetry through the Journal of Punjab Studies.


The Guardian has published an obituary: 


Historian with a global vision of empires, Marxism, politics and poetry by Eric Hobsbawm The Guardian, Wednesday 18 February 2009


Victor Kiernan, who has died aged 95, was a man of unselfconscious charm and staggeringly wide range of learning. He was also one of the last survivors of the generation of British Marxist historians of the 1930s and 1940s. If this generation has been seen by the leading German scholar HU Wehler as the main factor behind “the global impact of English historiography since the 1960s”, it was largely due to Victor’s influence. He brought to the debates of the Communist party historians’ group between 1946 and 1956 a persistent, if always courteous, determination to think out problems of class culture and tradition for himself, whatever the orthodox position. He continued to remain loyal to the flexible, open-minded Marxism of the group to which he had contributed so much.

To read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/feb/18/victor-kiernan-obituary

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