ISLAMABAD: Revolutionary Urdu poet Josh Malihabadi who contributed with his poetry against the British Rule for the independence of the sub-continent was remembered on his death anniversary on Thursday. Due to his relentless struggle for freedom, he was called a Shaayar-e-Inquilab (Poet of the Revolution).
Josh Malihabadi was born on December 5, 1894, in Malihabad. His birth name was Shabbir Hasan Khan. However, he wrote ghazals and nazms under the pen name of Josh.
He studied at St. Peter’s College, Agra and passed his Senior Cambridge examination in 1914. Although Josh subsequently studied Arabic and Persian and, in 1918, spent six months at Tagore’s University, Shantiniketan, the death of his father, Bashir Ahmed Khan, in 1916, prevented him from undertaking a college education.
In 1925, Josh began to supervise translation work at Osmania University, in the princely state of Hyderabad. However, his stay there ended, when he found himself exiled from the state for writing a poem against the Nizam of Hyderabad, the then ruler of the state.
Soon thereafter, he founded the magazine, Kaleem in which he openly wrote articles in favour of independence from the British Raj in India. As his reputation spread, he came to be called Shaayar-e-Inquilaab (Poet of the Revolution).
Subsequently, he became more actively involved in the freedom struggle in an intellectual capacity and became close to some of the political leaders of that era.
After the end of the British Raj in 1947, Josh became the editor of the publication Aaj-Kal and migrated to Pakistan in 1958. After migration, Josh settled in Karachi and rigorously worked for Anjuman-i-Tarraqi-i-Urdu with Maulvi Abdul Haq.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Syed Fakhruddin Balley both were the closest companions and friends of Josh and Sajjad Hyder Kharosh, the son of Josh.
He died on February 22, 1982, at the age of 83.
In August 2012, the Government of Pakistan announced Hilal-i-Imtiaz for Josh Malihabadi.