Sunday, September 24, 2006

Poetry flares up passions: Gunshots over Mushaira verses

Photo courtesy: Mr Arjan Kumar* in TOI
After a Mushaira [Urdu poetry recital] two groups of youths had a bloody clash at Najibabad (UP). Both sides wielded arms and attacked each other with knives and daggers.

Gunshots were also fired and half-a-dozen were injured. Two critically injured youths who suffered bullet wounds were rushed to Meerut.

Both the groups that had violent clash belonged to Munirganj locality of Najibabad [Bijnore].

Reports say that the youths were having argument over the 'poetry' read by a poet in the mushaira for the last couple of days. However, trouble escalated when Rashid, Nazim, Sajid, Faisal and others attacked Saim, his brother Mamluk and others.

Supoporterrs of Saim also arrived on spot and both sides fired at each other. Had a police team passing by the area not stopped upon hearing the sounds of the commotion, the incident may have taken even a serious turn. The assailants have been arrested.

One of the versions says that it was difference over interpretation of a couplet and the subsequent argument in which one side mocked at the 'sher-fahmi' (understanding of poetic nuanaces) of the other group, which created the situation.

Such unique news items are found in Urdu newspapers only. Everyday I find 8-10 comprehensive mushaira reports... Today's paper has mushaira reports from Aligarh [Azar Academy at Hathi wala pul], Nanpara, Bahraich, Baghpat, Rampur and Khurja [from UP alone].

And each report is quite comprehensive. For example, if twenty poets recited at an event, then the best couplet recited by each poet is mentioned. Sharique Sahab is right about the obsession of Muslims and Muslim bloggers with Shaa'eri!

[Photo courtesy: Mr Arjun Kumar's link on Hidden Heritage]