Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Iqbal Library turns 75, diamond jubilee celebrated in the historic institution in Bhopal

The historic Iqbal Library, which is said to be the first institution named after legendary Urdu poet Allama Iqbal, has completed 75 years.

The library was established in Bhopal in 1940, barely two years after Allama Iqbal's death.

On February 14, the diamond jubilee celebration was held in the library which now has a collection of nearly 1 lakh books.

It is a long story of how a non-governmental library not only survived but kept growing with years and has now become a major institution in the country--all due to dedication and hard work of those associated with it, apart from the Urdu lovers of Bhopal.

The library was set up by late Asif Shahmiri in pre-independent India. Late Mamnoon Hasan Khan played a pivotal role in preserving the library. Subsequently, late Umar Ansari gave his best years to the library.

After his death, litterateur Rasheed Anjum, is at the helm. He is doing his best to ensure that the library Lack of funds, fall in membership, hardly any government support apart from decline in number of readers have been the major problems facing the library.

Today, the library has a rare collection of Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, English and Marathi books apart from magazines. Files of rare Urdu magazines that ceases publication decades ago, are a prized collection of this library.

Interestingly, many in New Bhopal, aren't aware about the library, which is now located in a part of the Iqbal Maidan, amidst the royal complex--Moti Mahal, Shaukat Mahal and Sheesh Mahal. It was at Sheesh Mahal that Iqbal had stayed in his Bhopal visit during Nawab Hamidullah Khan's reign.

On February 14, the diamond jubilee function was organised in the library. Principal secretary, Culture, Manoj Srivastava, who was the chief guest, lauded the role of the library. On this occasion, litterateurs, journalists and writers were felicitated.