- 言語と文化 = Language and Culture (ISSN:09147977)
- vol.10, pp.88-124, 1998-02-01
Ahmad Nadim Qasmi (1916—) is an effective Urdu short story writer as well as a poet and a journalist in Pakistan, who has generally maintained an unblemished personal reputation. The Urdu (and Hindi) short story as it exists today is a literary phenomenon of recent origin. Its present development owes much to the inspiration of the West. The short story in Urdu originated with Premchand (1880—1936), universally considered as one of the greatest fiction writers of modern India. Premchand brought it out of the world of dreamland and fantasy and introduced to this form the living truth of human existence. He portrayed the life of the Indian peasant in Uttar Pradesh in his novels and short stories with understanding and sympathy for their poverty and suffering, their superstitions and weakness.Only two years after the creation of the Union of Soviet Writers, Marxist intellectuals in India under the leadership of Sajjad Zahir called the first All-India Progressive Writers' Conference in Lucknow on April 10, 1936. Premchand, who imbibed the spirit of socialism in his final years, presided over the Progressive Writers' Movement's first session shortly before his death in 1936.The Urdu short story in the period after 1936 branched into two different lines: the sociological story, represented by Bedi, Krishan Chandar and Qasmi; and the psychological story, dominated by themes of sex, as best seen in the writings of Manto, Ismat Chughtai and Mumtaz Mufti. After Premchand, Ahmad Nadim Qasmi emerged as one of the best short story writers in Urdu. Imtiaz Ali Taj has rightly called Qasmi the "Premchand of Punjab." As a versatile writer, Ahmad Nadim Qasmi has written extensively both in prose and verse, depicting the rural life of the Punjabi with all its romance and poverty, and touchingly capturing the grandeur of nature in contrast with the sad plight of the village dweller. His interest in rural life sprang initially from his search for romance in the rustic, but later he began depicting rural actuality in all its beauty and misery, a fact which has tended to permeate his writing with a missionary zeal. Qasmi showed a deep sympathy for the peasant folk in their misery and poverty, for he saw beneath their rags a certain dignity, worth, and regard for humanity.In this paper an attempt has been made to describe Qasmi's life, thought and the process of his self-reformation, and to evaluate the characteristics of his works in the fifteenth collection of short stories "Nila patthar" (Blue stone) published in 1980.