The 166th birth anniversary of Mirza Qaleech Baig was celebrated at Shaikh Ayaz auditorium, Faculty of Arts, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, organized by Mirza Qaleech Baig Research Chair.
Speaking at the ceremony, the speakers paid rich tributes to the renowned writer the late Shams-ul- Ulema Mirza Qaleech Baig for his services in the cause of Sindhi language and literature.
They said that Mirza Qaleech Baig was one of the greatest writers of the world but he was not given due recognition at official level even in the Sindh province.
In his presidential address, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat deplored that no road or institution had been named after Mirza Baig in any city or town of the province, adding that Sindh University took the initiative back in 2009 and established the Mirza Qaleech Chair which he said had been made more active and efficient.
Defining the term Shamas-ul-Uelma as the sun of education and light, he said that Mr. Baig was a great scholar but he was not given his due place in the textbooks.
“In English literature, the famous writer is William Shakespeare who wrote just 37 dramas but Mirza Qaleech Baig inked more than 457 hundred books in 43 disciplines including chemistry, physics, biology, zoology, plant sciences, Sindhi literature and anthropology”, said Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat.
He said that one could guess about Qaleech’s personality after seeing the gross volume of his written books in over eight languages which included Sindhi, Persian, Arabic, English and other languages.
Welcoming magnanimous gesture of Qaleech family of gifting the varsity Qaleech’s personal library Dr. Burfat said they would set up a special prominent corner at the varsity’s Central Library to honor Qaleech’s knowledge jewels and allow his books widest possible readership.
Mirza Qaleech Baig’s grandson Mirza Aijaz Baig said that his grandfather was the luminous emblem of modern Sindhi literature and he had served the cause of Sindhi language all his life.
Eulogizing Shams-ul-Ulema Mirza Qaleech Baig’s unmatched contribution to Sindhi language and literature as well as towards reforming society, he said it was unfortunate that the people of Iran, England, India and gulf countries did not know about Qaleech even in the era when the world had turned into a global village.
“I bet today’s students are not familiar with even the name of late writer, but many of our teachers too, do not have an inkling of Mirza Qaleech Baig’s literary output”, he lamented.
He said that Qaleech’s contribution and services have enlightened generations bringing about positive change in society; promoting core human values.
Aijaz Baig Mirza also announced to hand over as academic present to SU entire personal library of Mirza Qaleech Baig observing that varsity was the best place to preserve and promote the treasure trove of knowledge left by the icon.
Writer Nafees Ahmed Nashaad said that Persian had been the official language of Sindh in the Talpur era but the language saw a gradual decline during the British rule. However, he said, literary figures, mystics, historians and other scholars of the Persian language could still be found in Sindh. He said that native Sindhi intellectuals’ works in Persian are also available in abundance.
Renowned literatim Prof. Muhammad Saleem Memon underlined the need for publishing more of his works, reprinting the already published books and making arrangements for the translation of all his works in English, Persian, Arabic and other international languages besides that of Sindhi. He told that Sindh had historically been a centre of literary activities and frequented by scholars from Iran, Iraq, Turkey and other countries. Firdousi had also made mention of Sindh in his Shahnama, he maintained.
Author Kazi Khadim said that Mirza Qaleech Baig was bestowed with the title of Shamsul Ulema and Qaiser-i-Hind, because he was one of the greatest writers, poets and historians of the subcontinent, adding that there were 457 books to his credit while he translated certain rare English and Persian books into the Sindhi language.
“Twenty-two of the books authored by him were on Persian prose and poetry alone”, he said.
SU’s Director of Mirza Qaleech Baig chair Dr. Nawab Kaka said that because of his broad vision, exceptional intellectual approach and enormous contribution to Sindhi language and literature, Qaleech Baig was known in this province as the Shakespeare of Sindh. He said that Qaleech Baig translated Chachnama and enabled future generations to read history of their homeland adding that besides being an intellectual, he was a great social reformer.
On the occasion, three newly-published of Qaleech by Mirza Qaleech Baig Chair were also launched.
Well-known writer and radio host Naseer Mirza moderated the event.