'Majlis e Frogh e Urdu Adab,' a renowned literary and cultural organisation, established in Qatar in 1991, remembered the late Prof Dr Gopi Chand Narang, a renowned Urdu scholar, linguist, theorist, critic, researcher and designated as 'Ambassador of Urdu'' in an online condolence reference recently.
A number of reputable Urdu scholars from Pakistan and India highlighted his Urdu literary services and various aspects of his personality. Hundreds of Urdu lovers from Qatar, Pakistan, India and many other countries witnessed the programme live on the Facebook.
Majlis chairman Mohamed Atiqa presided. Secretary-general Ubaid Tahir, who compered the programme, recalled that the organisation had a strong relationship across 26 years with the legend. When the Majlis initiated in 1996 to confer 'Aalmi Frogh e Urdu Adab Award' upon an Urdu prose writer each from India and Pakistan every year, Prof Dr Narang and Mushtaq Yousufi saheb were the guiding lights.
Prof Dr Narang was entrusted by the Majlis, the responsibility of selecting the winner from India, a task he carried out until his death with great sincerity and honesty, it was remembered.
The speakers in the online condolence meeting included Pakistan's Aalmi Award Jury chairman Dr Khurshid Rizvi and his compatriot and Urdu literary scholar Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, India's Aalmi Award Jury chairman Prof Dr Shafey Kidwai, his compatriot and and well-known novelist Syed Mohamed Ashraf, and Prof Dr Narang's son Dr Tarun Narang who participated from the US.
Dr Tarun, a medical doctor by profession, said that his father nurtured in him the love for the Urdu language from his childhood and advised him to read the works of great poets. Dr Tarun narrated about a dozen verses of Mirza Ghalib and Mir Taqi Mir while remembering his father.
Ashraf recollected that Prof Dr Narang used to encourage young and upcoming writers, a lot. Prof Dr Kidwai spoke about the late scholar's critical writings, especially on Rajendra Singh Bedi and highlighted his unique style.
Karachi University's former Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui said Prof Dr Narang used to frequently visit Pakistan and on one occasion at just two days' notice agreed to participate in a programme in a reflection of his humility and love for Urdu.
Prof Dr Rizvi remembered his many meetings with Prof Dr Narang in Doha and Lahore, and paid rich tributes to him for his invaluable literary, critical and research capabilities. In the end, Atiq said Prof Dr Narang always used to give him invaluable suggestions and advice, with great love and affection.
"Narang Saheb's death is a huge loss to Urdu world, 'Majlis e Frogh e Urdu Adab' and to me personally. The Majlis will always remember his most sincere efforts and services and look upon them with great respect," Atiq added.