Friday, July 6, 2012

UBL, Jang Group honour literary giants

Jumbo Editorial Team 

The Jang Group of Newspapers and United Bank Limited (UBL) presented awards to seven writers in both Urdu and English in different categories in a graceful ceremony held in Karachi on July 5.

Prof Sehar Ansari for Urdu poetry for his book ‘Khuda Sey Baat Kertey Hein’, Najm-ul-Hassan Rizvi for Urdu fiction ‘Marvi Aur Marjeena’, Tauseef Tabassum for Urdu non-fiction ‘Band Gali Mein Shaam’, Baqar Naqvi for Urdu translation ‘Nobel Amn Kay Sau Baras’, Faheem Alam for a children’s book in Urdu ‘Sunnat Kahani’, Yasmeen Hameed on best English book ‘Pakistani Urdu verse’, and Dr Hameeda Khuhro on best children’s book in English ‘Children’s history of Sindh’ were among the winners of the UBL-Jang Literary Excellence Awards 2012. 

Ghazi Salahuddin, an eminent columnist and founder Editor of ‘The News’ launched by the Jang Group in 1991, spoke about the importance of books and writers in the society. “2012 is Saadat Hassan Manto’s year as his centenary is being observed while last year was Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s. It was a good fortune for the society that Manto was born but it was unfortunate that he was not widely read and recognized,” he regretted. 

Citing an example of the importance of books, Ghazi Salahuddin pointed out that the Library of Congress in the US was holding exhibitions of ‘Books that shaped America’ where original books that prompted the Americans to seek freedom from the British yoke and other books like John Steinbeck’s novel ‘The grapes of wrath’ have been put on display.

Sarmad Ali, Managing Director of the Jang Group and an acclaimed marketing guru, observed that their media group has joined the efforts to promote books and recognise writers to bring the new generation back to books as youths were excessively involved in the Internet and TV. 

He emphasized that the books helped to make one a good human being. The media’s primary role was to disseminate information but the Jang Group was also playing its social responsibility and its one way was to give awards to Pakistani writers. 

Sarmad Ali, who has also headed the Marketing Association of Pakistan (MAP) for quite some time, disclosed the Jang media group had prepared a CD, which contained Zia Mohyeddin’s rendition of Saadat Hassan Manto on his centenary year, adding that the Jang Group also planned to prepare such a CD about Meeraji.

The President and CEO of UBL, Atif R Bokhari, recalled that his bank had been playing its role in promoting social and cultural activities since its very beginning in 1960s. 

“The founder of UBL, the late Agha Hassan Abidi had laid the foundation for such activities and he even donated one ward to the SIUT. These activities were stopped during the nationalisation of banks which was a disaster for the country economically,” Atif Bokhari reckoned. 

Najeeb Agrawalla and Anita Mirza of UBL and Raheem Khan of the Jang Group also spoke on the occasion, revealing that over 200 entries were received for different categories this year compared to 68 last year. The panel of judges included Dr Noman-ul-Haq, Syed Mazhar Jamil, Anwer Mooraj and Muneeza Shamsi.

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