Ghulam Ahmad Mahjoor
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Mahjoor has a place of honor among the poets of
Kashmir. He is especially noted for two things. First, he introduced a new style
into Kashmiri poetry. Second, he introduced a new thought into Kashmiri poetry.
Mahjoor wrote poems of freedom and progress in
Kashmiri. These songs awakened the sleeping Kashmiris. He came with a new voice
and a new (literary) form.
Mahjoor was a poet of 1ove and communal harmony. In his
earlier days, he used to write only love poetry, but (later) he also wrote
forceful poems about freedom.
Mahjoor's real name was Ghulam Ahmad. But as a poet, he
adopted the pen name 'Mahjoor'. He was born in eighteen hundred and eighty-five
in Metragam. He has written poetry in Persian and Urdu as well.
Mahjoor worked as a patwa:ri: (pathva:r') in Kashmir.
Along with his official duties, he used to write poetry in Kashmiri. Mahjoor had
his first Kashmiri poem published in 1918. After this, he composed poetry only
in Kashmiri. His songs became very popular. He wrote on such topics as love,
communal harmony, and social reform, and also wrote on the plight of the
Kashmiris. He wrote about youth, the flowers of Nishat Garden, a peasant girl, a
gardener, the golden oriole, and a Free Kashmir. At that time, such songs were
unknown in Kashmiri poetry. It was Mahjoor who gave these to us.
Mahjoor was sixty-seven years old when he passed away
in 1952. The death of Mahjoor was a great loss to both the Kashmiri language and
(Kashmiri) poetry. But, Mahjoor's songs are still on the lips of every Kashmiri.
Through these songs, his name will live forever.
Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri
by Braj B. Kachru
Department of Linguistics, University of Illinois
Urbana, Illinois 61801 U.S.A.