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Jagannath Azad
--: Biography of Jagannath Azad :--


Jagannath Azad (1918-2004) was a prominent Urdu-speaking Hindu academic who wrote the first national anthem of Pakistan.
He was born on December 5, 1918 in the town of Isa Khel in western Punjab, which now lies in Pakistan. In 1937, he obtained a BA from Gordon College in Rawalpindi and in 1944 went on to study for an MA in Persian from the University of the Punjab in Lahore.

Azad then started a journalistic career, working for the Urdu monthly Adabi Dunya, published in Lahore. By 1946, Azad was assistant editor of the Urdu daily, Jai Hind. After Partition in 1947, he was asked by Muhammad Ali Jinnah to write a new national anthem for Pakistan. Azad wrote the anthem in a few days and it was quickly approved by Jinnah. The anthem continued to be used for eighteen months until, after Jinnah's death, the government of Pakistan decided it needed a new anthem.

Long before Hafeez Jullundhri's lyrics were adopted as the national anthem in 1950s, Pakistan had an anthem written by Jagannath Azad, son of Lahore-based poet Tilok Chand Mahroom. 
Azad's lyrics - "Ae sarzameene paak/Zarray teray haen aaj sitaaron se taabnaak/ Roshan hai kehkashaan se kaheen aaj teri khaak/Ae sarzameene paak" (Oh land of Pakistan, the stars themselves illuminate each particle of yours/rainbows brighten your very dust) - were replaced six months after Jinnah's death in September 1948. The National Anthem Committee chose Hafeez Jullundhri's poem from among 723 submissions.

Shortly after writing the anthem, Azad migrated to India, where he worked as assistant editor of several publications and also worked as information officer successively for the Press Information Bureau, the Ministry of Food, and the Ministry of Works and Housing. Eventually, from 1977 to 1980, Azad was appointed Professor of Urdu and head of the Urdu department at the University of Jammu. In 1988 he was appointed a Professor Emeritus for life.

Azad was also president of the Anjuman Taraqqi-e-Urdu Hind for ten years. During his career, Azad published fifteen collections of poems, twelve long Nazms and several works of prose, all in Urdu as well as some works in English His impact on the literary circles of both India and Pakistan can be measured by the five books and numerous research articles written about him and the DLitt degrees awarded to him by the universities of Kashmir and Jammu.

Jagannath Azad was universally accepted as an Authority on the works of Dr Allama Mohammad Iqbal. The Government of Pakistan awarded The President of Pakistan's Gold Medal to Prof. Azad for his services to Urdu Literature. Azad was a passionate advocate of close friendship and bonding between the people of India and Pakistan.

Jagannath Azad died of cancer at a hospital on 24 July 2004. He was 86 and survived by wife and five children.

محروم کے فرزند جگن ناتھ آزاد اردو کے نامور شاعر تھیں۔ ہندستان اور پاکستان دونوں ملکوں میں آپ بے حد مقبول رہے ہیں۔’’ بیکراں ‘ ستاروں سے ذروں تک ‘‘ ، وطن میں اجنبی‘‘ نوائے پریشاں‘‘ آپ کے مجموعے ہیں۔ نثر میں ان کی تصنیف ’’ اقبال اور اس کا عہد‘‘ اقبالیات میں ایک گراں قدر اضافہ ہے۔ آپ کا ایک مجموعہ کلام ہندی اور ایک گجراتی رسم الخط میں شائع ہو چکا ہے۔



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