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Zaheda Hina
Writer
--: Biography of Zaheda Hina :--

 

Zahida Hina is a noted Urdu columnist, essayist, short story writer, novelist and dramatist from Pakistan

Zahida was born on October 5, 1946 in the Sasaram town of Bihar, India. After the partition of India, her father, Muhammad Abul Khair, emigrated to Pakistan and settled in Karachi, where Zahida was brought up and educated. She wrote her first story when she was nine years old. She graduated from University of Karachi, and her first essay was published in the monthly Insha in 1962. She chose journalism as a career in mid 60s. In 1970, she married the well-known poet Jon Elia. Zahida Hina was associated with the daily Jang from 1988 until 2005, when she moved to the Daily Express, Pakistan. She now lives in Karachi.zahida hina also worked inradio Pakistan,bbc urdu and voice of America.

Since 2006, she writes a weekly column Pakistan Diary in Rasrang, Sunday magazine of India's largest read Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar. This column is immensely popular in India.

Zahida Hina has written more than two thousand journalistic articles. Many of her short stories have been translated into English, Bengali,Hindi and Marathi. Some of her important titles include: 
* Qaidi sans leta hai (collection of short stories) 
* Rah main ajal hai (collection of short stories) 
* Na junoon raha na pari rahi (collection of short stories) 
* Dard ka Shajar (Novel) 
* Dard-e-Ashob (Novel) 
* Zard Paton ka ban (TV Dram)

Awards


* Faiz Award 
* Literary Performance Award 
* Saghir Siddiqui Adabi Award 
* K. P. Award 
* Sindh Speaker Award 
* SAARC Literary Award

In August 2006, she was nominated for Pakistan's highest award, the Presidential Award Pride of Performance, which she declined as a mark of protest against the military government in Pakistan .

After decline of award Zaheda Hina says that

"If I accepted the award, I asked myself, how would I face the Baloch people, whose struggle I have been supporting and against whom the regime has launched a military operation? How would I face the innocent people being killed and crippled in bombardments in the name of the 'war on terror' to please the Americans?" says Zaheda.

She say : when I ask her to explain the paradox of her at once being a champion of secular causes and a supporter of Nawaz Sharif rather than that of Benazir Bhutto or Pervez Musharraf, she says she is a supporter of none but democracy. "I have been writing in support of Nawaz Sharif since Oct 13, 1999, a day after his government was toppled by retired general Pervez Musharraf, because I thought it was unjust to dismiss and humiliate an elected prime minister."

When Zaheda poured out her grief in the columns that she wrote in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination, people said she was a supporter of the PPP. "I had supported Benazir Bhutto also but criticized, or praised, her government on an issue-to-issue basis."

Calling herself an Urdu-speaking Sindhi, Zaheda hopes that the PPP which has formed its government in Sindh will bring about prosperity in the province. Of the five different columns she writes every week, one is for a Sindhi newspaper that she writes in Urdu and is translated for her Sindhi-speaking readership. Most translations of her books and articles, which have been rendered into various local and foreign languages, are in Sindhi.

When the 'operation silence' was carried out against the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa and hundreds of men, women and young girls were reported to have been killed, Zaheda Hina wrote with a pen seemed to have been dipped in blood. She grieved for the victims and vehemently condemned the operation. She said it was "the height of cruelty" and urged human rights bodies to condemn it forcefully.

She claims that the two seminaries had been nurtured by the establishment to use them when a need arose. "To get rid of a key witness to the scripted drama," she wrote in a column, "Rasheed Ghazi was eliminated despite his willingness to surrender in the presence of the media." Although on the left of the political divide and the common perceptions associated with it, she defended the right of the girls to get religious education, which she says was available to the poor girls and boys free coupled with board and lodging.

Her collection of essays on women titled 'Aurat: Zindagi ka zindan' is a depiction of women's plight and issues. However, she is not a feminist in the common sense of the word. She insists that she is a defender of rights of every segment of society and is against compartmentalizing people. "We should not divide people into sections. Both poor men and women are exploited -- women twice as much, one, because of poverty and, second, because of their gender. If a man suffers injustice at the hands of a woman, I would raise my voice against her also."

She says the peasants-army row in Okara, Punjab, had convinced her that there were only two classes - the oppressors and the oppressed. And it was incorrect to say that one part of the country was encroaching upon the rights of another.

As noted earlier, she writes five columns a weak - two for a local Urdu daily, one for a Jeddah-based publication, one for a local Sindhi daily and one for an Indian Hindi newspaper. She tries that all these columns do not overlap one another. A lot of work one may acknowledge. But her forte is story writing, which she does more effectively to put her message across. Her collections of short stories Qaidi Sans Layta Hai (Prisoner breathes) and Rah main Ajal (Death in the way), and a novella, Na Junoon Raha, na Pari Rahi (No more the passion, nor the fairy). Although the number of her Urdu columns runs into thousands, she has not published them in book form. However, Hindi columns have been published in book form under the title of Pakistan Diary.

In 2001, she received the SAARC Literary Award, initiated by the Foundation of SAARC Writers & Literature, from the then Indian president, K.R. Narayanan, in New Delhi. 

 

 

 
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