Barqi Azmi on dramatist Danish Iqbal

Appreciating works of my learned colleague and one of the renowned Playwright Danish Iqbal: Ahmad Ali Barqi Azmi

Danish Iqbal ke DramoN meiN
Fikr o fun ki hai kaar farmaaii

Rooh parwar hai un ka arz e hunar
Wajd aawar hai jis ki geeraaii

Ahd e nau ke haiN woh bade funkar
Karte haiN jin ki sab pazeeraii
Radio par haiN woh mere hamkar
Meri aankhoN ki haiN woh beenaaii

Jin ko ilm o hunar se hai raghbat
Karte haiN un ki izzat afzaaii

NahiN peer o jawaaN ki kuchh takhsees
Un ke Barqi sabhi haiN shaidaaii
Ahmad Ali Barqi Azmi

As people on both sides of the Radcliffe Line trade outbursts of hate, the dog of Tetwal returns to the stage. Danish Iqbal’s play Ek kutte ki kahani, based on Saadat Hassan Manto’s short stories Thanda Gosht, Kaali Shalwar and Tetwal ka kutta, is scheduled to be staged at the Bhartendu Natya Utsav on March 19.

Danish had written the play for the Urdu Drama Festival last year. It is directed by renowned dramatist Salima Raza, and performed by the Wings Cultural Society. The writer has used the dog of Tetwal , killed in the cross fire between Indian and Pakistani troops, as a metaphor for Manto. “I believe Manto wrote the story keeping himself in mind. He even died like the dog, in misery, torn between two countries,” he explains.

The play is a critically acclaimed work, which uses magical realism and the Brechtian sense of reality to drive home the point of Manto’s alienation. It is a plot with multiple layers of opinion on the human condition created by Partition.

Explaining the plot, Danish says that the play starts when Manto is referred to a psychiatrist by the court. The psychiatrist happens to have read all his works. As they engage in discussion, the stories come to life. Manto is a writer in one reality and a participant in the other, in the ‘stream of consciousness’ narrative. Manto is played by Tarique Hameed.

Danish has scripted 24 stage plays and several short films on the armed forces and conflict areas. He manages the FM Gold channel and the Central Drama Unit of All India Radio and, is known for his biographical plays on historical and modern personalities like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi and Muhammad Shah ‘Rangila’. His plays Dara Shikoh and Amrita: A Sublime Love Story, based on the life of writer Amrita Pritam, were directed by the legendary M. S. Sathyu.

“I am comfortable with biographical plays as the audience comes prepared for it. They fill in the gaps and share with the play. The basic plots exist and I don’t have to write from scratch. The flipside is I can’t take creative liberties. I do not offend personalities or their families,” he says.

Amrita, in fact, was put on hold for almost a decade until her partner Imroz withdrew his objections to the script, says Danish.

At the moment he has scripts ready on Pervez Musharraf, Raj Kapoor, Meena Kumari and Guru Dutt, and is on the look out for the right troupe. So preoccupied is he with commissioned work that Danish admits he has not found the time to do what he really loves.

“I am eager to write on intense personal struggles, modern life and political struggles. I want to do a play on Maoist violence. But I am completely flooded with existing offers and my day job at the radio,” he reveals.

Keywords: Danish Iqbal, “Ek Kutte ki Kahani”, bio-dramas, Saadat Hassan Manto, Bhartendu Natya Utsav


About Muslim Saleem

Muslim Saleem (born 1950) is a great Urdu poet, writer and journalist and creator of massive directories of Urdu poets and writers on different blogs. These directories include 1. Urdu poets and writers of India part-1 2. . Urdu poets and writers of India part-II 3. Urdu poets and writers of World part-I 4. Urdu poets and writers of World part-II, 5. Urdu poets and writers of Madhya Pradesh, 6. Urdu poets and writers of Allahabad, 7. Urdu poets and writers of Shajahanpur, 8. Urdu poets and writers of Jammu-Kashmir and Kashmiri Origin, 9. Urdu poets and writers of Hyderabad, 10. Urdu poets and writers of Augrangabad, 11. Urdu poets and writers of Maharashtra 12. Urdu poets and writers of Tamil Nadu, 13, Urdu poets and writers of Karnataka 14. Urdu poets and writers of Gujarat, 15. Urdu poets and writers of Uttar Pradesh, 16. Urdu poets and writers of Canada, 17. Urdu poets and writers of Burhanpur, 18. Urdu poets and writers of West Bengal 19. Female Urdu poets and writers, 20. Hindu Naatgo Shuara etc. These directories can be seen on :- 1. 2, 3., 4. 5. 6 7. (Life) Muslim Saleem was born in 1950 at Shahabad, Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh in India, brought up in Aligarh, and educated at Aligarh Muslim University. He is the son of the well-known Urdu poet Saleem Wahid Saleem. He has lived in Bhopal, India since 1979. (Education): Muslim Saleem studied right from class 1 to BA honours in AMU schools and University. He completed his primary education from AMU Primary School, Qazi Para Aligarh (Now converted into a girls school of AMU). He passed high school exam from AMU City School, Aligarh and B.A. Hons (Political Science) from Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh. Later, Muslim Saleem did M.A. in Arabic from Allahabad University during his stay in Allahabad. (Career) Muslim Saleem began his career as a journalist in the Urdu-language newspaper Aftab-e-Jadeed, Bhopal. He is multilingual journalist having worked on top posts with Dainik Bhaskar (Hindi), Central Chronicle (English), National Mail (English), News Express (English) and most recently as the chief copy editor of the Hindustan Times in Bhopal. At present, Muslim Saleem is English news advisor to Directorate of Public Relations, Government of Madhya Pradesh. (as on December 1, 2012). (Works and awards) Muslim Saleem has been appointed as Patron of Indo-Kuwait Friendship Society. He is the author of Aamad Aamad, a compilation of his poetry published by Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academi. Several of his couplets are well known in the Urdu language. He won the Yaad-e-Basit Tarhi Mushaira, a poetry competition, in 1982. In 1971, Muslim Saleem was awarded by Ismat Chughtai for his Afsana “Nangi Sadak Par” at AMU Aligarh. His ghazals and short stories have been published in Urdu-language publications Shair, Ahang, Asri, Adab, Agai, Naya Daur, Sada-e-Urdu, Nadeem and other periodicals and magazines. His work in service of the Urdu language was recognized in a special 2011 edition of the periodical Abadi Kiran, devoted to his work. Evenings in his honour have been organised in a number of cities. Muslim Saleem is currently compiling a massive database of poets and writers of the Urdu language, both historic and currently active. (Translation of Muslim Saleem’s work in English): Great scholar Dr. Shehzad Rizvi based in Washington has translated Muslim Saleem’s ghazal in English even though they have never met. Dr. Rizvi saw Muslim Saleem’s ghazals on websites and was so moved that he decided to translate them. (Praise by poets and writers) Great poet and scholar of Urdu and Persian Dr. Ahmad Ali Barqi Azmi has also written a number of poetic tributes to Muslim Saleem. Dr. Azmi and Muslim Saleem are yet to meet face to face. Beside this, great short-story writer and critic Mehdi Jafar (Allahabad, Bashir Badr (Bhopal), Jafar Askari (Lucknow), Prof. Noorul Husnain (Aurangabad), Kazim Jaffrey (Lahore) and a host of others have written in-depth articles defining Muslim Saleem’s poetry. (Muslim Saleem on other websites) Muslim Saleem’s life and works have been mentioned on Wikipedia,, and several other website. In fact, has given credit to Muslim Saleem for lifting a number of pictures and entries from Muslim Saleem’s websites and blogs. (Address): Muslim Saleem, 280 Khanugaon, VIP Road, Bhopal-462001 Mobiles: 0 9009217456 0 9893611323 Email: Best couplets: Zindagi ki tarah bikhar jaayen…… kyun ham aise jiyen ki mar jaayen kar di meeras waarison ke sipurd…. zindagi kis ke naam mar jaayen rooh ke karb ka kuchh mudaawa no tha doctor neend ki goiyan likh gaya wo dekhne mein ab bhi tanawar darakht hai haalanke waqt khod chuka hai jaden tamam My Facebook url is!/pages/Muslim-Saleem/176636315722664?sk=info Other blogs
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3 Responses to Barqi Azmi on dramatist Danish Iqbal

  1. Kc shankar says:

    Dear Saleem,

    Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Shankar and i work with The Phoenix Players, a Mumbai theatre company. I am intrigued by Mr. Danish Iqbals’s myriad body of work, information about which though is available online, i have been unable to find any publisher providing the same. Also I was unable to find any contact details of Dansih himself. I would appreciate it very much if you could share the same so i may contact him and be able to read his writings.

    Warm regards,

    +91 9324175768

    • Danish Iqbal says:

      Dear Shankar,

      Sorry for such a delayed response.
      My email is writetodanish@gmail.
      Would love to be of any help in your creative endeavours.

      Danish Iqbal

  2. Danish Iqbal says:

    Saw it today. Felt the depth of Love which Baqri Azmi Saheb has for a negligible person like me.
    It is indeed his greatness that he could find some merit in my efforts.
    My heart felt gratitude for Baqri Sb and Muslim Saleem Sb……

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