C.M. Naim in Conversation

Fahad Hashmi in Café Dissensus:

Cm-naimC.M. Naim is Professor Emeritus of Urdu studies at the University of Chicago. He taught Urdu language and literature in the department of South Asian Languages and Civilisation, University of Chicago. He co-founded Mahfil (The Journal of South Asian Literature) in 1963 and the Annual of Urdu Studies in 1981. Besides a good number of works to his credit, he has also translated Qurratulain Hyder’s Housing society, Patjhad ki Awaz, and Sitaharan which is A Season of Betrayals in its English version; Vibhuti Narayan Rai’s Shahar mein curfew as Curfew in the City; and Harishankar Parsai’s satirical sketches as Inspector Matadeen on the Moon: Selected Satires.

Fahad Hashmi: What sort of prose and poetry are being produced in the Urdu language in academies and government aided-centres, meant for the promotion of the language in India?

C.M. Naim: The state academies do not produce much on their own; they mostly facilitate publication of books written or edited by someone within the state. They also give awards. As for the major ‘Central’ organization, the National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), it has been doing fairly good work: publication of inexpensive editions of classical texts; keeping prices down of their own other publications; holding book exhibitions and sales in major cities across the country; subsidizing publication of research work done by scholars at various places, and probably much more. You may want to check their website to see their various projects. I have only listed the things that I have noted myself. It also publishes a magazine, but I don’t read it regularly.

More here.