The one-man army behind the stabilization of Urdu across the globe

After the partition he wanted to migrate to Pakistan but his spiritual master Syed Ghaus Ali Shah did not allow him to migrate.
The one-man army behind the stabilization of Urdu across the globe
Representational Pic

Prof. Khwaja Ekramuddin is one of the most distinguished and proficient litterateurs of Urdu language who is currently serving as a professor at the Centre of Indian Languages (CIL) of the School of Languages, Literature and Culture Studies (SLL&CS) in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  He has also served as the director of National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL). Professor Ekramuddin's father Mohammad Shamsuddin Suharwardi was a teacher by profession and had a great image in society. He was known for his kindness, virtue and spiritual understanding. After the partition he wanted to migrate to Pakistan but his spiritual master Syed Ghaus Ali Shah did not allow him to migrate to Pakistan so he moved to the rustic village of Mokamo where he started calling people towards the message of peace and fraternity. Prof. Ekramuddin when asked about his father stated: "My father belonged to a Sufi tradition and was a great moralist and preacher of his time. He was equally appreciated by Muslims as well as Hindus and was popular in both the communities. He devoted his whole life in spreading the message of peace and brotherhood among the masses."

Professor Ekramuddin started his educational career from a Madrasa called Madrasa Shamsul Huda, Patna (Bihar) where he learned Islamic education but somewhere in his heart he had an urge of acquiring school education. Listening to the voice of his heart, he joined school and did his matriculation with good scores. He then completed his intermediate securing 11th position in the state and got admission in Patna University where he did his Bachelors of Arts in Urdu and clinched second position in the university. In 1988 he moved to Delhi for further studies and got enrolled in Jawaharlal Nehru University and completed his Master of Arts in Urdu language and literature. After completing M.A he enrolled himself for research and wrote his M.Phil Dissertation entitled "Analytical Study of Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqui's style". This dissertation got great appreciation from the literary circles of Urdu. Though ample research works were done on Rasheed Ahmed Siddiqui but Prof. Ekramuddin's work was outstanding in such a way that it was associated in curriculums of many universities in India and Pakistan. In 1994 he submitted his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Critical analysis of Tazkiras of 19th century" under the supervision of Professor Naseer Ahmed Khan. After completing his research work he was appointed for teaching and research of Urdu and Persian on temporary basis in department of Urdu, Delhi University and he served there for almost 5 years. In 1999, University Service Commission, Bihar appointed him as a lecturer in the Department of Urdu in Ranchi University but he did not work there for so long as his alma mater called him back to Delhi and he joined Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2000 as an Assistant Professor of Urdu. In 2007 he became Associate Professor and in 2013 he became a full-fledged Professor.He had an unending love and fondness for JNU's literary and cultural atmosphere where he not only succeeded in his literary voyage but also surrounded himself with some of his mentors and cobbers including Late Prof. Mohammad Hasan, Late Prof. Qamar Raees, Prof. Ateequllah, Prof. Abdul Haq, Prof. Syed Anwar Pasha, Prof. Tauheed Khan, Prof Syed Akhter Hussain, Prof. Rizwanur Rahman and many more.

In the year 2012, Govt. of India assigned Professor Ekramuddin with the responsibility of being director of National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) and as many predicted he accomplished his duties as a Director in a spectacular way. He served there for three years and in his tenure he did a lot of notable works. He organized many international seminars, conferences and Mushairas across the country and acquainted Urdu to almost every part of the world. He established computer-training centers with Urdu as a mandatory language throughout the country so that people could reap the benefits of the course and shape their careers accordingly. He raised the literary standard of the magazines like "Urdu Duniya", and "Fikr o Tehkeek" and published one more magazine for children called "Bachon Ki Duniya". Apart from these magazines, books based on criticism, fiction, poetry etc. were also published in his tenure. He acquainted Urdu world with modern trends of information technology and started diploma courses in IT for people interested in this particular field. Besides this he started a diploma course to learn Kashmir's Papier-Mache craft. He also launched and introduced many schemes and programs to promote and propagate Urdu language. Literary circles of Urdu across the world accept this truth that in his tenure of NCPUL, Urdu got developed in many ways and for his commendable job he is appreciated every time when one talks about NCPUL.

As far as Ekramuddin's creative voyage is concerned, he started writing articles right from his Madrasa days.  His works are seen with great respect in the Urdu speaking world. Professor Ekramuddin was conferred many awards for his notable works in the field of humanities. These awards include Haider Tabatabai Award (Germany, 2018), Sufi Jameel Akhter Award (Kolkata, 2018), Iqbal Award (Germany, 2016), Safeer e Urdu Award (Denmark, 2016), Outstanding Achievement Award (Turkey, 2016), Nishan e Imtiyaz (Urdu Science Congress Aligarh, 2016), and many more. 

His efforts for the promotion of Urdu language has heralded the dawn of a new age in the contemporary world. He has also initiated an online website ( to make people aware of the new trends and fashions in the world of Urdu language and literature. This website also aims at making people aware of Urdu language in any corner of the world. He really is a maestro and a one man army who has devoted his life for the stability and development of Urdu language. 

The author is a Research Fellow at JNU, New Delhi

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