Munir Niazi, A Great Urdu, Punjabi Poet
Munir Niazi was a renowned Urdu and Punjabi poet. He was born in Khanpur a village near Hoshiarpur India on April 19, 1928. He hailed from the famous Niazi tribe. He got primary education from Khanpur and migrated to Sahiwal after creation of Pakistan where he passed his Matriculation. He passed his Intermediate from SE College Bahawalpur and BA from Diyal Singh College Lahore.
He was a poet by nature but started his career as journalist. He launched a weekly ‘Saat Rang’ from Sahiwal in 1949. He also established a publication institute Al Misal in 1960. He also remained associated with the Lahore Television and lived in Lahore until his death.
He wrote numerous film songs and made his name as the foremost movie songwriter of Pakistan. . The late Nasim Begum sang the song “Us Bewafa Ka Shehar Hey” for the 1962 film “Shaheed”. The song, which was put to music by versatile composer Rasheed Attre, catapulted both the singer and the poet to stardom. Niazi also wrote articles for newspapers, magazines and radio. In 1960, he established a publishing house called “Al-Misal”.
Munir Niazi poetry is remarkable. Among his famous anthologies of Urdu poems are “Taiz Hawa Aur Tanha Phool”, “Jungle Mein Dhanak”, “Dushmanoon Kay Darmiyan Sham” and “Mah-i-Munir”. In the Punjabi language, he authored “Safar di Raat”, “Char Chup Cheezan” and “Rasta Dasan Walay Tarey”.
Niazi, a master of poetic imagery, was bold enough to experiment with many genres of poetry and is credited with creating a distinct style, rhythm and diction. Mythology, nostalgia, haunting romance and a belief in the supernatural are some of those themes that find frequent mention in his poems.
Munir Niazi was among those five Urdu poets who have been widely translated in European languages. He has been translated in English, Russian, German, Norwegian and many other European languages. He was also translated in Hindi. His poetry has given a modern approach to Urdu and Punjabi poetry. He gave new expressions to old words and used beautiful words in his poetry that had earlier not been touched. He drew sketches with words.
Munir Niazi died of respiratory illness on December 26, 2006 in Lahore. For his literary achievements, Munir Niazi was awarded Kamal-e-Funn Award for the year 2002 by Pakistan Academy of Letters and the President’s Award for Pride of Performance in 1992 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1998. Urdu and Punjabi poetry lovers will always remember Munir Niazi poetry.