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Prof Ekramuddin, man who carries Urdu to the world

By Sayeed Mehran Shah

Prof. Khwaja Ekramuddin, happens to be one of the most distinguished and proficient litterateurs of Urdu language, who is currently serving as a professor in 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 is best known for promoting Urdu language in the foreign nations like America, Japan, Mauritius, Turkey, UAE, Egypt, Germany, London and many more. He extensively delivers lectures in these nations and acquaints the people dwelling in those countries with Urdu language and literature.
This is one of the major reasons that the number of foreign students coming to India to learn Urdu is increasing at a large scale. He is also serving as the chairman of World Urdu Association (WUA). This association aims at developing healthy relations among the Urdu speaking nations of the world and stresses upon imbibing the fondness for the language. Association also appreciates people for their commendable works for promoting Urdu language and literature.
Prof. Ekramuddin has authored numerous books in the field of research and criticism especially the books on Urdu Media, Urdu and IT etc. are considered as a valuable addition to the treasures of Urdu. The literary circles around the world accept his scholarship in the field of humanities and appreciate him for his eternal works.
Prof.Ekramuddin has a brilliant academic and literary record to his credit. Embedded with eastern culture, tradition and Islamic values, Ekramuddin was born on December 25, 1964 in a small village called Mokamoin Giridihdistrict of Jharkhand.
His ancestors were from Gaya, Bihar. His father, Mohammad ShamsuddinSuharwardi, 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 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.”
Prof.Ekramuddin started his educational career from Madrasa Shamsul Huda, Patna (Bihar) where he learned Islamic education but somewhere in the deep of 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 Prof.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 where he served for almost five 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 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, Professor.He had 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 friends including Late Prof. Mohammad Hasan, Late Prof. QamarRaees, Prof. Ateequllah, Prof. Abdul Haq, Prof. Syed Anwar Pasha, Prof. Tauheed Khan, Prof Syed Akhter Hussain, Prof. Rizwanur Rahman and many more.
In 2012, the Government of India appointed Prof Ekramuddinas Director, National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) and as many predicted, he accomplished his duties in a spectacular way.
He served there for three years and in his tenure did 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 centres 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 Prof. Ekramuddin’s creative voyage is concerned, he started writing articles right from his Madrasa days. When he was in Madrasa Shamsul Huda, Patna, he wrote a book on religious beliefs of Muslims and it was admired by all the religious scholars of that time. The first article of this particular book was later published in Patna College’s magazine. His published works include “Rasheed Ahmad SiddiquikeUsloobKaTajziyatiMutaàla”, “Nawa e Azaad”,” Urdu Ki Sheri Asnaaf”, ”Taàruf o Tanqeed”, “Urdu KaAalmiTanazur”, “Urdu Safar Namon Mein Hindustani Tehzeeb o Saqaafat”, “Urdu Media”, “Deewaan e Shaani”, “Islami TareekhKeAhamShehar”, “Urdu Media”, ” Urdu ZabaanKeNayeTakneekiMasaayalAurImkanaat”, “Rasheed Ahmad SiddiquiKeMuntakhabMazameen”, IkeesvienSadi Mein Urdu; FaroghAurImkanaat”, and “IkeesvienSadi Mein Urdu KaSamajiAurSaqaaftiFarogh”. These works are seen with great respect and reverence in Urdu world. Professor Ekramuddin was conferred umpteen awards for his notable works in the field of humanities. These awards include HaiderTabatabai 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), Qazi Abdul Wadood Award (Patna, 2016), Qazi AdeelAbbasiAalmi Award (Delhi, 2016), Maseeh e Urdu Award (Delhi, 2014), Fakhr-e -Urdu Award (Kolkata, 2014), Abul Kalam Azad Award (Delhi, 2013), Baba e Urdu Molvi Abdul Haq Award (Patna, 2012), Minaar e Urdu Award (Patna, 2012), Excellency Award (Japan, 2011), Delhi Urdu Academy Award (Delhi, 2008), Majlis e Adab Award (Patna, 1987) and many more. He is a distinguished scholar of present era. His enlightenment 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. At the end I quote the last lines of Robert Frost’s poem that depict Prof Ekramuddin’s dedication and hard works:
The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep……
(The author is a Research Fellow at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Feedback at: [email protected])