Prominent Urdu scholar the master of Urdu and an Ambassador hailing from Balouchistan, Gopi Chand Narang Saheb passed away in the United States on Wednesday. He was 91 years old and lived in North Carolina.
He used to travel all over the world to attend meetings and discussions on Urdu literature and was called the ambassador of Urdu.
He was born in Duki, a city in Balochistan province of Pakistan, before the formation of Pakistan. Professor Narang inherited his love of Urdu literature from his father. He began his teaching career at St. Stephen’s College. Professor Narang has taught at Delhi University, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota and Oslo University.
He was the first Urdu scholar to be awarded India’s highest honor Padma Bhushan and Pakistan’s highest official award Sitara-e-Imtiaz in recognition of his services.
Until a few months ago, he was the President of Sahitya Akademi, which works for the promotion of Indian literature in 24 Indian languages.
Scientific and literary services
With his scholarly analysis and ideas, he had played an important role in making literary criticism a complete branch of knowledge in Urdu literature.
He made the 400-year intellectual and cultural history of Urdu the subject of his research and criticism.
He authored about 60 books. Professor Narang’s original work ‘Urdu Ghazal and Indian Mind and Civilization’ is remembered for tracing the origins of Urdu ghazal.
His creations ‘Urdu Masnaviyan based on Indian stories’ and ‘Indian Independence Movement and Urdu Poetry’ showed a new way to understand not only the nuances of Urdu prose and poetry but also the social and cultural context. Professor Narang devoted his entire life to freeing Urdu from the shackles of orthodoxy and sectarianism. He always said, “Language will adjust and survive, like a river that keeps changing its banks.”
Professor Narang has written books on Urdu literature and many writers have written books on him and his literary services.