کلاسک

    
 

Home Page > English Wichaar > Punjabi Literature > Iqbal Qaiser’s upcoming book on Lahore might be the most comprehensive history of the city to date

Iqbal Qaiser’s upcoming book on Lahore might be the most comprehensive history of the city to date

Altaf Hussain Asad

March 23rd, 2013

4.5 / 5 (4 Votes)

 

 


 

Iqbal Qaiser shot to fame with the publication of The Historical Sikh Shrines of Pakistan, which made him a household name among the Sikhs as well as the aficionados of Punjabi literature.

The Historical Sikh Shrines of Pakistan was translated into English as well Shahmukhi script in India.

A down to earth and affable man, Iqbal Qaiser is a teacher besides being a staunch Punjabi activist and a poet. His interests lie in the history and archeology of Punjab and he has gathered rare material in his research centre, Khojgarh, which is located at Lalyani, near Kasur. It has nearly 25000 books, magazines with a special focus on Punjab and Punjabi art and culture.

Qaiser is working on a history of Lahore which will be in five volumes in Punjabi. “I am working on the history of Lahore for quite some time. Punjabi Adbi Board was working on it, but they ran out of funds. “

Qaiser then was contacted by Asif Khan who wanted to publish a history of all the districts of Punjab and he assigned Lahore to Qaiser.

“Interestingly, The British had compiled a complete record of all the villages of Lahore in 1868. I contacted Kamran Lashari, who was then Deputy Commissionerof Lahore, who allowed me to photocopy the rare records of nearly 200 villages of Lahore.” 

The first volume of the history of Lahore will be in market in October. Qaiser plans to self publish all the volumes and the cost will be nearly 1 million rupees. “The budget of Punjabi Adbi Board was nearly 3 lakh per annum and with such a low grant they can not publish too many books. So I decided to publish to publish these volumes on my own. Punjab Institute of Language Art and Culture (PILAC) was also interested to publish these volumes but after the transfer of Shaista Nuzhat, the matter got postponed.”

Qaiser’s history will cover Lahore from ancient times to the present day, and will cover the villages of Lahore, the major castes living the villages and other demographic details.

Qaiser laments that Punjabi language and literature is being badly neglected by the government, while many institutions are working for Urdu. He opines that the Urdu institutions are not doing any worthwhile job as they are busy reprinting old books.

Qaiser plans to publish these books under the banner of his research centre Khojgarh. Research scholars visit Khojgarh from many countries. “We offer accommodation to foreign scholars as sometimes people from England and USA also visit Khojgarh in search of relevant material.

So far, Qaiser has published six books under the banner of Khojgarh and his most recent book covers the history of Lalyani as well the history of Kasur in Punjabi.

Qaiser is now planning to trace the historical worship places of Jains. “I have identified 25 worship places of the Jains across the length and breadth of Pakistan. It will be a pictorial book and I am already working on it. I also plan to trace the historical places of Buddhism too if life permits me.”

Qaiser  lambasts the Defence Housing Authority(DHA) who, in his opinion, are bent upon destructing the historical villages of Lahore by setting up new housing schemes. He says that he is trying hard to take photographs of every historical place in Lahore to save it for posterity. “I am also working on the oral history of Lahore by talking to the old residents of the villages.”

 

More News

Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Subject:
Comments: