Poet, Columnist, Dramatist, Critic
Saleem Ahmed was born in the town of Kheoli, Barabanki District, British India, on November 27, 1927. He graduated from there and went on to Meerut College, where he formed friendships with Prof. Karar Hussain, Muhammad Hassan Askari, Intezar Hussain, and Dr. Jamil Jalebi that lasted to the end. He relocated to Pakistan after India’s partition, completed his schooling there, and joined Radio Pakistan in 1950.
Saleem Ahmed was a multifaceted, multicolored, and one-of-a-kind personality. Nature provided him an observational eye and an analytical mind, and vast multidisciplinary study offered him four moons to view and analyze. Saleem Ahmed was a poet, critic, columnist, dramatist, thinker, and writer who had an outspoken personality and was adept in the art of dialogue. His qualities and talents were highlighted, particularly in the fields of poetry and criticism. His poetry has a lot of depth and variety, and his criticism has a lot of reputation and range. In terms of thought and style, his critical essays are both distinctive and successful. His critique also has a distinct point of view and a broad scope of vision. Saleem Ahmed’s critical concerns and method of communication are valid; however, the main question is why he used to write a critique?
Saleem Ahmed did not take criticism lightly. It wasn’t just for fun or to justify spending time with them; it was in the name of life, soul, truth, beauty, and goodness. They didn’t write the word; they wrote the word. For him, writing was a type of worship, and criticism was a daily exaltation and a life responsibility. He used to suggest that a guy should be thoroughly informed of all of his creative flow’s creative potential.
Khwaja Razi Haider once received the following advice from him: Concentrate on writing constructive critiques. Poetry is essential, but if a poet also writes prose, he not only discovers a secret side of himself, but he also develops the capacity to peer into other people’s poetry. The art of criticizing boosts a person’s self-esteem. Bala had faith in Saleem Ahmed’s creative nature, and this faith was undoubtedly created in his personality as a result of his critical consciousness. He looks to be raising issues as a critic as a result of his confidence. Regardless of how much one disagrees with his opinions and ideas, there is no disputing that the questions he asks in his works are generated out of his self-assurance rather than a professional need for critique. Professor Muhammad Hassan Askari, Saleem Ahmed’s spiritual tutor, is responsible for his self-assurance.
In 1944, Saleem Ahmed began composing poems. Because of its unique tone and innovative style, his poetry was immensely popular in respectable literary circles. The magnificent ghazals in the current style of ‘Chirag-e-Akhar-e-Shab’ formed his identity, while ‘Bayad’ and ‘Akai’ made him one of the most significant poets. In terms of both content and technique, the lengthy poem ‘Mashriq Har Gaya’ is one of the most important long poems in Urdu. It wasn’t just friends who were addicted; it was also adversaries.
Saleem Ahmed was an excellent playwright as well. He’s authored several radio and television dramas, as well as newspaper columns and the tale of Pakistan’s first espionage film, Raz, for which he won the Nigar Award for Best Story Writer. Literary Values, New Poems, and the Whole Man, Who Dominant? Incomplete Modernity, Iqbal a Poet, Muhammad Hassan the Military Man, or Man is only a few of Saleem Ahmed’s critical essays collections. Saleem Ahmed is seen as an Islamist or right-wing creator. Muhammad Hassan Askari’s tutor, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, became the source of his disdain. Bhutto and Jamaat-e-Saleem Islami’s Ahmed were both admirers of Askari. He worked as a consultant for a company. As a result, despite Saleem Ahmed Askari’s admiration, he was beaten in his view.
Saleem Ahmed stayed involved with the radio until his death, and via his work there, he was able to contribute to crucial conversations about modern poetry and literature. His house was Karachi’s most unique and prominent literary gathering spot. Saleem Ahmed’s residence was also a meeting place for poets and authors from beyond the city. Saleem Ahmed was a big fan of asking questions and arguing. Contemporaries and new authors used to incite criticism, and from there they would have uncommon discussions brimming with insight.
In terms of mind and knowledge, Saleem Ahmed had a prominent position. He was regarded as one of Pakistan’s most illustrious poets and writers. He was also prepared for serious debates of contemporary poetry, and he continued to teach juniors about poetry and literature in context. Saleem Ahmed is not mentioned in Pakistani literature. They were also open-minded. Saleem Ahmed died in Karachi, Pakistan, on September 1, 1983. He is buried at Karachi’s Papush Nagar Cemetery.