Deccan Herald, Sunday, December 12, 2004


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Deccan Herald » Articulations » Full Story

Investigations into poetry!

Rajyotsava award winning Khalil Ur Rehman is a cop who imprisons words in his poetry. SHAFAAT AHMED meets the IGP who has a passion for literature and philosophy.

Imagine a poet and the image that comes to mind is of a romantic person with aesthetic taste and deeply engrossed in thoughts. Not a police officer. But Khalil Ur Rehman, IGP, Home Guards and Civil Defense defies that stereotype. A popular Urdu poet and an IPS officer of high repute, Rehman whose pen name is Khalil Mamoon, was one among the few to receive this year’s Rajyotsava award for literature. Interestingly, he is the first person to receive the award for contribution to Urdu literature.

Born in 1948 in Bangalore, Khalil Ur Rehman was passionate about literature, philosophy and mysticism right from an early age. He joined Indian police service in 1977 after working for 10 years as a staff artist for All India Radio and since then has held many important positions in the police department throughout Karnataka. He has initiated several interesting projects and introduced several schemes. Among them the neighbourhood scheme has been very successful.

Despite being in a demanding and time-consuming profession, Rehman’s love for literature and philosophy never faded away. In fact all his major literary works came only after joining police service!

Khalil Mamoon has four books to his credit and “Nishat-E-Gham” a collection of Urdu Ghazals is his latest offering, which has been acclaimed widely in literary circles across the subcontinent. Apart from this he has penned “Lissan Falsafe Ke Aine Me” on the philosophy of language, published in 1986. “Unees Lilahi Nazmen” is another of his notable works, published in 1989; this book contains a translation of English poems penned in the love of Prophet Mohammed by Scherzade Rikhye.

The forward by Khushwant Singh notes that the Urdu translation sometimes surpasses the original.


But perhaps the most unique of his works is his book “Kannada Adab” a translation of many literary works in Kannada - both fiction and poetry, and includes ancient poetry and fiction as well as modern works. Khalil Mamoon has conducted several Urdu-Kannada workshops and his book “Kannada Adab” as well as his other Urdu-Kannada translations have come up as a result of such workshops.

Rehman is well versed with various regional and international languages but Urdu is his favourite language. He is chief patron of “All India Urdu Manch”- an organization founded by him, working to promote Urdu all over India. “Urdu is a beautiful language and has greatly contributed to the development of Indian culture,” he claims. “Justice has not been done to the Urdu language not only by the authorities but also by the very people who speak the language. Nothing has been done to promote and conserve this language,” he rues.

On his feelings on receiving the award, he says, “I don’t get elated, my feelings are neutral. Nobody writes to get an award, though writers can get motivated by awards to write better. It is a good gesture on the part of those who institute these awards.” While appreciating the recognition, he feesl it would be better if the government realized the importance of promoting the Urdu language.

Being associated with various literary organizations, like Central Sahitya Academy, Karnataka Urdu Academy and National council for promotion of Urdu, Khalil-Ur-Rehman has played a very important role in conceiving and preparing several valuable literary works. The Urdu-Kannada and Kannada-Urdu dictionaries are among these.

He has conceived another unique project wherein Kuvempu’s work will be translated into Urdu and Ghalib’s work into Kannada - an ideal treat for the connoisseurs of literature this season! For the genial and energetic IGP it is just another mission masterminded and accomplished by his love for literature.

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