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Atta Shad: A legend Balochi poet

By: Sana Samad  

This year 13th of February marks the 21st death anniversary of the legend poet Atta Shad, a well-known poet in Balochistan and also famous across Pakistan. Atta was renowned for his poetry in Urdu and Balochi. Firstly he began his journey in poetry with Urdu poem and lyrics but later he wrote   in Balochi, for the promotion of his mother tongue.

Atta Shad born on November 1, 1939 in Singanisar, a small town of Turbat Kech, his original name was Mohammad Ishaq, and Atta Shad was his pen name. He completed his basic education in Government High School Turbat, Matric in High School Panjgur in 1956, FA in Government College Turbat in 1959 and graduation from Government College Quetta in 1962. 

During his lifetime, he successfully published two collections of his Urdu poetry. Atta’s Urdu poetry is a true reflection of Balochi culture and landscape in Balochistan. He created a new poetic flavor in Urdu by bringing Balochi folk lore, romantic sagas and other poems including Mahnaaz, Shah Mureed and Hani, Wafa and Lori have represented various aspects of Balochi and changes in Baloch society. 

 He emerged as a great poet in Urdu and Balochi and could speak Persian as well. Through contributing poems, he got  many successful achievements.

He authored the following Balochi  and Urdu books in poetry and prose :  Rochgir , Shap Sahar Andem, Gichain Shairi  Balochi Nama    (Socio-cultural Literature of Balochistan) Jawansal,  Singaab     (Collection of Urdu poetry), Barfaag   (Collection of Urdu poetry), Dreen   (Balochi folk songs with Urdu translation), Urdu Balochi Lughat    (Dictionary), Haft Zubani Lughat    (Dictionary-Editor of Balochi Section). He   also wrote  several Radio and TV plays. 

Atta Shad  had  affiliation with different literary organizations such as Balochi Academy Quetta, Idara-e-Saqafat-e- Balochistan Quetta,  Pakistan National Book Council Islamabad, National Language Authority Islamabad and  Markazi Urdu Board Lahore. For his great contribution in Balochi and Urdu literature he was also honored Presidential Pride of Performance Award (1983), Sitara e Imtiaz Award (1982), and Special Award from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Radio.

Given the literary services of Attach Shad, the    Atta Shad Degree College Turbat, Atta Shad Academy Turbat, Atta Shad Auditorium, Idara-e-Saqafat-e-Balochistan Quetta, Atta Shad Park Turbat and Atta Shad English Language Institute Turbat have been dedicted to his name.

Atta shad died on February 13, 1997 and was buried in Quetta. Atta Shad was the man who raised his voice against the social oppression and Balochistan had been vulnerable to tribal oppression and dictatorship over the years.

Published in The Balochistan Point on February 12, 2018

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