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Mohsin Naqvi

Updated: May 24, 2023

One of Pakistan's most brilliant poets lost to violence.
Mohsin Naqvi

Mohsin Naqvi rose to glorious fame due to his heart-rending poetry. He could be spotted in different mehfils and mushairas (literary gatherings), making crowds grip over their hearts slipping away from their hands during his poetry recitations.

Other than being a poet and an eminent personality in the world, Mohsin Naqvi was born on 5th May 1947 in Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab, in the house of a saddle maker, Syed Chirag Hussain. Mohsin Naqvi spent his childhood impoverished, mostly writing about couplets and ghazals. Once, he wrote:

وہ اکثر دن میں بچوں کو سلا دیتی ہے اس ڈر سے گلی میں پھر کھلونے بیچنے والا نہ آ جائے

Translated as:

“She (mother) usually makes the kids go to sleep during the daytime,

From the fear that the man selling toys will come out in the street again.”

He also wrote:

جن کے آنگن میں غریبی کا شجر ہو محسن ان کی ہر بات زمانے کو بری لگتی ہے

Translated as:

“Moshin, Those who have the tree of poverty in their courtyards,

Their every action seems bad to society .”

After completing his graduation from Government College, Multan, he did his M.A from Punjab University Lahore; Naqvi moved to Lahore permanently and rose amongst the Pakistani literati, as well as working as a revolutionary political worker. In 1977, he fought in an election campaign against Mufti Mehmood on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ticket.

Moshin Naqvi had the power to give human emotions the deepness of an ocean through his words. His words would pierce right through the chest. He wrote about love, loneliness, sadness, unfamiliar cities, and yearnings to go home. But the one theme that was more prominent in his writing, along with these, was his poetry about Karbala. He was a dedicated supporter of the Ahl-el Bayt. He used to recite poetry about Imam Hussain and Hazrat Ali (a.s) passionately.

As quoted by someone:

“He had a very free-spirited soul, a very kind heart, and a very down-to-earth man. On one occasion in the 90s, when I was entering Pearl-Continental hotel Lahore, he was coming out, and I asked him to have a cup of tea with me. He politely agreed to my request and read out his freshly written ghazal to us when we requested him.”

Another person said:

“The first word that comes to my mind when I hear Mohsin Naqvi’s name is “Fearless.”

Mohsin Naqvi wrote many books during his lifetime, including Mauj-e-idraak, Tuloo-e-ashk, Haq Elia and Mataa-e-dard. He also wrote a song “lehron ki tarah tujhko bikharne nahin denge” for the award-winning film Bazar-e-husn (1988).

Unfortunately, On the day of 15th January 1996, while he was getting out of his office situated in Moon Market, Lahore, he fell victim to a sectarian violence attack. Due to his Shiite roots, he was killed on the street by a group of extremist terrorists. According to his Postmortem report, nearly 45 bullets were removed from his badly wounded body. He was returned to his hometown for his funeral prayers and buried there. Fans from all over the country attended his funeral procession. The brutal murder of such a brilliant poet raises many questions in our minds. Is hate bigger than art? How long until the violence fueled under the faux pass of religion stops feeding on many brilliant minds and innocent souls like his? Will this ever stop? Let’s hope….


This blog has been penned by Miss Rida Fareed.

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