Majeed Amjad

Majeed Amjad (Urdu: مجید امجد) (born June 29, 1914 – died May 11, 1974) was an acclaimed Urdu poet of the Indian subcontinent. In popular culture Amjad is not as known as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Noon Meem Rashid, Nasir Kazmi or Meeraji but amongst many critics he is regarded as a “philosophical poet of depth and sensitivity”. His poetic mind was not widely recognized in his lifetime as he lived a life of bureaucratic obscurity in a small West Punjabi town. Also, he was not in the forefront of any political literary movements (such as the leftist “Progressive Writers Movement”) that actively promoted poets from within their own ranks.[citation needed] Amjad’s poetry has also been sung by various Pakistani singers .
Amjad was born on 29 June 1914 in Jhang, a small town in the Pakistani province of Punjab into a poor but respectable family. However, he was only two years old when his parents separated and his mother moved back into her parents’ house with him.[citation needed] Early on, Amjad was taught by his maternal grandfather. Then for a few years he studied Arabic and Persian at a local mosque before enrolling in first grade in a government school. He passed his Matriculation exam in the first division from Islamia High School, Jhang.[1] Two years later he completed his Intermediate exam, also in the first division from Government College, Jhang.[1] Because at the time there were no educational institutions of higher learning in Jhang, he moved to Lahore and eventually received his Bachelor’s degree in 1934 from Islamia College Railway Road in Lahore.[1] During the Great Depression economic opportunities were limited even for educated people like Amjad, who returned to Jhang and joined a weekly newspaper named Arooj.[5] He remained an editor of the newspaper until 1939 and regularly published his own prose and poetry. At the advent of the Second World War, a poem of his against the British Empire was printed on the front page of Arooj and he was forced to leave the newspaper. After that he found a job as a clerk in the Jhang District Board. In 1944, the government set up a civil supplies department to ration food and clothing.[1] He passed an entrance exam and joined this department and stayed on with the Food Department until his retirement in 1972 at the age of 58, when he was residing in Montgomery (now Sahiwal). He lived in many small and large towns all over Punjab during his employment with the Food Department including Lyallpur (now Faisalabad), Gojra, Muzaffargarh, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Montgomery. He married one of his cousins in 1939.[1] His wife was an elementary school teacher but their personalities were not compatible and the marriage failed. He passed the last twenty eight years in Sahiwal while his wife stayed in Jhang. He died on May 11, 1974.