Haq Nawaz: A moralist in the making

Haq Nawaz is a dramatist of high merit. He served for a long time as an associate professor in the Govt College Lahore. Furthermore he is a literary brain of his own merit. His television serial namely “Miraat ul Aroos” has earned him the title “a new moralist”. He is really inclined to abolish the unethical social tendencies prevailing in the immoral society around him. He has dealt successfully with the moral questions faced by a number of characters in his plays under the titles of Subah Hoti Hey (It dawns), Sohna Shehr Lahore (Lahore, a beautiful city), Wapsi (The Return), Falak Daykh Faza Daykh (Watch the universe), Surat Gar Khawboon Kay (The dream-makers).

As, a peculiar characteristic of his plays is his capability of answering the moral questions largely rooted in the materialistic values of modern times, he keeps things strictly factual in his writings and has no literary or philosophical justification to deviate from it in the process of refining his aesthetic style. The main concern of Haq Nawaz’s plays is the analysis of inhuman living in a so-called free society in which different characters whose tendencies have manifested individually are behaving morally or immorally and whose reactions have been tested with full psychic awareness by the playwright. He has chosen a few essential subjects dealing with the honesty by citizens, the responsibilities and shortcomings of urban women, exploitation and blackmailing on various crucial issues regarding Jahez (dowry) and instinctual love etc. Haq Nawaz rightly points out, “Urdu Drama could not reach at the stage it has already achieved in other main languages of the world. In Pakistan, people watch it only for killing time. Though initially drama is written to watch but many people, who for some reasons could not go to theatre, can read dramas.

During our social discourse with people, we often observe several lovers of literature referring Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, Sholokov and Bernard Shaw. They have become familiar to these alien playwrights only through reading their books.”

Haq Nawaz is all out for the ultimate victory of good in internal and external clash between good and evil.

Now when the Pakistani drama is occupied with commercialism and romanticism, the playwright like Haq Nawaz can restore respect for social and to some extant reflective drama.

Considering the role of the playwright in contemporary Pakistani society - a society demands major social changes, a fact should be admitted genuinely that we could not preserve and re-establish our natal value epitomes according to the requirements of our ideological stand to which our people have accepted spiritually. We only have experienced the highly compulsive ambition of western style ethical mannerism which our media masters are practicing day and night. Besides the development of refined, realistic and styled forms of modern theatre, is only partly due to the low level of consciousness among our theatre going public. In this perspective, Haq Nawaz and a few other playwrights could work wonder and assume the role which theatre reformers played in the countries having highly rich traditions of realistic literature. Through their useful moral and realistic plays, playwrights can make this form a significant force for giving direction and providing guidance to the minds interested in the moral and ethical development of our society. I present here the opinion of Asghar Nadeem Sayed, a famous dramatist of Pakistan, about the The plays by Haq Nawaz. I translate

“The tradition of revealing great literary classics of the world through motion pictures or TV serialization is pretty old and established. It gave ample opportunities to the art-loving audience of watching great novels and short stories in the form of plays and movies. But here in our country though, on the whole, this tradition remained a bit vacillating, few films based on prominent literary works were made technically so perfect that the ruination of the spirit of the novels under study were inevitable. Historically speaking Miraat ul A’roos, the first novel written by Deputy Nazir Ahmad is known as the earliest novel in Urdu. Its literary standard is an admitted fact. In Miraat ul A’roos the depictions of the realistic and charming details fraternal to Muslim society in old India include substance of dramatic concern. This was the reason that Haq Nawaz made his debut as a TV playwright by presenting this classic novel in the form of drama. His play consisting on many episodes got prodigal reception and televised repeatedly. Haq Nawaz used his capabilities qualitatively and wrote few plays for stage and television. Though he does not get chances to write dramas generously but whatever he presented to the audience, it could be guessed that in exploring contemporary subjects and utilizing the art of drama, his talent works wonder. Haq Nawaz visualizes the realities of life penetratingly and expresses them artistically in his plays.

It is a genuine demand that many problems of our society should be presented to the people through forceful media. The situations around us have been televised expressively in best of our TV plays. Prof. Haq Nawaz is notable among TV playwrights for his experience and observation of various fields and classes of our society. This is the reason that in his plays, the different dimensions of human personas and social contradictions are discovered with full dramatic force.

Due to his capability of analyzing things modestly and dearth of intensity and loudness in his works, we can call him Altaf Hussain Hali of our age. He himself desires to see society beautiful and wishes the sharing of his dreams by audience. We wish his dreams to be fulfilled.”