Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi on 20 November 1916 – died 10 July 2006, was an Urdu and English language Pakistani poet, journalist, literary critic, dramatist and short story author. He wrote 50 books on topics such as poetry, fiction, criticism, journalism and art, and was a major figure in contemporary Urdu literature. His poetry was distinguished by its humanism, and his Urdu afsana (novel) work is considered by some second only to Prem Chand in its depiction of rural culture. He was also editor and publisher of the literary magazine Funoon for almost half a century. He received awards such as the Pride of Performance in 1968 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1980 for his literary work
Qasmi was born in the village of Anga(Danga) in Khushab District, British India. He matriculated from Campbellpur in 1931, around the time when he wrote his first poem. Later he studied at Sadiq Egerton College in Bahawalpur. He graduated from the University of the Punjab, Lahore in 1935. He had a brother, Peerzada Mohammad Bakhsh Qasmi, and a sister. He became an active member of the Progressive Writers Movement as a secretary, and was consequently arrested many times during the 1950s and 1970s. He died on 10 July 2006 of complications from asthma at Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore.
Qasmi had a long career as a writer and editor. He edited several prominent literary journals, including Phool, Tehzeeb-i-Niswaan, Adab-i-Lateef, Savera, Naqoosh, and his own journal, Funoon. He also worked as the editor of the Urdu daily Imroze. Qasimi contributed weekly columns to national newspapers like Rawan Dawan and Daily Jang for several decades. His poetry has included both traditional ghazals and modern nazms.
In 1948, he was selected as the secretary general of the Anjuman-e-Taraqqi Pasand Musannifeen (Progressive Writers Movement) for Punjab. In 1949, he was elected the secretary-general of the organisation for Pakistan. In 1962, Qasmi published his own literary magazine Fanoon, with the support of writers and poets including Khadija Mastoor, Hajra Masroor, Ahmed Faraz, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ata ul Haq Qasmi, Munnoo Bhai and Nazeer Naji. Qasami was the mentor of poet Parveen Shakir. In 1974, he was appointed secretary-general of Majlis-Taraqee-Adab, a literary body established by the government of West Pakistan in 1958.
His literary work has been appreciated and admired by Urdu writers, poets and critics, although there is also criticism of his literary work and of his personality.
An example of Qasmi's writing style is:
Dawar-e hashr! mujhe teri qasamUmr bhar mein ne ibadat ki hay
Tu mera namaa-e-amal tau dekh
Mein ne insaan se mohabbat ki hay
A translation is:
O Lord of the Day of Judgment
I swear by you
I have worshipped all my life
Look at my balance sheet
I have loved mankind
- Kapaas ka Phool
- ghar se ghar tak