Ehsan Sehgal


Ehsan Sehgal  on 15 November 1951,[2] is a Pakistani Urdu poet and writer who moved to The Netherlands in 1978 to escape the political strife in Pakistan,[2] and has lived in the Netherlands since 1978. He is also a journalist[3] and activist for democracy and the freedom of the press and of speech.[4]He has received awards from Indian and European Urdu literary organisations, in recognition of his literary achievements, and is famous for his poetry book Zarb-e-Sukhan in the Urdu world.[5][6][7]The Daily Times describes the book as a “splendid poetry collection.” [8] Moreover, his many ghazals and naats have also been composed and sung by various singers of Pakistan.[9] Sehgal has written a novel and several books of poetry; his articles have been published in various Urdu newspapers[edit]
Sehgal was born in Larkana, Pakistan, in a Punjabi business family.[2][10] His father, Khawaja Manzoor Elahi Sehgal, was from Pind Dadan Khan, Pakistan.[10] Ehsan Sehgal received his elementary and secondary education in Larkana.[10] He later moved to Karachi. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from University of Sindh, Hyderabad, and obtained Master of Arts Urdu (M.A.) and Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degrees from University of Karachi.[10]He worked in several firms before he began his career in journalism.[10] Sehgal distinguished himself as a journalist, but "unfavorable conditions" forced him to leave the country.[2] In 1978, he sought political asylum in the Netherlands, settling in The Hague[11] to work as a freelance journalist.[2][10]He married a Dutch national woman named Hetty who converted to Islam as Rubina Sehgal on 31 July 1980 in The Hague, Holland, but during 33 years raised and increased religious, cultural and moral differences between them that resulted divorce on 15 November 2013.[12] Sehgal has two daughters, Memoona Sehgal and Tehmina Sehgal from her.[1][12] He currently freelances for Urdu newspapers and magazines and online daily newspapers.

Literary career

Sehgal began his literary career in 1967.[5] His first publication was a novel,[10] but his next books were all collections of poetry.[2] He writes mostly in the poetic form called Ghazal,[2] but he has also written Ruba'i,[13] Nazm, Qat'aa, and Naat. He also writes in the meter called Beher and has good knowledge in poetry metre of Urdu language.[10]Besides the novel and books of poetry, he published a collection of quotes and articles in 1999. In 2010, he published a collection of aphorisms in Dutch, having lived in the Netherlands for over three decades and feeling the desire to share his ideas with a Dutch audience. The book, De Wijze Weg ("The Wise Way"), was written and translated with the help of Naeem Arif.[14] The Wise Way is also published in both the English and Urdu languages.[15]
His many ghazals have been sung by several Pakistani famous singers.[9] He has been praised by many Urdu writers and poets,[16] especially by Ibn-e-Insha who has appreciated Sehgal's literary work in his weekly written columns in Akhbar-e-Jahan karachi.[17] An author writes, "As far as the poetic justice in Sehgal’s writing is considered, it is debatable. In spite of some shortcomings, he keeps on writing which is a good. His work over a period of time has been acknowledged." [5] A famous poet of India Nida Fazli compared his poetry with ghalib.[18]Sehgal has received awards of Molana Maher-ul-Qadri Award in 2001 from Urdu Trust London, U.K,[6] Allama Shariq Jamal Award in 2005 from Bazm-e-Shaoor-e-Adab. Jaipur, India,[6] and Faiz Ahmad Faiz Award in 2011 from Urdu Tahreek Aalmi London, U.K, in recognition of his best poetry works.[4] He also writes prose poetry in English as,
Who has connections, he is greeted
Who has not, he is mistreated
To kill innocent peoples
Now it is diplomacy
They are keeping
In their hands veto
but they are preaching
To us democracy
We,people of the blue planet
Have to realize, anyhow
It was always, it is always
It will be always that
where is might
There is right.[19][20]

As journalist

Sehgal started his career as a reporter for the Karachi daily Aghaz in 1970.[17] He soon became sub-editor with responsibility for the student, magazine and city news pages. He was also editor of the fortnightly Karachi magazine, Tamseel.[17]

Political role

During Sehgal's childhood he played with Murtaza Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, the children of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, foreign minister in Ayub Khan's cabinet.[17] In Larkana in 1968, when general Ayub Khan's government house arrested Bhutto, there was a big demonstration in protest against Khan's government, where Sehgal read his poem against Ayub Khan favouring Bhutto before the demonstrators. Later, Bhutto thanked Sehgal in the banglow where he was under house arrest.[17] Sehgal also became a basic member of the youth branch of Pakistan Peoples Party Larkana.[17]Sehgal established the Muslim United Nations during his stay in the Netherlands in 1980. He wrote its charter and sent it to all Muslim States. He remains the founding chairperson of the organisation. He also attended Islamic conference in Baghdad, Iraq, on the invitation of Saddam Hussein's government.[21]


  • "Molana Maher-ul-Qadri Award" in 2001 from Urdu Trust London, U.K.[6]
  • "Allama Shariq Jamal Award" in 2005 from Bazm-e-Shaoor-e-Adab. Jaipur, India.[6]
  • "Faiz Ahmad Faiz Award" in 2011 from Urdu Tahreek Aalami London, U.K.[4]


  • Khushi Bad-e-Gham ("Happiness and Grief"). Karachi: Ameen Brothers, 1968.[2]
  • Sehr-e-Jazbat ("A City of Emotions"). Karachi: Desent Press, Shahzad Farooqi, 1972.[2]
  • Parwaz-e-Takhayyul. Karachi: Altaf, 1995.[10]
  • Andaz-e-Takhayyul. Karachi: Mesahi, 1998.[22]
  • Saz-e-Takhayyul. Karachi: Mesahi, 1999.[2]
  • Naz-e-Takhayyul. Islamabad, Karachi: Baze-Ilmo-Fun-International, 2000.[2]
  • Afkar Ki Khushboo. Islamabad, Karachi: Bazme-Ilmo-Fun-International, 2002.[18]
  • Charag-e-Dard. March 2004. Karachi, The Hague: Urdu Cultural Society, 2004.[18]
  • Zarb-e-Sukhan. Karachi, London, The Hague: Urdu Tahreek, 2009.[4][7]
Quotations and articles
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