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Sahitya Akademi Award to Khaleel Mamoon

Bangalore: Urdu poet Khaleel Mamoon from Karnataka has been selected for this year’s Sahitya Akademi Award. Mamoon was selected for his collection of poems titled “Aafaq ki Taraf” (Towards the Horizon).

Apart from this work, Mamoon has published 12 books which include collections of poetry, edited columes on language, book-length interviews and an acclaimed work on the philosophy of language.

His poems are on an admixture of themes and look at issues of historicity, the passage of time, the absurdity of existence and the failure of culture.

Mohammed Azam Shahid, a Bangalore-based Urdu Poet and writer, says: “It is for the first time that a Urdu poet from Bangalore has been honoured for ‘original creative work’ by the Sahitya Akademi.

“It is fitting that Mamoon’s efforts should be recognised as he is well-known as a modern Urdu poet throughout the world among readers of Urdu literature.”

Mamoon was born in Bangalore in 1948 and was a member of the Indian Police Service (IPS) in the Karnataka cadre. He retired in 2008 as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Additional Commandant General (Home Guards).

He also headed the investigation of the “involuntary kidney donor racket” in 1994. After his retirement, Mamoon served as chairman of Karnataka Urdu Academy till 2010. Asked how he managed to find time to write poems while in service, Mamoon said: “It was a stressful job but I managed to find some time.”

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