The Ghalib Academy and Library Centre is located on the western end of Hazrat Nizamuddin in New Delhi and easily reachable by local transport. This Academy was founded and established by Hakim Abdul Hamid and inaugurated by Late Dr. Zakir Hussain who was then the President of India on 22nd February 1969, the 100th Birthday of Mirza Ghalib with the aim to establish an Institution of educational and cultural centre dedicated to Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, a well renowned Persian and Urdu Poet and Writer during the Mughal era.
Mirza Ghalib was born on 27th December 1797 in Agra in Uttar Pradesh to Mirza Abdullah Beg. ‘Azad’ was his initial pen name and later became ‘Ghalib’ after he started writing Poetry and Letters in 1807. On 9th August 1810, he married Umrao Begum who was Nawab Ilahi Baksh’s daughter from Delhi because of which Ghalib permanently shifted to Delhi in 1812. His love for travelling took him to Allahabad, Banaras, Banda, Calcutta via Lucknow and Murshidabad in 1826 and later Rampur in 1860. Syedul Akhbar published Ghalib’s 1st edition of ‘Diwan-E-Ghalib’ in Delhi in 1841 and Maktaba Darus Salam published the Persian version of ‘Diwan Maikhana-E-Arzoo’ in Delhi in 1845. The 2nd Edition of the Urdu version of ‘Diwan-E-Ghalib’ was published in 1847 and the ‘Pang Aahang’ Book in Persian language was published in 1849.
Ghalib received numerous accolades including the Ustad (teacher) of Poetry’ title awarded on 15th November 1854, the ‘Najmuddaula Dabirul Mulk Nizam Jung’ title awarded in 1850 by Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II and he was also requested to write the Historical epics of the Tamur Dynasty. Despite these recognitions, Ghalib also saw bad times from 10th May 1857 onwards, when the Emperor Zafar II and the British Government ceased his monthly pension. He died in Delhi on 15th February 1869 and was buried within the grounds owned by a Loharo Family at Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin. It was next to this burial ground of Ghalib where during the mid-20th Century, Late Hakim Abdul Hamid (Hameed) felt the need to create an Institution in memory of this famous Urdu Poet in order to propagate his age old ancient and famous works. Hakim Hameed along with Col. Basheer Hussain Zaidi, Qazi Abdul Wadood, Dr. Yusuf Hussain, Khwaja Ghulam-us-syeden, Mohammad Mujeed, Humayun Kabir, Kanwar Mahender Singh Bedi, Malik Ram, Prithvi Chand, Tarkeshwari Sinha, V. K. Krishna and a few others formed a Society at Hamdard Manzil in Lal Kuan in New Delhi which was acquired by Hakim Abdul Hameed, the President of the Society. The Construction work began and on completion the building was named as the ‘Ghalib Academy’.
The Ghalib Academy has a large Research Library, Museum, Book Publication Centre, Auditorium and the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language and the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Indian Government Affiliated Training Centres. Experts in the works of Ghalib scout all the required research work that needs to be published in various languages and have also received numerous Awards and Scholarships from the Government of India, Academicians and Honorary Members over a short span of time.
The Ghalib Academy Research Library was established on the 2nd Floor of the building in 1969 which houses over 10,000 Books on Ghalib and his life’s works including poetries, letters, articles, notes all that were published in magazines, journals and newspapers which consumes over 200 files received from across the globe. This place provides a room for Scholars and Students worldwide to research and study the works of Ghalib.
The Museum and Art Gallery has 25 paintings belonging to famous artists like Satish Gujral, Anise Farooqui, Satiate Jugular, M. F. Hussain, G. R. Santosh, Biren De to name a few and the unique pieces of rock made by Late Brijender Sayal is a delight to watch which was a unique art specimen invented by Mr. Sayal over 40 years ago. Set up within the premises of the Ghalib Academy, it takes you through the a wide picture canvas of Ghalib and his age, his house and personal belongings which include pictures of his residence in Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, His favourite food, statues of Ghalib in his favourite attires, Seals and Postal Stamps used on letters written by Ghalib, Coins dating to the Mughal era owned by Ghalib and handwritten specimens are a few of the many items that are on display in this Museum.
The Auditorium that accommodates 200 seats within the Ghalib Academy forms the hub of all cultural activities which are being organised on a regular basis through debates, seminars, literatures based on various topics and Urdu Mushairas often performed by students and eminent Scholars who are invited to talk on Ghalib, his works and life. The Academy is also visited by students and International Scholars from across the Globe who participates in these events. The function of the Literary Society is to organise special events during the birth and death anniversaries of Mirza Ghalib which includes lectures by eminent Urdu Professors on the life and works of Ghalib.
The Book Publication Centre displays more than 24 Books published on Ghalib and his works and the works of his contemporaries. ‘Ghalib Aur A-hung-E-Ghalib’, ‘Ghalib Aur Fan-E-Tanqeed’ by Akhlaq Hussain Aari, ‘Momin Shakhsiat Fun’ and ‘Insha-E-Momin’ by Prof. Z.A. Siddiqui and ‘Talmihat-E-Ghalib’ by Mahmood Niazi are all well recognised and applauded. It also published a 3-Coloured edition of the famous ‘Diwan-E-Ghalib’ on Art Paper which became very famous amongst Urdu Poetry enthusiasts. Other Books available are the ‘Diwan-E-Ghalib’ in Deluxe, General and Hindi versions, ‘Jehat-E-Ghalib’ by Dr. Aqil Ahmad, ‘Ghalib-Ki-Swaneh Umri’ by Dr. Tanvir Alvi, ‘Tasauwrat-E-Ghalib’ by Aziz Hasan, ‘Faizan-E-Ghalib’ by Arsh Malsiyani, ‘Tafta-Aur-Ghalib’ by Dr. Zia-ud-din Shakeeb, ‘Raqse Sharar’ by Anne-Marie Schima and Qazi Afzal Hussain, ‘Whisper of Angel’ in English, ‘Ghazal-Ke-Ahm Mor’ in Urdu by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, ‘Ghazal-Ke-Nashtar’ in Urdu by Prof. Masood Hussain, ‘Ghalib-Shanas-Malik Ram’ by Prof. Gyan Chand Jain, ‘Iqbal-Ki-Muntakhib-Ghazlein Aur Nazmein-Tanqeedi-Mutala’ and ‘Iqbal – Essays and Studies’ in English by Prof. Asloob Ahmed Ansari, ‘Hindustani Rang’ and ‘Link Language in South-West Asia’ in English by Prof. Mohd. Hasan are all available for purchase at a very reasonable price.
The Ghalib Academy Training Centre promotes the study of the languages used by Ghalib which includes Urdu as the main language and Persian. The Centre runs courses on Urdu Typewriting, Stenography and Computerised Calligraphy and a full-fledged course in the Urdu Language recognised by the University of Delhi which assist the youngsters to gain employment in Government, Government Affiliated and Private Sectors. A few students also join various Industries abroad after completion of the Urdu Courses.
The Ghalib Academy continuously strives to build a strong presence of the Urdu Society, Education and Literature through the works and life of Mirza Ghalib. The Museum, Art Gallery, Library and Book Sales Division are opened to public visiting between 1100 hours and 1800 hours with no entry fee from Mondays to Saturdays as Sundays are closed.