Dr Mazhar Hayat is working as Associate Professor/Chairperson Department of English Literature at Govt College University Faisalabad. He accomplished his Doctorate in Comparative Literature from International Islamic University Islamabad. One of his major achievements in his professional career is that he launched MPhil Program in English Literature in GCUF in 2010 and more than a hundred teachers from college and university cadre have benefitted from this program. I talked to him on a number of matters recently and here is what he had to say:
- Who was Dr. Mazhar Hayat years back and who is he now?
Ans: Transformation is a permanent feature of life. One learns through experiences. Years back I was more idealistic. Now, I am more realistic.
- Honored Sir, please tell us about any recent projects which you have launched or are interested in initiating in the near future as the English Head of Department at GCUF?
Ans: Recently, I have launched PhD program in Literature and am working on Journal of English Language and Literature. I hope researchers and literary scholars will benefit from these projects.
- You have earned great fame and are a shining star among English experts. What challenges have you met and successfully overcome to achieve your great and well deserved success?
Ans: I am very down to earth and believe in hard work and commitment with profession. My department which comprises young talented teachers needed a leader. I have brought my faculty out of this crisis and have given them self-confidence.
- Chairing a department is a very challenging job as Bacon has said that ‘great places bring great pains’, what is your experience?
Ans: It is a challenge and I like to face challenges. Life is useless and meaningless without confronting demanding situations.
- How do you think a teacher can play a role in building a strong nation?
Ans: A teacher is a nation builder. As a teacher, I believe that I should play my role to steer my nation out of ideological, intellectual and moral crises.
- Your peculiarity is comparative literature, tell us something about it?
Ans: By reading across cultures and reading across time in comparative mode, we can help evolve genuine international cultural exchange.
- What do you think is your greatest achievement of your life?
Ans: To command confidence and trust of my students, colleagues and my family is my greatest achievement.
- In literature, we debate on the role of character and chance. Which elements have contributed in your success: your character and hard work or just a golden chance helped you to reach at a respectable place in your life?
Ans: Of course, both character and chance play a vital role in determining the course of action in life but I personally believe character is more important.
- You have reviewed Miss Tabassum Maqbool’s Hurriya. Do you believe it has an important message for readers?
Ans: Yes, Tabassum’s Hurriya is an inspiration for young women and motivates them to defy illogicalities of phallic culture.
- Your support and acknowledgment of the novel and the novelist at the same time shows your large heartedness, any message for male chauvinist?
Ans: I am a feminist and I believe that we must work for the end of gender discrimination. Male chauvinist must learn to respect women.
- Hurryia deals with feminism, what is your opinion about feminism?
Ans: I believe in feminism but I do not endorse freedom of women minus traditions of our society. There must be balance between modernity and tradition.
- Sir, do you believe the character Hurriya sets a good example for women in our society? In your expert view is she a good role model for other girls?
Ans. Hurriya sets good example for women in certain ways particularly the way she defies obstacles in the way towards self-actualization.
- In Hurriya you can see the beautiful verses are blended within the text of the novel. Being an admirer of Faiz, do you think prose and poetry may have a common purpose and goal in literature or are they separate and unable to find common ground?
Ans: The purpose of both prose and poetry is to offer aesthetic and intellectual illumination to the readers. I love the moments in literature where traditional boundaries between poetry and prose demolish. Hurriya is explicit, the way verses are blended with prose.
- How do you keep yourself relevant because generation gap is increasing every minute?
Ans: I am relevant in abridging the gap between tradition and modernity. There is no alternative to the experience.
- Please advise us to the whole nation how to stand united?
Ans: As a nation, we need to come out of our regional and sectarian boxes to stand united
Interview conducted by Sadaf Ansari.