Agra, Dec 27 : As the city of Taj remembers the doyen of Urdu poetry Mirza Ghalib on his birth anniversary today, litterateurs lament that plans to build a memorial for the son of the soil have been gathering dust for years. Ghalib was born in the city in 1797 and later moved to Delhi where his poetic talent blossomed and found new expression. For years admirers of Ghalib’s poetry have been demanding a fitting memorial for the great poet, but there have only been assurances and promises from officials. Also Read - This University Postpones Medical Examinations at The Last-Minute | Details Inside

A proposal to set up a Mirza Ghalib chair at the Agra University to promote Urdu literature has also been gathering dust, say litterateurs. “Similarly, the haveli in Kala Mahal area of the city where Ghalib was born was to be acquired by UP government when SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was the chief minister, but now no one talks about it now,” lamented Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society, which celebrates the Urdu poet’s birthday every year with cake cutting and poetry recitals at a hotel. (Also Read: Ashok Vajpeyi, other writers plan satyagraha on January 30) Also Read - Mirza Ghalib’s 222nd Birth Anniversary: Remembering The Legendary Urdu Poet with THESE Top 10 Couplets

Sharma told that the house where Ghalib was born should be converted into a memorial for a poet whose contribution to Urdu literature is as great as Shakespeare’s to English literature. “Unfortunately despite our persistent demands over the years this city does not have a proper memorial for Meer, Nazir and Ghalib, all three had association with the city of the Taj Mahal,” Sharma lamented. Also Read - Not Ghalib! Javed Akhtar Schools Shashi Tharoor Upon Crediting Wrong Lines to Poet's Name

“Minus Ghalib, Meer and Nazir Akbarabadi, all from the Taj city, what would be left in Urdu literature.Unfortunately, due to lack of patronage, Urdu language and poetry both have suffered and Agra stands as a virtual wasteland in terms of creativity,” says Shiv Pratap Singh, a young poet. Sachin Saini, an activist said had it not been for Bollywood, Urdu language would have by now become extinct.