“The First Balochi Magazine For Girls ”
By Fazal Baloch
With the recently launched magazine, Dazguhaar (female friend), Balochi literary journalism entered into a new phase. It is the first female touch in the realm of Balochi literary journalism and the latter had to await the former for around six decades. Prior to this magazine, the entire episode of Balochi literary journalism was dominated by male editors and contributors. Female writers were barely visible in literary journals. Most probably they were hesitant to be a part of such a male-dominated literary world.
Dazguhaar is launched by Shaheena Shaheen a student and co-founder-cum-chairperson ofDazguhaar Chagirdi Demrawi Dewaan, an organization aimed at arousing awareness and sense of responsibility among women about their critical role in the society. As the team ofDazguhaar is inexperienced and novice in the parched land of Balochi literary journalism, they would probably not be conversant with the hurdles often faced by the editors of Balochi magazines in this field.
For example, financial constraint has always served as the main roadblock in the way of regular publication of Balochi literary magazines. Over the last six decades, a score of literary periodicals appeared and majority of them fated to be short lived only because they failed to receive a fair quota of advertisement from the government. Advertisements, undoubtedly, serve as the oxygen to any magazine and without it no newspaper or periodical can survive especially in this day and age of high inflation. Today most of Balochi literary periodicals are striving to survive upon commercial advertisement and the nascent Dazguhaar is no exception. However, what is more relieving in the aura of despondency is the fact that the first issue of Dazguhaar has successfully attracted a wide chunk of readers. Most of the contributors of the this issue are youngsters and newcomers yet they are well aware of the happenings in the society. Moreover, they seemed critical of the rigidity of the Baloch society and its apathy towards female education. The only way towards women empowerment is more educational opportunities.
Aside from young writers, pages are also assigned to the writings of late Ain. Ain Dashti, Sabeeha Karim and Zahida Raieesi. Zahida, who moderates the popular Balochi site Baask.com, is a known figure in Urdu literary circles, lately switched to Balochi literature and soon emerged as a new voice on the social media. A few selected gazals and a free verse of Zahida in this issue further testify her poetic sensibility. Female touch had been missing from the domain of Balochigazal since the demise of Banol Dashtiyari and while reading Zahida one may feel that she has the potential to assume the mantle left by Mrs. Dashtiyari as a poetess.
Andleeb Gichki’s Ey Chinal Pada Sabzeet stands as a must read among the short stories. Its metaphorical touch distinguish it from other stories published in this issue.
It is reassuring to see a group of young Baloch female writers to unite under one umbrella. Nonetheless, they still have a long distance to travel in the male-dominated world of Balochi literature. The challenge ahead of them is to prove their literary acumen which they are certainly capable of accomplishing.