Monday, 09 July 2012 16:21

Daag Dehlvi

Written by

Nawab Mirza Khan (1831–1905), commonly known as Daagh Dehlvi was an outstanding Mughal poet famous for his Urdu ghazals and belonged to the Delhi school of Urdu poetry. He wrote poems and ghazals under the takhallus Daagh Dehlvi (the meanings of Daagh, an Urdu noun, include stain, grief and taint while Dehlvi means belonging to or from Delhi).


He lost his father at the age of six and was brought up by his stepfather, Mirza Muhammad Fakhroo, who was heir to Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor. On Fakhroo's death in 1865, Daagh left Delhi for Rampur where he went into government service and lived comfortably for 24 years. There followed a period of wandering and discomfort which ended when he was invited to Hyderabad in 1891. There he won his fame as an Urdu poet and lived a life of luxury. Hyderabad was a cradle to many poets of that period following the decline of Mughals in Delhi. He died in 1905 at the age of 74 in Hyderabad, India.


Daagh started reciting poetry at the age of ten and his forte was the ghazal. His work comprises four volumes consisting of 16,000 couplets.

Daagh mostly wrote ghazals which are sets of two-line couplets. Some of his couplets are highly quotable. For example, Tu hai harjai to apnaa bhi yehi taur sahi, tu nahin aur sahi, aur nahin, aur sahi

Having remained under patronage of highly established poet like Zauq, Daagh had numerous disciples including the poet of the East Allama Iqbal, Jigar Moradabadi, Seemab Akbarabadi and Ahasan Marharavi, though a widely quoted anecdote relates that when asked to designate his successor as the leading Urdu poet of his age, he replied Bekhudain [the two Bekhuds], referring to Bekhud Badayuni and Bekhud Dehlvi.

His ghazals have been sung by noted ghazal singers including Noor Jahan, Ghulam Ali, Malika Pukhraj, Mehdi Hassan, and Abida Parveen.


  • Saaz Ya Keena Saaz Kya Jany English Translation by Qazi Muhammad Ahkam

His poetry is also sung by Pankaj Udhas. Pakistani ghazal singer Farida Khanum (also called Ghazal Queen in South Asia) has sung the following ghazals of Daagh: Naa ravaa kehiyay naa sazaa kehiyay; Saaz yeh keena saaz kyaa jaanein; 'uzr aanay mein bhi hay aur bulaatay bhi naheen; Mairay qaabu mein na pehron dil-e naa-shaad aayaa; Khaatir se yaa leHaaz se main maan to gayaa; Ghazab kiyaa tairay wa'day pe aitebaar kiyaa

Monday, 09 July 2012 16:21

Allama Iqbal

Written by

Sir Muhammad Iqbal (November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), also known as Allama Iqbal, was a philosopher, poet and politician[1] in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is considered one of the most important figures in Urdu literature,[2] with literary work in both the Urdu and Persian languages.[1][2]

Iqbal is admired as a prominent classical poet by Pakistani, Iranian, Indian and other international scholars of literature.[3][4] Though Iqbal is best known as an eminent poet, he is also a highly acclaimed "Muslim philosophical thinker of modern times".[1][4] His first poetry book, Asrar-e-Khudi, appeared in the Persian language in 1915, and other books of poetry include Rumuz-i-Bekhudi, Payam-i-Mashriq and Zabur-i-Ajam. Amongst these his best known Urdu works are Bang-i-Dara, Bal-i-Jibril, Zarb-i Kalim and a part of Armughan-e-Hijaz.[5] In Iran and Afghanistan, he is famous as Iqbāl-e Lāhorī (Iqbal of Lahore), and he is most appreciated for his Persian work.[6] Along with his Urdu and Persian poetry, his various Urdu and English lectures and letters have been very influential in cultural, social, religious and political disputes over the years.[5]

In 1922, he was knighted by King George V,[6][7] giving him the title "Sir".[8]

While studying law and philosophy in England, Iqbal became a member of the London branch of the All India Muslim League.[4][5] Later, in one of his most famous speeches, Iqbal pushed for the creation of a Muslim state in Northwest India. This took place in his presidential speech in the League's December 1930 session.[4][5] He was very close to the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah.[5]

In much of Southern Asia and Urdu speaking world, Iqbal is regarded as the Shair-e-Mashriq (شاعر مشرق, "Poet of the East").[9][10][11] He is also called Muffakir-e-Pakistan (مفکر پاکستان, "The Thinker of Pakistan") and Hakeem-ul-Ummat (حکیم الامت, "The Sage of the Ummah"). The Pakistan government officially named him a "national poet".[4] His birthday Yōm-e Welādat-e Muḥammad Iqbāl or (Iqbal Day) is a public holiday in Pakistan.[12] In India he is also remembered as the author of the popular patriotic song Saare Jahaan Se Achcha.[13]

Personal life


Iqbal was born in Sialkot on 9 November 1877 within the Punjab Province of British India (now in Pakistan). His grandparents Pandit Kanhaya Lal Sapru and Indirani Sapru[14][15] were Kashmiri Pandits, the Brahmins of the Sapru clan from Kashmir who converted to Islam.[10][16] In the 19th century, when Sikhs were taking over rule of Kashmir, his grandfather's family migrated to Punjab. Iqbal often mentioned and commemorated about his Kashmiri Pandit Brahmin lineage in his writings.[10]

Iqbal's father, Shaikh Noor Mohammad, was a tailor, not formally educated but a religious man.[6][17] Iqbal's mother Imam Bibi was a polite and humble woman who helped the poor and solved the problems of neighbours. She died on 9 November 1914 in Sialkot.[7][16] Iqbal loved his mother, and on her death he expressed his feelings of pathos in a poetic form elegy.[6]


Who would wait for me anxiously in my native place?
Who would display restlessness if my letter fails to arrive?
I will visit thy grave with this complaint:
Who will now think of me in midnight prayers?
All thy life thy love served me with devotion—

When I became fit to serve thee, thou hast departed.[6]

Iqbal was four years old when he was admitted to the mosque for learning the Qur'an, he learned the Arabic language from his teacher Syed Mir Hassan, the head of the madrassa and professor of Arabic language at Scotch Mission College in Sialkot, where Iqbal completed matriculation in 1893. He received Intermediate with the Faculty of Arts diploma from Murray College Sialkot in 1895.[7][10][18] The same year he qualified for Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, English literature and Arabic as his subjects from Government College Lahore in 1897, and won the Khan Bahadurddin F.S. Jalaluddin medal as he took higher numbers in Arabic class.[7] In 1899, he received Masters of Arts degree from the same college and had the first place in Punjab University, Lahore.[7][10][18]

Iqbal had married three times, in 1895 while studying Bachelor of Arts he had his first marriage with Karim Bibi, the daughter of a Gujarati physician Khan Bahadur Ata Muhammad Khan, through an arranged marriage. They had daughter Miraj Begum and son Aftab Iqbal. Later Iqbal's second marriage was with Sardar Begum mother of Javid Iqbal and third marriage with Mukhtar Begum in December 1914.[7][9]


Higher education in Europe

Iqbal was influenced by the teachings of Sir Thomas Arnold, his philosophy teacher at Government college Lahore, Arnold's teachings determined Iqbal to pursue higher education in West. In 1905, he traveled to England for his higher education. Iqbal qualified for a scholarship from Trinity College in Cambridge and obtained Bachelor of Arts in 1906, and in the same year he was called to the bar as a barrister from Lincoln's Inn. In 1907, Iqbal moved to Germany to study doctorate and earned PhD degree from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich in 1908. Working under the guidance of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal published his doctoral thesis in 1908 entitled: The Development of Metaphysics in Persia.[10][19][20][21]

During Iqbal's stay in Heidelberg, Germany in 1907 his German teacher Emma Wegenast taught him about Goethe's Faust, Heine and Nietzsche.[22] During his study in Europe, Iqbal began to write poetry in Persian. He prioritized it because he believed he had found an easy way to express his thoughts. He would write continuously in Persian throughout his life.[10]



Iqbal, after completing his Master of Arts degree in 1899, initiated his career as a reader of Arabic at Oriental College and shortly was selected as a junior professor of philosophy at Government College Lahore, where he had also been a student, Iqbal worked there until he left for England in 1905. In 1908, Iqbal returned from England and joined again the same college as a professor of philosophy and English literature.[23] At the same period Iqbal began practicing law at Chief Court Lahore, but soon Iqbal quit law practice, and devoted himself in literary works and became an active member of Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam.[7] In 1919, he became the general secretary of the same organisation. Iqbal's thoughts in his work primarily focus on the spiritual direction and development of human society, centered around experiences from his travels and stays in Western Europe and the Middle East. He was profoundly influenced by Western philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Goethe.[6][22]

The poetry and philosophy of Mawlana Rumi bore the deepest influence on Iqbal's mind. Deeply grounded in religion since childhood, Iqbal began intensely concentrating on the study of Islam, the culture and history of Islamic civilization and its political future, while embracing Rumi as "his guide".[6] Iqbal would feature Rumi in the role of guide in many of his poems. Iqbal's works focus on reminding his readers of the past glories of Islamic civilization, and delivering the message of a pure, spiritual focus on Islam as a source for sociopolitical liberation and greatness. Iqbal denounced political divisions within and amongst Muslim nations, and frequently alluded to and spoke in terms of the global Muslim community or the Ummah.[6][24]

Iqbal poetry has been translated into many European languages, at the time when his work was famous during the early part of the 20th century.[4] Iqbal’s Asrar-i-Khudi and Javed Nama were translated into English by R A Nicholson and A J Arberry respectively.[4][11]


Final years and death

In 1933, after returning from a trip to Spain and Afghanistan, Iqbal had suffered from a mysterious throat illness.[25] He spent his final years helping Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan to establish the Dar ul Islam Trust Institute at Jamalpur estate near Pathankot,[26][27] where studies in classical Islam and contemporary social science were plan to be subsidised, and Iqbal also advocated the demand for an independent Muslim state.

Iqbal ceased practising law in 1934 and was granted pension by the Nawab of Bhopal. In his final years he frequently visited the Dargah of famous Sufi Hazrat Ali Hujwiri in Lahore for spiritual guidance. After suffering for months from his illness, Iqbal died in Lahore on 21 April 1938.[5][10] His tomb is located in Hazuri Bagh, the enclosed garden between the entrance of the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort, and official guards are provided by the Government of Pakistan.

Iqbal is commemorated widely in Pakistan, where he is regarded as the ideological founder of the state. His Tarana-e-Hind is a song that is widely used in India as a patriotic song speaking of communal harmony. His birthday is annually commemorated in Pakistan as Iqbal Day, a national holiday. Iqbal is the namesake of many public institutions, including the Allama Iqbal Campus Punjab University in Lahore, the Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, Allama Iqbal Open University in Pakistan, the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, the Allama Iqbal hall in Nishtar Medical College in Multan and Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town in Karachi and Allama Iqbal Hall at AMU, India.

The government and public organizations have sponsored the establishment of educational institutions, colleges and schools dedicated to Iqbal, and have established the Iqbal Academy to research, teach and preserve the works, literature and philosophy of Iqbal. Allama Iqbal Stamps Society established for the promotion of Iqbaliyat in philately and in other hobbies. His son Javid Iqbal has served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Javaid Manzil was the last residence of Allama Iqbal.[28]


Efforts and influences


While dividing his time between law practice and poetry, Iqbal had remained active in the Muslim League. He did not support Indian involvement in World War I and remained in close touch with Muslim political leaders such as Maulana Mohammad Ali and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was a critic of the mainstream Indian National Congress, which he regarded as dominated by Hindus and was disappointed with the League when during the 1920s, it was absorbed in factional divides between the pro-British group led by Sir Muhammad Shafi and the centrist group led by Jinnah.[29][unreliable source?][citation needed]

In November 1926, with the encouragement of friends and supporters, Iqbal contested for a seat in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Muslim district of Lahore, and defeated his opponent by a margin of 3,177 votes.[30] He supported the constitutional proposals presented by Jinnah with the aim of guaranteeing Muslim political rights and influence in a coalition with the Congress, and worked with the Aga Khan and other Muslim leaders to mend the factional divisions and achieve unity in the Muslim League.[29][unreliable source?][citation needed]


Iqbal, Jinnah and concept of Pakistan

Ideologically separated from Congress Muslim leaders, Iqbal had also been disillusioned with the politicians of the Muslim League owing to the factional conflict that plagued the League in the 1920s. Discontent with factional leaders like Sir Muhammad Shafi and Sir Fazl-ur-Rahman, Iqbal came to believe that only Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a political leader capable of preserving this unity and fulfilling the League's objectives on Muslim political empowerment. Building a strong, personal correspondence with Jinnah, Iqbal was an influential force in convincing Jinnah to end his self-imposed exile in London, return to India and take charge of the League. Iqbal firmly believed that Jinnah was the only leader capable of drawing Indian Muslims to the League and maintaining party unity before the British and the Congress:

"I know you are a busy man but I do hope you won't mind my writing to you often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has right to look up for safe guidance through the storm which is coming to North-West India and, perhaps, to the whole of India."[31]

While Iqbal espoused the idea of Muslim-majority provinces in 1930, Jinnah would continue to hold talks with the Congress through the decade and only officially embraced the goal of Pakistan in 1940. Some historians postulate that Jinnah always remained hopeful for an agreement with the Congress and never fully desired the partition of India.[32] Iqbal's close correspondence with Jinnah is speculated by some historians as having been responsible for Jinnah's embrace of the idea of Pakistan. Iqbal elucidated to Jinnah his vision of a separate Muslim state in a letter sent on 21 June 1937:

"A separate federation of Muslim Provinces, reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of Non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nations entitled to self-determination just as other nations in India and outside India are."[30]

Iqbal, serving as president of the Punjab Muslim League, criticised Jinnah's political actions, including a political agreement with Punjabi leader Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan, whom Iqbal saw as a representative of feudal classes and not committed to Islam as the core political philosophy. Nevertheless, Iqbal worked constantly to encourage Muslim leaders and masses to support Jinnah and the League. Speaking about the political future of Muslims in India, Iqbal said:

"There is only one way out. Muslims should strengthen Jinnah's hands. They should join the Muslim League. Indian question, as is now being solved, can be countered by our united front against both the Hindus and the English. Without it, our demands are not going to be accepted. People say our demands smack of communalism. This is sheer propaganda. These demands relate to the defense of our national existence.... The united front can be formed under the leadership of the Muslim League. And the Muslim League can succeed only on account of Jinnah. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims."[31]

Revival of Islamic polity

Iqbal's six English lectures were published first from Lahore in 1930 and then by Oxford University press in 1934 in a book titled The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. Which were read at Madras, Hyderabad and Aligarh.[24] These lectures dwell on the role of Islam as a religion as well as a political and legal philosophy in the modern age.[24] In these lectures Iqbal firmly rejects the political attitudes and conduct of Muslim politicians, whom he saw as morally misguided, attached to power and without any standing with Muslim masses.

Iqbal expressed fears that not only would secularism weaken the spiritual foundations of Islam and Muslim society, but that India's Hindu-majority population would crowd out Muslim heritage, culture and political influence. In his travels to Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, he promoted ideas of greater Islamic political co-operation and unity, calling for the shedding of nationalist differences.[6] He also speculated on different political arrangements to guarantee Muslim political power; in a dialogue with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Iqbal expressed his desire to see Indian provinces as autonomous units under the direct control of the British government and with no central Indian government. He envisaged autonomous Muslim provinces in India. Under one Indian union he feared for Muslims, who would suffer in many respects especially with regard to their existentially separate entity as Muslims.[30]

Sir Muhammad Iqbal was elected president of the Muslim League in 1930 at its session in Allahabad, in the United Provinces as well as for the session in Lahore in 1932. In his presidential address on 29 December 1930, Iqbal outlined a vision of an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in northwestern India:[5]


"I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated Northwest Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of Northwest India.[5]

In his speech, Iqbal emphasised that unlike Christianity, Islam came with "legal concepts" with "civic significance," with its "religious ideals" considered as inseparable from social order: "therefore, the construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim."[33] Iqbal thus stressed not only the need for the political unity of Muslim communities, but the undesirability of blending the Muslim population into a wider society not based on Islamic principles.

He thus became the first politician to articulate what would become known as the Two-Nation Theory—that Muslims are a distinct nation and thus deserve political independence from other regions and communities of India. However, he would not elucidate or specify if his ideal Islamic state would construe a theocracy, even as he rejected secularism and nationalism. The latter part of Iqbal's life was concentrated on political activity. He would travel across Europe and West Asia to garner political and financial support for the League, and he reiterated his ideas in his 1932 address, and during the Third round-Table Conference, he opposed the Congress and proposals for transfer of power without considerable autonomy or independence for Muslim provinces.

He would serve as president of the Punjab Muslim League, and would deliver speeches and publish articles in an attempt to rally Muslims across India as a single political entity. Iqbal consistently criticised feudal classes in Punjab as well as Muslim politicians averse to the League. Many unnoticed account of Iqbal's frustration toward Congress leadership were also pivotal of visioning the two nation theory.


Patron of The Journal Tolu-e-Islam

Iqbal was the first patron of the historical, political, religious, cultural journal of Muslims of British India. This journal played an important part in the Pakistan movement. The name of this journal is The Journal Tolu-e-Islam. In 1935, according to his instructions, Syed Nazeer Niazi initiated and edited, a journal Tolu-e-Islam[34] named after the famous poem of Iqbal, Tulu'i Islam. He also dedicated the first edition of this journal to Iqbal. For a long time Iqbal wanted a journal to propagate his ideas and the aims and objective of Muslim league. It was Syed Nazeer Niazi, a close friend of his and a regular visitor to him during his last two years, who started this journal.[29] He also made Urdu translation of The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, by Sir Muhammad Iqbal.[29][unreliable source?][citation needed]

In the first monthly journal of Oct. 1935, an article Millat Islamia Hind The Muslim nation of India was published. In this article Syed Nazeer Niazi described the political conditions of British India and the aims and objectives of the Muslim community. He also discussed the basic principles of Islam which were aims and objective of Iqbal's concept of an Islamic State.[29][unreliable source?][citation needed]

The early contributors to this journal were eminent Muslim scholars like Maulana Aslam Jairajpuri, Ghulam Ahmed Pervez, Dr. Zakir Hussain Khan, Syed Naseer Ahmed, Raja Hassan Akhtar, Maulvi Ghulam Yezdani, Ragheb Ahsan, Sheikh Suraj ul Haq, Rafee ud din Peer, Prof. Fazal ud din Qureshi, Agha Muhammad Safdar, Asad Multani, Dr. Tasadaq Hussain, Prof. Yusuf Saleem Chisti.[29][unreliable source?][citation needed]

Later on, this journal was continued[35] by Ghulam Ahmed Pervez, who had already contributed many articles in the early editions of this journal. After the emergence of Pakistan, the mission of the journal Tolu-e-Islam was to propagate the implementation of the principle which had inspired the demand for separate Muslim State according to the Quran. This journal is still published by Idara Tolu-e-Islam, Lahore.[29][unreliable source?][citation needed]


Literary work


Iqbal's poetic works are written primarily in Persian rather than Urdu. Among his 12,000 verses of poetry, about 7,000 verses are in Persian. In 1915, he published his first collection of poetry, the Asrar-e-Khudi (Secrets of the Self) in Persian. The poems emphasise the spirit and self from a religious, spiritual perspective. Many critics have called this Iqbal's finest poetic work[36] In Asrar-e-Khudi, Iqbal explains his philosophy of "Khudi," or "Self."[5][6] Iqbal's use of the term "Khudi" is synonymous with the word "Rooh" mentioned in the Quran. "Rooh" is that divine spark which is present in every human being, and was present in Adam, for which God ordered all of the angels to prostrate in front of Adam. One has to make a great journey of transformation to realise that divine spark which Iqbal calls "Khudi".[5]

The same concept was used by Farid ud Din Attar in his "Mantaq-ul-Tair". He proves by various means that the whole universe obeys the will of the "Self." Iqbal condemns self-destruction. For him, the aim of life is self-realization and self-knowledge. He charts the stages through which the "Self" has to pass before finally arriving at its point of perfection, enabling the knower of the "Self" to become a vice-regent of God.[24]

In his Rumuz-e-Bekhudi (Hints of Selflessness), Iqbal seeks to prove the Islamic way of life is the best code of conduct for a nation's viability. A person must keep his individual characteristics intact, but once this is achieved he should sacrifice his personal ambitions for the needs of the nation. Man cannot realise the "Self" outside of society. Also in Persian and published in 1917, this group of poems has as its main themes the ideal community,[24] Islamic ethical and social principles, and the relationship between the individual and society. Although he is true throughout to Islam, Iqbal also recognises the positive analogous aspects of other religions. The Rumuz-e-Bekhudi complements the emphasis on the self in the Asrar-e-Khudi and the two collections are often put in the same volume under the title Asrar-e-Rumuz (Hinting Secrets). It is addressed to the world's Muslims.[24]

Iqbal's 1924 publication, the Payam-e-Mashriq (The Message of the East) is closely connected to the West-östlicher Diwan by the famous German poet Goethe. Goethe bemoans the West having become too materialistic in outlook, and expects the East will provide a message of hope to resuscitate spiritual values. Iqbal styles his work as a reminder to the West of the importance of morality, religion and civilisation by underlining the need for cultivating feeling, ardour and dynamism. He explains that an individual can never aspire to higher dimensions unless he learns of the nature of spirituality.[24] In his first visit to Afghanistan, he presented his book "Payam-e Mashreq" to King Amanullah Khan in which he admired the liberal movements of Afghanistan against the British Empire. In 1933, he was officially invited to Afghanistan to join the meetings regarding the establishment of Kabul University.[22]

The Zabur-e-Ajam (Persian Psalms), published in 1927, includes the poems Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed (Garden of New Secrets) and Bandagi Nama (Book of Slavery). In Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed, Iqbal first poses questions, then answers them with the help of ancient and modern insight, showing how it affects and concerns the world of action. Bandagi Nama denounces slavery by attempting to explain the spirit behind the fine arts of enslaved societies. Here as in other books, Iqbal insists on remembering the past, doing well in the present and preparing for the future, while emphasising love, enthusiasm and energy to fulfill the ideal life.[24]

Iqbal's 1932 work, the Javed Nama (Book of Javed) is named after and in a manner addressed to his son, who is featured in the poems. It follows the examples of the works of Ibn Arabi and Dante's The Divine Comedy, through mystical and exaggerated depictions across time. Iqbal depicts himself as Zinda Rud ("A stream full of life") guided by Rumi, "the master," through various heavens and spheres, and has the honour of approaching divinity and coming in contact with divine illuminations. In a passage re-living a historical period, Iqbal condemns the Muslim who were instrumental in the defeat and death of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal and Tipu Sultan of Mysore respectively by betraying them for the benefit of the British colonists, and thus delivering their country to the shackles of slavery. At the end, by addressing his son Javid, he speaks to the young people at large, and provides guidance to the "new generation."[24]

His love of the Persian language is evident in his works and poetry. He says in one of his poems:[37]


گرچہ اردو در عذوبت شکر است garche Urdū dar uzūbat shekkar ast

طرز گفتار دري شيرين تر است

tarz-e goftar-e Dari shirin tar ast

Translation: Even though in sweetness Urdu* is sugar(but) speech method in Dari (Persian) is sweeter *


Iqbal's Bang-e-Dara (The Call of the Marching Bell),the first collection of Urdu poetry was published in 1924. It was written in three distinct phases of his life.[24] The poems he wrote up to 1905—(the year Iqbal left for England) reflects patriotism and imagery of nature, that includes the Tarana-e-Hind (The song of India),[22] and another poem Tarana-e-Milli (The song of the Community). The second set of poems from 1905—1908; when Iqbal studied in Europe and dwell upon the nature of European society about whom he emphasised had lost spiritual and religious values, these inspired Iqbal to write poems on the historical and cultural heritage of Islam and Muslim community, with the global perspective. Iqbal urges the entire Muslim community, addressed as the Ummah to define personal, social and political existence by the values and teachings of Islam.[24]

Iqbal work mainly in Persian for a predominant period of his career and after 1930, his works were mainly in Urdu. The works of this period were often specifically directed at the Muslim masses of India, with an even stronger emphasis on Islam and Muslim spiritual and political reawakening. Published in 1935, the Bal-e-Jibril (Wings of Gabriel) is considered by many critics as the finest of Iqbal's Urdu poetry, and was inspired by his visit to Spain, where he visited the monuments and legacy of the kingdom of the Moors. It consists of ghazals, poems, quatrains, epigrams and carries a strong sense of religious passion.[24]

The Pas Cheh Bayed Kard ai Aqwam-e-Sharq (What are we to do, O Nations of the East?) includes the poem Musafir (Traveler). Again, Iqbal depicts Rumi as a character and an exposition of the mysteries of Islamic laws and Sufi perceptions is given. Iqbal laments the dissension and disunity among the Indian Muslims as well as Muslim nations. Musafir is an account of one of Iqbal's journeys to Afghanistan, in which the Pashtun people are counselled to learn the "secret of Islam" and to "build up the self" within themselves.[24] Iqbal's final work was the Armughan-e-Hijaz (The Gift of Hijaz), published posthumously in 1938. The first part contains quatrains in Persian, and the second part contains some poems and epigrams in Urdu. The Persian quatrains convey the impression as though the poet is travelling through the Hijaz in his imagination. Profundity of ideas and intensity of passion are the salient features of these short poems.[24]

Iqbal's vision of mystical experience is clear in one of his Urdu ghazals which was written in London during his days of studying there. Some verses of that ghazal are:[24]


At last the silent tongue of Hijaz has
announced to the ardent ear the tiding
That the covenant which had been given to the
desert-dwelles is going to be renewed
The lion who had emerged from the desert and
had toppled the Roman Empire is
As I am told by the angels, about to get up
again (from his slumbers.)
You the dwelles of the West, should know that
the world of God is not a shop (of yours).
Your imagined pure gold is about to lose it
standard value (as fixed by you).
Your civilization will commit suicide with its

own daggers.[24]


Iqbal also wrote two books on the topic of The Development of Metaphysics in Persia and The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam[24] and many letters in English language, besides his Urdu and Persian literary works. In which, he revealed his thoughts regarding Persian ideology and Islamic Sufism – in particular, his beliefs that Islamic Sufism activates the searching soul to a superior perception of life.[24] He also discussed philosophy, God and the meaning of prayer, human spirit and Muslim culture, as well as other political, social and religious problems.[24]

Iqbal was invited to Cambridge to participate in the conference in 1931, where he expressed his views to students and other audience.[24]


"I would like to offer a few pieces of advice to the youngmen who are at present studying at Cambridge ...... I advise you to guard against atheism and materialism. The biggest blunder made by Europe was the separation of Church and State. This deprived their culture of moral soul and diverted it to the atheistic materialism. I had twenty-five years ago seen through the drawbacks of this civilization and therefore had made some prophecies. They had been delivered by my tongue although I did not quite understand them. This happened in 1907..... After six or seven years, my prophecies came true, word by word. The European war of 1914 was an outcome of the aforesaid mistakes made by the European nations in the separation of the Church and the State".[24]

Poet of the East

Iqbal has been recognised and quoted as "Poet of the East" by academics and institutions and media.[11][38][39]

The Vice Chancellor, Quaid-e-Azam University, Dr. Masoom Yasinzai described in a seminar as chief guest addressing to distinguished gathering of educationists and intellectuals,that Iqbal is not a poet of the East only, actually he is a universal poet. Moreover, Iqbal is not restricted to any specific segment of the world community but he is for the entire humanity.[40]


"Yet it should also be born in mind that whilst dedicating his Eastern Divan to Goethe, the cultural icon par excellence, Iqbal’s Payam-i-Mashriq constituted both a reply as well as a corrective to the Western Divan of Goethe. For by stylising himself as the representative of the East, Iqbal’s endeavour was to talk on equal terms to Goethe as the representative of West."[41]

Iqbal's revolutionary works through his poetry awakened the Muslims of the subcontinent. Iqbal was confident that the Muslims had long been suppressed by the colonial enlargement and growth of the West. In this concept Iqbal is recognised as the "Poet of the East".[39][42][43]

"So to conclude, let me cite Annemarie Schimmel in Gabriel’s Wing who lauds Iqbal’s “unique way of weaving a grand tapestry of thought from eastern and western yarns” (p. xv), a creative activity which, to cite my own volume Revisioning Iqbal, endows Muhammad Iqbal with the stature of a "universalist poet" and thinker whose principle aim was to explore mitigating alternative discourses with a view to constructing a bridge between the ‘East’ and the ‘West’ ".[41]

Urdu world is very familiar Iqbal as the "Poet of the East".[43]

Iqbal and the West

Iqbal's views on the Western world were applauded by men including United States Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas, who said that Iqbal's beliefs had "universal appeal".[45] In his Soviet biography N. P. Anikoy wrote:

"(Iqbal is) great for his passionate condemnation of weak will and passiveness, his angry protest against inequality, discrimination and oppression in all forms i.e., economic, social, political, national, racial, religious, etc., his preaching of optimism, an active attitude towards life and man's high purpose in the world, in a word, he is great for his assertion of the noble ideals and principles of humanism, democracy, peace and friendship among peoples.".[45]

Others, including Wilfred Cantwell Smith, stated that with Iqbal's anti-capitalist holdings he was 'anti-intellect', because "capitalism fosters intellect".[45] Professor Freeland Abbot objected to Iqbal's views saying that Iqbal's view of the West was based on the role of imperialism and Iqbal was not immersed enough in Western culture to learn about the various benefits of the modern democracies, economic practices and science.[45] Critics of Abbot's viewpoint note that Iqbal was raised and educated in European way of life, and spent enough time there to grasp the general concepts of Western civilisation.

Monday, 09 July 2012 16:21

Ahmad Faraz

Written by

Ahmad Faraz on 12 January 1931 in Kohat,died 25 August 2008) was a Pakistani Urdu poet. He was acclaimed one of the modern Urdu poets of the last century. 'Faraz' is his pen name, (in Urdu takhalus). He died in Islamabad on 25 August 2008.He was awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-i-Imtiaz and after his death Hilal-e-Pakistan by the government.


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Career
    • 2.1 Literary
    • 2.2 Political
    • 2.3 Death
  • 3 Samples of poetry
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Faraz was born in Kohat, Pakistan to Syed Muhammad Shah Barq. His brother is Syed Masood Kausar. He moved to Peshawar with his family. He studied in famous Edwardes College, Peshawar and received Masters in Urdu and Persian from Peshawar University. During his time in college, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Ali Sardar Jafri were the best progressive poets, who impressed him and became his role models. Ethnically a Sayyid, Ahmed Faraz studied Persian and Urdu at the Peshawar University. He later became lecturer at the Peshawar University.



Faraz has been compared with Faiz Ahmad Faiz, holds a unique position as one of the best poets of current times, with a fine but simple style of writing. Even common people can easily understand his poetry. In an interview with Rediff he recalls how his father, once bought clothes for him on Eid. He didn't like the clothes meant for him, but preferred the ones meant for his elder brother. This lead him to write his first couplet:

:سب کے واسطے لائے ہیں کپڑے سیل سے
:لائے ہیں میرے لیے قیدی کا کمبل جیل سے Sab kay waste laye hein kaprye sale se Laye hein mere liye qaidi ka kambal jail se (He brought clothes for everybody from the sale) (For me he brought a blanket from jail)


Ahmad Faraz was arrested for reciting poems that criticised military rulers in Pakistan during the Zia-ul-Haq era. Following that arrest he went into a self-imposed exile. He stayed for 6 years in Britain, Canada and Europe before returning to Pakistan, where he was initially appointed Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters and later chairperson of the Islamabad-based National Book Foundation for several years. He has been awarded with numerous national and international awards. In 2006, he returned the Hilal-e-Imtiaz award he was given in 2004. About his current writings he says: "I now only write when I am forced to from the inside. Maintaining a tradition established by his mentor, the revolutionary Faiz Ahmad Faiz, he wrote some of his best poetry during those days in exile. Famous amongst poetry of resistance has been "Mahasara". Faraz was also mentioned by actor Shahzada Ghaffar in the Pothwari/Mirpuri telefilm "Khai Aye O".


Faraz died from kidney failure in a local Islamabad hospital on 25 August 2008. His funeral was held on the evening of 26th, by many admirers and government officials at H-8 Graveyard, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Samples of poetry

A sample of his poetry is:

Nazm: Khwaab martay naheen
Khwaab martay naheen
Khwaab dil hain, nah aankhen, nah saansen keh jo
Rezaa, rezaa huwe to bikhar jaayen ge
Jism kii maut se ye bhii mar jaayen ge

English translation. Dreams do not die Dream are not heart, nor eyes nor breath Which shattered, will scatter Die with the death of the body
Monday, 09 July 2012 16:20

Mir Taqi Mir

Written by
Mir Taqi Mir , whose real name was Muhammad Taqi and whose takhallus (pen name) was Mir , was the leading Urdu poet of the 18th century, and one of the pioneers who gave shape to the Urdu language itself. He was one of the principal poets of the Delhi School of the Urdu ghazal and remains arguably the foremost name in Urdu poetry often remembered as Khuda-e-sukhan (god of poetry).


The main source of information on Mir's life is his autobiography Zikr-e-Mir, which covers the period from his childhood to the beginnings of his sojourn in Lucknow.[2] However, it is said to conceal more than it reveals,[3] with material that is undated or presented in no chronological sequence. Therefore, many of the 'true details' of Mir's life remain a matter of speculation.

Mir was born in Agra, India (then called Akbarabad and ruled by the Mughals) ca. August or September 1723 in a family of Arab origins. His philosophy of life was formed primarily by his father, a religious man with a large following, whose emphasis on the importance of love and the value of compassion remained with Mir throughout his life and imbued his poetry. Mir's father died while the poet was in his teens. He left Agra for Delhi a few years after his father's death, to finish his education and also to find patrons who offered him financial support (Mir's many patrons and his relationships with them have been described by his translator C. M. Naim).[4]

Some scholars consider two of Mir's masnavis (long narrative poems rhymed in couplets), Mu'amlat-e-ishq (The Stages of Love) and Khwab o khyal-e Mir ("Mir's Vision"), written in the first person, as inspired by Mir's own early love affairs,[5] but it is by no means clear how autobiographical these accounts of a poet's passionate love affair and descent into madness are. Especially, as France W. Pritchett points out, the austere portrait of Mir from these masnavis must be juxtaposed against the picture drawn by Andalib Shadani, whose inquiry suggests a very different poet, given to unabashed eroticism in his verse[6]

Mir lived much of his life in Mughal Delhi. Kuchha Chelan, in Old Delhi was his address at that time. However, after Ahmad Shah Abdali's sack of Delhi each year starting 1748, he eventually moved to the court of Asaf-ud-Daulah in Lucknow, at the king's invitation. Distressed to witness the plundering of his beloved Delhi, he gave vent to his feelings through some of his couplets.

کیا بود و باش پوچھے ہو پورب کے ساکنو

ہم کو غریب جان کے ہنس ہنس پکار کے

دلّی جو ایک شہر تھا عالم میں انتخاب

رہتے تھے منتخب ہی جہاں روزگار کے

جس کو فلک نے لوٹ کے ویران کر دیا

ہم رہنے والے ہیں اسی اجڑے دیار کے

Mir migrated to Lucknow in 1782 and remained there for the remainder of his life. Though he was given a kind welcome by Asaf-ud-Daulah, he found that he was considered old-fashioned by the courtiers of Lucknow (Mir, in turn, was contemptuous of the new Lucknow poetry, dismissing the poet Jur'at's work as merely 'kissing and cuddling'). Mir's relationships with his patron gradually grew strained, and he eventually severed his connections with the court. In his last years Mir was very isolated. His health failed, and the death of his daughter, son and wife caused him great distress.[7]

He died, of a purgative overdose, on Friday, 21 September 1810.[1] The marker of his burial place was removed in modern times when a railway was built over his grave.[8]

Literary life

His complete works, Kulliaat, consist of six Diwans containing 13,585 couplets, comprising all kinds of poetic forms: ghazal, masnavi, qasida, rubai, mustezaad, satire, etc.[1] Mir's literary reputation is anchored on the ghazals in his Kulliyat-e-Mir, much of them on themes of love. His masnavi Mu'amlat-e-Ishq (The Stages of Love) is one of the greatest known love poems in Urdu literature.

Mir lived at a time when Urdu language and poetry was at a formative stage - and Mir's instinctive aesthetic sense helped him strike a balance between the indigenous expression and new enrichment coming in from Persian imagery and idiom, to constitute the new elite language known as Rekhta or Hindui. Basing his language on his native Hindustani, he leavened it with a sprinkling of Persian diction and phraseology, and created a poetic language at once simple, natural and elegant, which was to guide generations of future poets.

The death of his family members,[1] together with earlier setbacks (including the traumatic stages in Delhi), lend a strong pathos to much of Mir's writing - and indeed Mir is noted for his poetry of pathos and melancholy.


"Mir ke deen-o-mazhab ka
poonchte kya ho un nay to

kashka khaincha dair mein baitha
kab ka tark Islam kiya

What can I tell you about Mir’s faith or belief ?
A tilak on his forehead in a temple he resides, having abandoned Islam long ago

What Mir was practicing was probably the Malamati or “Blameworthy” aspect of the Sufi tradition. Using this technique, a person ascribes to oneself an unconventional aspect of a person or society, and then plays out its results, either in action or in verse.

Mir vs Mirza Ghalib

Mir's famous contemporary, also an Urdu poet of no inconsiderable repute, was Mirza Rafi Sauda. Mir Taqi Mir was often compared with the later day Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib. Lovers of Urdu poetry often debate Mir's supremacy over Ghalib or vice versa. It may be noted that Ghalib himself acknowledged, through some of his couplets, that Mir was indeed a genius who deserved respect. Here are two couplets by Mirza Ghalib on this matter.

Reekhtay kay tumhi ustaad nahi ho Ghalib
Kehte hain kisi zamane me koi Mir bhi tha

You are not the only master of Urdu, Ghalib
They say there used to be a Mir in the past

Ghalib apna yeh aqeeda hai baqaul-e-Nasikh
Aap bey behrah hai jo muataqid-e-Mir nahi

Ghalib! Its my belief in the words of Nasikh*,
"He that vows not on Mir, is himself unlearned!"

*Shaikh Imam Bakhsh Nasikh of Lucknow, a disciple of Mir.

Famous couplets

Some of his impeccable couplets are:

Dikhaai diye yun ke bekhud kiya Hamen aap se bhi juda kar chale''

(She appeared in such a way that I lost myself

And went by taking away my 'self' with her)

Looked as if rendered me unconscious

away went leaving me separated from me

At a higher spiritual level the subject Of Mir's poem in not a woman but God. Mir speaks of man's interaction with the Divine. What affect it has on man when God reveals Himself to man. Dikhaai diye yun ke bekhud kiya When I saw you God I lost all sense of self Hamen aap se bhi juda kar chale When You revealed yourself it separated me from myself

Gor kis dil jale ki hai ye falak Shola ek subh yaan se uthta hai''

(What heart-sick sufferer's misery is the sky?

an Ember rises hence at dawn)

Ashk aankh mein kab nahi aata Lahu aata hai jab nahi aata''

(From my eye, when doesn't a tear fall

Blood falls when it doesn't fall)

Bekhudi le gai kahaan humko Der se intezaar hai apna

(Where has selflessness taken me

I've been waiting for myself for long)

Ibtidaa-e-ishq hai rotaa hai kyaa Aage aage dekhiye hotaa hai kyaa

(Its the beginning of Love, why do you wail

Just wait and watch how things unveil)

Likhte ruqaa, likhe gaye daftar Shauq ne baat kyaa barhaai hai

(Started with a scroll, ended up with a record

How pursuit escalated the whole thing)

Deedani hai shikastagi dil ki Kya imaarat ghamon ne dhaai hai

(Worth-watching is my heart's crumbling

What a citadel have sorrows razed)

Baad marne ke meri qabr pe aaya wo 'Mir' Yaad aai mere Isa ko dawa mere baad''

(O Mir, She came to my grave after i'd died

My messiah came to my aid after i'd died)

Mir Taqi Mir in fiction

Khushwant Singh's famous novel Delhi: A Novel gives very interesting details about the fictional life and adventures of the great poet. His fictional memoirs and confessions, especially those about his illicit relations with elite women, mainly with the wife of the aristocrat Rias Khan who employed him as tutor to teach his children, are not only very entertaining but also provide a lot of insight into his mind and heart.

Major works

  • "Nukat-us-Shura" Biographical dictionary of Urdu poets of his time, written in Persian
  • "Faiz-e-Mir" Collection of five stories about sufis & faqirs, said to have been written for the education of his son Mir Faiz Ali.[10]
  • "Zikr-e-Mir" Autobiography written in Persian language.
  • "Kulliyat-e-Farsi" Collection of poems in Persian language
  • "Kulliyat-e-Mir" Collection of Urdu poetry consisting of six diwans (volumes).

Some of Mir's ghazals

Monday, 09 July 2012 16:20

Munawwar Rana

Written by

Munawwar Rana (Urdu: منور رانا, Hi: मुनव्वर राना) is a Urdu poet. He hails from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh but spent most of his life in Kolkata. He is considered to be one of the most successful poets at Mushairas and is popular outside India also.

Rana's poetry has also been published in Hindi and Bangla. The notable feature of his poetry is that he used the genre of ghazal to eulogise mother which is unique, as ghazal was considered a poetic form in which lovers' conversed with each other. Apart from his poetry collection, Rana has also penned a memoir.

He had a public spat with poet Bashir Badr at a public function Rana is known to be a sensitive poet who uses Hindi and Awadhi words in the couplets. He avoids using flowery language and shuns chaste Urdu in his couplets, which is a reason that he is successful in poetic meetings in non-Urdu areas also.

He has also performed poetry on stage. One recent performance was at Culrav, the cultrural event of NIT Allahabad, in 2012.

Monday, 09 July 2012 16:19

Jaun Elia

Written by
Jaun Elia was born on 15 December 1931 in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh. He was the youngest of his siblings. His father, Shafiq Hasan Elia, was involved in art and literature and also an astrologer and a poet.

During his youth, Pakistan gained independence as a Muslim state. Being a Communist, Elia was averse to the idea, but finally accepted it as a compromise. He migrated to Pakistan in 1957, and made Karachi his home. His poetry won him both acclaim and approbation in the local literary circle.[citation needed] Poet Pirzada Qasim said: "Jaun was very particular about language. While his diction is rooted in the classical tradition, he touches on new subjects. He remained in quest of an ideal all his life. Unable to find the ideal eventually, he became angry and frustrated. He felt, perhaps with reason, that he had squandered his talent.

His first poetry collection Shayad (an Urdu word which means "Maybe") was published in 1991, when he was 60. His preface in this collection provided deep insights into his works and the culture within which he was expressing his ideas. The preface can also be considered[by whom?] as a fine example of modern Urdu prose. The second collection of his poetry Ya'ani was published posthumously in 2003. Later his companion, Khalid Ansari, compiled and published his three consecutive collections, Gumaan (an Urdu word which means "Illusion") in 2004, Lekin in 2006 and Goya in 2008.[citation needed] An eminent Urdu literary critic, Muhammad Ali Siddiqui, has called Elia one of the three most eminent ghazal poets of Urdu of the second half of the twentieth century.[citation needed] Elia was an open anarchist and nihilist in generally a conservative and religious society. His elder brother Rais Amrohvi, himself a poet and influential intellectual, was murdered.[citation needed]

Poetry collections

  • Shayad, 1991. 1
  • Ya'ani, 2003. 2
  • Gumaan, 2004. 3
  • Lekin, 2006.
  • Goya, 2008.
  • Farnoed, 2012.citation needed
Monday, 09 July 2012 16:19

Meer Anees

Written by

Mir Babbar Ali Anees (Urdu: میر ببر علی انیس) was a renowned Urdu poet. He was born in Faizabad in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in 1803 and died in 1874. The famous marsia writers who inherited the tradition of Mir Anis among his successive generations are Mir Nawab Ali 'Munis', Dulaha Sahab 'Uruj', Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab 'Rasheed', Syed Muhammad Mirza Uns, Ali Nawab 'Qadeem', Syed Sajjad Hussain 'Shadeed', Syed Sajjad Hussain "Shadeed" Lucknavi.

The Majlis of 25 Rajab, is historically important Majlis of Marsiya in Lucknow, in this majlis Mir Anis used to recite Marsiya. After Mir Anis well known marsiya writers of Mir Anis's family as Dulaha Sahab 'Uruj', Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab 'Rasheed', Ali Nawab (Qadeem) and Syed Sajjad Hussain 'Shadeed', inherited the legacy of reciting marsiya.

Work, contribution and legacy

Mir Anis composed salāms, elegies, nauhas, quatrains. While the length of elegy initially had no more than forty or fifty stanzas, it now was beyond one hundred fifty or even longer than two hundred stanzas or bunds, as each unit of marsia in musaddas format is known. According to Muhammad Hussain Azad "The late Mīr Sahib must certainly have composed at least ten thousand elegies, and salāms beyond count. He composed as easily and casually as he spoke.

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi in on comparing Iqbal with Nazeer Akbarabadi says that "Iqbal was placed better because he had, among others, Bedil (1644–1720) in Persian and Mir Anis (1802–1874) in Urdu." He further asserts that, "The mention of Mir Anis may surprise some of us until we realize it that Mir Anis’s marsiyas are the best premodern model in Urdu of narrative-historical, narrative-lyrical, and oral-dramatic poetry, and Iqbal’s poetry extends and exploits the possibilities created by Anis."[citation needed]

See also

  • Mirza Dabeer
  • Ustad Sibte Jaafar Zaidi
  • Mohsin Naqvi
  • Marsiya
  • Azadari
  • Ashura


    1. Aab-e-Hayat (English Translation, Translated and edited by Frances W. Pritchett, in association with Shamsur Rahman Faruqi)
Monday, 09 July 2012 16:16

Mirza Ghalib

Written by

Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan -- known to posterity as Ghalib, a `nom de plume' he adopted in the tradition of all classical Urdu poets, was born in the city of Agra, of parents with Turkish aristocratic ancestry, probably on December 27th, 1797. As to the precise date, Imtiyaz Ali Arshi has conjectured, on the basis of Ghalib's horoscope, that the poet might have been born a month later, in January 1798.

Both his father and uncle died while he was still young, and he spent a good part of his early boyhood with his mother's family. This, of course, began a psychology of ambivalences for him. On the one hand, he grew up relatively free of any oppressive dominance by adult, male-dominant figures. This, it seems to me, accounts for at least some of the independent spirit he showed from very early childhood. On the other hand, this placed him in the humiliating situation of being socially and economically dependent on maternal grandparents, giving him, one can surmise, a sense that whatever worldly goods he received were a matter of charity and not legitimately his. His pre-occupation in later life with finding secure, legitimate, and comfortable means of livelihood can be perhaps at least partially understood in terms of this early uncertainity.

The question of Ghalib's early education has often confused Urdu scholars. Although any record of his formal education that might exist is extremely scanty, it is also true that Ghalib's circle of friends in Delhi included some of the most eminent minds of his time. There is, finally, irrevocably, the evidence of his writings, in verse as well as in prose, which are distinguished not only by creative excellence but also by the great knowledge of philosophy, ethics, theology, classical literature, grammar, and history that they reflect. I think it is reasonable to believe that Mulla Abdussamad Harmuzd -- the man who was supposedly Ghalib's tutor, whom Ghalib mentions at times with great affection and respect, but whose very existence he denies -- was, in fact, a real person and an actual tutor of Ghalib when Ghalib was a young boy in Agra. Harmuzd was a Zoroastrian from Iran, converted to Islam, and a devoted scholar of literature, language, and religions. He lived in anonymity in Agra while tutoring Ghalib, among others.

In or around 1810, two events of great importance occured in Ghalib's life: he was married to a well-to-do, educated family of nobles, and he left for Delhi. One must remember that Ghalib was only thirteen at the time. It is impossible to say when Ghalib started writing poetry. Perhaps it was as early as his seventh or eight years. On the other hand, there is evidence that most of what we know as his complete works were substantially completed by 1816, when he was 19 years old, and six years after he first came to Delhi. We are obviously dealing with a man whose maturation was both early and rapid. We can safely conjecture that the migration from Agra, which had once been a capital but was now one of the many important but declining cities, to Delhi, its grandeur kept intact by the existence of the moghul court, was an important event in the life of this thirteen year old, newly married poet who desparately needed material security, who was beginning to take his career in letters seriously, and who was soon to be recognized as a genius, if not by the court, at least some of his most important comtemporaries. As for the marriage, in the predominantly male-oriented society of Muslim India no one could expect Ghalib to take that event terribly seriously, and he didn't. The period did, however mark the beginnings of concern with material advancement that was to obsess him for the rest of his life.

In Delhi Ghalib lived a life of comfort, though he did not find immediate or great success. He wrote first in a style at once detached, obscure, and pedantic, but soon thereafter he adopted the fastidious, personal, complexly moral idiom which we now know as his mature style. It is astonishing that he should have gone from sheer precocity to the extremes of verbal ingenuity and obscurity, to a style which, next to Meer's, is the most important and comprehensive styles of the ghazal in the Urdu language before he was even twenty.

The course of his life from 1821 onward is easier to trace. His interest began to shift decisively away from Urdu poetry to Persian during the 1820's, and he soon abandoned writing in Urdu almost altogether, except whenever a new edition of his works was forthcoming and he was inclined to make changes, deletions, or additions to his already existing opus. This remained the pattern of his work until 1847, the year in which he gained direct access to the Moghul court. I think it is safe to say that throughout these years Ghalib was mainly occupied with the composition of the Persian verse, with the preparation of occasional editions of his Urdu works which remained essentially the same in content, and with various intricate and exhausting proceedings undertaken with a view to improving his financial situation, these last consisting mainly of petitions to patrons and government, including the British. Although very different in style and procedure, Ghalib's obsession with material means, and the accompanying sense of personal insecurity which seems to threaten the very basis of selfhood, reminds one of Bauldeaire. There is, through the years, the same self-absorption, the same overpowering sense of terror which comes from the necessities of one's own creativity and intelligence, the same illusion -- never really believed viscerally -- that if one could be released from need one could perhaps become a better artist. There is same flood of complaints, and finally the same triumph of a self which is at once morbid, elegant, highly creative, and almost doomed to realize the terms not only of its desperation but also its distinction.

Ghalib was never really a part of the court except in its very last years, and even then with ambivalence on both sides. There was no love lost between Ghalib himself and Zauq, the king's tutor in the writing of poetry; and if their mutual dislike was not often openly expressed, it was a matter of prudence only. There is reason to believe that Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Moghul king, and himself a poet of considerable merit, did not much care for Ghalib's style of poetry or life. There is also reason to believe that Ghalib not only regarded his own necessary subservient conduct in relation to the king as humiliating but he also considered the Moghul court as a redundant institution. Nor was he well-known for admiring the king's verses. However, after Zauq's death Ghalib did gain an appiontment as the king's advisor on matters of versification. He was also appointed, by royal order, to write the official history of the Moghul dynasty, a project which was to be titled "Partavistan" and to fill two volumes. The one volume "Mehr-e-NeemRoz", which Ghalib completed is an indifferent work, and the second volume was never completed, supposedly because of the great disturbances caused by the Revolt of 1857 and the consequent termination of the Moghul rule. Possibly Ghalib's own lack of interest in the later Moghul kings had something to do with it.

The only favourable result of his connection with the court between 1847 and 1857 was that he resumed writing in Urdu with a frequency not experienced since the early 1820's. Many of these new poems are not panegyrics, or occasional verses to celebrate this or that. He did, however, write many ghazals which are of the same excellence and temper as his early great work. Infact, it is astonishing that a man who had more or less given up writing in Urdu thirty years before should, in a totally different time and circumstance, produce work that is, on the whole, neither worse nor better than his earlier work. One wonders just how many great poems were permanently lost to Urdu when Ghalib chose to turn to Persian instead.

In its material dimensions, Ghalib's life never really took root and remained always curiously unfinished. In a society where almost everybody seems to have a house of his own, Ghalib never had one and always rented one or accepted the use of one from a patron. He never had books of his own, usually reading borrowed ones. He had no children; the ones he had, died in infancy, and he later adopted the two children of Arif, his wife's nephew who died young in 1852. Ghalib's one wish, perhaps as strong as the wish to be a great poet, that he should have a regular, secure income, never materialized. His brother Yusuf, went mad in 1826, and died, still mad, in that year of all misfortunes, 1857. His relations with his wife were, at best, tentative, obscure and indifferent. Given the social structure of mid-nineteenth-century Muslim India, it is, of course, inconceivable that *any* marriage could have even begun to satisfy the moral and intellectual intensities that Ghalib required from his relationships; given that social order, however, he could not conceive that his marriage could serve that function. And one has to confront the fact that the child never died who, deprived of the security of having a father in a male-oriented society, had had looked for material but also moral certainities -- not certitudes, but certainities, something that he can stake his life on. So, when reading his poetry it must be remembered that it is the poetry of more than usually vulnerable existence.

It is difficult to say precisely what Ghalib's attitude was toward the British conquest of India. The evidence is not only contradictory but also incomplete. First of all, one has to realize that nationalism as we know it today was simply non-existent in nineteenth-century India. Second -- one has to remember -- no matter how offensive it is to some -- that even prior to the British, India had a long history of invaders who created empires which were eventually considered legitimate. The Moghuls themselves were such invaders. Given these two facts, it would be unreasonable to expect Ghalib to have a clear ideological response to the British invasion. There is also evidence, quite clearly deducible from his letters, that Ghalib was aware, on the one hand, of the redundancy, the intrigues, the sheer poverty of sophistication and intellectual potential, and the lack of humane responses from the Moghul court, and, on the other, of the powers of rationalism and scientific progress of the West.

Ghalib had many attitudes toward the British, most of them complicated and quite contradictory. His diary of 1857, the "Dast-Ambooh" is a pro-British document, criticizing the British here and there for excessively harsh rule but expressing, on the whole, horror at the tactics of the resistance forces. His letters, however, are some of the most graphic and vivid accounts of British violence that we possess. We also know that "Dast-Ambooh" was always meant to be a document that Ghalib would make public, not only to the Indian Press but specifically to the British authorities. And he even wanted to send a copy of it to Queen Victoria. His letters, are to the contrary, written to people he trusted very much, people who were his friends and would not divulge their contents to the British authorities. As Imtiyaz Ali Arshi has shown (at least to my satisfaction), whenever Ghalib feared the intimate, anti-British contents of his letters might not remain private, he requested their destruction, as he did in the case of the Nawab of Rampur. I think it is reasonable to conjecture that the diary, the "Dast-Ambooh", is a document put together by a frightened man who was looking for avenues of safety and forging versions of his own experience in order to please his oppressors, whereas the letters, those private documents of one-to-one intimacy, are more real in the expression of what Ghalib was in fact feeling at the time. And what he was feeling, according to the letters, was horror at the wholesale violence practised by the British.

Yet, matters are not so simple as that either. We cannot explain things away in terms of altogether honest letters and an altogether dishonest diary. Human and intellectual responses are more complex. The fact that Ghalib, like many other Indians at the time, admired British, and therefore Western, rationalism as expressed in constitutional law, city planning and more. His trip to Calcutta (1828-29) had done much to convince him of the immediate values of Western pragmatism. This immensely curious and human man from the narrow streets of a decaying Delhi, had suddenly been flung into the broad, well-planned avenues of 1828 Calcutta -- from the aging Moghul capital to the new, prosperous and clean capital of the rising British power, and, given the precociousness of his mind, he had not only walked on clean streets, but had also asked the fundamental questions about the sort of mind that planned that sort of city. In short, he was impressed by much that was British.

In Calcutta he saw cleanliness, good city planning, prosperity. He was fascinated by the quality of the Western mind which was rational and could conceive of constitutional government, republicanism, skepticism. The Western mind was attractive particularly to one who, although fully imbued with his feudal and Muslim background, was also attracted by wider intelligence like the one that Western scientific thought offered: good rationalism promised to be good government. The sense that this very rationalism, the very mind that had planned the first modern city in India, was also in the service of a brutal and brutalizing mercantile ethic which was to produce not a humane society but an empire, began to come to Ghalib only when the onslaught of 1857 caught up with the Delhi of his own friends. Whatever admiration he had ever felt for the British was seriously brought into question by the events of that year, more particularly by the merciless-ness of the British in their dealings with those who participated in or sympathized with the Revolt. This is no place to go into the details of the massacre; I will refer here only to the recent researches of Dr. Ashraf (Ashraf, K.M., "Ghalib & The Revolt of 1857", in Rebellion 1857, ed., P.C. Joshi, 1957), in India, which prove that at least 27,000 persons were hanged during the summer of that one year, and Ghalib witnessed it all. It was obviously impossible for him to reconcile this conduct with whatever humanity and progressive ideals he had ever expected the Briish to have possessed. His letters tell of his terrible dissatisfaction.

Ghalib's ambivalence toward the British possibly represents a characteristic dilemma of the Indian -- indeed, the Asian -- people. Whereas they are fascinated by the liberalism of the Western mind and virtually seduced by the possibility that Western science and technology might be the answer to poverty and other problems of their material existence, they feel a very deep repugnance for forms and intensities of violence which are also peculiarly Western. Ghalib was probably not as fully aware of his dilemma as the intellectuals of today might be; to assign such awareness to a mid-nineteenth-century mind would be to violate it by denying the very terms -- which means limitations --, as well -- of its existence. His bewilderment at the extent of the destruction caused by the very people of whose humanity he had been convinced can, however, be understood in terms of this basic ambivalence.

The years between 1857 and 1869 were neither happy nor very eventful ones for Ghalib. During the revolt itself, Ghalib remained pretty much confined to his house, undoubtedly frightened by the wholesale massacres in the city. Many of his friends were hanged, deprived of their fortunes, exiled from the city, or detained in jails. By October 1858, he had completed his diary of the Revolt, the "Dast-Ambooh", published it, and presented copies of it to the British authorities, mainly with the purpose of proving that he had not supported the insurrections. Although his life and immediate possesions were spared, little value was attached to his writings; he was flatly told that he was still suspected of having had loyalties toward the Moghul king. During the ensuing years, his main source of income continued to be the stipend he got from the Nawab of Rampur. "Ud-i-Hindi", the first collection of his letters, was published in October 1868. Ghalib died a few months later, on February 15th, 1869.

Some of Mirza Ghalib's ghazals


A note on pronunciation
(a) Vowel pronunciation key.

'a' as 'u' in cut
'aa' as 'a' in car
'i' as 'i' in fit
'ee' as 'ee' in feel
'u' as 'u' in put
'oo' as 'oo' in pool
'e' as 'e' in bed
'ai' as 'ei' in neighbour
'o' as 'o' in mode
'au' as 'ow' in how

(b) Words ending with an 'a' should be pronounced as 'a' in 'car'.

Examples : 'kya' = what
'nateeja' = result

(c) Guttural sounds (capital letters) :

Examples : 'GH' as in 'GHam' = sorrow
'KH' as in 'KHayaal' = thought

(d) Use of 'N' for nasal sounds :

Examples : 'maiN' = me
'meiN' = in
'aasmaaN' = sky

(e) Note the distinction in usage between :

(i) 'i' and 'ee'

Examples : 'nigaah' = sight
'nishaan' = mark/sign
'teer' = arrow
'hakeem' = physician/doctor

(ii) 'k' and 'q'

Examples : 'shauq' = fondness/desire
'qaabil' = worthy
'kamar' = waist
'KHaak' = dust/ashes

(iii) small and capital letters

Examples : 't' as 't' in with
'T' as 't' in metal


1. har ek baat pe kehte ho tum ke 'too kya hai' ?
tumheeN kaho ke yeh andaaz-e-guftgoo kya hai ?

[ guftgoo = conversation ]

2. na shole meiN yeh karishma na barq meiN yeh ada
koee batao ki woh shoKH-e-tund_KHoo kya hai ?

[ barq = lightning, tund = sharp/angry, KHoo = behavior ]

3. yeh rashk hai ki wo hota hai ham_suKHan tumse
wagarna KHauf-e-bad_aamozi-e-adoo kya hai ?

[ rashk = jealousy, ham_suKHan = to speak together/to agree,
KHauf = fear, bad = bad/wicked, aamozee = education/teaching,
adoo = enemy ]

4. chipak raha hai badan par lahoo se pairaahan
hamaaree jeb ko ab haajat-e-rafoo kya hai ?

[ pairaahan = shirt/robe/cloth, haajat = need/necessity,
rafoo = mending/darning ]

5. jalaa hai jicm jahaaN dil bhee jal gaya hoga
kuredate ho jo ab raakh, justjoo kya hai ?

[ justjoo = desire ]

Friday, 22 May 2015 10:52

Waseem Barelvi

Written by

Prof. Waseem Barelvi Zahid Hasan commonly known as Prof. Waseem Barelvi (born on February 8th, 1940 in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh/ India) is one of the most renowned Urdu poet of India. Whose name is synonymous in all over the world with Urdu poetry.

Education: He obtained his master's degree in Urdu (First class first) from Agra University, Agra in 1958

Career: He began his career first as an Assistant Professor (1962-1980) and then as an Associate Professor & Head (1980-2000), Dept. of Urdu, Bareilly college, Bareilly. He also worked as a Dean, Faculty of Art, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University, Bareilly (1998-2000). Presently he is working as Vice Chairman, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, Ministry of Human Resource Development, (Department of Higher Education), Govt. of India (2011- Till now).

Research Positions: More than ten research scholars have been awarded PhD degree in Urdu under his supervision.

Poetry: Prof. Waseem Barelvi's poetry has been published in scores of literary magazines in India as well as Pakistan and some other countries also. He has attended more than thousands of Seminars, Mushairas in various cities of India, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, The United States of America and all over the world so far. His works are commented upon and assessed by eminent scholars, poets and critics like: Firaq Gorakhpuri, Prof. Mohd. Hasan, Nusoor Wahedi, Shameem Kirhani, Dr. Tanweer Ahmad Alvi, Prof. Jagan Nath Aazad, Prof. Qamar Rais, Prof. Muzaffar Hanfi, Dr. Abdul Mughni, Dr. Sahar Ansari (Pakistan), Mahshar Badayuni (Pakistan), Prof. Aafaq Ahmad Siddiqi (Karachi-Pakistan), Rif'at Sarosh, Dilawar Figar, Prof. Yunis Sharar, Prof. Manazir Aashiq Harganvi, Hameera Athar (Karachi-Pakistan), Abdul Ahad Saaz and Ishrat Zafar.....etc. Whose assessments were compiled and edited by Haseeb Soz and published in 1996 titled Lamhen Lamhen: Prof. Waseem Barelvi No. Yet another PhD Thesis compiled by Dr. Javed Naseemi titled Waseem Barelvi: Hayat Aur Karname (in press).

He is a poet of various moods. He has published more than six collections of poetry in Urdu and two in Hindi. Some of the titles are mentioned below:

● Tabassum-e-Gham (Urdu) (1966) ● Aansu Mere Daman Tera (Hindi) (1990) ● Mizaj (Urdu) (1990) ● Aankh Aansu Hui (Urdu) (2000) ● Mera kya (Hindi) (2000) ● Aankhon Aankhon Rahe (Urdu) (2007) ● Mera kya (Urdu) (2007) ● Mausam Andar Bahar Ke (Urdu) (2007)

His ghazals and other compositions are sung by prominent singers, including Lata Mangeshkar, Mahendra Kapoor, Jagjeet Singh, Tal'at Azeez, Pankaj Udhas, Chandan Das.....etc.


He is awarded numerous National and International awards. Some of the titles are mentioned below:

● Award for eminent creative writing by Urdu Academy; Lucknow ● Imtiyaz-e-Mir Award by Mir Taqi Mir Academy, Lucknow ● Ghazal Award by Hindi Urdu Sangam, Lucknow ● Award for eminent creative writing by Kala Smiriti, Ludhiyana ● All India Hindi-Urdu Sahitya Award, Lucknow ● Special Ghazal Award by Anjuman- Amroha-Karachi (Pakistan) ● Ghazal Award by Eliot College, Karachi (Pakistan) ● Naseem-e-Urdu Award by the Osmanians, Chicago, (U.S.A.) ● Felicitations by Consulate General of India, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1997, 2005 ● Sahitya Sarsawat Award by Hindi Sahitya Sammelan Paryag ● Literary Award by Gahwara-e-Adab, USA ● Felicitations and Award of Honorary citizenship/ selection as goodwill ambassador (2007) by Huston City Council Texas, U.S.A. ● Firaq International Award, 2008 ● Sardar Jafri Literary Award, Texas America, 2009 ● Janvani Award (2011)


● Member of Central Advisory Board of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India (2012-Till now) ● Member of Urdu Academy, Lucknow ● Lifetime Member of Anjuman Islamia, Bareilly ● Former Warden of Civil Defence, Bareilly ● Former member, Advisory Committee, Akashwani & DD (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) ● Former member of Programme Consultation Committee for Akashwani, Rampur

Founder Member: ● Hind Higher Secondary School, Badholia C B Ganj, Bareilly

President: ● Jan Satarkta Committee, Bareilly ● Bareilly Nagrik Samaj ● Majlis-e-Intizamia Khalil Higher Secondary School, Bareilly ● A.R. Rohilkhand High School, Bareilly

Patron: ● Manavseva Club, Bareilly


Wednesday, 23 April 2014 10:44

भाग 2

Written by

सेमरी और बेलारी दोनों अवध-प्रांत के गाँव हैं। जिले का नाम बताने की कोई जरूरत नहीं। होरी बेलारी में रहता है, रायसाहब अमरपाल सिंह सेमरी में। दोनों गाँवों में केवल पाँच मील का अंतर है। पिछले सत्याग्रह-संग्राम में रायसाहब ने बड़ा यश कमाया था। कौंसिल की मेंबरी छोड़ कर जेल चले गए थे। तब से उनके इलाके के असामियों को उनसे बड़ी श्रद्धा हो गई थी। यह नहीं कि उनके इलाके में असामियों के साथ कोई खास रियायत की जाती हो, या डाँड़ और बेगार की कड़ाई कुछ कम हो, मगर यह सारी बदनामी मुख्तारों के सिर जाती थी। रायसाहब की कीर्ति पर कोई कलंक न लग सकता था। वह बेचारे भी तो उसी व्यवस्था के गुलाम थे। जाब्ते का काम तो जैसे होता चला आया है, वैसा ही होगा। रायसाहब की सज्जनता उस पर कोई असर न डाल सकती थी, इसलिए आमदनी और अधिकार में जौ-भर की भी कमी न होने पर भी उनका यश मानो बढ़ गया था। असामियों से वह हँस कर बोल लेते थे। यही क्या कम है? सिंह का काम तो शिकार करना है; अगर वह गरजने और गुर्राने के बदले मीठी बोली बोल सकता, तो उसे घर बैठे मनमाना शिकार मिल जाता। शिकार की खोज में जंगल में न भटकना पड़ता।

रायसाहब राष्ट्रवादी होने पर भी हुक्काम से मेल-जोल बनाए रखते थे। उनकी नजरें और डालियाँ और कर्मचारियों की दस्तूरियाँ जैसी की तैसी चली आती थीं। साहित्य और संगीत के प्रेमी थे, ड्रामा के शौकीन, अच्छे वक्ता थे, अच्छे लेखक, अच्छे निशानेबाज। उनकी पत्नी को मरे आज दस साल हो चुके थे; मगर दूसरी शादी न की थी। हँस बोल कर अपने विधुर जीवन को बहलाते रहते थे।

होरी ड्योढ़ी पर पहुँचा तो देखा, जेठ के दशहरे के अवसर पर होने वाले धनुष-यज्ञ की बड़ी जोरों से तैयारियाँ हो रही हैं! कहीं रंग-मंच बन रहा था, कहीं मंडप, कहीं मेहमानों का आतिथ्य-गृह, कहीं दुकानदारों के लिए दूकानें। धूप तेज हो गई थी, पर रायसाहब खुद काम में लगे हुए थे। अपने पिता से संपत्ति के साथ-साथ उन्होंने राम की भक्ति भी पाई थी और धनुष-यज्ञ को नाटक का रूप दे कर उसे शिष्ट मनोरंजन का साधन बना दिया था। इस अवसर पर उनके यार-दोस्त, हाकिम-हुक्काम सभी निमंत्रित होते थे और दो-तीन दिन इलाके में बड़ी चहल-पहल रहती थी। रायसाहब का परिवार बहुत विशाल था। कोई डेढ़ सौ सरदार एक साथ भोजन करते थे। कई चचा थे। दरजनों चचेरे भाई, कई सगे भाई, बीसियों नाते के भाई। एक चचा साहब राधा के अनन्य उपासक थे और बराबर वृंदावन में रहते थे। भक्ति-रस के कितने ही कवित्त रच डाले थे और समय-समय पर उन्हें छपवा कर दोस्तों की भेंट कर देते थे। एक दूसरे चचा थे, जो राम के परम भक्त थे और फारसी-भाषा में रामायण का अनुवाद कर रहे थे। रियासत से सबक वजीफे बँधे हुए थे। किसी को कोई काम करने की जरूरत न थी।

होरी मंडप में खड़ा सोच रहा था कि अपने आने की सूचना कैसे दे कि सहसा रायसाहब उधर ही आ निकले और उसे देखते ही बोले - अरे! तू आ गया होरी, मैं तो तुझे बुलवाने वाला था। देख, अबकी तुझे राजा जनक का माली बनना पडेग़ा। समझ गया न, जिस वक्त श्री जानकी जी मंदिर में पूजा करने जाती हैं, उसी वक्त तू एक गुलदस्ता लिए खड़ा रहेगा और जानकी जी को भेंट करेगा, गलती न करना और देख, असामियों से ताकीद करके यह कह देना कि सब-के-सब शगुन करने आएँ। मेरे साथ कोठी में आ, तुझसे कुछ बातें करनी हैं।

वह आगे-आगे कोठी की ओर चले, होरी पीछे-पीछे चला। वहीं एक घने वृक्ष की छाया में एक कुर्सी पर बैठ गए और होरी को जमीन पर बैठने का इशारा करके बोले - समझ गया, मैंने क्या कहा - कारकुन को तो जो कुछ करना है, वह करेगा ही, लेकिन असामी जितने मन से असामी की बात सुनता है, कारकुन की नहीं सुनता। हमें इन्हीं पाँच-सात दिनों में बीस हजार का प्रबंध करना है। कैसे होगा, समझ में नहीं आता। तुम सोचते होगे, मुझ टके के आदमी से मालिक क्यों अपना दुखड़ा ले बैठे। किससे अपने मन की कहूँ? न जाने क्यों तुम्हारे ऊपर विश्वास होता है। इतना जानता हूँ कि तुम मन में मुझ पर हँसोगे नहीं। और हँसो भी, तो तुम्हारी हँसी मैं बर्दाशत कर सकता हूँ। नहीं सह सकता उनकी हँसी, जो अपने बराबर के हैं, क्योंकि उनकी हँसी में ईर्ष्या व्यंग और जलन है। और वे क्यों न हँसेंगे? मैं भी तो उनकी दुर्दशा और विपत्ति और पतन पर हँसता हूँ, दिल खोल कर, तालियाँ बजा कर। संपत्ति और सहृदयता में बैर है। हम भी दान देते हैं, धर्म करते हैं। लेकिन जानते हो, क्यों? केवल अपने बराबर वालों को नीचा दिखाने के लिए। हमारा दान और धर्म कोरा अहंकार है, विशुदध अहंकार। हममें से किसी पर डिगरी हो जाय, कुर्की आ जाय, बकाया मालगुजारी की इल्लत में हवालात हो जाय, किसी का जवान बेटा मर जाय, किसी की विधवा बहू निकल जाय, किसी के घर में आग लग जाय, कोई किसी वेश्या के हाथों उल्लू बन जाय, या अपने असामियों के हाथों पिट जाय, तो उसके और सभी भाई उस पर हँसेंगे, बगलें बजाएँगे, मानों सारे संसार की संपदा मिल गई है और मिलेंगे तो इतने प्रेम से, जैसे हमारे पसीने की जगह खून बहाने को तैयार हैं। अरे, और तो और, हमारे चचेरे, फुफुरे, ममेरे, मौसेरे भाई जो इसी रियासत की बदौलत मौज उड़ा रहे हैं, कविता कर रहे हैं, और जुए खेल रहे हैं, शराबें पी रहे हैं और ऐयाशी कर रहे हैं, वह भी मुझसे जलते हैं, आज मर जाऊँ तो घी के चिराग जलाएँ। मेरे दु:ख को दु:ख समझने वाला कोई नहीं। उनकी नजरों में मुझे दुखी होने का कोई अधिकार ही नहीं है। मैं अगर रोता हूँ, तो दु:ख की हँसी उड़ाता हूँ। मैं अगर बीमार होता हूँ, तो मुझे सुख होता है। मैं अगर अपना ब्याह करके घर में कलह नहीं बढ़ाता, तो यह मेरी नीच स्वार्थपरता है, अगर ब्याह कर लूँ, तो वह विलासांधता होगी। अगर शराब नहीं पीता तो मेरी कंजूसी है। शराब पीने लगूँ, तो वह प्रजा का रक्त होगा। अगर ऐयाशी नहीं करता, तो अरसिक हूँ; ऐयाशी करने लगूँ, तो फिर कहना ही क्या! इन लोगों ने मुझे भोग-विलास में फँसाने के लिए कम चालें नहीं चलीं और अब तक चलते जाते हैं। उनकी यही इच्छा है कि मैं अंधा हो जाऊँ और ये लोग मुझे लूट लें, और मेरा धर्म यह है कि सब कुछ देख कर भी कुछ न देखूँ। सब कुछ जान कर भी गधा बना रहूँ।

रायसाहब ने गाड़ी को आगे बढ़ाने के लिए दो बीड़े पान खाए और होरी के मुँह की ओर ताकने लगे, जैसे उसके मनोभावों को पढ़ना चाहते हों।

होरी ने साहस बटोर कहा - हम समझते थे कि ऐसी बातें हमीं लोगों में होती हैं, पर जान पड़ता है, बड़े आदमियों में भी उनकी कमी नहीं है।

रायसाहब ने मुँह पान से भर कर कहा - तुम हमें बड़ा आदमी समझते हो? हमारे नाम बड़े हैं, पर दर्शन थोड़े। गरीबों में अगर ईर्ष्या या बैर है, तो स्वार्थ के लिए या पेट के लिए। ऐसी ईर्ष्या और बैर को मैं क्षम्य समझता हूँ। हमारे मुँह की रोटी कोई छीन ले, तो उसके गले में उँगली डाल कर निकालना हमारा धर्म हो जाता है। अगर हम छोड़ दें, तो देवता हैं। बड़े आदमियों की ईर्ष्या और बैर केवल आनंद के लिए है। हम इतने बड़े आदमी हो गए हैं कि हमें नीचता और कुटिलता में ही नि:स्वार्थ और परम आनंद मिलता है। हम देवतापन के उस दर्जे पर पहुँच गए हैं, जब हमें दूसरों के रोने पर हँसी आती है। इसे तुम छोटी साधना मत समझो। जब इतना बड़ा कुटुंब है, तो कोई-न-कोई तो हमेशा बीमार रहेगा ही। और बड़े आदमियों के रोग भी बड़े होते हैं। वह बड़ा आदमी ही क्या, जिसे कोई छोटा रोग हो। मामूली ज्वर भी आ जाय, तो हमें सरसाम की दवा दी जाती है; मामूली गुंसी भी निकल आए, तो वह जहरबाद बन जाती है। अब छोटे सर्जन और मझोले सर्जन और बड़े सर्जन तार से बुलाए जा रहे हैं, मसीहुलमुल्क को लाने के लिए दिल्ली आदमी भेजा जा रहा है, भिषगाचार्य को लाने के लिए कलकत्ता। उधर देवालय में दुर्गापाठ हो रहा है और ज्योतिषाचार्य कुंडली का विचार कर रहे हैं और तंत्र के आचार्य अपने अनुष्ठान में लगे हुए हैं। राजा साहब को यमराज के मुँह से निकालने के लिए दौड़ लगी हुई है। वैद्य और डॉक्टर इस ताक में रहते हैं कि कब इनके सिर में दर्द हो और कब उनके घर में सोने की वर्षा हो। और ए रुपए तुमसे और तुम्हारे भाइयों से वसूल किए जाते हैं, भाले की नोंक पर। मुझे तो यही आश्चर्य होता है कि क्यों तुम्हारी आहों का दावानल हमें भस्म नहीं कर डालता; मगर नहीं आश्चर्य करने की कोई बात नहीं। भस्म होने में तो बहुत देर नहीं लगती, वेदना भी थोड़ी ही देर की होती है। हम जौ-जौ और अंगुल-अंगुल और पोर-पोर भस्म हो रहे हैं। उस हाहाकार से बचने के लिए हम पुलिस की, हुक्काम की, अदालत की, वकीलों की शरण लेते हैं और रूपवती स्त्री की भाँति सभी के हाथों का खिलौना बनते हैं। दुनिया समझती है, हम बड़े सुखी हैं। हमारे पास इलाके, महल, सवारियाँ, नौकर-चाकर, कर्ज, वेश्याएँ, क्या नहीं हैं, लेकिन जिसकी आत्मा में बल नहीं, अभिमान नहीं, वह और चाहे कुछ हो, आदमी नहीं है। जिसे दुश्मन के भय के मारे रात को नींद न आती हो, जिसके दु:ख पर सब हँसें और रोने वाला कोई न हो, जिसकी चोटी दूसरों के पैरों की नीचे दबी हो, जो भोग-विलास के नशे में अपने को बिलकुल भूल गया हो, जो हुक्काम के तलवे चाटता हो और अपने अधीनों का खून चूसता हो, मैं उसे सुखी नहीं कहता। वह तो संसार का सबसे अभागा प्राणी है। साहब शिकार खेलने आएँ या दौरे पर, मेरा कर्तव्य है कि उनकी दुम के पीछे लगा रहूँ। उनकी भौंहों पर शिकन पड़ी और हमारे प्राण सूखे। उन्हें प्रसन्न करने के लिए हम क्या नहीं करते; मगर वह पचड़ा सुनाने लगूँ तो शायद तुम्हें विश्वास न आए। डालियों और रिश्वतों तक तो खैर गनीमत है, हम सिजदे करने को भी तैयार रहते हैं। मुफ्तखोरी ने हमें अपंग बना दिया है, हमें अपने पुरुषार्थ पर लेश मात्र भी विश्वास नहीं, केवल अफसरों के सामने दुम हिला-हिला कर किसी तरह उनके कृपापात्र बने रहना और उनकी सहायता से अपने प्रजा पर आतंक जमाना ही हमारा उद्यम है। पिछलगुओं की खुशामदों ने हमें इतना अभिमानी और तुनकमिजाज बना दिया है कि हममें शील, विनय और सेवा का लोप हो गया है। मैं तो कभी-कभी सोचता हूँ कि अगर सरकार हमारे इलाके छीन कर हमें अपने रोजी के लिए मेहनत करना सिखा दे, तो हमारे साथ महान उपकार करे, और यह तो निश्चय है कि अब सरकार भी हमारी रक्षा न करेगी। हमसे अब उसका कोई स्वार्थ नहीं निकलता। लक्षण कह रहे हैं कि बहुत जल्द हमारे वर्ग की हस्ती मिट जाने वाली है। मैं उस दिन का स्वागत करने को तैयार बैठा हूँ। ईश्वर वह दिन जल्द लाए। वह हमारे उद्धार का दिन होगा। हम परिस्थितियों के शिकार बने हुए हैं। यह परिस्थिति ही हमारा सर्वनाश कर रही है और जब तक संपत्ति की यह बेड़ी हमारे पैरों से न निकलेगी, जब तक यह अभिशाप हमारे सिर पर मँडराता रहेगा, हम मानवता का वह पद न पा सकेंगे, जिस पर पहुँचना ही जीवन का अंतिम लक्ष्य है।

रायसाहब ने फिर गिलौरी-दान निकाला और कई गिलौरियाँ निकाल कर मुँह में भर लीं। कुछ और कहने वाले थे कि एक चपरासी ने आ कर कहा - सरकार, बेगारों ने काम करने से इनकार कर दिया है। कहते हैं, जब तक हमें खाने को न मिलेगा, हम काम न करेंगे। हमने धमकाया, तो सब काम छोड़ कर अलग हो गए।

रायसाहब के माथे पर बल पड़ गए। आँखें निकाल कर बोले - चलो, मैं इन दुष्टों को ठीक करता हूँ। जब कभी खाने को नहीं दिया, तो आज यह नई बात क्यों? एक आने रोज के हिसाब से मजूरी मिलेगी, जो हमेशा मिलती रही है; और इस मजूरी पर काम करना होगा, सीधे करें या टेढ़े।

फिर होरी की ओर देख कर बोले - तुम अब जाओ होरी, अपने तैयारी करो। जो बात मैंने कही है, उसका खयाल रखना। तुम्हारे गाँव से मुझे कम-से-कम पाँच सौ की आशा है।

रायसाहब झल्लाते हुए चले गए। होरी ने मन में सोचा, अभी यह कैसी-कैसी नीति और धरम की बातें कर रहे थे और एकाएक इतने गरम हो गए!

सूर्य सिर पर आ गया था। उसके तेज से अभिभूत हो कर वृक्ष ने अपना पसार समेट लिया था। आकाश पर मटियाली गर्द छाई हुई थी और सामने की पृथ्वी काँपती हुई जान पड़ती थी।

होरी ने अपना डंडा उठाया और घर चला। शगुन के रुपए कहाँ से आएँगे, यही चिंता उसके सिर पर सवार थी।

Page 1 of 36