Daily Archives: July 7, 2008

Pakistan’s Ruling Coalition must not Splinter

Raza Rumi
(An op-ed piece that was published in the NEWS, Pakistan)

On these erudite pages, and elsewhere, there has been much ado about the fact that now the ruling coalition should split in response to the great betrayals perpetrated by Asif Ali Zardari. In classic machismo laden bravado, the honorific narratives have been urging Nawaz Sharif and his party to take the bold step and stick to their “principled” stand. What is interesting about these exhortations is the brazen rendering of political discourse in black or white terms.

Many a former ambassador, the recent cohort to jump into the fray of political activism, has found a great post-retirement vocation. Once the plush tenures are over and all that could be extracted from the holy state cow, now is the time to speak the truth and condemn military dictatorships. Convenient and most opportune! This low-risk strategy is paying its dividends: a great whitewashing of all that they were a party to, and all that they let happen in front of their red-taped offices. The ex-servicemen whose record is even more dismal are even more vociferous in their advocacy for a democratic Pakistan.

Therefore, the confused citizens with a shred of historical sense are simply bewildered. Gen Chishti, the key player in toppling Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s government and unleashing of eleven years of mediaeval darkness, talking about resistance to army rule. Surely, the realisation took three decades of lasting damages and fissures within the body politic. Another retired Army chief, Gen Beg, is also at the forefront. His vitriole cannot hide the years when he actively sabotaged the democratic process, admitted before the Supreme Court that he had “advised” a bench not to restore Junejo’s government; and disbursed astronomical sums of money to undermine civilian government raised through another shady character heading a dubious financial institution. Continue reading

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Mirza Yagana Changezi

Of God and Ghalib

Restraint was what Mirza Yaas Yagana Changezi knew little of all his life. Only towards the end, he realised that the price he paid was rather very high

By Dr Afzal Mirza

That Mirza Yaas Yagana Changezi was an able poet whose talent was mostly wasted on aimless pursuits does not need an overemphasis to drive it home. Writing about Yagana in his Takhleeqi Adab, critic and poet Mushfiq Khawaja said: “Undoubtedly Mirza Yagana is one of the important poets of this century. But due to his literary and non-literary polemics his poetic importance has been generally ignored. What to talk of a detailed critique of his poetry, even short critical pieces have not been written about him”.

Another well known critic Professor Mumtaz Hussain had this to say: “Yagana Changezi was without a sword but he would use the point of his pen as a sword.” According to Mumtaz Yagana had the habit of stinging his friends and foes alike as a “fly sitting on the back of a horse would”.

Dr Abul Lais Siddiqui who was at one time head of the Urdu department of Karachi University said about Yagana: “The personality and poetry of Mirza Yaas are contradictory. On one hand there is a new melody, emotion, strength and energy in his poetry and on the other his ego-centricity and self-indulgence that cross all the limits of poetic standards have tremendously damaged both his poetry and personality. That is the reason that his poetry has been marred by his reputation as a Ghalib basher.” Continue reading

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Filed under Literature, poetry, Urdu