Daily Archives: November 20, 2010

Faiz Ahmad Faiz and reiterating Pakistan’s plural culture

Posted by Raza Rumi

Today is the 26th death anniversary of Faiz Ahmed Faiz whose life and works are national assets. Faiz was a torchbearer of the glorious traditions set by great Urdu poets such as Ghalib and Iqbal. Faiz distinguished himself as a proponent of a revolutionary vision, which blended the romance of classical Urdu poetry with the idealism of revolutionary struggles. Faiz’s political ideology provided modern Urdu verse an unprecedented political and romantic expression. Faiz brought Pakistan international acclaim and the world bestowed on him the highest honours, including the Lenin Peace Prize (1962). He has also left a corpus of essays, editorials and commentaries from his years in journalism. This body of work still needs to be fully assessed for its literary dimensions. Faiz’s literary career coincided with the emergence of Pakistan and its unfortunate history of political instability and militarisation, which isolated its majority Eastern wing and resulted in its break-up in 1971. His famous poem ‘Yeh Daagh Daagh Ujala’ remains an apt comment on the creation of a ‘moth-eaten’ Pakistan, which continues to grapple with issues of identity. The Pakistani state treated him shoddily as he remained under arrest for extended periods or in exile.

The decade of the 1970s witnessed a change when Bhutto appointed him as Chairman of the National Council of the Arts. Faiz authored Pakistan’s Culture Policy of [early 1970s], which was partially implemented. This new cultural discourse broke the hegemony of the Continue reading


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The Watan Card dilemma

By Taha Kehar

The esteemed Urdu poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, has expressed the melancholy surrounding the concept of seclusion in a poem entitled Tanhaee. Strangely enough, his work is a pertinent representation of the post-flood scenario that has gripped Pakistan with a fist of iron. As attempts at rehabilitation at an administrative level continue in vain, the flood victims are still waiting to receive Watan Cards and remunerate flood-related losses.

But can we blame the government for its obvious ineffectiveness in this context? In a sense, the legacy of corruption is the prime target for all dissension against administrative incompetence. And yet, this argument has become far too clichéd to hold any relevance in explaining and resolving problems.

Therefore, the failure of the government in competently issuing Watan Cards goes to show how it has created a bogus system which mirrors the Occidental Welfare system to deceive the masses and reduce any threat to its own existence and stability. Continue reading


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Rashed Aurakzai

Meer’s legendary verse of ‘Na Huq hum majbooron pay …….’ (Unjust is the blame that we, the helpless; are free, All doings are his and us maligned in vain.) best explains our de-facto Vs de-jure relationship.  Khwaja Nazimuddin’s cabinet was  dismissed only to swear the same ministers again, except him and two. Populists have since been our Establishment’s bane particularly  the  PPP. Take for example the 1988 rigging,  when ISI, through Mehran Bank financing, manufactured IJI only to counter PPP’s clean sweep because its tormentors ‘feared’ repercussions for their 11 wild years of hunting in Zia’s darkness. It’s no more a secret or a conspiracy theory but an admitted crime by its perpetrators and our ‘living-legends’ Baig and Gul. Despite the PPP’s singular victory,  BB was invited  after 40 long days of deliberations of  the bureaucratically  cold GIK with Rawalpindi.  All that was transferred in the name of ‘power’, to the debuting elected PM,  was an office, chair, table and pen in a lawn while  affairs still being run by ‘them’ via Presidency. She and her ministers knew they would not survive their term. She was haunted and bugged by military spies and dictated by the Babu-President through frequently sent, hand written short messages until dismissed for charges yet to be proved.

Fast-forward and 19 years later, the PPP leadership has miserably failed to learn from its past. It’s myopic  frontrunners are pleasing the bull instead of domesticating it, forgetting how Tamgha-e-Jamhooriat  was repaid. Smoke is being provided for speculators to cry fire.  Perhaps, in both cases transition was not an outcome of mass movement, as in 1970, but by either boredom of Imperialists with their Satraps, or ‘deals’ or both and hence guarantors, interlocutors and compromises. Party is controlled by opportunists having no ideological bonds, vision, and determination to subdue the organised, disciplined, armed, resourceful and paid enemy of democracy. It has no clue to the spoiled national broth and that too without BB.  Despite hundreds of inflammable issues, they had to rely on their clichés to drag their own vote bank to polls. They failed to fully encash the sympathy vote in 2008. They may have lost public support but let them pay on the next polls only after completion of their term. Let’s grow up, not cry change whether constitutional or extra, and let democracy, learn its walk. The governments in waiting aren’t any better. Continue reading


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