November 23, 2011

Resistance literature: Pakistani writers are powerful than generals

The Terrorland Report

HRS for The Terrorland
THE four-day 4th International Urdu Conference has started in Pakistan’s business capital Karachi. Senior writers, poets, critics and journalists, as usual, are urging their favorite targets government and the youth to promote Urdu language and literature, particularly stressing on the need to translate scientific works into the national language (without any contribution to the sciences).

These elderly guys have gathered to talk bookish, eat lavishly and go away hopefully to meet again next year. This is the general impression among the youth, and it's the way people often do at such conferences in Pakistan. The gurus of “organized literature” and leaders of “organized religions" work in almost the same authoritarian way especially under the influence of an unknown fear within! And thus the condition of both is crystal clear in our polarized world.

Ah! Urdu language and literature! 

Reality check: Forget regional literature – Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi etc – even Urdu literature is virtually on the deathbed! On the eye-roll of the almighty military establishment – the self-styled champion of the ideological borders of Pakistan which uses English but stress on the masses to use Urdu to maintain the decades-old relation of a slave (that speaks Urdu or regional languages) and the master (that prefers English) in the country – you may write a scholarly essay, book or give lecture for hours on the importance of the national language... but the fact will speak louder!

Like women, the ruling class has made Urdu a case of "honor" and is dishonoring both! 

The fact: Urdu including other vernacular languages has lost its poetic charm! Both the globalized government and Cyber generation love English to get financial benefits as economy runs life! The language of international business and the internet is English. Any other language, including Hindi and Chinese, has little to offer as compared to English. Therefore, gradually English is replacing other languages not only in Pakistan but also in other parts of the world.

According to Habib Sulemani, people shouldn’t worry about the loss of one language and be mad at the popularity of another. They should try to communicate properly in any language. A language is nothing but just a means of communication, and whatever treasure is in the vanishing language, it must be transferred to the dominating one to benefit humanity at large. “If one tool is not working, try another one." 

Remember: English is no more the language of the once arrogant English—now it’s the language of everyone who wants to use it anywhere in the world. Don’t care for the spelling-bees and clerical minds around you, who make fun of your use of the language—never hesitate to speak or write in English, and feel free to make mistakes—just do it—and things would be normal sooner or later!

Rehman: This guy is a self-styled cyber activist and member of The Terrorland Team. Some team members besides cyber critics dub him as a virus, however, some times he does good job. The other day he left a comment on a well-known Pakistani journalist’s Facebook status that asked: "I like to be extremist but I am just unable. I don't what should I do?"

Mr. Rehman’s answer describes a very important aspect of the vernacular languages and literature. This comment is relating to our topic. It discusses the literature for literature's sake and literature for the sake of life debate in a commoner's way.

Rehman answered:

Write something about the social injustices in the militarized and Talibanized Pakistan... And, yes, sir jee, the write-up should not be for the sake of a "write-up" or the sake of "literature" but it it must hit the bull's eye... that is the demand of pen... but Pakistani writers have made pen "azarband" that is why our nation is suffering in the world. A post of The Terrorland group blogs says:

"Like the journalistic atmosphere, the situation of the Pakistani literati is also under the influence of the secret agencies. Iftikhar Arifs (poets) and Fakhar Zamans (fiction writers) are enjoying perks and privileges of their government jobs. Whenever needed, they recycle the poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Habib Jalib of the gone century... (They don't know the 21st century needs cyber age writers)... The poor common writers, especially poets, keep silent out of fear... no one dares to write about the tyranny of the generals. Can you, Mr. Khan, give the example of a single critical poem, especially in Urdu, published in any newspaper or magazine (public recitation is beyond imagination)? You know it all...!"

Plogs: Here are some poems of Mr. Sulemani, which were written during his ongoing 20 months of solitary confinement, and have been appeared in this group blog from time to time as plogs (poetry blogs). “Pakistani writers are more powerful than the intellectually-bankrupt generals,” he claims, adding that writers are terrorized to express themselves, but gradually they're gaining momentum in to resist the militarization and Talibanization process of our society.

Those of you, who have missed the poems, fearless comments on national and international issues, can read them here right now. Feel free to share them with your friends and relatives to create public awareness so that Pakistan comes out of the crises it's facing since 1947.

These poems are examples of the New Wave of Pakistani Resistance Literature in English. Click on the titles below to read:

1.      The Kakul Syndrome
5.      Jesus and Hussain
8.      An ode to my love


  1. These people in the conference ask them where your kids are going to school they will never tell the truth because most of them have their kids in English medium schools or sometime in foreign countries stopping the lower and middle class to come to the top . No offence but by learning Urdu what u can achieve , nothing even the chief justice's speeches are in English not to mention most of the time he can barely speak English .

  2. Urdu , Pashto , punjabi ,baluchi, all are very respected but how many being speaking these languages have jobs compare to English . I am not a big fan of English but to get to know the modern education , inventions, innovations and to keep up with the rest of the world we have no other choice but to learn english . In the last more than 60 years we couldnt figure out the direction of our education . Our languages have very good songs and that's it because we havent got anything else like the rest of the world in modern day developments.

  3. Here is a glance of my cyber activism regarding this latest post:

    Famous Pakistani poet, critic and literary journalist Dr. Abrar Ahmad commented on this when i left a link on his Facebook wall. He said:

    i havent opened the link but obviosly such a positive activity has to be applauded...i fortunatly am the first writer to pen down a detailed article on resistence literature..thanx 4 info.

    URDU POETRY group

    Rehman Pak: Badar, this is on a burning issue, and needs attention of the new generation who are being deceived... it would be a service...

    Badar Munir: that's why I haven't deleted that yet

    Badar Munir means will not be deleted

    Rehman Pak Thanks a lot, Badar :) Poetry should not be for poetry's sake only as many believe ... poetry must be for real life... only then Urdu can progress...

    Jannat Pakistan Party (Official)

    Mzufm Rock: true

    Jannat Pakistan Party (Official): ‎Rehman Pak, yaar why did u not write all that in Urdu if u want to promote so much urdu. U r talking about urdu but writing your message in english. First u have to decide which language u have to promote english or urdu. dont become so much confuse


    Rehman Pak: Jannat jee, you got it wrong! Pls read the post, you will find the answer there...

  4. ہاں شکست ہو چکی ہے
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی
    پاکستانی فوج کی
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی

    پھر بھی جنرل یحییٰ خان
    ہو کر نشے میں دھت
    کررہا ہے جوش سے
    ساری قوم سے خطاب
    "ہو گی جنگ ہزاروں سال"

    ہاں شکست ہو چکی ہے
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی
    پاکستانی فوج کی
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی

    طاقت ہے عوام کی
    جمہور کا زمانہ ہے
    اک عوامی دور ہے

    ہاں شکست ہو چکی ہے
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی
    پھر بھی پاکستانی فوج
    پاکستانی میڈیا
    brigade اور بے غیرت
    بدحال عوام کی
    آنکھوں میں دھول جھو نکنے
    سے نہیں آۓ ہیں باز
    شتر مرغ کی طرح
    منہ چھپا کے ریت میں
    امریکا سے جنگ کی
    یوں کر رہے ہیں بات
    جیسے امریکا نہ ہو
    پاکستانی قوم ہو
    جسکو اپنی لاٹھی سے جہاں بھی چاہیں ہانک دیں

    ہاں شکست ہو چکی ہے
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی
    ہا بسن چوا یس بھی
    اب نہیں بچا کو ئی
    کوئی گھوڑا ہی نہیں
    سواۓ ہتھیار ڈالنے کے
    کو ئی چارہ ہی نہیں
    ساری فوجی چالوں کو
    مات ہوچکی ہے اب

    ہاں شکست ہو چکی ہے
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی
    اب تو اپنے آپ ہی سے
    جو لڑایی ہو سو ہو
    فوج اور اسکی طالبان
    پھر اکہتر کی طرح
    اپنے ہی عوام کا
    کیا کریں اب قتل عام
    ١٠٠ سے زیادہ ایٹم بم
    پھوڑ ڈالیں قوم پر
    تا کہ کوئی نہ کہے
    دیکھو انکے ایٹم بم پھس ہو کے رہ گۓ
    جس کی خاطر عوام کو گھاس ہی کھلایی تھی

    ہاں شکست ہو چکی ہے
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی
    اب نہیں ہے جنگ کوئی
    جنگ ختم ہو چکی
    مشرق میں ہے انڈیا
    مغرب سے بھی انڈیا
    انڈیا سے دشمنی اب تو ممکن ہی نہیں
    اب کرے گی فوج کیا؟
    انکی زیست کا جواز ہی نہیں رہا ہے اب
    انکی تنخواہ دے گا کون
    مشرق وسطیٰ سے کیا
    انکی تنخواہ آۓ گی
    کتنے اور روز تک
    اور کتنے ماہ تک
    انکی تنخواہ کا سوال اب لاجواب ہے

    ہاں شکست ہو چکی ہے
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی
    سر کے او پر سے فلک
    بوٹ کے نیچے سے زمین
    سرک چکیں ہیں اب کہیں
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی ہے
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی
    پاکستانی فوج کی
    ہاں شکست ہو چکی

    طاقت ہے عوام کی
    جمہور کا زمانہ ہے
    اک عوامی دور کا پھر سے امکان ہے

  5. روز مر مر کے بھی مرنا ہی نہیں چاہتے ہیں
    سر فروشی کی تمنّا ہی نہیں چاہتے ہیں

    کیا کہیں دل پہ جو گزری سو بدن پر گزری
    کیا سنیں گے وہ جو سننا ہی نہیں چاہتے ہیں

    بسی بستی ابھی اجڑی کہیں پھر نہ اجڑے
    سو کہیں گھر تو بسانا ہی نہیں چاہتے ہیں

    دل دکھانا گر جو شیوہ ہی نہیں ہے ان کا
    کرتے کاہے ہیں جو کرنا ہی نہیں چاہتے ہیں

    ہاۓ وحشت دِل وحشی کسے چاہے ہر دم
    اسے چاہے جسے چہنا ہی نہیں چاہتے ہیں

    گھو نٹ دی ایک صدا ڈر سے گلے کے اندر
    کتنا ڈرتے ہیں جو ڈرنا ہی نہیں چاہتے ہیں

  6. یہ شہر کہاں اک مقتل گاہ ہے

    کل بھی بارہ قتل ہوے ہیں
    ویسے تو روز ہی مرتے ہیں
    کون یہاں محفوظ بچا ہے
    باپ مرے اور دوست مرے
    کتنے سارے لوگ مرے

    کتنے بچے، کتنی ما ئێں
    کتنی بہنیں، کتنے بھایئ

    جو بھاگ سکے وہ بھاگ چکے
    کچھ بھاگ کے آکر یہاں پھنسے
    جو بھاگ نہیں سکتے ہیں گڑے ہیں
    صدیوں سے یاں لوگ بسے ہیں

    یہ شہر کہاں اک مقتل گاہ ہے

    ہر شہری کی باری لگی ہے
    اسکی باری، اسکی باری
    انکی باری، انکی باری
    ظالم کی مظلوم کی باری
    جابر کی مجبور کی باری
    تیری بھی اور میری باری

    باری باری سب جاییں گے
    دیکھو اب ہے کس کی باری
    شاید اب میری باری ہو
    یا میرے قاتل کی باری
    باری تو سب ہی کی لگی ہے

    یہ شہر کہاں اک مقتل گاہ ہے

  7. @ Shams Hamid

    the last line says you r hoping 4 Imran Khan and his PTI. Claver you!

  8. I have written many resistance poems in Urdu/Hindi and posted it on the net. A great number of people like Urdu/Hindi poetry but they cannot read Urdu for them I narrated and recorded the poems and put them on youtube and/or typed the poems in roman script. There are about 1 billion people who understand and communicate in this language. Bollywood has an enormous reach that displays the viability of this language known by so many names like Biraj Bhasha, Khari boli, Hindvi, Hindi, Urdu, etc. A language, like religion and ideology dies when people adhering to it go extinct. With more than billion people alive we cannot justifiably say that this language is on its deathbed.

    I have posted some of my work here, you can also visit my channel on youtube if you like:

  9. Dear Maju Chikarwala Sahab, any era of masses has one essential characteristic in common that they are liberated from oppression of monarchy, autocracy, and oligarchy. Imran Khan and PTI are incubated in Pakistani security establishment's laboratory and their victory is far from the victory of Pakistani awaam.

  10. @Shams Hamid, not Urdu language, the post says Urdu literature is on deathbed.