Invoking Faiz’s lines against whom?

Shiban Khaibri
“Aaye Kutch Abbra Kuch sharab aaye,
Uss kay baad aaye jo azzab aaye;
Kar raha tha gum-e-jehan ka hissab,
Aaj tummyaad,bey hissab aaye…………..”
These lines of Indian born Pakistani noted poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, in simple parlance, mean “Let some cloudy weather come and let there be some wine to relish , I would not mind if any calamity rained down on me ; while counting as to how many times this world tormented me , your thought today was beyond all reckoning as I missed you immeasurably “………. From a military officer to teacher in English and Economics to Editor of leading Pakistani newspaper to literature , Faiz attained fame by excelling in Urdu poetry where he mixed the western with the classical and adopted a new verse model . Similar other lines from various Gazals and poems of Faiz have been of immense interest throwing light in respect of he being a humanist and a lyrical romantic poet with instincts of revolutionary leanings. Since he is said to be greatly influenced by Mirza Ghalib , the great Indian Urdu romantic and philosophical poet who kept himself equidistant from orthodoxy and detachment, he was at the same time, greatly impressed and influenced by Iqbal too.
However, Faiz has been impressing me a lot, though a poet who aspired for a Nobel but ended with a Lenin prize , however, can better be analysed and commented upon by people of literary repute and having adequate knowledge of the subject but using only hard core literary prism and nothing else or extraneous to the literary angle. Describing Faiz as a noted literary figure, however, is not the aim of these lines but how he was quoted by motivated “protectors” of constitution and Indian democracy “threatened ” gravely by an Act (Citizen Amendment Act ‘CAA’) passed by both the houses of Parliament and assented to by the President of the Republic , to offer citizenship to those hapless members belonging to Hindu , Sikh and other religions with basic roots in India as also those belonging to Christian community who were persecuted in theocratic countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and who crossed to India up to and before December 2014.
Parliament, the epitome and the highest seat of democracy in India and upholder of provisions of constitution, has supreme powers like in making laws which, when approved by the President are enforceable throughout the country. In simple words, it makes laws – it represents voters of India and their will — it scrutinises the government and it forms the government. India, however, unfortunately has fallen on such bad days that not only mobs on roads , often riotous, frenzied and unruly, ridicule mock and oppose a law passed by this highest seat of our democracy but even many over ambitious and ‘over- dosed’ secular Chief Ministers are indulging in piquant theatrics of “Won’t allow CAA at any cost in my state” as if these Chief Ministers were running some private proprietary shops and had unexpired licence to rule those states and have thus acquired the gumption and an authority to defy Parliament and a particular law passed by it.
However, let it be seen that in the garb of protests , how these protestors came out in their true colours to show that they had no problems , absolutely nil with CAA or allied issues but that they wanted not to “see” and “tolerate” Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the government nor to any reference to the word Hindu , its great religion, its tradition , cultural ethos etc being sporadically mentioned or at least shown now that Hindus also lived in this country since 2014 which , however, used to be a taboo all these 72 years of independence . What fault had Hindus done to be subjected to such a treatment is not a bygone issue in as much as why should in the name of “opposition” to CAA, they be so derogatorily targeted so as to yell and howl “Qabar khudey gey Hinduon ki ” or raise placard with Nazi symbol shown in distorted Holy symbol of Aum ? Again, why in parts of Kerala, where “liberal democratic secular” government is in power, PFI goons reportedly should shoe Hindu deity symbols and photos and set them ablaze publicly? Again, why excepting one or two TV Channels , hundreds of other 24×7 available TV Channels not hold debates and run stories on such a vast and deep rooted conspiracy against India and hold discussions for hours together in as much as they get themselves drained out and exasperated over airing the motivated and manufacturing views of the “victims of Hindutva” and how a particular terrorist in Kashmir was termed as a “poor son of a Poor Headmaster”.
In other words, these riotous and frenzied mobs on roads are not in fact protesting against CAA or NCR but are putting forth some other agenda with extremely ulterior ambitions of “Aazadi”, the wires of which are connected with and pulled from somewhere else . At the outset, such an agenda in their calculations is feared by them to be imperilled so long as the present government led by Shri Narendra Modi is in power. One thing as a strategy which they think, in their own scheme of things to be appropriate, is to discredit this government by whatever means . They are not only upset but increasingly ill at ease seeing decisions taking place at a fast speed in respect of issues pending for decades. Citizenship Bill was pending for 64 years, Triple Talaq issue was hanging for decades together , Article 370 was there for 65 years but still called ‘temporary’ , Shree Ram Mandir Ayodhya issue was unsettled for 600 years and when all these issues saw light of the day and resolved just in six months, the elements inimical to peace, prosperity , progress and development of India are fearing about more progressive laws and more reforms in the offing, for example to control population explosion to prevent the increasing numbers from taking unmanageable form , to have uniformity in civil laws and codes etc etc.
In IIT Kanpur, while “protesting” against the CAA , how out of context Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s lines were recited is not to be taken lightly as attempted to be trivialised and interpreted by some sole monopolists of Urdu literature and Marxian ideology , design journalists and other self-styled liberals but the intentions, the message , the aim and the motives have to be seen in the context of the”material” spoken and the same placard (ed ) Some of the lines from the poem “Hum Dekhen Gay ” written by Faiz in 1979 :-
“Woh din ki jis ka vaada hai – Jo Loh-e-Azzal pe likha tha : jab zulum -o-sittam kay koh-i- garaan – rooye key therha udd jayengay …………” Hum Dekheyn gay…”Hum mehkoomon kay paon taley — Yeh dharti dadh dadh dadhkay gee
Aur ahel-e- hokum kay sar uppar – Bijli kadak kadak kadkay gee” Hum dekheyn gay …
“Sab taaj uchhaley jayengay – Sub takht giraye jayengay , bus naam rahega Allah ka …………” “Uthega unnhalq ka nara jo – main bhi hoon aur tou bhi ho — Aur raj karega khalaq-e- Khudda — jo main bhi huun aur tum bhi ho”…….Hum dekheyn gay”
When some people objected to the administration of the IIT over these lines being recited with motives other than protests against CAA, “liberals” at once came to defend those who made these lines as protest anthem and described the poet as a sworn Marxist and an atheist, having written these lines against Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq and not against any “community’s” sentiments (but was necessarily a warning to the present dispensation “Sub taaj uchaley jayengay ….. Sub takht gireye jayengay” …)
If Faiz was a Marxist, how could he be a devout Muslim and when he was a devout Muslim , how could he be a staunch Communist since in communism “religion was just opium” and where Marx termed religion as “the soul of the soulless conditions,” his lines based on and laced with religious connotations are not disputed nor his strong belief in God . The pointed lines are not being produced here but perusing them deeply entirety justifies the objections for recital at an event not meant for those lines nor the context . Sahir Ludhianvi (Abdul Hayee), Majrooh Sultanpuri (Asrar-ul-Hassan), Shakeel Bhadayun Qadiri, Hasrat Jaipuri (Iqbal Hussain) and scores of prominent poets did not opt for Pakistan but Faiz did. When in Tashqant , there once was an event of poets of the sub- continent and Pakistani group was led by Faiz , when Takshi Shiv Shanker Pillai from India requested Faiz for issuing of a joint statement of poets stressing upon cooperation , friendship and close relations and that they all shared the same language, culture and roots and origin , he flatly refused saying partition was a reality and “they” too had a history of 1000 years .
This writer has been knowing Faiz Sahib a bit by the likes of the lines at the start , for rest of his vast compositions including the ones which some motivated protestors recited in support of and legitimising Jamia violence, I again quote Faiz Sahib’s lines ——–“Iss trheh apni khamoshi goonjey , Goyaa har simmat say jawab aaye ” OR in such a way did my silence echo as if a reply was coming from each and every direction.