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Arts Culture

India(which includes geographical areas including what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh) is a multilingual country. We have many many languages such as Bengali, Tamil, Punjabi Sindhi Pushto Balochi and Hindi or Urdu as it is referred to in Pakistan.

At the turn of the twentieth century when Bolshovism took roots in Russia and communism was considered the bringht new light. The writers poets of India accepted the new philosophy as well.

There was a Progressive Writer's Movement in the Hindi language that produced prose and poetry writers. It was a great period from the twenties down to the fifties of India as a nation.

The so called freedom movement from Britain was fuelled by these writers through their creative genius, also they tried to point to social problems and their solutions through their writings.

Writers like Ravindar Nath Tagore acquired fame and were acknowledged internationally. Then came the freedom and the writers who spearheaded the movement were aghast at the beastly way the people of the two nations killed and butchered each other in the process, great poetry and prose was written about it someday books like Udas Naslain (The Sorrowful Generations by Abdullah Hussain) and The River of Fire written by Quratul Ain Haider will be translated and some of you might read about the heart wrenching depictions of what went on in India in 1947.

There were poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz another communist who wrote the about the great let-down the end result of the freedom movement against the British Empire the creation of India and Pakistan.

The rulling elites in the two new countries wasted no time in acquiring the ways and styles of the previous rulers and added a 100% more to it.

And then came the new generation, one of them was a female voice of a girl beautiful to look at and even more to listen to and even better still to read, for she was a poetess.

Parveen was a genius, she depicted some of the most subtle female sensibilities in her poems with a finess that was all her own.

Lately I came across a translation of some of her verses in English by a Pakistani on the net and am presenting this. The verses describe aftermath of freedom, the new freedom did not mean a freedom from poverty, frustration, illiteracy, but merely a change of faces, a worse tyrany which unlike the British had no sens of faireness or justice.

The commercial element, the politicians, the military are all out there ready to fleecethe masses.

Parveen herself worked as a civil servant in one of the most corrupt department of our government 'the taxation & customs department' and therefore knew what she spoke.

Enjoy this:

We Are All Dr Faustus
In a way we are all
Dr Faustus.
One from his craze
and another helpless from blackmail
barters away his soul.
One mortgages his eyes
to trade in dreams
and another offers
his mind as collateral.
All that one may need sense
is the currency of the day.
So a survey of life’s Wall Street says
that among those with the buying power these days
self-respect is very popular.

Farhat Zubair

07-08-2010 02:38 AM
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