Remembering #FaizAhmedFaiz A symbol of resistance

36th death anniversary

Faiz read widely and well. He knew the great English poets as he did the great Urdu poets. There is a good collection of his English writings (Culture and Identity: Selected English Writings of Faiz compiled and edited by Sheena Majeed, Oxford University Press, Karachi). In a talk on “Problems of Cultural Planning in Asia”, he said: “Alien imperialist domination of Asian countries was not merely a passive process of pure political supremacy.

It was also an active process of social and cultural subversion. It tried on the one hand to kill or destroy whatever was good, progressive, and forward-looking in the old feudal or pre-feudal structures by way of arts, skills, customs, manners, humanist values or mental enlightenment. It tried to sustain and perpetuate, on the other, whatever was unwholesome, reactionary, or backward-looking, ignorance, superstition, servility, and class exploitation.

What was handed back to the newly liberated countries, therefore, was not the original social structure taken over at the point of their subjugation but the perverted and emasculated remnants of the structure. Superimposed on these remnants were cheap, spurious and second-hand imitations of Western cultural patterns by way of language, customs, manners, art forms, and ideological values.”
جسم پر قید ہے، جذبات پہ زنجیریں ہیں
فکر محبوس ہے، گفتار پہ تعزیریں ہیں
اپنی ہمت ہے کہ ہم پھر بھی جیے جاتے ہیں
زندگی کیا کسی مفلس کی قبا ہے جس میں
ہر گھڑی درد کے پیوند لگے جاتے ہیں
لیکن اب ظلم کی میعاد کےدن تھوڑے ہیں
اک ذرا صبر، کہ فریاد کے دن تھوڑے ہیں
عرصۂ دہر کی جھلسی ہوئی ویرانی میں
ہم کو رہنا ہے پر یونہی تو نہیں رہنا ہے
اجنبی ہاتھوں کا بے نام گرانبار ستم
آج سہنا ہے، ہمیشہ تو نہیں سہنا ہے