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Guru’s ties with Jahangir

I READ the book review A vivid account of Guru’s martyrdom (Spectrum, Nov 11). The reviewer states that in the early days of his guruship, he had cordial relations with emperor Jahangir who had even donated the land on which the city of Tarn Taran came up.

Guru Arjan assumed Guruship in 1581 when Akbar was the Mughal Emperor. As far as the cordial relations are concerned, it is relevant to quote Jahangir, “... this busy traffic had been carried on for three or four generations (from all sides stupid people crowded to worship him). For years the thought had been presenting itself to my mind that either I should put an end to this false traffic or he should be brought into the gold of Islam”. (Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri I 72 Trans.). “...Jahangir was prejudiced against Guru Arjan partly because of the vast size of his ‘shop’ which offered its ‘wares’ to all irrespective of their caste and creed”. (J.S. Grewal, The Sikhs of the Punjab, P. 64).

The death of Akbar, in fact, brought a sudden reversal in the policy of the state toward the Sikhs. As for the donation of land, the foundation of the city of Tarn Taran (pool of salvation) was laid by Guru Arjan in 1590 whereas Jahangir became emperor in 1605. Again, the second city founded by Guru Arjan was not Goindwal, as the reviewer states but Kartarpur in Jalandhar Doab.

MANJIT SINGH CHEEMA, Bardwal


 

Infatuation, not love

This refers to the article Murder of Love (Saturday Extra, Nov 3). I see no murder of love and I see no love either, but only infatuation that wears off soon. Marriages among unequals often meet a disastrous end. A classless society is a myth. Show me one instance of a boy from an affluent family marrying a poor girl. Why does only the reverse happen? Please give a thought to the hapless parents of girls who are lured into a secret wedlock against their wishes.

C.L. SEHGAL, Jalandhar,

Say it like Lahorias

The ABC about Lahorias by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, Oct 6) has put The Tribune readers wise. Lahorias are famous for saying things in an exaggerated manner and saying ‘no’ to anything as if they are encyclopedias.

I have all the appreciation for the Indian Lahoria, Khushwant Singh. He is known for his straightforwardness in admitting and writing about things that he does not like. I approached him for a message for my book Akhon Prokhe, dedicated to the blind. His reply was: “I don’t send messages. They are pompous and pointless. I, however, wish your journal a success.” This helped to change my perception of Lahorias.

HARISH MONGA, Ferozepore

Courage in the air

Feat of the Falcon (Spectrum, Oct 28) by Vijay Mohan was an enthralling account of the achievement of man and machine. The dare-devil accomplishment proved that India is second to none as an air force power, be it in peace or turbulence.

TARSEM S. BUMRAH, Batala

Shankar’s Weekly

Punch, Indian style by B.N. Goswamy (Spectrum, Oct 28) was interesting, but the writer has missed mentioning Shankar’s Weekly. The weekly doled out delicious fare which engaged even Jawaharlal Nehru.

Incidentally, there are myriads of pieces of Urdu prose that touch excellence. As for Urdu poetry, its English peer is no match in terms of flights of imagination, the depth of emotion, lyrical expression, diction and anguish. n

CHAMAN LAL KORPAL, Amritsar

 

Poet as rebel

This refers to Narinder Singh Jallo’s letter (Perspective, Oct 21). He had quoted the couplet (Shahidon ki chitaaon par…) attributing it to Mohammed Iqbal. Actually, the couplet was written by Ram Parsad Bismil, the Urdu poet.

Bismil waged a literary war against the British and tried to awaken the masses through his rebellious and powerful poetry.

He was a native of Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and joined the nationalist movement during his student life. He was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and was involved in the Kakori roberry case of Aug 19, 1925. He was arrested and executed on Dec 19, 1927. He wrote fiery poems and lyrics targeting colonial rule.

Bismil’s poems were published in the Kranti Pushpanjali and read out in assemblies and processions. An example of his couplets is:

Juda mat ho mere pehloo se ay dard-e-watan har giz,

Na jaane ba’d murdan main kahaan aur tu kahaan hoga.

Yeh aaye din ki chher acachee nahin ay khanjar-e-quaatil,

Bataa kab faisla unke hamaare darmiyan hoga.

Here I want to clarify that there is a common notion that Bismil wrote the famous couplet Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai, Dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-quaatil mein hai.

This poem, Watan ka Raag, was actually written by Bismil Azeemabadi. The coincidence of having Bismil as their common nom de plume gave currency to the wrong attribution.

BILAL AHMAD SHAMIM, Qadia


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