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A beacon of hope

BN. GOSWAMY, in his article, The phenomenon of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (Perspective, Feb 20), has beautifully portrayed the poet’s passion as one who regards poetry as a vehicle of serious thought. He does not accept the maxim of art for art’s sake and was acknowledged long ago as the greatest Urdu poet after Iqbal.

He showed his profound love for humanity. His lofty words and poetic message were not confined to words only. He practised what he preached. He brought hope and a pleasant aroma in his poetry that touched the body and soul and transported its readers to a world that was peaceful and devoid of any feeling of hatred or vendetta. His fans are the proof of Faiz’s integrity, sincerity and the lasting influence on the people.

Faiz’s poem called Mera dil meray musafir highlights his pain away from home, when he went into self-exile in Beirut when General Zia-ul-Haq came to power after a military coup. He wrote: Har ik ajnabi se poochain, jo patta de apnay ghar ka. (Let us ask every stranger where one’s home was).

Faiz will be remembered for all times to come as a poet, visionary, philosopher, teacher, mentor and a symbol of hope for all those who continue to strive for a society based on justice and equality. He shall always be a beacon of hope.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur


According to my late father, Sardar Sochet Singh, Faiz used to visit Amritsar quite often. Of course, he loved Pakistan, but he hated the bloodshed that accompanied its creation and he hated the cruel military dictatorships and fake democracies in Pakistan. Several times he was made to undergo prison terms for speaking his mind against the unjust and tyrant regimes.

He loved Chandigarh and used to stay at the Government College for Women in Sector 11. Late Noorjehan, the melody queen of Pakistan gave her voice to so many of his ghazals. One of her very popular renditions of Faiz was:

Mujhse pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na maang. (Oh my beloved, please do not expect the same intensity of love that I used to shower upon you in the past).n


Panipat’s legend

The Urdu couplet quoted in The Legend of Panipat (Spectrum, Feb 6) has been wrongly attributed to Hali. No doubt, Altaf Hussain Hali Panipati was an eminent Urdu and Persian scholar. He is the author of famous books like Musaddas-e-Hali, Muqaddmah-Sher-o-Shiree, Yadgar-e-Ghalib, Hayat-e-Saadi, Hayat-e-Javed etc.

He is called the pioneer of criticism in Urdu literature. Moreover, he was conferred with the title of Sham’s Ulama by the then British government. In spite of all that, the mentioned verse: “Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle khuda bande se khud puchhe bata teri raza kya hai” was composed by Dr Mohammad Iqbal, the poet of the East.

He even dared to equate himself to God. He once said, “Khuda Shab aafreedi, man chiragh aafreedum” (God made night and I made a lamp for removing darkness). Thus, he was of the view that in the matter of creation, man is no less than God.




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