Friday, November 14, 2014

Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru - Maker of Modern India

Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru - Maker of Modern India

Since 1947, enough water has flown down the Ganges. The generation has changed and so has changed the popular view of idea of India. Today, fifty years after Death of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, maker of modern India, is being belittled.

After a long spell of foreign rule, India tasted freedom breaking shackles of slavery and threw away colonial yoke. The newly independent country developed consensus on relatively younger politician, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru to lead the country. There were many contenders for the premiership. Gandhiji was visionary enough to put his stamp on Pt. Nehru. The country needed stewardship of a person who could take every section of society along, who could lay a strong foundation of friendship with other countries. A country facing acute hunger, illiteracy and disease needed touch of a socialist hand.

Pt. Nehru’s socialist policies worked well for the country with some failure as any policy would. The five year plan borrowed from erstwhile USSR brought intended result in agriculture, industry and other fields. Today there may not be need of planning commission, but the India of yesteryears needed it.

People might find flaws with Nehruvian foreign policy today, some may call it a moralistic running commentary or far right may dub it as an utter failure. But the Nehruvian foreign policy remains a time tested one which was by and large successful. None Aligned Movement, Panchsheel and friendship with USSR bear witness to the success of his policies.

Today there are people, large in numbers who question the choice of leadership. They conveniently ignore that India of 1947 faced myriad challenges on all fronts. A country which was liberated from colonial yoke was to learn to walk independently maintaining good relationship with other nations in the world. There were threats of external aggression as well as internal instability. The partition led to the worst kind of communal conflict in south Asia. The communal force needed to be stemmed. In such circumstances, Nehru was an appropriate choice to lead the country. The united and vibrant India is testimony to the great leadership of Pt. Nehru.

Nehru faced long incarceration bravely during freedom struggle like a brave soldier; his remarkable books like Glimpses of world history, Discovery of India, My autography established him as a scholar, His socialist approach and humane persona made him a great human being.

As a grateful nation we should pay homage to the great leader on his birth day and take a pledge to grow stronger by fighting and defeating divisive forces and remain united amidst diversity………


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mauala Abula Kalam Azad

Maulana Abulkalam Azad, was born in Mecca on 11 November 1888. He lived a life worth following. At a time when divisive forces were bent upon shredding the social fabric, he firmly stood the ground and preached the gospel of communal harmony. He was mocked at, dubbed as show boy of Indian National Congress by rival camp. In fact he faced hatred of communal elements from both sides of divide.

He reached height of scholarship at an early age and started editing journals of high repute at a tender age. He established his own weekly newspaper Al-Hilal in 1912 and started openly attacking British highlighting plight of common people. He authored several books of very high literary standard.

Today, when we revel in our sub identity and weaken the idea of a strong India, Mauala Azad’s life beacons to be studied and lived like. Working for communal harmony and eradication of illiteracy will be apt tribute to the great soul




Monday, October 27, 2014

Demise of an Old man


Master Samiuddin was a frail old man who read old urdu newspapers - sangam to beat the cruelty of old age boredom. These old newspapers were moth eaten and yellowish in color. The newspaper was as faded as Master’s skin due to old age. He passed forlorn and lonely day with occasional visit of some guests. Master Samiuddin would read the newspaper articles and recite his poems to the visiting guests. While speaking on his favorite topic, urdu language and its beauty, his eyes would shine as the burning wick of kerosene lamp shines in dark nights. It is said that guests frequented less to avoid this torture.

Master Samiuddin was a retired primary school teacher who stressed upon diction of language more than language itself. Master would lament that young generation is no more learning Urdu language. The degeneration and apathy towards his beloved language saddened him gravely. His own son Farooq, spent two full years reading elementary Urdu book to gain perfection of pronunciation.  Farooq however, was destined to repair cycles than impress people by his Urdu. It is said that Farooq might do good in his studies if Master Samiuddin had not persisted for perfection. Poor Farooq developed language phobia and started stammering later on.

Master Samiuddin was fond of Urdu Mushairah and would go faraway places to attend. In his heyday,s he would organize mushairah in his own muhallah inviting local poets. But he lost interest in the mushairahs due to low standard of poems recited there. Deterioration of his health might be another reason that he was not attending mushairah now.

Master Samiuddin paid annual visits to the tomb of Khwaja moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri till few years ago. Now his son Farooq paid visit to the shrine every year on behalf of his family. The month long closure of Farooq’s cycle repair shop would bring hardship to the family. But they would bear it as the will of Khwaja. Master Samiuddin would praise his son Farooq for keeping family tradition alive and maintaining link with Khwaja’s dargah. It was his firm belief that only chosen guests were called by Khwaja to his durbar. Master Samiuddin desired to visit the dargah at Ajmer once again before he died. Farooq took him to Ajmer last year. Master Samiuddin was upset that he didn’t experience haal (state of spiritual influence) listening to qawwali he visited last year. He was agonized that language of qawwali too became impure now. It irked him whenever people hummed the stanza of qawwali sung at dargah. The children of the mohalla came to know about this revulsion of Master samiuddin. They would now tease the old man singing in chorus inviting invective of Master in chaste Urdu. 
  
Master Samiudding always praised his cycle mechanic son’s pronunciation of Urdu words. He was sure that if it were old days, Farooq would not be repairing cycle rather would get a decent government job. However, he was the only person who believed so. People would try to convince Master that the time had changed and so had changed the lingua franca. Some people would even taunt at him that he should cross the North western border of the country and live there if he was so obsessed with urdu language. They didn't know that the language is fighting for its survival even on the other side.

There was an unwritten rule of Master’s family that the children would learn and master urdu first then they were free to learn any other language or subject. He was sure that his grandson yasir, whom he loved so much, would undergo the same learning process. But who could stop the idea whose time had come. On a dull and dreary evening of June, Farooq brought a book and slate for Yasir while returning from his cycle repairing shop. Farooq as usual came just before maghrib, the evening prayer. Master Samiuddin was performing ablution and Yasir was pouring water on his feet. The book was wrapped in a hindi newspaper having photograph of Madonna, the pop singer. Master samiuddin and his grandson Yasir were equally excited to open the wrapper and see the books. Master ordered authoritatively like an old emperor of medieval period that wrapper would be opened after he performed the prayer. Yasir wanted to defy and open the wrapper but Farooq asked his son to wait for Master Samiuddin to finish his prayer.

After the prayer, Master Samiuddin instructed Yasir to do ablution like he did before prayer. A skull cap which was bought for Yasir on last Eid, was put on his head. Master Samiuddin appeared to have gained vigor which was not seen for years. He asked Yasir to sit on a prayer rug and face westward towards kaba in mecca. He then opened the wrapper swiftly and the book was mocking him right in his face. He looked towards Farooq with dismay and said innocently with a very weak voice, this is not Urdu ka Qaidah, the elementary Urdu book. Farooq stood with his head down unable to make eye contact with Master Samiuddin. Tears started dribbling from Master’s eyes. And all at once he fell down holding left side of his chest and fainted.

On reaching Shifa hospital by a rikshaw pulled by his neighbor Jehangir, the doctor declared him brought dead………..

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sir Syed's Legacy - Literary dimension

Urooj-e aadam-e khaki se anjum sahme jaate hain
Ke yeh toota hua taara mah-e kaamil na ban jaaye

A man was born at a time when darkness engulfed the Indian society in general and muslims in particular. He acquired knowledge and wisdom and achieved un-scaled height of scholarship in varied arena.  Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a silver lining on otherwise dark cloud shadowing the Indian subcontinent throughout the 19th century. He awakened from slumber the somnolent community, which was oblivious of fast changing politico-social scene of 19th century. His indelible footprint still guides the activists who endeavor for positive changes in society.

Many treatises have been written about Aligarh movement. The Aligarh Urdu tehreek needs special focus today as this movement was to regain the rich Socio-Cultural heritage lost by muslim community.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was litterateur par excellence and steered the Aligarh movement for reform in Urdu literature. He tried to awaken the masses using all the genres of literature as an instrument. He wrote poems using Ahan as takhallus, worte essays on social issues, dared to interpret the religion and wrote commentary on it. His vast literary works are varied like the man was himself. His masterpiece Asarus Sanaadeed, a book of architecture is still widely refered to, His book on causes of Indian mutiny was instrumental in the reform and passage of Government of India Act 1858. Sir Syed and his friends established scientific society to translate books in Urdu to bring scientific temperament in the community. The endeavor to bring scientific temperament in society later on became part directive principle of state policy of Indian constitution.  On his return from England, Sir Syed started a journal called Tehzibul Akhlaaq. This was a successful experiment in the field of journalism. This guided the masses for social and educational reform. Sir Syed wrote Khutbaat-e Ahmediya responding to William Muir’s book Life of Muhammad which showcases civility even if one disagrees. Sir Syed travelled to England and stayed there to write the book disproving falsehood of Muir regarding prophet Muhammad.

 Sir Syed and his friends liberated Urdu literature from shackles age old tradition. The literature which served the purpose of taste only, now was refashioned to bring social change. He and his caravan wrote for the social reform without compromising the high standards of literature. Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali, Muhammad Husain Azad, Maulana Shibli Nomani, Dy Nazeer Ahmed, Akbar Allahabadi and others showed a new literary path to the budding writers of the time. In a very short period there was a new literature with message of social reform. Shair-e mashriq Allama Iqbal is not but the extension of this movement.

Today, when we remember the great soul, what tribute can we offer to him? The community is facing challenges today similar to Sir Syed’s time. This century may not produce another Sir Syed but Aligarh movement may still be revisited and success stories may still be rewritten.

Ganwa di hum ne jo aslaaf se miraas paayi thi
Surayya se zameen par aasmaan ne humko de mara




Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Alvida

Kal tujhse door chala jaunga
Kisi naye shahr mein
Naye khwabon ka sahara lekar
Apni zindagi jiye jaunga

Tujhse kal juda hokar
Tere yaadon ke saughaat liye
Naye safar pe nikal jaunga
Aur kabhi tasuvvaraat ki dunya mein
Maazi ke dareeche khol kar
Agar jhankunga
Tumhen paunga
Tumse mahve guftagu hokar
Zere lab tabassum saja kar
Tumhari adaaon pe muskuraaunga

Tere shahr ko alvida keh kar
Tum se bichhadkar
Tanhaai ka ehsaas jab kabhi satayega
Bewajah sunsaan sadak par nikal jaunga
Phir tasuvvar mein ek bazm saja kar
Tumhe bulaunga
Tumhen mehmaan banaunga
Tumahara saath jab hoga
Mere haath mein tera haath jab hoga
Raah-e dushwaar phir asaan tar goga

Kal tere shahr ko alvida keh kar
Jab gham-e rozgar ka muamla hoga
Ajnabi shahr mein log paraye honge
Aur sitam yeh
ke hijr ka mausam hoga
Tumhare yaad ki khalish 
Khilwat mein shiddat se sataayegi
Yun toh hujoom hoga har taraf

Par mai akela
Dunya se begaana
Aur deewaana
Tumhen sadaayen dunga
Aur jaise dikhte hain sehraaon mein saraab
Tumhe apne aas paas hi paunga


Aur aisa bhi fareb nazar ka hoga 
Jaise sab khwab tha
 Hum kabhi judaa hue hi na the

Phir usi khushnuma baagh mein
Usi sabz bench par baith kar
Mor ke dilkash raqs ka nazaara karenge
Koyal ki kook sunte hue
Suraj mukhi, Gulaab ki khushbuon ko sametenge
 aur is tara hum saath saath
Milkar waqt ko thamenge

Phir khizaan ka khauf kahan hoga
Hijr ka mausam nahin hoga

Yeh judaai agar haqeeqat hai
Hum tasuvvar mein hi rahenge sadaa

Aur kabhi hum alvidaa kahenge nahi
Phir hum judaa honge nahi

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ghazal

Nigah-e-yaar mein ab apni qadar kuchh kam hai
Hai karam auron pe aur ham pe nazar kuch kam hai

Ham pe furqat ne sitam dhaye hain kaise kaise
Hai yeh ghairon ko pata, un ko khabar kuch kam hai

Jaane walon ke liye ab nahin rota koi
Jaane kya daur hai, ab dil pe asar kuch kam hai

Dafn ek saath kiya saara qabeela ham ne
Haae kya kijiye basti mein qabar kuchh kam hai

Nahi rukta hai yehan koi bhi ek pal ke liye
Yeh woh basti hai jahan laal-o-guhar kuch kam hai

Apne haathon se pilaya hai jo maye saaqi ne
Sab salamat hain yahaan, maye mein zahar kuchh kam hai?

Hai agar aasman khamosh, zameen kyun chup hai?
Imteyaz aap hi kuch kahiye, bashar kuch kam hai?

A poem on Facebook addiction


video
Reciting my composition at National Academy of Indian Railway, Vadodara