Friday, October 17, 2008

Ten Poems


Ten Poems

Habib Jalib

I
What Does Pakistan Mean?

Bread, clothes and medicine
A little house to live in
Free education, as may right be seen
A Muslim, I, too, have always been
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God, but God, The Rab-al-alameen

For American alms do not bray
Do not, the people, laugh away
With the democratic struggle do not play
Hold on to freedom, do not cave in
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God...

Confiscate the fields from the landowners
Take away the mills from the robbers
Redeem the country from its dark hours
Off with the lordly vermin
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God...

Sind, Baluchistan and Frontier
These three are to Panjab most dear
And Bengal lends them splendour
Anguished should not be their mien
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God...

This, then, is the basic thing
For the people, let freedom’s bell ring
From the rope, let the plunderer swing
Truly they speak, who the truth have seen
What does Pakistan mean
There is no God, but Allah...

I
Pakistan Ka Matlab Kya?

Roti, kapda aur dawa
Ghar rehne ko chhota sa
Muft mujhe talim dila
Mein bhi Musalmaan hoon wallah
Pakistan ka matlab kya
La Ilaha Illalah…

Amrika se mang na bhik
Mat kar logon ki tazhik
Rok na janhoori tehrik
Chhod na azadi ki rah
Pakistan ka matlab hai kya
La Ilaha Illalah…

Khet waderon se le lo
Milen luteron se le lo
Mulk andheron se le lo
Rahe na koi Alijah
Pakistan ka matlab kya
La Ilaha Illalah… 

Sarhad, Sindh, Baluchistan
Teenon hain Panjab ki jaan
Aur Bangal hai sab ki aan
Aai na un ke lab par aah
Pakistan ka matlab kya
La Ilaha Illalah…

Baat yehi hai bunyadi
Ghasib ki ho barbadi
Haq kehte hain haq agah
Pakistan ka matlab kya
La Ilaha Illalah…

  

II
Islam Is Not In Danger

Endangered are the idle rich, bursting with cash
Crumbling walls about to crash
All the centuries’ mish-mash
Islam is not in danger
Why do a few clans all the land rights enjoy
And those, who revere the Prophet, are bereft of joy

Endangered are the beasts of prey
Multicoloured cars which in the streets sashay
And for whom the American hearts sway
Islam is not in danger
Due to our slogans the palaces shake and tremble
The towering ornate shops cannot our hopes quell

Endangered are the robbers of the highway
Western traders who make hay
Thieves and tricksters who waylay
Islam is not in danger
Holding aloft the banner of peace, loving all humans, we are on the go
Loving all the world, O Jalib, is our proud credo

Endangered are the palatial predators
The kings and their abettors
Nawabs and other such traitors
Islam is not in danger.

II
Khatre Mein Islam Nahin

Khatra hai zar daron ko
Girti hui diwaron ko
Sadiyon ke bimaron ko
Khatre mein Islam nahin
Sari zamin ko ghere hue hain aakhir chand gharane kyon
Naam nabi ka lene wale ulfat se begane kyon 

Khatra hai khun khwaron ko
Rang birangi karon ko
Amrika ke pyaron ko
Khatre mein Islam nahin
Aaj hamare naaron se larza hai bapa aiwanon mein

Bik na sakenge hasrat-o arman unchi saji dukanon mein 
Khatra hai bat maron ko
Maghrib ke bazaron ko
Choron ko makkaron ko
Khatre mein Islam nahin
Amn ka parcham le kar utho har insane se piyar karo
Aprna to manshoor hai Jalib, sare jahan se pyar karo 

Khatra hai darbaron ko
Shahon ke ghamkhwaron ko
Nawabon, ghaddaron ko
Khatre mein Islam nahin 

  

III
Maulana

Too long I have heard you preach and prate, Maulana
But so far there has been no change in my fate, Maulana
Keep to yourself your preachings of gratefulness
My heart, like an arrow, they penetrate, Maulana
The truth, only you know or God knows
They say that Jimmy Carter is your pir* incarnate, Maulana
The land to the landlords, the machine to the despoilers
This, according to you, is God’s dictate, Maulana
Why don’t millions fight for Palestine
Prayers alone cannot from chains liberate, Maulana

* Sufi saint

III
Maulana

Bahut mein ne suni hai aap ki taqreer Maulana
Magar badli nahin ab tak meri taqdeer Maulana
Khudara Shukr ki talqeen apne pass hi rakhen
Yeh lagti hai mere seene pe ban kar teeer Maulana
Nahin mein bol sakta jhut is darja dhitai se
Yehi hai jurm mera aur yehi taqsir Maulana
Haqeeqat ka kya hai, yeh to aap jaanen ya Khuda jane
Suna hai Jimmi Carter hai aap ka peer Maulana
Zameenen hon waderon ki, mashinen hon luteron ki
Khuda ne likh ke di hai yeh tumhen terhrir Maulana
Karodon kyon nahin mil kar Falastin ke liye ladte
Dua hi se faqat kat-ti nahin zanjir Maulana

  

IV
Ghazal

Hindustan belongs to me and Pakistan belongs to me
Both of these, however, are under American hegemony

American aid gave us wheat, as also their deceit
Do not ask me how long we’ve suffered their conceit

And yet the bayonets are all around this flowering valley
Hindustan belongs to me and Pakistan belongs to me

Khan Bahadur, do not follow the English, from them better keep away
Once again they are holding you by the collar, you are still their prey

Macmillan was never thine, Kennedy can never be
Hindustan belongs to me and Pakistan belongs to me

This land in fact, my dear, belongs to peasants and workers
Here will not run the writ of a few clannish marauders

The dawn of freedom is heralding the end of tyranny
Hindustan belongs to me and Pakistan belongs to me.

IV
Ghazal

Hindustan bhi mera hai aur Pakistan bhi mera hai
Lekin in donon mulkon mein Amrika dera hai

Aid ki gandam kha kar ham ne kitney dhokey khai hain
Poochh na hamne Amrika ke kitne naaz uthai hain 

Phir bhi ab tak wadi-e gul ko sangeenon ne ghera hai
Hindustan bhi mera hai aur Pakistan bhi mera hai 

Khan Bahadur chhodna hoga ab to saath Angrezon ka
Ta bah gareban aa pahuncha hai phir se hath Angrezon ka 

Macmilan tera na hua to Kenedy kab tera hai
Hindustan bhi mera hai aur Pakistan bhi mera hai 

Yeh dharti hai asal mein, pyare, mazdooron dahqanon ki
Is dharti par chal na sakegi marzi chand gharanon ki

Zulm ki rat rahegi kab tak ab nazdik savera hai
Hindustan bhi mera hai aur Pakistan bhi mera hai

  

V
The Mother

The children were shot dead
The mother, in fury, said
These pieces of my heart
Should cry and I stand apart
Looking on from afar
This I cannot do

I should look on from afar
As the tyrants, night and day
With the blood of my children Holi* play
Besmirched in red
As the children were shot dead
The mother, in fury, said
These pieces of my heart
Should cry and I stand apart
Looking on from afar
This, I cannot do 

Spring festival played with coloured water

She walked came down to the ground
Like lightening flashing around
The tyrant’s hand trembled
Full of fear the gun frowned
Everywhere her echo did resound
I am hereby bound, I am coming for this round
I am hereby bound, I am coming for this round 

Then oppression became evil
Panic-stricken were those who kill
When she thundered
As our children were murdered 
She said, you vampires
Gold is the be all of your desires
This land belongs to us all
This land, you Dunces Esquires
Lackeys, still, to your British Sires

The sahib’s beneficence
Has not made you landlords: squires
Desist from this tyranny
Back to your barracks, flee
You, who rove ahead
With a gang of plunderers you have bred
As our children were shot dead 

V
Maan

Bachchon pe chali goli
Maan dekh ke yeh boli
Yeh dil ke mere tukde
Yun royen mere hote
Mein dur khadi dekhoon
Yeh mujh se nahin hoga 

Mein Dur khadi dekhun
Aur ahl-e sitam khelen
Khun se mere bachchon ke
Din-raat yahan holi
Bachchon pe chali goli
Maan dekh ke yeh boli
Yeh dil ke mere tukde
Yun royen mere hote
Mein dur khadi dekhun
Yeh mujh se nahin hoga 

Meidan mein nikal aayi
Ek barq si lehrai
Har dast-e sitam kanpa
Bandooq bhi tharrai
Har simt sada gunji
Mein aati hun, mein aayee
Mein aati hun, mein aayee

Har zulm hua batil
Aur seham gaye qatil
Jab us ne zaban kholi
Bachchon pe chali goli 
Us ne kaha khun-khwaro!
Daulat ke parastaro
Dharti hai yeh ham sab ki
Is dharti ko naa-dano!
Angrezon ke darbano!
Sahab ki ata-kardah
Jagir na tum jano
Is zulm se baaz aao
Bairak mein chale jao
Kyon chand luteron ki
Phirte ho liye toli
Bachchon pe chali goli

  

VI
The Garden Is A Bloody Mess 

This poem is about the oppression in East Pakistan in 1971

Our eyes yearn for greenery
The garden is a bloody mess
For whom should I sing my songs of love
The cities are all a wilderness
The garden is a bloody mess

The rays of the sun, they sting
Moonbeams are a killing field, no less
Deep shadows of death hover at every step
Life wears a skull and bone dress
All around the air is on prowl
With bows and arrows, in full harness
The garden is a bloody mess 

The battered buds are like a sieve
The leaves drenched in blood smears
Who knows, for how long
We’ll have this rain of tears
People how long do we have to bear
These days and nights of sorrow and distress
This oppressor’s blood bath is a frolicsome play
For the mighty of the world, a mark of their prowess
The garden is a bloody mess 

VI
Bagiya Lahoo Luhan

Haryali ko aankhen tarsen bagiya lahoo luhan
Pyar ke geet sunaoon kis ko shehar hue weeran
Bagiya lahoo luhan 

Dasti hain suraj ki kirnen chand jalaye jaan
Pag pag maut ke gehre saye jeewan maut saman
Charon ore hawa phirti hai le kar teer Kaman
Bagiya lahoo luhan 

Chhalni hain kaliyon ke seeney khoon mein lat paat
Aur nahjaney kab tak hogi ashkon ki barsaat
Dunya walon kab beeteinge dukh ke yeh din raat
Khoon se holi khel rahe hain dharti ke balwan
Bagiya lahoo luhan

  

VII
God Is Ours

Addressed to religious hucksters of any denomination and the system they defend – translator’s note

God is not yours, to Him we have access
He does not look kindly on those who oppress 

How long, you men of pelf, will you bleed us white
Get off our backs, you who in filthy lucre take delight
You satans it is dust that you will soon bite
We believe that He treats mankind with loving tenderness
He does not look kindly on those who oppress 

Light of new wisdom we are going to see
A fire flares up, seeing our agony
In this new magical dawn will burst forth the blossoming tree
He brings hopes to those who are mired in distress
God is not yours, to Him we have access
He does not look kindly on those who oppress

We’ll break the shadowy spell of fear and dread
Onwards we will march, chains of despair we will shred
We’ll not betray the hopes of the people, our dear kindred
And long we will remember this time of duress
He does not look kindly on those who oppress

VII
Khuda Hamara Hai

Khuda tumhara nahi hai khuda hamara hai
Use zamin pe yeh zulm kab gawara hai

Lahoo piyoge kahan tak hamara dhanwano
Badhao apni dukan seem-o zar ke deewano
Nishan kahin na rahega tumhara shaitano
Hamein yaqeen hai ke insaan usko pyara hai
Khuda tumhara nahin hai khuda hamara hai
Use zameen pe yeh zulm kab gaawara hai 

Nai shaoor ki hai roshni nigahon mein
Ek aag si bhi hai ab apni sard aahon mein
Khilenge phool nazar ke sahar ki bahon mein
Dukhe dilon ko isi aas ka sahara hai
Khuda tumhara nahin hai khuda hamara hai
Use zameen pe yeh zulm kab gawara hai

Tilism-e sayah-e khauf-o hiras todenge
Qadam bandhayenge zanjeere-e yaas todenge
Kabhi kisi ke na ham dil ki aas todenge
Rahega yaad jo ehd-e sitam guzara hai
Use zamin pe yeh zulm kab gawara hai

  

VIII
To Rakhshinda Zoya

13 April 1981, during a jail visit
She cannot say it, but then
My little one manages to say
Father, come home
Father, come home
She cannot comprehend
Why, in prison, I continue to stay
And not return with her, hand in hand
How should I explain to her
That home, too, is like a prison 
Kot Lakhpat Jail

VIII
Rakhshinda Zoya Se

Keh nahin sakti par kehti hai
Mujh se meri nanhi bachchi
Abbu ghar chal
Abbu ghar chal

Us ki samajh mein kuchh nahin aata
Kyon zindan mein reh jaata hun
Kyon nahin saath mein uske chalta
Kaise nanhi samjhaoon
Ghar bhi to zindan ki tarah hai

  

IX
On Iqbal Centenary

When we arise to wake the poor, the have nots
A beeline to the police station they make, these wealthy sots

They say that God this wealth to them allots
Oh these trite excuses, oh these dusty plots

Night and day the working men’s blood they suck, o poet of the East
These congenital liars, with the vileness of a beast

IX
Yaum-E Iqbal Par

Log uthte hain jab tere ghareebon ko jagane
Sab shehar ke zardar pahunch jaate hain thane 

Kehte hain yeh daulat hamein bakhshi hai khuda ne
Farsudah bahane wahi afsaane purane 

Ai shair-e mashriq! Yehi jhute yehi bad zaat
Peete hain laoo banda-e mazdoor ka din raat 

  

X
The Government of Jack Boots

If the dacoit had not had
The village guard as his ally
Our feet would not be in chains
Our victory would not defeat imply
Mourn with turbans round your necks
Crawling on your bellies, comply
Once the jack boot government is up
It’s hard, to make it bid good-bye

X
Bootan Di Sarkar

(Panjabi)

Dakuan da je saath na dinda pind da pehredar
Aj paireen zanjeer na hund jit na hundi har
Paggan apne gal wich pa lo turo pet de bhar
Chadh jaye te mushkil lehndi bootan di sarkar

Written during Yahya Khan’s dictatorship
Translated from the Urdu and Punjabi by fowpe sharma.
Transliterated from the Urdu by Hasan Abdullah.
Prepared for publication by Amar Farooqui

Click here to return to the April 2003 index.

8 comments:

GHUFRAN RAGHIB said...

Habib Jalib (Urdu: حبیب جالب) (1928 – March 12, 1993) was one of the renowned Pakistani Urdu poets of 20th century.
Contents [show]

His Life Style

He was a Marxist-Leninist and aspired to the ideals of Communism. He was a member of the Communist Party of Pakistan; later when the Communist Party was banned and started working under the banner of the National Awami Party, Jalib joined the NAP. He expressed his beliefs openly and paid heavily for them. Habib Jalib spent most of his life in Jail and the rest on the streets.

His Accounts of Imprisonments


Ayub Khan's Martial Law
Habib Jalib was first imprisoned during the martial law regime of Ayub Khan due to his defiant views on Ayub Khan's capitalistic policies. He wrote his legendary poem "Dastoor" (System) during those days.
Criticising those who supported Ayub Khan's regime he said:
Kahin gas ka dhuan hae
kahin golion ki baarish
Shab-e-ehd-e-kum nigahi
tujhay kis tarah sarahein
(There is smoke of teargas in the air and the bullets are raining all around. How can I praise thee, the night of the period of shortsightedness) [1] A humble man with limited means of livelihood, Jalib's character was above board. He could never reconcile with the dictatorship of Ayub Khan. So when Ayub enforced his tailor-made constitution in the country in 1962, which a former prime minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ali likened to the Clock Tower of Lyallpur, Jalib wrote his famous poem:
Whose light shines only in palaces
And carries the joys of only a few people
That derives its strength from others' weaknesses
That system, like a dawn without light
I refuse to acknowledge, I refuse to accept
Due to his daring revolt against the order of the day, Jalib was banned from official media but he remained undeterred. He rather started a tirade against the tyranny with more resolution. It reached its zenith when Fatima Jinnah decided to contest elections against Ayub Khan. All democratic forces rallied around her and at her election meetings, Jalib used to recite his fiery poems in front of an emotionally-charged crowd. His most popular poem at that time was:
Maan kay paon talay jannat hai idhar aa jao
(The paradise is under the feet of the mother. So come into her fold).
In another incident which has become a part of the resistance folklore of the country, the Governor of West Pakistan, the Nawab of Kalabagh, invited filmstar Neelo to dance in front of a foreign dignitary. As she refused, the police was sent to bring her, which led to a suicide attempt on her part. This incident inspired a poem by Jalib, which was later included by Neelo's husband Riaz Shahid in film the film Zarqa. The song was:
Tu bay nawaqif-e-aadab-e-ghulami hae abhi
Raqs zanjeer pehan kar bhi kiya jata hai.
(You are not aware of the protocol of a king's court. Sometimes one has to dance with the fetters on.)

]Bhutto's People's Government
In 1972 when the Peoples Government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came, many of his colleagues were able to hit fortunes. He, on the other hand, kept his integrity and stuck to ideology. As a result, he was imprisoned again along with other leftist thinkers like Mukhtar Rana and Meraj Muhammad Khan.

General Zia's Military Rule
During General Zia-ul-Haq's dictatorship, Jalib joined movement for democracy. He wrote the famous poem on Zia, where he asked how he could write darkness as "Zia". Note that Zia means light in Urdu.
Darkness as light, Hot desert wind as a morning breeze
How can I write a human as God?

Benazir's Democratic Government
In 1988, General Zia-ul-Haq died in air crash and general elections were held. Benazir Bhutto came into power and released Habib Jalib. Fortunes were distributed to those who supported the government rather than those who supported democracy. Disappointed at the state of the nation, when asked if he felt any change after democracy, he said,
"Haal ab tak wahi hain ghareeboan kay
Din phiray hain faqat waziroan kay
her Bilawal hai dase ka maqrooz
paoon nangay hain Benazeeroan kay"
(The status of the poor is still the same
the days of the ministers have indeed changed
every Bilawal of the country is under debt
while Benazirs (literally the poor) of the country walk without shoes)
Benazir lost power in 1990 to Nawaz Sharif, in 1993 Habib Jalib died. His family refused a government offer to pay for his funeral expenses.
After his passing, Qateel Shifai expressed his sorrow and grief in these words:
Apney sarey dard bhula kar auron ke dukh sehta tha
Hum jub ghazlain kehtey thay wo aksar jail main rehta tha
Aakhir kar chala hi gya wo rooth kar hum farzanon se
Wo deewana jisko zamana Jalib Jalib kehta tha[2]

His Political Career

Habib Jalib was a progressive thinker and politician in the National Awami Party, who supported the restoration of democracy during the period of Military Rule in Pakistan and had been imprisoned for his views.
One of the most popular Awami (people’s) Poet, known for the melody in his ghazals and the loud voice of dissent against despotism and the established order in Pakistan. He was always at the forefront of the struggle for democracy.
His poetry can be divided into two parts; the first comprises ghazals composed during the period when Jalib has chosen to keep a somewhat low profile. The pitch of his protest became gradually louder in his ghazals and nazams, but the melody remained untouched.
He bravely challenged the first martial law of Ayub Khan. He wrote his famous poem “Dastoor” which even today stands as a landmark in the history of Pakistan’s political struggle and became a glowing symbol of protest literature.
That was a turning point for Habib Jalib, who then took up political activism also; a role he tried to fulfill till the end. He did not affiliate himself with any party, preferring to be freelance. He was an active participant of the trade union struggle and the rallies for democracy. He also emerged as a champion of women rights, leading protest marches by women against discriminatory laws.

Poetry

Jalib’s poetry reflected his vision and approach to life. He never deviated from his chosen path. His love for humankind, his sympathy for the underdog and his passion for the fellow-beings were reflected in his verses. What is quite significant and somewhat rare in a poet who is also charged with political ideology is his capacity to suppress his anger against the injustices and tyrannies that he witnesses in life.
Jalib himself remained a victim of a cruel social order. He was imprisoned for some time after being wrongly implicated in various crimes.
With no regular source of income he had a rootless existence but he never considered compromising with his tormentors and coming to terms with established order. And yet Jalib’s poetry only reflects his anguish. It is not an expression of his anger or frustration. At times it is pensive, couched in sarcasm but his typical soft melodious tone is always there.
Jalib was a product of the progressive movement in the Pakistan but later he became a movement all by himself.

Recent tributes

Till the end of his life in 1993, Jalib remained a member of the Communist Party of Pakistan. In 1994, the Communist Party of Pakistan merged with the Mazdoor Kissan Party to form the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party -- which is the continuation of both the Parties in Pakistan.
Recently, two members of the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party --- Shahram Azhar and Taimur "Timmy" Rahman--- launched a music video reciting Jalib's famous poem "Musheer Se" under the band title Laal (Red), symbolizing Jalib's struggle for the workers and peasants.
September 2008: "Dastoor" another one of Habib Jalibs revolutionary pieces of work was composed in a musical track titled "Dastoor- A tribute to Jalib" by "Umair Salim".

Books

Sir-e-Maqtal
Zikr Behte Khoon Ka
Gumbad-e-Bedar
Kulyaat e Habib Jalib

GHUFRAN RAGHIB said...

Habeeb Jaalib (Urdu: حبیب جالب) (1928 – March 12, 1993) was one of the renowned Pakistani Urdu poets of 20th century.

{{His Life Style}}

He was a Marxist-Leninist and aspired to the ideals of Communism. He was a member of the Communist Party of Pakistan; later when the Communist Party was banned and started working under the banner of the National Awami Party, Jalib joined the NAP. He expressed his beliefs openly and paid heavily for them. Habib Jalib spent most of his life in Jail and the rest on the streets.
His Accounts of Imprisonments

Ayub Khan's Martial Law
Habib Jalib was first imprisoned during the martial law regime of Ayub Khan due to his defiant views on Ayub Khan's capitalistic policies. He wrote his legendary poem "Dastoor" (System) during those days.
Criticising those who supported Ayub Khan's regime he said:

Kahin gas ka dhuan hae
kahin golion ki baarish
Shab-e-ehd-e-kum nigahi
tujhay kis tarah sarahein
(There is smoke of teargas in the air and the bullets are raining all around. How can I praise thee, the night of the period of shortsightedness)
A humble man with limited means of livelihood, Jalib's character was above board. He could never reconcile with the dictatorship of Ayub Khan. So when Ayub enforced his tailor-made constitution in the country in 1962, which a former prime minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ali likened to the Clock Tower of Lyallpur, Jalib wrote his famous poem:
Whose light shines only in palaces
And carries the joys of only a few people
That derives its strength from others' weaknesses
That system, like a dawn without light
I refuse to acknowledge, I refuse to accept
Due to his daring revolt against the order of the day, Jalib was banned from official media but he remained undeterred. He rather started a tirade against the tyranny with more resolution. It reached its zenith when Fatima Jinnah decided to contest elections against Ayub Khan. All democratic forces rallied around her and at her election meetings, Jalib used to recite his fiery poems in front of an emotionally-charged crowd. His most popular poem at that time was:

Maan kay paon talay jannat hai idhar aa jao
(The paradise is under the feet of the mother. So come into her fold).
In another incident which has become a part of the resistance folklore of the country, the Governor of West Pakistan, the Nawab of Kalabagh, invited filmstar Neelo to dance in front of a foreign dignitary. As she refused, the police was sent to bring her, which led to a suicide attempt on her part. This incident inspired a poem by Jalib, which was later included by Neelo's husband Riaz Shahid in film the film Zarqa. The song was:

Tu bay nawaqif-e-aadab-e-ghulami hae abhi
Raqs zanjeer pehan kar bhi kiya jata hai.
(You are not aware of the protocol of a king's court. Sometimes one has to dance with the fetters on.)

Bhutto's People's Government
In 1972 when the Peoples Government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came, many of his colleagues were able to hit fortunes. He, on the other hand, kept his integrity and stuck to ideology. As a result, he was imprisoned again along with other leftist thinkers like Mukhtar Rana Afzal Bangash and Meraj Muhammad Khan.

General Zia's Military Rule
During General Zia-ul-Haq's dictatorship, Jalib joined movement for democracy. He wrote the famous poem on Zia, where he asked how he could write darkness as "Zia". Note that Zia means light in Urdu.
Darkness as light, Hot desert wind as a morning breeze
How can I write a human as God?

(Let)Benazir's Democratic Government
In 1988, General Zia-ul-Haq died in air crash and general elections were held. Benazir Bhutto came into power and released Habib Jalib. Fortunes were distributed to those who supported the government rather than those who supported democracy. Disappointed at the state of the nation, when asked if he felt any change after democracy, he said,
"Haal ab tak wahi hain ghareeboan kay
Din phiray hain faqat waziroan kay
her Bilawal hai dase ka maqrooz
paoon nangay hain Benazeeroan kay"
(The status of the poor is still the same
the days of the ministers have indeed changed
every Bilawal of the country is under debt
while Benazirs (literally the poor) of the country walk without shoes)
Benazir lost power in 1990 to Nawaz Sharif, in 1993 Habib Jalib died. His family refused a government offer to pay for his funeral expenses.
After his passing, Qateel Shifai expressed his sorrow and grief in these words:
Apney sarey dard bhula kar auron ke dukh sehta tha
Hum jub ghazlain kehtey thay wo aksar jail main rehta tha
Aakhir kar chala hi gya wo rooth kar hum farzanon se
Wo deewana jisko zamana Jalib Jalib kehta tha

{{His Political Career}}

Habib Jalib was a progressive thinker and politician in the National Awami Party, who supported the restoration of democracy during the period of Military Rule in Pakistan and had been imprisoned for his views.
One of the most popular Awami (people’s) Poet, known for the melody in his ghazals and the loud voice of dissent against despotism and the established order in Pakistan. He was always at the forefront of the struggle for democracy.
His poetry can be divided into two parts; the first comprises ghazals composed during the period when Jalib has chosen to keep a somewhat low profile. The pitch of his protest became gradually louder in his ghazals and nazams, but the melody remained untouched.
He bravely challenged the first martial law of Ayub Khan. He wrote his famous poem “Dastoor” which even today stands as a landmark in the history of Pakistan’s political struggle and became a glowing symbol of protest literature.
That was a turning point for Habib Jalib, who then took up political activism also; a role he tried to fulfill till the end. He did not affiliate himself with any party, preferring to be freelance. He was an active participant of the trade union struggle and the rallies for democracy. He also emerged as a champion of women rights, leading protest marches by women against discriminatory laws.

{{Poetry}}

Jalib’s poetry reflected his vision and approach to life. He never deviated from his chosen path. His love for humankind, his sympathy for the underdog and his passion for the fellow-beings were reflected in his verses. What is quite significant and somewhat rare in a poet who is also charged with political ideology is his capacity to suppress his anger against the injustices and tyrannies that he witnesses in life.
Jalib himself remained a victim of a cruel social order. He was imprisoned for some time after being wrongly implicated in various crimes.
With no regular source of income he had a rootless existence but he never considered compromising with his tormentors and coming to terms with established order. And yet Jalib’s poetry only reflects his anguish. It is not an expression of his anger or frustration. At times it is pensive, couched in sarcasm but his typical soft melodious tone is always there.
Jalib was a product of the progressive movement in the Pakistan but later he became a movement all by himself.

Recent tributes

Till the end of his life in 1993, Jalib remained a member of the Communist Party of Pakistan. In 1994, the Communist Party of Pakistan merged with the Mazdoor Kissan Party to form the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party -- which is the continuation of both the Parties in Pakistan.
Recently, two members of the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party --- Shahram Azhar and Taimur "Timmy" Rahman--- launched a music video reciting Jalib's famous poem "Musheer Se" under the band title Laal (Red), symbolizing Jalib's struggle for the workers and peasants.
September 2008: "Dastoor" another one of Habib Jalibs revolutionary pieces of work was composed in a musical track titled "Dastoor- A tribute to Jalib" by "Umair Salim".

GHUFRAN RAGHIB said...

Habeeb Jaalib (Urdu: حبیب جالب) (1928 – March 12, 1993) was one of the renowned Pakistani Urdu poets of 20th century.

{{His Life Style}}

He was a Marxist-Leninist and aspired to the ideals of Communism. He was a member of the Communist Party of Pakistan; later when the Communist Party was banned and started working under the banner of the National Awami Party, Jalib joined the NAP. He expressed his beliefs openly and paid heavily for them. Habib Jalib spent most of his life in Jail and the rest on the streets.
His Accounts of Imprisonments

Ayub Khan's Martial Law
Habib Jalib was first imprisoned during the martial law regime of Ayub Khan due to his defiant views on Ayub Khan's capitalistic policies. He wrote his legendary poem "Dastoor" (System) during those days.
Criticising those who supported Ayub Khan's regime he said:

Kahin gas ka dhuan hae
kahin golion ki baarish
Shab-e-ehd-e-kum nigahi
tujhay kis tarah sarahein
(There is smoke of teargas in the air and the bullets are raining all around. How can I praise thee, the night of the period of shortsightedness)
A humble man with limited means of livelihood, Jalib's character was above board. He could never reconcile with the dictatorship of Ayub Khan. So when Ayub enforced his tailor-made constitution in the country in 1962, which a former prime minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ali likened to the Clock Tower of Lyallpur, Jalib wrote his famous poem:
Whose light shines only in palaces
And carries the joys of only a few people
That derives its strength from others' weaknesses
That system, like a dawn without light
I refuse to acknowledge, I refuse to accept
Due to his daring revolt against the order of the day, Jalib was banned from official media but he remained undeterred. He rather started a tirade against the tyranny with more resolution. It reached its zenith when Fatima Jinnah decided to contest elections against Ayub Khan. All democratic forces rallied around her and at her election meetings, Jalib used to recite his fiery poems in front of an emotionally-charged crowd. His most popular poem at that time was:

Maan kay paon talay jannat hai idhar aa jao
(The paradise is under the feet of the mother. So come into her fold).
In another incident which has become a part of the resistance folklore of the country, the Governor of West Pakistan, the Nawab of Kalabagh, invited filmstar Neelo to dance in front of a foreign dignitary. As she refused, the police was sent to bring her, which led to a suicide attempt on her part. This incident inspired a poem by Jalib, which was later included by Neelo's husband Riaz Shahid in film the film Zarqa. The song was:

Tu bay nawaqif-e-aadab-e-ghulami hae abhi
Raqs zanjeer pehan kar bhi kiya jata hai.
(You are not aware of the protocol of a king's court. Sometimes one has to dance with the fetters on.)

Bhutto's People's Government
In 1972 when the Peoples Government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came, many of his colleagues were able to hit fortunes. He, on the other hand, kept his integrity and stuck to ideology. As a result, he was imprisoned again along with other leftist thinkers like Mukhtar Rana Afzal Bangash and Meraj Muhammad Khan.

General Zia's Military Rule
During General Zia-ul-Haq's dictatorship, Jalib joined movement for democracy. He wrote the famous poem on Zia, where he asked how he could write darkness as "Zia". Note that Zia means light in Urdu.
Darkness as light, Hot desert wind as a morning breeze
How can I write a human as God?

(Let)Benazir's Democratic Government
In 1988, General Zia-ul-Haq died in air crash and general elections were held. Benazir Bhutto came into power and released Habib Jalib. Fortunes were distributed to those who supported the government rather than those who supported democracy. Disappointed at the state of the nation, when asked if he felt any change after democracy, he said,
"Haal ab tak wahi hain ghareeboan kay
Din phiray hain faqat waziroan kay
her Bilawal hai dase ka maqrooz
paoon nangay hain Benazeeroan kay"
(The status of the poor is still the same
the days of the ministers have indeed changed
every Bilawal of the country is under debt
while Benazirs (literally the poor) of the country walk without shoes)
Benazir lost power in 1990 to Nawaz Sharif, in 1993 Habib Jalib died. His family refused a government offer to pay for his funeral expenses.
After his passing, Qateel Shifai expressed his sorrow and grief in these words:
Apney sarey dard bhula kar auron ke dukh sehta tha
Hum jub ghazlain kehtey thay wo aksar jail main rehta tha
Aakhir kar chala hi gya wo rooth kar hum farzanon se
Wo deewana jisko zamana Jalib Jalib kehta tha

{{His Political Career}}

Habib Jalib was a progressive thinker and politician in the National Awami Party, who supported the restoration of democracy during the period of Military Rule in Pakistan and had been imprisoned for his views.
One of the most popular Awami (people’s) Poet, known for the melody in his ghazals and the loud voice of dissent against despotism and the established order in Pakistan. He was always at the forefront of the struggle for democracy.
His poetry can be divided into two parts; the first comprises ghazals composed during the period when Jalib has chosen to keep a somewhat low profile. The pitch of his protest became gradually louder in his ghazals and nazams, but the melody remained untouched.
He bravely challenged the first martial law of Ayub Khan. He wrote his famous poem “Dastoor” which even today stands as a landmark in the history of Pakistan’s political struggle and became a glowing symbol of protest literature.
That was a turning point for Habib Jalib, who then took up political activism also; a role he tried to fulfill till the end. He did not affiliate himself with any party, preferring to be freelance. He was an active participant of the trade union struggle and the rallies for democracy. He also emerged as a champion of women rights, leading protest marches by women against discriminatory laws.

{{Poetry}}

Jalib’s poetry reflected his vision and approach to life. He never deviated from his chosen path. His love for humankind, his sympathy for the underdog and his passion for the fellow-beings were reflected in his verses. What is quite significant and somewhat rare in a poet who is also charged with political ideology is his capacity to suppress his anger against the injustices and tyrannies that he witnesses in life.
Jalib himself remained a victim of a cruel social order. He was imprisoned for some time after being wrongly implicated in various crimes.
With no regular source of income he had a rootless existence but he never considered compromising with his tormentors and coming to terms with established order. And yet Jalib’s poetry only reflects his anguish. It is not an expression of his anger or frustration. At times it is pensive, couched in sarcasm but his typical soft melodious tone is always there.
Jalib was a product of the progressive movement in the Pakistan but later he became a movement all by himself.

Recent tributes

Till the end of his life in 1993, Jalib remained a member of the Communist Party of Pakistan. In 1994, the Communist Party of Pakistan merged with the Mazdoor Kissan Party to form the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party -- which is the continuation of both the Parties in Pakistan.
Recently, two members of the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party --- Shahram Azhar and Taimur "Timmy" Rahman--- launched a music video reciting Jalib's famous poem "Musheer Se" under the band title Laal (Red), symbolizing Jalib's struggle for the workers and peasants.
September 2008: "Dastoor" another one of Habib Jalibs revolutionary pieces of work was composed in a musical track titled "Dastoor- A tribute to Jalib" by "Umair Salim".

GHUFRAN RAGHIB said...

aur sab bhuul gaye harf-e-sadaaqat likhanaa


aur sab bhuul gaye harf-e-sadaaqat likhanaa
rah gayaa kaam hamaaraa hii baGaavat likhanaa

laakh kahate rahe.n zulmat ko na zulmat likhanaa
ham ne siikhaa hii nahii.n pyaare baa_ijaazat likhanaa

na sile kii na sitaa_ish kii tamannaa ham ko
haq me.n logo.n ke hamaarii to hai aadat likhanaa

ham ne jo bhuul ke bhii shaah kaa qasiidaa na likhaa
shaayad aayaa isii Khuubii kii badaulat likhanaa

us se ba.Dh kar merii tahasiin bhalaa kyaa hogii
pa.Dh ke naaKhush hai.n meraa saahab-e-sarvat likhanaa

dahar ke Gam se huaa rabt to ham bhuul gaye
sarv qaamat kii javaanii ko qayaamat likhanaa

kuchh bhii kahate hai.n kahe.n shaah ke masaahib 'Jalib'
rang rakhanaa yahii apanaa isii suurat likhanaa

GHUFRAN RAGHIB said...

Is shahar-e-Kharaabii me.n Gam-e-ishq ke maare


is shahar-e-Kharaabii me.n Gam-e-ishq ke maare
zindaa hai.n yahii baat ba.Dii baat hai pyaare

ye ha.Nsataa huaa chaa.Nd ye pur_nuur sitaare
taabindaa-o-paa_indaa hai.n zarro.n ke sahaare

[taabindaa-o-paa_indaa = burning bright and eternally]

hasarat hai ko_ii Gunchaa hame.n pyaar se dekhe
aramaa.N hai ko_ii phuul hame.n dil se pukaare

har subah merii subah pe rotii rahii shabanam
har raat merii raat pe ha.Nsate rahe taare

kuchh aur bhii hai.n kaam hame.n ai Gam-e-jaanaa.N
kab tak ko_ii ulajhii hu_ii zulfo.n ko sa.Nvaare

GHUFRAN RAGHIB said...

Habib Jalib
“No poet since Wali Dakkani has been able to capture greater audience than Habib Jalib. He is truly the poet of the masses..” [Faiz Ahmed Faiz]
The history of Pakistan is flooded with compromises, plaguing every segment of society including politicians, judges, bureaucrats, scholars etc. We as a people have managed to secure an ultrastrong “digestive system” for tyranny, injustice, and other social excesses. Our sociocultural decay thus is not by accident but rather a consequence of this indifference, among many other factors.

A few personalities in history however have shied away from this common disposition, showing zero tolerance for the above mentioned ills. Habib Jalib, a renowned Urdu poet and political activist, is among those exceptions who stand out from the rest.

Habib Jalib was born in 1928 in Hoshiarpur, East Punjab. He migrated to Pakistan after partition and worked as a proof reader in Daily Imroze, Karachi. He enjoyed a very simple and humble life. He was a progressive writer and soon started to grab the audience with his enthusiastic recitation of poetry. He wrote in plain language, adopted a simple style and addressed common people and issues. But the conviction behind his words, the music of his voice and his emotional energy coupled with the sensitivity of the sociopolitical context is what stirred the audience.

Jalib's poetry entered another phase as Pakistan drifted away from democracy with the imposition of Martial Law by General Ayub Khan, the first military dictator of Pakistan. He vigorously opposed military rule, denied the convenient “law of necessity”, and challenged the dictatorial policies both through his poetry and political activism. In “recognition” of his sociopolitical services he was rewarded with imprisonment by the Ayub Khan’s regime. He continued to receive this treat throughout his life at the hands of various governments, both military and civil. He was not a “darbari” poet and seemed like an “opposition leader” to all governments.

The popularity of Habib Jalib surged up tremendously after his poem “Dastoor” (the Constitution) which he wrote in response to the imposition of a “new” constitution by General Ayub Khan, in June 1962. The constitution was a turning point in our history which derailed Pakistan from parliamentary democracy towards a dictatorial and autocratic “presidential rule” of Field Marshal Ayub Khan.

Deep jiska Mahallaat hi main jale
Chand logon ki khushiyon ko le kar chale
Wo jo saaye mian har maslehat ke pale
Aise Dastoor ko , Subhe benoor ko,
main nahin manta main nahin maanta



In 1964, Jalib actively supported Ms. Fatima Jinnah in her presidential campaign against Ayub and wrote another famous poem on Ms. Jinnah.

When Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to power, it was assumed that Jalib would enjoy some peace because of similarities between his sociopolitical views (anti-capitalism) and the PPP manifesto. This was however not to be. As Bhutto grew more powerful in the wake of the weakened military after the surrender of Dhaka, the gap between the PPP manifesto and the government policies grew wider. Jalib turned his voice against the Bhutto government and was jailed as before.

When Bhutto was hanged by another military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, Jalib wrote a poem against the “justice” of the military ruler, thereby initiating another thread of confrontation against the new military rule. He actively participated in the movement for the restoration of democracy and faced hardships from the Zia regime, and was once again sent to jail.

Habib Jalib was not a spectator, but an active player. His poetry reflects the pulse of the masses. He was a true “representative” of the people of Pakistan, especially the oppressed masses. He wrote on diverse topics, personalities, events, and ills of the society. He used his poetry as a tool to fight against social injustice, opression and abuse of power etc.. His poetic works when viewed collectively, seem like the sociopolitical timeline of Pakistan.

Despite his meager and irregular income, Jalib never compromised on principles and values and continued his struggle for freedom, justice and humanity till his death on March 12, 1993.

See also: Zulm Rahay Aur Amn Bhi Ho - A Poem by Habib Jalib
For more information on Habib Jalib, see:

Jalib Nama: Habib Jalib ki Siyasi Shairi, Jang Publishers
Remembering Habib Jalib
Habib Jalib, Wikipedia
Habib Jalib, Opentopia

GHUFRAN RAGHIB said...

In India once again communist party defeated with fascist forces only because of its own mistakes.

VNTuongLai said...

__ You’re invited to view my latest video “684”__ a collection of some short poems. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QQVtsjdiDw )