ahmed_farazThe genius of Urdu poet Ahmed Faraz is evident in this brilliant nazm where he questions the celebrations for India’s independence and partition and laments over the state of the new nation. Very thought provoking!

ab kis kaa jashn manaate ho us des kaa jo taqseem hua
ab kis ke geet sunaatey ho us tan-man kaa jo do-neem hua

us khwab ka jo reza reza un aankhon ki taqdeer hua
us naam ka jo tukde tukde galiyon mein be-tauqeer hua

us parcham kaa jis ki hurmat bazaron mein nilaam hui
us mitti ka jis ke hurmat mansoob uduu key naam hui

us jang ko jo tum haar chuke, us rasm ka jo jaari bhi nahin
us zakhm ka jo seena pe na thaa us jaan kaa jo vaari bhi nahin

us khoon kaa jo badqismat tha raahon mein bahaayaa, tan mein rahaa
us phool kaa jo beqeemat tha aangan mein khila ya ban mein raha

us mashriq ka jis ko tum ne nezay ki ani marham samjha
us maghrib ka jis ko tum ne jitna bhi loota kum samjha

un masoomon ka jin key lahoo se tum ne farozaan raatein ki
ya un mazlmoon ka jis se khanjar ki zubaan mein baatein ki

us Mariyam ka jis ke iffat lutatee hay bhare bazaaron mein
us Eisaa ka jo qaatil hai or shaamil hai ghamkhvaaron mein

in noha-garon ka jin ne hamein khud qatl kiya khud rotey hain
aisi bhi kahin dam-saaz hue, aise jallaad bhi hote hain!

un bhooke nange dhaanchon ka jo raqs sar-e-baazar karein
yaa un zaalim qazzaaqon ka jo bhais badal kar var karein

yaa un jhoota iqraaron ka jo aaj talak wafa na hue
yaa un bebus laachaaron ka jo aur bhi dukh ka nishana hue

is shahi ka jo dast-ba-dast aai hai tumhaare hisse mein
kyon nang-e-vatan ki baat karo kya rakhaa hai is qisse mein

aankhon mein chupaaye ashkon ko honton mein wafa key bol liye
is jashn mein bhii shaamil hoon nohon se bhara kashkol liye

Here is a rough English translation of this fantastic and thought provoking poem:

Now what is this celebration for,
For the country that has been divided
Now what are these songs you sing,
Of the body that was cut into two

Of that dream, that is in pieces, as the destiny of the eyes that dreamt it
Of that name, that is broken and treated with disrespect in the streets

Of that flag, whose honour has been auctioned in the marketplace
Of the soil, whose respect has been called out, and given to the enemy

Of that war, that we have lost
Of that ritual, that is not in practice
Of that wound, that was not on our chest
Of that life, that is not offered in sacrifice
Of that blood, whose misfortune was it to flow in the streets or remain in the veins
Of that flower, priceless as it blossomed in the garden or left in the woods
That East that you considered as salve at the point of the spear
That West that you thought, was less however much it was blundered
Those innocent ones, with whose blood you illuminated the nights
Or those oppressed, with whom you spoke with a lashing tongue

Of that Mary, whose chastity was lost in the marketplace
Of that Jesus, whose crucified presence is a consoler

Of these mourners, who murdered us and themselves cry over it,
There are such supporters everywhere, such cruel executioners also exist

Of hungry skeletal souls that dance in the marketplace
Or those cruel dacoits that strike in disguise
Or of those false confessions that haven’t been fulfilled to date
Or of those helpless souls who are targets of sorrow even today

Of this royal inheritance that has come into your hands
Why speak of this stark nation, there is no story to tell here

With hidden tears in eyes, and loyal words on the lips
I am part of this celebration, with beggar’s bowl full of lamentation and tears