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Thursday, August 31, 2006

From pro-Vande Mataram to opposing compulsory singing: Why a section of Muslims were against the song and opposed it?


This article was written in 2006. Since then, many times the song has led to controversy. A large number of Muslims have no objection to it but some non-Muslims who are aware of history also oppose it. Reasons for opposition are here:

INDSCRIBE

Once every couple of years the controversy over singing Vande Matram erupts and I remember how I had supported the song in my school days and how my views changed later. [It's not about turning a fundamentalist with age].

I was a good student of Sanskrit, learnt scores of shlokas and was quite interested in its grammar. Hence, I felt that the song does not exactly mean worship and could be sung.

I had a heated debate with many elderly family members then and I always felt that there was no problem in singing it.

The translation of the song makes wonderful reading. The Urdu translation which can be understood by many more Indians than the original words is even more nice to ears.

And after reading the sick novel of Bankim Chandra Chatterji, I still don't have objection to anybody singing it but forcing it, NO. In fact, it was a non-Muslim Bengali friend who had told me about the nature of this novel.

I am no less patriotic than any Indian irrespective of their faith and my ancestors have also done their bit towards strengthening the composite culture and unity of this country. My great grandfather has praised Lord Krishna and Prophet Muhammad in the same breath and patriotism has been part of my Imaan.

I need not give any clarification on that. But if any body has delusions of having a patriotism-meter with which he can test my love towards my motherland, then I don't give this right to anybody, sorry, you would be frustrated.

Bankim Chandra wrote a treacherous novel and anybody who has ever read it will never defend it or the song. The novel is disgusting and its shameful that an Indian wrote it. We have had great Hindu nationalists from the revivalist Vivekananda and a strong Arya Samaji like Pt Ram Prasad Bismil, who held Ashfaq as his younger brother.

Their letters and account of those years can bring tears to our eyes. They all saw Hindus and Muslims as One People, One Race. From 1857 to 1870, more than ONE LAKH Hindus and Muslims were executed by British.

Each day hundreds were sent to gallows in Delhi alone. And Chatterjee makes a mockery of all that. The characters..Jivananad, Bhavanand, Mahendra and Satyananda are all fake...'Jahaan woh musalmaan ka gaaon dekhte use aag ke havaale kar dete' [wherever they found a Muslim village they would set it afire, kill all].

Read the translation in Hindi if you don't know Bangla and the novel is full of words like Mlechhca, Haramkhor, Suar about ordinary Muslims. The killing of Muslims is the aim and arrival of British is their hour of glory. What kind of a revolution is this?

An intense hate of Muslims coupled with an admiration for the WHITE RACE or what? That was why leaders like Subhas Chandra Bose opposed the song. This novel and the song is a betrayal to all that our martyrs and freedom fighters stood for.

Even the two stanzas that are not controversial mean something else in context of the novel. And even if we ignore historical aspect of the song and this novel that kills the dream of millions of freedom fighters and the idea of India itself, I see another design in forcing the song to be sung.

I am proud national of a proud nation. I will surely protest, If I turn evasive things are forced one after other on me. Already the names of all Muslim freedom fighters have been forgotten. The poor Maulana Azad also lost his place this August 15.

The RSS and its sister organisations have already succeeded in many of their plans. They have maligned the Muslims as fundamentalists and terrorists, demonised the madarsas and got us from 30% in jobs to 1% but still we are being APPEASED.

If Vande Mataram is not opposed, then compulsory Saraswati Vandana is the next to come. Just a few years back the NDA government had tried to do that. And then Puja is also not far away. What's the problem?

It may be just a circular in Delhi but when it goes to small government schools in rural areas it becomes more of a norm. I remember my teachers in school just not accepting any argument without even reading a line of the novel or understanding Sanskrit.

Things are happening fast. The agenda is at work. Babri Masjid was demolished. The RSS leaders who had gone to Spain to see how Muslims were eliminated there got it replicated in Gujarat. Muslims have been a target of their campaign as Fifth Columnists.

And the secular parties, intellectuals are silent. Do the journalists who debate on such a issue and keep sermonising us that it was the song of independence movement have the credibility to speak on the subject without reading the book and knowing that it served to defeat our unity.

I was surprised to see the reaction of Sabyasachi Mukerjee, who has written a whole book on Vande Mataram, feign ignorance about its religious context and the anti-national message of Anand Math besides giving a sort of clean-chit to song and wondering why the fuss over it. In BJP-ruled states the madarsas have been directed to publicly render the song.

When 800 farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha alone without a whimper owing to debt and it doesn't become an issue but the Vande Mataram becomes an issue, I must marvel at the way the Sangh is functioning like a monstrous hydra across the political, social, journalistic and other spectra.

But this country can't be allowed to be hijacked by people who have a parochial agenda, who want to turn India like states of Middle East or our failed neighbours where no debate is possible.

Innumerable Hindu brothers will always come forward to defend our right not be forced to sing Vande Matram, I know. They are seeing the trap laid for all of us. I am hopeful the voices would emerge from all nook and corner. This is the beauty of this country.

I don't want confrontation but sometimes if you don't speak and pour your heart out, you are pushed to wall. Read more on here to find why even the two stanzas that are termed as 'should not be objectionable' mean something else.

It is not correct to say that Muslims are anti-Vande Mataram. A section feels that it should not be made compulsory and shouldn't be used as a test of patriotism. That's all. We know its our national song. It has a place along side the national anthem.

In fact, majority of Muslim students voluntarily and happily sing it. Some do oppose it and in a mature democracy there should be a scope for disagreement also. Shouldn't there be? 

For how long Muslims in India will be put to humiliation through such tests on their LOYALTY and Patriotism. I request you to read the novel before making any comment. I assure you you will be disgusted.

Also, more posts on http://indianmuslims.in/and A Faizur Rahman's article at Hindustan Times.com on this issue.

No dearth of Hindu, Sikh poets of Urdu in India: Sahitya Akademi function shows non-Muslim litterateurs abound in language


Sheen Kaaf Nizam
One is fed up of hearing that Urdu has become a language of Muslims in India and that the language has lost favour even amongst the Sikhs and sections of Punjabis who had kept the language close to their heart for decades after partition.

That may be true to a large extent but at the recent Sahitya Akademi Bhasha Awards function, it was clear that at least Urdu literature and poetry has no dearth of non-Muslim writers in India even today.

Quite a heartening sight indeed. In Urdu poetry rendition most of the poets were non-Muslim like Gulzar, Pritpal Singh Betab [from Jammu], Jayant Parmar [from Gujarat], Sheen Kaf Nizam ie Shiv Kumar Nizam [from Rajasthan], Chandrabhan Khayal etc. 

Jayant Parmar
The Sahitya Akademi president Gopi Chand Narang, whose mother tongue is Saraiki [spoken in Pakistan] is considered an authority in Urdu criticism. He was also present there.

A lady journalist who had gone to interview the litterateurs was astonished as she thought they were all poets of Hindi. However, they turned out to be that of Urdu.

The poets were visibly sad at the plight of Urdu in the country. Khayal, who has composed the life of Prophet Muhammad in poetic form recently, echoed similar sentiments. 

Pritpal Singh 'Betab'
"No language is identified with religion except Urdu, he said. "Unfortunately Hindu writers are given so much respect amongst Urdu-speakers."

"But most Hindus believe that Urdu is a Muslim language, kuchh halaat hi is mulk ke aise ban gaye hain, kya kiya jaye", he said in an almost resigned tone.

"Mai.n daae'N pahluu baith jaataa huuN to Hindi likhta huuN aur baa'eN pahluu baith jaataa huuN to Urdu jo jaati hai", said Sampooran Singh Kalra more popularly known as Gulzar. 

Sunday, August 27, 2006

List of Muslim Bloggers from India

Indian Muslim Blogosphere

I have tried to compile a list of Muslim bloggers of India. The aim is that people should know what Muslims feel and think. Blogs are a great medium to present Indian Muslims' voice that often doesn't reach others.

This list was made when there were barely a couple of Muslim bloggers from India and there was a psychological pressure that Muslims don't speak up on various issues. So the aim of the list was to show that Muslims of India are no monolithic, they are as diverse as other Indians, they are speaking up, there are lots of liberals among them, they have their own dreams, there are blogs about poetry, personal interests, women issues, religion, society and all other topics under the sun.

Serendipity (Sharique)
Doubt Engine
Syed Akbar

Ye Manzilein (Shahid A Sayed)
Fly you Fools (Saad Akhtar)
साझा सरोकार Saajha-Sarokar [Hindi blog by Shahroz]
Jalpari [Almas Shamim]
Private Opinion (Mohib)
Take a Walk (Asif)
Dream Ink (Zafar Anjum)
Fragmented Impressions (Sadia Raval)
Oroosa's Orbit (Uroosa Subuhi)
Known Turf (Annie Zaidi)
Leaves of Life (Riyaz)
Most things in life...(Noman)

Splash of life (Ashraf)
Kaleidoscope (Nabeela)
Yusuf Speaks (Yusuf)
Soaring Spirit & As if I care (Zarine)
Muslim Mama (Seems to have quit blogging)
Biriyani (Faiza)
Naghma-e-Bulbul (Pasheman)
Ideastic (Nazim)
UrdudaaN (Blog in Urdu script)
Being Muslim in America (SS)
Muzlamic Celebration (Saif)
My Way (Toufeeq)
Danesh's psyche (Danesh)
Graffiti of Existence (Karim)
Dastangoi (Danish Husain)

Random Numbers (Faiz Azim)
Etc and Etc (Idayathullah)
Soul Splinters (Fareen)
Urdu ke Naam (Group Blog)
Stray Thoughts (Manzoor Khan)

Stale Wine (Sameer Ahmed)
Nothing Else Matters (Ghulam Husain)
Alltough Thoughts (Altaf)
The Lion is Roaring (Asad)
Pushing Pixels (Adel Anwar)
Mind over Matter (El Savior)

Though I couldn't find many Muslims from India who are very serious bloggers but the number seems growing. The interaction with Indian Muslims on blogosphere may help in removing the stereotypes of the community and the often negative portrayal.
Some of the above mentioned bloggers are living abroad. Besides, I was unsure about nationality of some bloggers or their identity. If there are any mistakes in this list, do tell me, I will correct that immediately.
Like rest of the Indians, Muslims of this country also come from all sections, there are female bloggers, software professionals, students, serious thinkers, happy-go-lucky guys, those interested in movies, cricket and poetry et al. I have found 100-0dd bloggers but many are redundant, some are topic-specific and I wish to present a vibrant Indian Muslim blogging community. So here I am posting only 50-odd blogs.

It took me quite a lot of time to search the IMBs and please don't take it as a ranking, it is just a compilation. Also the list has some female bloggers amongst Muslims like Sadia, Zahera, Faiza, El Savior, Nabeela, Tahseen, Zainab, Zarine and Fareen. That's far less than in other countries but surely we we will see more of them in near future. Mostly the blogs that have original thought and writing have been chosen. Some journalists also have blogs but they post their articles on them and I have avoided them. I request all not to see this exercise with any communal angle. Thanks :)

And my blog you are already on: Indscribe's Mindspeak, Best Urdu Ghazals & Nazms and Urdu India.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

...zindagi kaahe ko hai, Khwaab hai deevane ka

ek moa'mma hai samajhne ka na samjhaane kaa
zindagi kaahe ko hai, Khwaab hai diivaane kaa

Khalq kahtii hai jise dil tere diivaane kaa
ek goshaa hai yah duniaa isii viiraane kaa

muKhtasar qissa-e-Gham yeh hai ki dil rakhtaa huuN
raaz-e-kaunain Khulaasa hai is afsaane kaa

dil se ponhchii to haiN aaNkhoN meN lahuu ki buundeN
silsilaa shiishe se miltaa to hai paimaane kaa

husn hai zaat merii ishq, sifat hai merii
huuN to maiN shamaa' magar bhes hai parvaane kaa

hamne chhaanii haiN boh't dair-o-haram ki galiyaaN
kahiiN paayaa na Thikaana tere diivaane kaa

har nafs umr-e-guzishtaa ki hai mayyat Faani
zindagii naam hai mar mar ke jiye jaane kaa

Click to read in Urdu Script

hamne chaand se Takraa diye haiN paimaane...

ko'ii to shahar meN ham sirphiroN ko pahchaane
ki hamne chaand se Takraa diye haiN paimaane

kabhi to saari shikastoN ka yuuN silaa mil jaaye
hiran ki khoj meN nikluuN, Shakuntala mil jaaye

(Najeeb Ramish)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Major literary works focusing on Indian Muslims: Books dealing with Muslim issues, India's partition and Indo-Islamic culture of the sub-continent


Strong novel against Hindu, Muslim communalism
A gentleman, Rao Sahab, has asked me about literary works of Indian Muslims that can give him a peek into the culture, thought process, fears, anxieties, hopes and aspirations of the minority community.

I think the post should be regarding novels on Indian Muslims. Yes there are some books which are a must read for not just Muslims but non-Muslims in this country as well. 

I thought I should share with you. I recommend these books to everybody. Here is a list of the major works of fiction, many of whom have been translated in English and Hindi also.

1. Qurratul Ain Haider's Aag ka Darya translated as River of Fire is one of the greatest novels ever written in any language. The characters of Gautam Nilambar, Kamaal and Champa appear in different eras--from the period of Chandragupta Maurya to Sultanate era, Mughals, arrival of East India company and later when India gets divided into Hindustan and Pakistan.

2. Abdus Samad's 'Do Gaz Zameen' that deals with psyche of Muslims until Bangladesh's creation and after. It has been translated in almost a dozen languages.

3. Salahuddin Parvez' Shinakhtnaama or Identity Card, a landmark work in the backdrop of Ayodhya Movement. Apart from the story, its the style that captures the imagination of the reader.

4. Rahi Masoom Raza's 'Topi Shukla', a must-read for all Indians, a small novel originally in Hindi which I am sure can change the thinking of fanatic Hindus and Muslims and force them to introspect.

The boy who was dark complexioned, not loved by parents, hated Muslims in his young age and took admission in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to see these 'anti-nationals', later lives a bohemian life, befriends Muslims, falls in love with Muslim girl and has a rather tragic end.

Raza who wrote script of Mahabharat is a master and his command over the dialects of UP and understanding of human psychology, belief in secularism and communal harmony is unparalleled.

5. Raza's Adha Gaon or a Village Divided [recently translated in English] is another beautiful novel about Muslims, particularly the Shia Muslims and their culture, in country side of Uttar Pradesh [Ghazipur's rural and qasbah life].
Qurratul Ain Hyder

6. In Hindi, Manzoor Ahtesham's Sukha Bargad translated as 'A Dying Banyan'. It has also become a sort of classic now as it explores Hindu-Muslim relations in the post-independence era.

7. Another interesting one is Asghar Vajahat [or Wajahat's] 'Saat Aasmaan'. The novel has ample humour as Wajahat's characters have interesting anecdotes & stories to recount, which keep you hooked.

Yet another Rahi Masoom Raza novel, 'Neem ka Ped' on which a TV serial was based, comes to mind. Rahi also wrote 'Himmat Jaunpuri', which is not too easily available these days.

8. Abdul Bismillah's 'Jhini Bini Chadaria' is considered a good novel as it deals with weavers of Benares though I was not impressed much with it. The fact that novel deals about poor Muslims and not Nawabs, Upper Class or Aristocrats is noteworthy.

9. A unique novel is Kaala Jal by Gulsher Khan Shani, one of the first Muslim writers to take up Hindi as a medium of expression, instead of Urdu. The setting is in remote Bastar, the heart of tribal territory. A television serial on the novel with Pallavi Joshi as lead character was quite a hit in the mid-80s.

10. Ilyas Ahmad Gaddi's brilliant work 'Fire Area' is about the miners in coal fields of Bihar. Gaddi's novel has been acclaimed one of the best works in Urdu fiction in India in the last decade or so. Unfortunately I haven't read it.

11. Musharraf Alam Zauqi's 'bayaan' is a major novel. It deals with the insecurities and frustration that had gripped Muslims after demolition of Babri Masjid and the riots in Mumbai, Surat etc.

I have not read Syed Mohammad Ashraf's 'Nambardaar ka Neela' that got great reviews. There are other good Muslim authors who have written good novels but firsthand I remember these and all of them are a must-read. Amongst the earlier works is Hayatullah Ansari's voluminous Lahoo ke Phool, which I unfortunately couldn't read.

Udas Naslein translated in English 
12. The query is about Muslim writers otherwise I was reading Ravindra Kalia's famous 'Khuda Salaamat Hai' and was enchanted by it. 

Set in a mohalla of a North Indian town that has an equal population of Hindus & Muslims, inhabited by shopkeepers, mullahs, pundits, tawaifs & all sorts of people, it depicts the strength of our common heritage & ganga-jamuni culture.


Shamsur Rahman Faruqi has written 'Kai Chand The Sar-e-Aasman', but we await a magnum opus from him on partition and its impact on composite cultural heritage.

Besides, Khushwant Singh's 'Delhi' is one of my favourites. No matter what people say about the 'vulgarity' in the novel, it remains the best work on Delhi along with Ahmad Ali's 'Twilight in Delhi' which is now considered a legendary work.

Ahmed Ali's novel is in a class of its own. It gives a glimpse into the Dehlvi tehzeeb of yore, the life and culture in Delhi, before partition.

And whenever it comes to partition, it is impossible to forget Saadat Hasa Manto. Among short stories I rank Hindi writer Nasira Sharma and her 'Patthar Gali' quite highly. In fact, I have suggested more than 20 novels by now. Enough for this post, I guess.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Munir Niazi's Nazm

bichhaR gaye to phir bhii milenge ham donoN ek baar
yaa is bastii dunyaa meN yaa iskii hadoN se paar

lekin Gham hai to bas itna jab ham vahaaN milenge
ek duusre ko ham kaise tab pahchaan sakenge
yahii sochte apnii jagah par chup chup khaRe rahenge

isse pahle bhii ham donoN kahiiN zaruur mile the
yeh pahchaan ke naye shaguufe pahle kahaaN khile the

yaa is bastii dunyaa meN ya iskii hadoN se paar
bichhaR gaye haiN mil kar donoN pahle bhii ek baar

(Munir Niyazi)
For reading in Urdu script click on Urdu India

Friday, August 18, 2006

Der aayad, durust aayad

At the launch of DD Urdu on August 15, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, 'Der aayad, durust aayad' in response to the delay in launch of the Urdu channel though all major languages of the country have national channel for over a decade now.
On this occasion, Editor of the daily Pratap K Narendra questioned why Urdu was made to suffer so much after independence. Narendra spoke about the difficulties facing the Urdu press and said that without bribe the govt. ads can't be obtained. (Pratap and Milap are the Urdu papers of Delhi from pre-partition era and have Hindutva leanings, read mostly by elderly Sikhs and Punjabi/Sindhi-speaking Hindus mostly from Pakistan)
In fact, Urdu channel was never a priority with the centre. It was only after pressure came from all quarters and government faced embarrassment in parliament several times over queries regarding the reason for not establishing a channel in Urdu that the decision was taken.
The All India Radio's Urdu service that is immensely popular has also suffered this apathy. Its transmission is never clear and you always find one or the other transmitters non-functional causing disruption. Still, it is satisfying that Urdu has a national channel now. Yet to see it though. Will have to convince the cable-wala and then only I can comment about the content of the 7:30 hr news programmes that it will broadcast every 24 hrs.
Hayat Lakhnavi
Poet Hayat Lakhnavi passed away on Tuesday. He was son of famous Urdu poet Azeez Lakhanvi. Hayat had four collections Hisar-e-Aab, Nadi-ke-Paar ka Manzar, Dariya RawaaN Rahe & Wasiila to his credit. He had recieved Mir Taqi Mir award and Delhi Urdu Academy awards amongst many others.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bandit Salim Gujjar killed: He was Hindu or Muslim!

The most colourful of Chambal bandits, who kept the police eluding for decades, ultimately fell to police bullet along with his latest beloved, Gita Jatav, in Uttar Pradesh. Salim Gujjar's death apart, the fixation of people with religion can be gauged with the interest of ordinary people and even media men into the dacoit's faith. Was he a Hindu or Muslim? That's the question making rounds everywhere.

Does it matter that much? He was like the scores of dacoits in Chambal ravines spread over three states (MP, UP and Rajasthan) where no crop is produced. The only crop that comes up is of bandits. For centuries, from the Pindaris to present day Dacoits, the tradition of 'baaghi' remains.

Either you join police or army else the way to 'izzat' is turn an outlaw and become a gun-toting dacoit. Bollywood blockbuster Sholay was based on this lawless Chambal though shot in another location. Ofcourse, Salim lived a colourful life and had a number of women members in his gang unlike other gang leaders who prefer to avoid having women members in gang and rather go to the house of their female companions who live in villages.

In Chambal there have been Muslim dacoits also and one of the most 'respected' bandit Baba Mustaqeem was alive until the 80s and had given Phoolan Devi, the permission to form her gang. Salim hailed from Jalaun in UP. The letterhead on which he used to send letters to traders and millionaires for extortion carried 'Jai Bhawani' but still people insist on knowing why he was Salim.

I have met Abduls, Qadirs and Akbars in Chhattisgarh all of whom are Christians. These are very common names amongst tribal Christians just like Manoj, Ashok, Rajkumar etc. So do I need to solve the mystery about the faith of Salim Gujjar, who was wanted in connection with over 100 crimes, carried a reward of Rs 1.5 lakh on his head and had a mile-long criminal record? He was not a Muslim, Pahalwan Singh Gujjar, who preferred to call himself Salim probably due to romanticism surrounding Prince Salim and Anarkali.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dhrupad maestro Asghari passes away in Madhya Pradesh: Sumran kar man Ram naam ki...

Asghari Bai
Dhrupad maestro Ashgari Bai, 88, passed away at Tikamgarh on Wednesday.

An exponent of this ancient style of Hindustani music, Asghari Bai was credited for taking forward the age-old tradition.

She was a pioneering exponent of Dhrupad among women. Asghari was acclaimed for enriching the heritage of Indian classical music.

Also, she had evolved a distinct style of her own. Asghari was buried on Thursday in Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh with full state honours. Crowned with umpteen national honours including the Tansen Samman, Shikhar Samman and Padma Shri, she was born in Bijawar in 1918.

He mother Nazir Begum was associated with Chhatarpur state while grandmother Vilayat was employed with the court of Ajaygarh state. She was admitted in the hospital for a a long time.

But whenever she gained consciousness, her fingers would start moving as if she was in the midst of a performance. 'Sumran kar man Ram naam ki...' was her favourite bhajan that came on her lips.

Asghari never travelled outside and only preferred cycle-rickshaw. She felt that journey in train would be improper as her feet in the train could point towards holy places. She had learnt her basics under Ustad Zahurbakhsh Khan and acquired extraordinary expertise.

However, she was living in penury after her children fought over her pension and for share in grants from the government meant for her. She was sick and lying unattended when media brought to light her plight early this year.

The squabble among her sons Kamal, Ashok and daughter-in-law Saira, had left her bitter. She wished to stay with Parveen, her daughter. With Asghari ended an era. The first and last woman exponent of Dhrupad died leaving behind no one to carry the legacy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Na gul-e-naGhma huN, na parda-e-saaz....Ghalib

na gul-e-naGhma huuN na parda-e-saaz
maiN huuN apnii shikast kii aavaaz

tuu aur aaraaiish-e-Kham-kaakul
maiN aur andesha-e-haae duur-o-daraaz

laaf-e-tamkiiN fareb-e-saada-dilii
ham haiN aur raazhaa-e-siina-e-gudaaz

nahiiN dil meN mere voh qatra-e-KhuuN
jis-se miZhgaaN huii na ho gulbaaz

mujhko puuchha to kuchh Ghazab na huaa
maiN Ghariib aur tuu Ghariib navaaz

asadullah KhaN tamaam huaa
aye dariiGha voh rind-e-shaahid baaz

(Asadullah Khan Ghalib)

Isn't that a simple one! Still, gulbaaz! gulbaazi was a game played with flowers--rose and marigold. For reading in Urdu and Devanagari (Hindi) Click on www.urduindia.wordpress.com

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chavez : USA is like Count Dracula hunting for Blood & Petrol, compares Israel to Hitler



Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said:
1. United States of America is like Count Dracula always is search of blood and Petrol.
2. Israel is doing what Hitler did to Jews.
3. My heart beats with millions of Arab hearts
4. I could have been an Arab. I have crossed deserts, I have ridden camels, and I have sung along with the Bedouin. I have learned in those years to love and respect the Arab people
5. I consider Al-Jazeera as a great liberator

All this must have come as music to Arab ears. Chavez, whose stature has grown fast over the years as a flagbearer of American imperialism, and is clearly the heir apparent to Latin America after the ageing Fidel Castro, irked Israel with his interview telecast on Al-Jazeera. Venezuela has already pulled up its envoy from Israel and the latter has also temporarily called its ambassador.

Now contrast it with what the Arab monarchs and 'leaders' of Middle-East like Hosni Mubarak. No wonder in 'chaai-Khaanas' you hear such harsh taunts on Arab leaders and even Arab populace.

Saudi nahiiN Yahudi kahiye, that is the statement I have heard so often lately. Comparing Saudis (read monarchs) to Zionists reflect the anger and frustration at these undemocratic states and their consistent failure to diffuse any crisis in middle east. The similar knee-jerk reactions, calls for Arab league summit, emergency meetings, urging UN for action and the same dithering response everytime.

A neighbour quoted an Urdu couplet that is not quotable at all ;) Of course, Muslim world must realise that it is not when Palestinians and Lebanese are suffering that they should temporarily feel angry at the Arab leaders. Otherwise also there are tremendous contradictions in the conduct of Arab states and their leaders.

At least such conflicts can open the eyes of peple. The lesson drawns is that dozens of 'Muslim' states together can't stop this injustice to their fellow Muslims. And it's a Chavez who bats for them. The parameters should be justice and injustice. Arabs need real reforms and their leaders should stop their absurd theatrics.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Well-known couplets, little known poets

1. tamannaa thii to bas yeh thii tamannaa aaKhiri apnii
ki voh saahil pe hote aur kashtii duubtii apnii
[She'ri Bhopali]

تمنا تھی تو بس یہ تھی تمنا آخری اپنی
کہ وہ ساحل پہ ہوتے اور کشتی ڈووبتی اپنی
(شعری بھوپالی)

तमन्ना थी तो बस यह थी तमन्ना आख़िरी अपनी
कि वो साहिल पे होते और कश्ती डूबती अपनी
(शे'अरी भोपली)

2. chal saathi, ki hasrat dil-e-mahruum se nikle
aashiq ka janaaza hai zara dhuum se nikle

Whose couplet is this? It's Mirza Mohammad Ali Fidvi who is mentioned as early as in 1838 when Gulshan-e-beKhaar was published.

3. vaabasta merii yaad se kuchh talKhiyaaN bhi thiiN
achchha kiyaa jo tumne faraamosh kar diya

It is often considered as Sahir Ludhianvi's couplet [because Sahir's diivan was named TalkhiyaaN] but this is Hasan Latifi's couplet.

4. 'tandarusti hazaar ne'mat hai'
Haven't we heard this line numerous times. This is a line from Mirza Qurban Ali Salik's ghazal and the couplet is:

tang-dasti agar na ho ghaalib
tandarusti hazaar ne'mat hai

Now don't confuse 'ghalib' with Mirza Ghalib as it is not 'maqta' where the 'taKhallus' is used. Here ghalib is a mere word that means dominance.

[tang-dasti=poverty]
Saalik was the maternal grandfather of Maulana Maudoodi.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Why angry Sulabh sent email to President?

Sulabh Goyal was arrested for sending a threatening email to the President recently. It was a mischief but the boy felt there was a genuine reason for it.

Most of the newspapers failed to understand his grievance. His friends use to make fun of him because Sulabh is also the name of a chain of public toilets all over India. In most of the cities Sulabh Shauchalayas can be seen.

Comparison with loo or classmates saying like 'why go elsewhere to relieve, Sulabh is here', he must have felt miserable for no fault of his known. He had earlier wrote to higher officials at various levels to change the name of the chain of public loos but he never got any response.

Perhaps he failed to realise the consequences of the email and intelligence agencies took him away. Scores of cops conducted the operation and it took a long time to arrest the boy who hailed from Ashok Nagar district.

On a visit to Indore, he had sent the email from an internet cafe. Naturally tracking him was tough. However, it was a mischief so he may get off soon. But it also speaks volumes about how much children and teenagers suffer in their peer group over such minor things.

They are teased, made fun of endlessly and this drives them crazy as they find no way to deal with it. [PS: A later report said that the boy committed suicide later on in his house]

Friday, August 04, 2006

tere firaaq kii raateN kabhii na bhuulengii..

kisii kalii ne bhii dekhaa na aaNkh bhar ke mujhe
guzar ga'ii jaras-e-gul udaas karke mujhe

maiN so rahaa thaa kisii yaad ke shabistaaN meN
jagaa ke chhoR gaye qaafle sahar ke mujhe

maiN ro rahaa thaa muqaddar kii saKht raahoN meN
uRa ke le gaye jaduu terii nazar ke mujhe

maiN tere dard ki tuGhyaaniyoN meN duub gayaa
pukaarte rahe taare ubhar ubhar ke mujhe

tere firaaq kii rateN kabhii na bhuuleNgii
maze mile inhiiN raatoN meN umar bhar ke mujhe


zaraa sii der Thaharne de aye Gham-e-duniaa
bulaa rahaa hai ko'ii baam se utar ke mujhe

phir aaj aa'ii thii ek mauj-ai-hawaa-e-tarb
sunaa ga'ii hai fasaane idhar udhar ke mujhe

(Nasir Kazmi)

To read this ghazal in Urdu and devanaagari Click on
http://urduindia.wordpress.com/2006/08/04/uraa-le-gaye-jaduu-terii-nazar-ke-mujhe-nasir-kazmis-ghazal/

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tajik Prez visit: Mirza Bedil's tomb in Delhi gets face-lift

All of a sudden the dilapidated tomb of Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil, the great Persian poet, who was born in Patna, is getting a face-lift. The officials are busy sprucing up the structure and plaques would be put up about the poet.

Incidentally, Bedil is very popular in Central Asia rather than India, where he was born and died. However, the upcoming visit of Emomali Rahmanov the Tajikistan President who is arriving in Delhi on August 6 has prompted officials into action.

Rahmanov had expressed his wish to visit Bagh-e-Bedil on Mathura Road. Ghalib drew heavily from Bedil. Ghalib's couplet 'tarz-e-bedil meN reKhta kahnaa/asadullah khaN qayaamat hai' is well-known. Many other Urdu and Persian poets have been inspired from the 17th century poet who has great following in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

"Bedil az kulfat-e-shikasht mun'aal Bazm-e-hasti dukaan-e-shishagar ast (Bedil weep not for your losses, this party that is life, is after all held in a glassmaker's shop)."
Moushumidas Gupta has reported in HT www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1758717,000600010001.htm

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tum mere pas hote ho goya/jab koi doosra naheen hota....Momin


tum mere paas hote ho goyaa
jab koi'ii duusraa nahiN hotaa


This is one of the most popular of Momin's all ghazals.
It's quite a long ghazal that has nine couplets.










असर उसको ज़रा नहीं होता
रंज राह्तफ़ज़ा नहीं होता

तुम हमारे किसी तरह न हुए
वरना दुनिया में क्या नहीं होता

तुम मेरे पास होते हो गोया
जब कोई दूसरा नहीं होता

हाल-ए-दिल यार को लिखूं क्यूं कर
हाथ दिल से जुदा नहीं होता

The whole ghazal in Urdu, Hindi and English is available
at http://urduindia.wordpress.com/2006/08/01/momin-khan-momins-famous-urdu-ghazal/