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ATP Mushaira: Ahmed Faraz, Mohasra and the CJ

Posted on March 11, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Mushaira, People, Poetry, Politics, Urdu
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Adil Najam

The recent sacking of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Chaudhry, has ignited passions all over the Pakistani blogistan. That is not surprising. What is remarkable is the consensus in opinion and outrage that seems to be universal (including in the results of our ATP Quick Poll).

As I read the hundreds of comments posted all across the Pakistani blogistan, it is also striking how many times people have invoked poetry as a way to express their strongly held feelings and heartfelt emotions. As always it is in Faiz Ahmed Faiz that people find the most comfort and solace. My own favorite – hum daikhain gay – has been repeatedly invoked; so has nisaar mein teri galiyoun mein and aaj bazaar mein pabajolaaN chalo. Another great favorite of mine – kuch sanoo maran da shouq vi see; this from Munir Niazi – has also been mentioned.

I am, however, always surprised that we do not hear more of Ahmed Faraz’s poetry in these discussions. From what one can fathom, the sacked Chief Justice may not be the ‘perfect hero’ that poets commemorate, but I imagine that sitting under guard as he is he may well reading Faraz right now and feeling the intensity of at least some of the verses.

This is particularly so for the poem ‘Mohassra’, which is probably Faraz’s most prominent political poem (written during the Zia years):


Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry may also find some solace in Ahmad Faraz’s Qaid-i-Tanhai. The additional verses at the end of this video clip seem equally pertinent.

37 Comments on “ATP Mushaira: Ahmed Faraz, Mohasra and the CJ”

  1. Adnan Ahmad says:
    March 11th, 2007 2:58 pm

    I am stating the obvious here.. but the line:

    kisay wakeel karein kis se munsafi chahain

    holds truer than ever before.

  2. Pak Law says:
    March 11th, 2007 5:01 pm

    hmmmmmmm……….. goons are now pressuring him to resign

    can anyone set up a live news feed on this on the net?

  3. saleem says:
    March 11th, 2007 5:02 pm

    Adil Sahab,

    I hope you will consider doing a blog on what it would for the Pakistan public to start demanding justice. I have some thoughts on it but I don’t think that this is the appropriate blog to ‘let out my frustration’.

  4. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 11th, 2007 5:18 pm

    Adil: A nice & appropriate posting in the present time. I have not read whole poetry, but Habib Jalib was also one of such poets. I believe that in a progressive & free society, we find poets & artists being born every few years; but it seems we are left only with few people like Faraz.

  5. Roshan says:
    March 11th, 2007 6:01 pm

    Great!!!
    Faraz looks like an activist and advocate for liberty and equality agaist tyrany and opression.

  6. Daktar says:
    March 11th, 2007 6:10 pm

    Thank you. What beautiful poetry. I am usually not much into poetry, but the last lines on the second one really moved me:

    jab shahar khandar bun jai ga
    phir kiss par sang uthao gay

    apnay chehray aaeno may
    jab daikho gay darr jao gay

  7. Eidee Man says:
    March 12th, 2007 3:19 am

    Apparently GEO or a major channel carried a long Naeem Bokhari interview….if someone locates this on Youtube, etc, please post the link here.

  8. Indscribe says:
    March 12th, 2007 5:26 am

    Wonderful post. Protest poetry and poets like Habib Jalib are also needed in any society. Khair.

  9. Someone says:
    March 12th, 2007 9:44 am

    What the president did was unconstitutional but at the same time the acts of CJP Chaudhry were unconstitutional as well. One the one hand he sought favours from the Governments for BMWs and mercs and on the other hand he humiliated Senior Govet officials publicly in court. Being an offspring of a former CJP I think it is a contradiction of character to be dependent on the goevrnment for perks and independent at the same time if he were that independent then he should have excersised independence from material perks as well. nevertheless he still was the Chief Justice of the Country and this is no way of making him accountable in a civilised society.

  10. Moeen Bhatti says:
    March 12th, 2007 9:47 am

    By the way, today is the ‘bursee’ of Habib Jalib.

  11. Lahori says:
    March 14th, 2007 12:14 am

    I have been following all newspapers, TV channels and many websites to keep up with the what people are saying about the Chief Justice issue. I must say that of everything I have seen, this is still THE MOST thoughtful commentary in the choice of the poems but also in highlighting how poetry can help us express our strongest feelings. Keep it up.

  12. BitterTruth says:
    March 12th, 2007 2:12 pm

    @Someone “he humiliated Senior Govet officials publicly in court”

    Ask the family of those who are kidnapped by the agencies. What you think when govt official simply say we dont know..It was due to tough stand of CJP that most of them suddenly reported to be in the custody of agencies.
    If the govt officials do not fulfill thier duty, they deserved to be suspended rather than just humiliated.
    He asked for BMW ..wow what a crime.Do you know Speaker of NA didnt accept a repaired BMW and forced the government to buy a new one. Why is only mushy and puppets deserve security and luxury?

  13. Farrukh says:
    March 12th, 2007 2:28 pm

    You are right. Poetry is a great way of expressing ones feelings when there are no other ways to o so.

    I loved the first poem. Had never heard that before.

  14. hakim says:
    March 12th, 2007 2:31 pm
  15. Someone says:
    March 12th, 2007 4:26 pm

    Bitter Truth.. The Speaker and other Govt officials can do whatever but it is not becoming of CJP to behave in that manner. if you apply the rule of suspesion for Govet Officials for not doing their jobs well then the smae rule should be applied to everyone. Nobody regardless of their position or social stature deserves to be humiliated including Justice Chaudhry. I sympathise with the families of the mising people and what is happening is unconstitutional but at the same time Justice Iftikhar was dependent on the Govt for material perks. And I am just trying to make a statement here that one should be wholly independent of the Government–If he was trying to seperate Judiciary from the Executive then he should have seperated himself personally as well by sticking to the 2 cars ( Toyota Corola and or Honda Civic) quota sanction for the CJP.

  16. babar says:
    March 13th, 2007 4:42 am

    Muhasira is “the best”

    Long before the chief justice fiasco, the following verse has been my favorite, specially after Legal Framework Order.

    ” muazazeen-e-adalat half uthane ko,,,
    milas-e-sail-e-mubram rah main hain.”

  17. babar says:
    March 13th, 2007 4:46 am

    and fortunately or unfortunately, chief justice was one of them.

  18. March 14th, 2007 7:25 am

    On Faraz’s absence. I think activism in poetry died with Habib Jalib in Pakistan. The other notable poets such as Amjab Islam Amjad and Ahmad Faraz have taken different direction because the impact of poetry is insignificant these days.

  19. Anwar says:
    March 14th, 2007 1:57 pm

    Habib Jalib was an eternal revolutionary. Ahmad Faraz nationalistic detour was during Zia’s days followed by some somersaults.
    Indeed a great poet…

  20. Samdani says:
    March 15th, 2007 1:17 am

    Found this by Habib Jalib that seemed appropriate here

    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

  21. March 16th, 2007 1:44 am

    [...] We have tried to look at and make sense of these events fromvarious angles, including the poetic. But like Pakistanis everywhere we remain confused and concerned about the direction of events. Things seem to be spinning out of control. The government seems to be panicking. And public frustration with the turn of events is escalating. [...]

  22. Ismail Hussein says:
    March 22nd, 2007 3:20 pm

    I think some of the comments here are very unfair on Faraz.

    His Mohassra (which you include) is one of the greatest poems of rebellion in Pakistan’s history and written at the height of tyrrany. He also took a principled stand against Musharraf before most others in returning his medals after the Bugti killing. He has spoken against injustice consistently.

  23. Samdani says:
    April 14th, 2007 1:57 pm

    I agree that Mohassra is one of the greatest poems of rebellion, hearing it again today again made me think of just how relevant it still is.

    I think it is only because Farazis always immeditealy compared to Faiz that he does not get the credit that he deserves.

  24. basit says:
    August 30th, 2007 1:17 pm

    Poetry is a great way of expressing ones feelings when there are no other ways to o so.

    I loved the first poem. Had never heard that before.

  25. Shamim adil Siddiqui says:
    September 14th, 2007 10:55 pm

    Can someone mail me the Ahmad Faraz nazm Corp commandar chor commandar.

  26. February 3rd, 2008 4:43 am

    yahii kahaa tha meri Ankh dekh sakti hay
    tu mujh peh toot peraa sara Shaher e Nabiina !!!
    by
    Ahmed faraz

  27. asad khan says:
    February 13th, 2008 1:12 am

    hi sir how are you i saw your sit it is great will u plz send me the Ahmed Faraz’s poem CHOR Commander i will be thank full to you
    thank you
    asad khan

  28. March 9th, 2008 1:56 pm

    salam,s i want the contact number of ahmed faraz and pleas you any person have his number pleas send me on my email id

  29. khan abi talha says:
    May 23rd, 2008 1:43 pm

    shiddate tashnagi main bhi gairate tashnagi rahi
    usne jo pher li nazar maine bhi jaam rakh diya
    dekho ye mere khwaab the dekho ye mere zakhm hain
    maine to sab hisaabe jaan barsare aam rakh diya
    usne nazar nazar main hi aise bhale sukhan kahe
    main to uske paon main sara kalaam rakh diya
    aur faraaz chaiyen kitni mohabbaten tujhe
    maon ne tere naam pe bachon ka naam rakh diya

  30. khan abu talha says:
    May 23rd, 2008 1:48 pm

    Suna hai log ussay aankh bhar ke dekhtay hain
    So us ke shehar mein kuch din thehar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai rabt hai us ko kharaab haloon se
    So apne aap ko barbaad kar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai dard ki ghaahak hai chashm-e-naaz us ki
    So hum bhi us ki gali se guzar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai us ko bhi hai shair-o-shaeri se shaguf
    So hum bhi moujazzay apne hunar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai bolay tu batoon se phool jhartay hain
    Yeh baat hai tu chalo baat kar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai raat ussay chaand takta rehta hai
    Sitaaray baam-e-falak se uttar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai din ko ussay titleyaan sataati hain
    Suna hai raat ko jugnoo thehar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai hashar hain us ki ghazaal si ankhain
    Suna hai us ko hiran dasht bhar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai raat se barh kar hain kaaklain us ki
    Suna hai shaam ko saaye guzar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai us ki seyaah chashmagi qayaamat hai
    So us ki surma farosh aah bhar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai us ke laboon se gulaab jaltay hain
    So hum bahaar pe ilzaam dhar ke dekhtay hain

    suna hai aaenaa tamsaal hai jabeen us ki
    Jo saada dil hain ussay ban sanwar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai jab se hamaayal hain us ki gardan mein
    Mizaaj aur hi laalo-gohar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai chashm-e-tassavur se dasht-e-imkaan mein
    Pallang zaweyey us ki kamar ke dekhtay hain

    Suna hai us ke badan ki taarash aisi hai
    Ke phool apni qubaayain qattar ke dekhtay hain

    Bas ek nigaah se lut

  31. Shah says:
    June 12th, 2008 8:03 am

    Love is a sense which forget you every sense.

  32. manoo says:
    March 14th, 2009 1:22 am

    he is a georgeous man…..i love his poetry

  33. November 12th, 2009 10:16 am

    Can someone find the Ghazal Aab aur Kiya Kesi Say Merasam Barhain Hum… (sung by Azra Riaz)

    Thanks.Fariha

  34. Saadi Klasson says:
    December 22nd, 2009 3:35 am

    Ahmad Faraz was a great poet, his servises as a poet could not be forgot. I am feeling really sorry for this that the young generation, which is the main piller of the nation is giving him as credit of his hardworking for Urdu Literature, bad names. They are changig his poetry into funny poetry and using it as jokes, i think it is a propaganda, which is against Mr. Faraz and want to defame this great man. He will be alive for many years on the memories of hisrory, because of his work.

  35. NAVEED ABBAS says:
    June 7th, 2010 12:36 pm

    A candle in the wind! legendary faraz sahab
    MISS YOU A LOT!

  36. Faheem khan jadoon says:
    June 9th, 2010 1:31 pm

    salam every body,He was a Great master of poetry(Ahmed faraz). i like a very much his poetry…. thanks

  37. November 8th, 2010 11:49 am

    JIO FARAZ
    URDU KA SALAM
    HO TUM PAR
    TUM ZINDA HO HUM MEIN KHAIN SHAYRI BAN KAR

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