Tag Archives: Poetry

Winds from Sindh – Sindhi Music Festival in Delhi, India.

The Sindhi [Secular] Sufi Music Festival this weekend focuses on an example of shared heritage of India and Pakistan

The Delhi Government has become known for promoting art and culture with a number of festivals throughout the year. To brighten up this weekend is the Sindhi Sufi Music Festival organised by the Department of Art, Culture and Languages. Here, singers from India and Pakistan come together to sing Sufi compositions.

Two leading singers from Pakistan — Sanam Marvi and Tufail Sanjrani — will join their Indian counterparts — Ghansham Vaswani, Kajal Chandiramani and Uma Lalla — to showcase the shared culture of Sindhis through the poetry of Sufis like Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. Kathak dancer Namrata Pamnani will also perform at the festival. March 16 and 17, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) from 5 p.m.

Courtesy: The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/winds-from-sindh/article4512921.ece

Renowned Sindhi writer and scholar Siraj Memon passed away!

My Humble Homage, My Tearful Tribute to Siraj Memon

By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom

Extremely saddened and shocked to learn about the tragic passing-away of our venerable elder Saaeen Sirajul Haque Memon.

Sirajul Haque was few years younger from my late father’s generation. However, he knew my late father as a friends and colleague for as long as I remember along with the greats of Sindh like the late Shaikh Ayaz, late Tanveer Abbasi and many other respected and revered scholars, writers and intellectuals of Sindh.

Sirajul Haque was a versatile and veritable writer, intellectual, scholar, literary figure, journalist, philosopher and a wise, sagacious and saintly being of the glorious Land of Sindh! He was, perhaps, the last of the greats and brilliant luminaries of Sindh who, through their extraordinary writings, compositions, texts, poetry and books par excellence enlightened the hearts and illuminated the minds of many of the ordinary beings like my own self throughout Sindh, who were always thirsty for knowledge and sagacity, scholarship and prudence.

Born at Tando Jam, Sindh, in 1933 he breathed his last at the age of 79 years old on 2nd Feabruary, 2013. Author of about a dozen scholarly works on History, Culture, Language and Literature of Sindh, he was also a journalist and a former Editor of Hilal-e-Pakistan, a Sindhi Newspaper which was published from Karachi, Sindh. His book “Parraaddo So Saddu” (in Sindhi پَڙاڏو سو سَڏُ) was amongst his masterpieces. He also wrote short stories and novels, which were treasured and like all over the Sindhi-speaking world in Sindh, Hind and the Diaspora.

Sirajul Haque’s innumerable books, novels, articles and newspaper and magazine columns were truly, enriching, entertaining, pleasing, amusing, engaging and highly heart-warming and enamouring.

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Thinker & columnist, Prof. Dr Manzur Ejaz talks on the philosophy, poetry & teachings of Guru Nanak (Baba Nanak)

Guru Nanak (Baba Nanak) was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. His life, philosophy, poetry and teachings are unique in every way possible.

Courtesy: Wichaar » YouTube

A Sindhi poet of resistance: Dr Akash Ansari

Dr Akash Ansari is a well known poet from Sindh. He has been active in politics and involved in social reforms for decades. During the 70s his poetry started surfacing and soon became, as it was called, voice of Sindh.

Courtesy: Wichaar » YouTube

 

Pakistan – “The Supreme Court calls for an “Arab Spring” uprising”

Pakistan: Top Judges Attack P.M. Gilani With Poetry and Threats

The Supreme Court calls for an “Arab Spring” uprising.

The opposition already calls him “the former prime minister of Pakistan.” His country’s Supreme Court has declared him “wicked”—a “criminal” seeking political “martyrdom through disobeying the law.” It may be a good thing for Yousaf Raza Gilani that he claims descent from Sufi saints, since he’ll certainly need the patience of one as pressure intensifies for him to step down.

The outcry reached an unprecedented pitch last week as the court issued a 77-page “detailed judgment” against Gilani, publicly exhorting the people of Pakistan to rise up against him and his government. “The recent phenomenon known as the Arab Spring is too fresh to be ignored or forgotten,” wrote Justice Asif Khosa in an assenting opinion, citing “the responsibility of the people themselves to stand up for defending the Constitution and … for dealing with the delinquent appropriately.” Gilani’s alleged crime was to disobey the court’s order for him to request that Swiss authorities reopen old corruption cases against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari. (Gilani and the Swiss both maintain that Zardari has immunity from criminal prosecution.)

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Bulleh Shah, the great Seraiki poet

Comment by: Manzoor Chandio

Bulleh Shah, the great Seraiki poet, was a contemporary of Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Lateef … Bulleh Shah was born in Uch Sharif in Bahalwapur and is buried in Kasur where he had moved with his father … though he was a contemporary of Shah Latif, his thoughts could be compared with Sufi Secular poet Sachal Sarmast … both Bulleh Shah and Sachal Saieen openly opposed orthodoxy … Secular Sufi poet Sachal was a direct descendent of Caliph Umer Farooq, but he never took pride in his ancestry …. his forefathers had moved to Sindh with Mohammed bin Qasim…. Bulleh Shah’s family “claimed to be direct descent from Prophet Muhammad” (peace be upon him)…. in this video Sarangi Maestro and Sufi Fakir Lakho Manganhar of Rajasthan, India, is singing Bulleh Shah ….

Courtesy: adopted from facebook

Sarkash Sindhi Passes away

Ratodero, Sindh: Noted Sindhi poet Sarkash Sindhi passed away on Monday 5th March 2012. He was 70. Sarkash Sindhi wrote 11 books. He was controversial Sindhi poet due to his radical poetry. Sarkash Sindhi was hospitalized due to the complications of cancer but today he has passes away.

To read more about him » BBC urdu

Sindhi poetry

» YouTube

Remembering Shaikh Ayaz – “They wanted to take me to “chita” but the rain fall occurred in “shamshan”

2nd March is a birthday and December 28 is a Anniversary of Sindh’s legendary poet Shaikh Ayaz (2 March 1923- 28 December 1997). He was one of the greatest Sindhi poets of 20th century. He was born in Shikarpur Sindh. Ayaz’s critics, friends and contemporaries have agreed that through his poetry, he introduced new trends in Sindhi language and he also revolutionized many aspects of Sindhi poetry. His 46 collections of poetry, short stories, essays, diaries and the translation of Shah Jo Risalo into Urdu, continue to inspire not only literary circles but also common people of the region. Due to his poetry and writings, he had put behind the bars from 1965 to 1968 by military dictator Ayoub Khan and again was behind the bars from May 1971 to January 1972 by military dictator Yahya Khan, in Sukkur Jail in the punishment of opposing the brutal military operation and genocide of Bengalis.

He was friend of Sindh nationalist leader G.M. Syed, who was actually one of the founders of Pakistan but unfortunately he had treated by the authoritarian authorities of Pakistan as traitor and he put under house arrest and his house was declared a sub-jail. He was declared “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International. He had been detained without trial until his death.

Shaikh Ayaz also fought against military dictator Ayoub with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the then prime minister of Pakistan was hanged by another military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq and his two sons Shahnawaz Bhutto, Mir Murtaza Bhutto and daughter Benazir Bhutto, twice prime minister of Pakistan was assassinated on 27 December 2007 in garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Recently, Banladesh’s democratically elected government has decided to confer the highest Bangladesh National award to Shaikh Ayaz.

”Shaikh Ayaz’s work is spontaneous, objective, powerful and effective . He wrote verses on every such topic that was disliked intensely by  military establishment. He was incarcerated many times for his writings and even he was sentenced as traitor, but escaped gallows due to the sudden change of government.” Shaikh Ayaz proved that all miracles in history was done by common people; through his poetry he has strengthen our faith in human potentials to collaborate in reaching towards global community. A united world along prosper Sindh. Following is lyrical translation of  Sheikh Ayaz’s peom in Hindi;

Poornimaasi Poori Ganga, Thandi Thandi Hawa,
Ghoom Raha he Tagore Kinary pe, Mehki He Hawa

Kawi, Ham ne Parnaam Kiya, Choom ke tumhary Paer (feet),
Kawi dekh rahy ho, Kuljag laaya Ham pe kitnay Andher

Kawi Dekhay hain ham ne tumhary peechy kitnay Kaloor
Sach Sooli Pe Latkaya gaya, Khamosh Raha Mansoor!

-  Sheikh Ayaz’s

Ram Bhi Maan Bhagwaan Bhi Maan

Ram Bhi Maan Bhagwaan Bhi Maan” Poetry: Hazrat GM Mast Parwazi, Singer: Inayat Khaskheli.

» YouTube

Gazal – ek shaks ko chaha tha

» YouTube

SHAHEED ZULFIQAR ALI BHUTTO – SINDHI SPEECH

In 1969, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto addressed students at Liaquat Medical College, Jamshoro, Sindh. He was allowed to speak on the condition that he would not talk about politics. However, in his speech, he said being a political animal, he could not refrain from speaking on the subject. He said the following:

- If Shah Lateef were alive today, he would be behind the bars. For all his poetry is based on democratic ideas.

- One unit is an evil. Were Shah Bhitai alive today, he would oppose One Unit.

- A child’s education should be in his/her mother tongue. No doubt Urdu and Bengali are national languages, I feel and as a minister I tried that Sindhi children be educated in Sindh.

Via → Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups → Mohammad Ali Mahar → YouTube

Sachal Sarmast – Sufi Kalaam – Ishq

Courtesy: → PTV → YouTube

Jeay Lateef, poetry in motion. Superb Sindhi song!

Courtesy: → Coke Studio, Produced by Rohail Hyatt → YouTube

The uniqueness of Sindh

- By Ayaz Amir

Just when the sector commanders had been put on the back-foot, and the MQM was vociferating in a manner not seen since 1995 (Gen Babar’s operation), who should come to their rescue but President Zardari’s personal emissary, Montecello University’s most celebrated doctoral figure, Dr Babar Awan.

He has brilliantly appeased the MQM by restoring Gen Musharraf’s  loaded [undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory] local government system – first just to Karachi and Hyderabad and then, when … Sindh rose up with one cry against this hasty move, to the whole of Sindh. The MQM can hardly believe its luck – perhaps it hadn’t counted on so swift a Zardari capitulation – but anger in … Sindh is on the rise.

Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s outbursts had angered the MQM but secured the PPP’s vote bank in rural Sindh. Dr Awan’s gymnastics have pleased the MQM but poured fuel over the burning embers of Sindhi anger. From one extreme the PPP has swung to the other.

The choice of Dr Awan as PPP plenipotentiary was bizarre. How was he qualified to negotiate on behalf of Sindhi interests? The PPP is now on the back-foot. All the certificates of cleverness earned by Zardari for his supposed political sharpness have gone with the wind.

Dr Awan has proved adept at stalling and frustrating the Supreme Court. From the PPP’s point of view, he should have confined himself to that doctrine of necessity instead of floundering in the waters of Sindh.

In an ideal world, the PML-N should have been quick to exploit this opening. Alas, if wishes could be horses. It showed itself eager, a bit too eager, to embrace the MQM when the latter fell out with Zardari. But this proved embarrassing when the MQM’s falling-out proved to be less than definitive. Small wonder, it has yet to get its thoughts in order on the anger on the rise in backwater Sindh.

All of us could do with some clarity on a crucial issue: while the logic of smaller provinces applies to Punjab, because it is too huge and unwieldy, it does not, and cannot, apply to Sindh. Babar Awan and the PPP came perilously close to the idea of Sindh division when they proposed one dispensation for Karachi and Hyderabad – the restoration of Musharraf’s  [undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory] local body system – and another for the rural, revival of the commissionerate system. Sindh rural instantly saw red and the PPP had to back down immediately, in the space of a mere 24 hours. But the alarm had been sounded and Sindhi concerns have yet to be addressed or placated.

Carving a southern or Seraiki province out of Punjab will not endanger Punjab identity. Indeed, it will facilitate the task of governance and give a sense of belonging to the people of southern Punjab who feel left out of the orbit of Punjab affairs. But anything even remotely connected to the notion of Sindh division is almost an invitation to dangerous conflict in this most sensitive of provinces.

We should not forget the history of 1947 migration. If we leave Bengal out of the equation, there were two great waves of migration in northern India at the time of Partition: one from East Punjab to West Punjab, and vice versa; the other from Delhi, Lucknow and Bhopal in the north, and Hyderabad Deccan in the south, to Karachi. These migrations were dissimilar in character.

While Punjab suffered the most in terms of looting, plunder, killings and mass rape, when the dust settled and passions had time to cool, the process of assimilation was relatively quick because East and West Punjabis, minor differences of course apart, came from the same cultural stock. With minor variations of dialect, they spoke the same language and shared the same history.

This was not so with the southern migration to Karachi and Hyderabad. Karachi was a cosmopolitan city even then – a mini-Bombay, so to speak – but it was the capital of Sindh, the culture and language of whose native inhabitants was radically different from that of the people who were coming to it from India.

Karachi soon became the centre not of Sindhi culture but of the culture of displaced Dehi, of Delhi as it had been before the tumult of Partition. Delhi today is a Punjabi city. Its old composite, Muslim-dominated culture, the culture from which arose the poetry of Mir and Ghalib, is a thing of the past, lost to the upheavals of time and history. No conqueror, not Taimur and not Nadir Shah, could destroy Delhi, or transform its character, as decisively as Partition did. Those who seek the old Delhi, authors like William Dalrymple, have to come to Karachi to catch a whiff of the past.

Pakistan would be the poorer without this infusion of Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad Deccan culture. True, there was a downside to it as well, …. brought with their culture also their own prejudices. Insecurity and fear were part of their migrational baggage and these were infused into the thinking of the new state. But in cultural terms the arid wastes of Pakistan were enriched by that influx of talent and learning.

Punjabis being Punjabis, no new centre of culture arose in Punjab. But in Karachi we saw the birth of a transplanted culture, its soul carrying the imprint of loss and nostalgia, the usual hallmarks of any migration.

The downside comes from this very circumstance. Sixty four years after Partition we continue to live in the past, beset by old insecurities even though the times have changed and the old certitudes which gave birth to those insecurities no longer survive.

Sindhis are entitled to be a bit upset by all these changes. After all, they too are the inheritors of a great civilisation. Moenjodaro is the oldest pre-historic site discovered anywhere in India. There are other mighty life-giving rivers in the sub-continent: the sacred Ganges, the winding Brahmaputra. But only the Indus, sacred river of Sindh, gives its name to India. Hindus migrating to India from Sindh in 1947 take great pride in their Sindh ancestry.

Sindhi anger, nay Sindhi anguish, is centred on a primal concern. Why must the transposing of cultures be at their expense? And there is a fear lurking in their hearts, the fear of the Red Indian and the aborigine, of becoming strangers in their own homeland. This is a concern which must not be scoffed at. The rest of us, and this includes the successors to the civilisation of Delhi, should avoid words or gestures that smack even remotely of designs against the unity and integrity of Sindh.

From the immortal land of the five rivers, now only three left with us, thanks to the vagaries of history, more provinces can be carved out and no harm will come to it [Punjab]. But let no Punjabi leader or politician say that if Punjab is to be divided the same logic should apply to other provinces. This is wrong thinking. The same logic does not apply to Sindh, it does not apply to Balochistan. It is relevant only to Punjab and Punjab will be doing itself and the nation a service if it takes the lead in this respect, illuminating the path that others can follow.

A word may also be in order about another fixation of the Punjabi mind: Kalabagh dam. If Kalabagh dam is right then there is nothing wrong with the dams India is building on the rivers Chenab and Jhelum. If we are objecting to run-of-the-mill dams in Kashmir, dams whose water is not stored but is allowed to run, how can we support a storage dam on the Indus at Kalabagh? The logic just does not hold.

History cannot be undone. We have to live by its consequences. But Sindh of all regions of Pakistan requires a balance and moderation in the conduct of its affairs. Any hint of an unnatural hegemony of one part over the other is an invitation to anger and despair.

Courtesy: → The News

Yaar zinda, sohbat baaqi

- Musadiq Sanwal recalls the life and ways of a dear poet friend, Hasan Dars

Life is but one of the small pieces of Rilli

If you won’t sit on it,

I better fold it.

Out of the blue the other day I received the text message: “Hasan Dars passed away”. I thought it was a joke. How could it be? Hasan was still an adolescent! Maybe it is not the right word, but his energy, his wide, poetry-breathing grin, how could it all have suddenly evaporated into thin air? There was something terribly wrong with the message.

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Must watch Mushaira: Rahi Bastavi vs Nikhat Amrohi

Both are very good shayers (poets). Both have rightly & loudly recorded their grievances. The language of the Mushaira is Hindi (urdu).

- You Tube

Book Review – Fatema of Sindh

Sindh Ji Fatema – A book Tribute by Chacha Mohammad Ali Laghari to his Wife

Book Review by Khalid Hashmani

After several years, in early part of 2011, Chacha Mohammad Ali Laghari visited his son (Sufi Munawar Laghari) who now lives in Washington D.C. The last time when I met him in May 2008, he was tending to his wife Ghulam Fatema Laghari at Munawar Laghari’s apartment. Fatema was suffering from cancer and had travelled thousands of miles to see his son. Munawar cannot visit Sindh due to fear of prosecution. She soon departed after returning to Sindh few days later. As I had enjoyed hospitality of gracious Chacha Mohammad Ali and his spouse Fatema Laghari and their son Anwar Laghari when I visited Sindh in 2000. Naturally, I invited Chacha Mohammad Ali for a simple meal at my apartment in the outskirts of Washington D.C. After “Hal-Ahwal“, Chacha Mohammad Ali took out a book from his bag and after writing a short note, he gave me that book to read. The title of the book was “Sindh Ji Fatema”. It intrigued me very much and I immediately started browsing this 200 plus book written in the Sindhi language enshrined with spiritual Sindhi poetry by legendary Sindhi poets such as Shah Abdul Latif, Sachal Sarmast, Shaikh Ayaz, and others. I was intrigued because it is not often that a person writes a book about his/her spouse. Particularly, coming from a male-dominated society, where literacy rate is substantially lower, his book about his wife was quite remarkable undertaking and indeed a great tribute.

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Rasool Bux Palijo, a Politician, a Tactician & a Writer

Notes From My Memory, Part VII, By Mir Thebo: Rasool Bux Palijo, a Politician, a Tactician & a Writer

by Mir Thebo

In early 1960s, Rasool Bux Palijo and I were neighbors in Rosy Corner flats in Hyderabad. Those were very dirty pigeon hole flats in Tando Wali Mohammad area. Palijo lived on 2nd floor while I lived on the 1st. floor. Occasionally I went to his flat. He had no furniture and no proper bed in the flat. Palijo hated cleanliness. One could rather say that he hated regular life therefore he didn’t like well-dressed petty bourgeoisie people. He never cared about food. Shoes would be lying over the floor. He had good collection of books but they would be scattered all over the place. He didn’t like to live there so most of the time he remained outside.

By profession, he was a lawyer, a mediocre advocate at that because he was not interested in practicing law, although he was intelligent and had a logical mind. He had a small office in the Circular Building, which didn’t look like a professional lawyer’s office. He didn’t care much about these things. He was a good reader though. He read non-fiction, fiction and poetry books. He loved Shah Latif’s poetry. He was also an admirer of Shaikh Ayaz’s poetry. In later period, he disowned Shaikh Ayaz and his followers glorified Ustad Bukhari more than Ayaz but they were friends during 1960s. Ayaz also liked Palijo.

Palijo also read Urdu, Russian, Chinese, English and Arabic literature. He had good knowledge of history and international situation. He also had a good knowledge of the history of Sindh. He was great at appreciating someone. He will make you fly higher and higher until you reach the top of the world. He would say things that will make you wonder if you really possessed such ‘qualities’ as mentioned by Palijo. But if you disagreed with him, he will throw you in the dust mercilessly so much so that he will not allow you even to protest. He is a witty person with good sense of humor. He has good hospitality. He will serve you meals and every thing including drinks, etc. I have few chances to drink with him along with other friends. I never observed him out of control but he is careful not to drink too much with casual visitors.

Palijo was a Marxist at that time. I don’t know if he still is or has changed as many of us old Marxists have said goodbye to our once favorite ideology of Marxism. During my last meeting with him at his residence in Naseem Nagar in 2005, he came across as neither a Marxist nor a Maoist. He didn’t mention either of them in his analysis. He sounded like a populist Sindhi nationalist political leader.

Palijo is considered to be a great tactician but sometimes he is caught in his own tactics and faces failure. Many times he has stumbled and fallen down but he has good stamina to rise up again and start a fresh. He is very swift in changing tactics and at that moment he never cares about the principles. Any way lets talk of his life of the earlier period of 1960s. As a politician, you will see his glimpses many times in my memoir.

In 1960s, Palijo was General Secretary, National Awami Party (NAP), Hyderabad City. NAP at that time was the open united front of the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) headed by Khan Abdul Wali Khan.

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Heart touching Punjabi poem by Amrita Pritam narrated by Gulzar

Heart touching poem with such a depth and imagination, blood flows instead of tears, Amrita’s lyrics and Gulzar’s voice has made it immortal. Culture is much more real then religion. Religion is like an imagination or opinion but culture is more attached with person’s way of life.

Aaj aakhan waris shah nu,

Kiton kabraan vichchon bol,

Te aaj kitab-e ishq daa

Koi aglaa varkaa phol

- You Tube

Kunwar Mahindar Singh Bedi reciting his poetry about peace & love between India & Pakistan

Kunwar Mahendra Singh Bedi Sahar, Phir chaley baad’e bahaari. Guru Nanak Ji was a Sufi and he taught Sikhs to respect all, and love all with truthfulness, if someone disrespects any faith, he is disrespecting himself. Love and respects to all nations, all races and all creeds. Live and let live that’s the way, the future is peace, there is no other way.

Bedi Saheb is Extra ordinary and lajawaab person. His Hindi/ urdu poetry recitation is beautiful. Listen to him and think what are you fighting for. All the true Sufis are above the sectarianism. Like Baba Guru Nanak Ji, Shah Abdul Latif, Sachal Sarmast, Sami, Bulleh Shah, Rahman Baba and others. True Sufis are open minded people. They emphasised on love, peace and communal harmony with Allah/ Eshwar/ God within yourself and most of the times the religious scholars didn’t understand their way of thinking and love with God. Mazhab nahi sikhaata aapas mein bair rakhna.

Source – You Tube

Bringing Punjabiyat Back

By Omar Ali

Excerpt:

…. 1. In the near future, the decline of Punjabi in Pakistan will continue since the state ideology is biased in favor of Urdu (vehicle of Islamism and the “two-nation theory”, as well as the first or second language of the educated elite), mainly since Punjabi is not taught in schools. Schools are the brain-washing institution of choice in modern society, so no surprises here.

2. But in the long run, it is Urdu which is in serious trouble in Pakistan. Its native speakers are a minority and have not been able to enlarge and grow a living breathing literary and musical culture…this is a controversial statement, but I have anecdotal evidence: The older generation of the Pakistani elite actually read Urdu poetry, knew hundreds of verses by heart, even read a few novels and many excellent short stories. The new generation is reading English or reading nothing. There are exceptions, but in the long run, the culture of Urdu is dying in Pakistan (i have no idea of its health in India). …

To read full article : Brownpundits

Aaj Bazar mein – Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pakistani poet and journalist, who combined in his poetry the themes of love, beauty, and political ideals into a vision of a better and peaceful world. Due to his opposition to the military dictators, Faiz spent several years in prison and was forced to go into exile at different times in his career.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz is amongst the most famous poets of 20th century. Faiz, who was hounoured by Lenin Peace Prize in 1963, was seldom subjected to arrests by the pro-imperialist military regimes of Pakistan. Once, during the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq, he was arrested and taken to the police station in front of the public. In this context, he wrote ‘Aaj Bazar mein’.

The video starts with a ‘mushairah’ (public recitation), where Faiz presents the poem, and describes its context. Then the video, with the melodious voice of Nayyara Noor in the background singing the verses of Faiz, shows the Sufi culture of Pakistan, which was suppressed by the religious fundamentalist government of Zia-ul-Haq. Then, there are some clips of public floggings and public hangings of political dissidents, which were employed to ingrain terror in the people of Pakistan. Public floggings were a norm during Zia’s time.

- You Tube Link

Spurious symbols — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

I do not understand why pieces of apparel have to be given the status of cultural symbols; only those countries and nations that are culturally bankrupt need to impose them as symbols. This symbolism also reveals the inherent feeling of inferiority and the consequent need to make them appear as important and necessary.

Since last year, at the behest of a commercial television station in Sindh, a so-called ‘Cultural Day’ is being observed in the province. The two media groups that now want to own it celebrate it on two different days. This supposedly Cultural Day is observed by people wearing a Sindhi topi (cap) and an ajrak (shawl). These are being turned into symbols of Sindh; on this day, with a lot of fanfare and enthusiasm, many people adorn themselves with these symbols and the youth dance. Some political, cultural and social outfits wholeheartedly participate in it and, sadly, all believe that, with this, they are reinforcing Sindhi identity, which I think they are not. Sindhi identity is much larger and more varied than two pieces of attire. This Cultural Day is nothing but the commercialisation of culture and a means for raking in profits for television stations and the makers of topis and ajraks.

Advocating spurious cultural symbols helps exploiters distract people from the real threats to their identity and rights. The Sindhis participating in this frivolous celebration return home thinking that they have done enough for Sindh and their annual ritual, which it will now become, is adequate to protect the rights of Sindhis. The rights of Sindh demand sacrifices, dedication and struggle, not dancing and frivolity.

The true symbols of Sindh are its valiant sons who sacrificed their lives without hesitation. Makhdoom Bilawal Bin Jam Hassan Sammo (1451 AD/ 856 AH to 30th Safar 1523 AD/929AH) preferred to be ground in the grinder used to extract oil from seeds than to accept the fiat of the Afghan Arghun rulers. He needs to be emulated; his teachings are the cultural symbol needed to awaken the Sindhis. The poetry of Shah Abdul Latif should be made a cultural symbol and the Sindhis should be encouraged to read and memorise his enchanting verses to promote Sindh and its culture and history. His poetry will give them an insight into Sindhi history, geography and culture. …

Read more : Daily Times

Lahore : A cultural center of South Asia

If you didn’t see Lahore, you didn’t see the world.

Courtesy: Choraha with Hasan Nisar and Yasir Pirzada, guest Mustansar Tarar, Dec. 11, 2010)

via -ZemTvYou Tube Link

International Sindhi Cultural Day, New York, Saturday December 4th, 2010

New York : Please join Tri-State Sindhi Community in celebrating International Sindhi Cultural & Solidarity Day. On this day, Sindhi people cherish their multiculturalism, universalism, tolerance, peace and respect for all faiths. Please wear Sindhi Topi (Sindhi Cap) and Ajrak (Sindhi Shawl). Event includes Sindhi Soul Music concert, dinner, poetry and cultural demonstrations. Gop Chander and Saathi will Sing Sufi (mystic) Kalaams. Venue: Kabab King Mehal, 495 Hempstead Tpke W Hempstead, NY 11552. Saturday, December 4th, 2010, 7:00 pm – 1:00 am. Please RSVP: Ghulam Nabi Unar, Khalid Channa, Farhan Kaghzi and Dr Noor Rajpar.

 

Punjabi-Urdu elite could not embrace Nazar-ul-Islam as a national poet, says Manzur Ejaz

Taliban are Iqbal’s Shaheens’

 

Manzur Ejaz interview with Vewpoint

Tagore told an audience that he cannot compare himself with Iqbal because he does not write in his native tongue. Iqbal issued a rebuttal that Tagore could write in Bengali because Bengali was a developed language.

Nazar-ul-Islam, the Muslim Bengali poet enjoyed the same stature as Iqbal but Punjabi-Urdu elite could not embrace him as a national poet, says Manzur Ejaz in an interview with Viewpoint. He thinks: ‘Both Marx and Mussolini were threatening the core of British colonialism and hence admirable for Iqbal’. …

Read more : ViewPoint

Enhancing Peace through Art and Literature

by Jamil Hussain Junejo

Peace has been remaining most desired and higher value of human society throughout the Human history. All the humanist Religious leaders, philosophers, writers, Artists have been laboriously striving hard for establishing societies where the value of peace reigns supreme. Peace holds such high esteem and concern because it is prerequisite for establishing developed and advanced societies aswel states which could be marked with social and economic justice, equality, freedom and rule of law.

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Ahmed Faraz – Ghazal – suna hai loag usEy aankh bhar ke

suna hai loag usEy aankh bhar ke deikhte haiN, so uske shaher meiN hUm bhi thaher ke deikhte haiN

- YouTube Link

SINDH FESTIVAL – NOV 25- 28 AT ARTS COUNCIL KARACHI

Arts Council  ( Near Sindh Assembly Building) Karachi Sindh has planned a 4 day Sindh festival covering Society, Language and Literature in Sindhi on Thu, Fri, Sat & Sunday, 25,26,27 & 28 November 2010. It has planned various things including Literary, cultural and heritage sessions and sittings. You are requested to please keep your four days free  for memorable festival events and make Arts Council Karachi-Sindh  a centre of Excellence for Culture and literary sessions.
IN DIFFERENT SESSIONS WE DISCUSS AND REVIEW THE SINDHI SOCIETY : 1. SINDHI LANGUAGE ITS IMPACTS ON OTHER LANGUAGES AND OTHERS ON SINDHI LANGUAGE,  2. SINDHI POETRY, 3. SINDHI STORIES, 4. SINDHI TRAVELOGUE WRITERS, 5. SINDHI NOVELISTS, 6. EXPERTS ON SHAH LATEEF, SHAH INAYAT, SACHAL SARMAST  7. EXPERT ON COMPUTERS, 8. EXPERTS ON LANGUAGE, 9. EXPERTS IN MEDIA, TV CHANNELS, FM RADIOS,  10. HANDICRAFTS, 11. VIDEO DOCUMENTARIES 12. ARCHEOLOGY &THERE WOULD BE BOOK LAUNCHINGS.
1. BOOK FAIR, 2. PAINTING EXHIBITIONS, 3. BOOK STALLS , 4. SINDHI COOKING, 5. SINDHI MUSIC
All Publishers and Publishing Houses including : Sindh University Press, Sindhology, Sindhi Language Authority,  Sindhika, Roshni Publishers and all others are requested to come for Book Stalls for their Company/ Organizations.  Arts council would provide place, Tables, Covers, Electricty, Free of Cost.

Think Tanks-2 : Poetry by Aftab Kazi

by Aftab Kazi, PhD (Pittsburgh)

Charming looks, beautiful words, fake professional grace

Disingenuous play constantly games with a different face

Well-worded ugly interpretations contaminate genuineness

Aftab’s Bar regulars value truth with heavenly elegance.”

May 21, 2009

Translation of Sindhi poet Aasi Mehmood Zamini [Sindhi to English]

Translation by Hisam Memon

Come down

For a while today!

Speak thee

And let me speak!

Come down

For a while

Do watch the world,

Engineered by you!

Some are inferior/poor

Some are superior/rich

Who belong to you?

Do mark them!

Wrinkled is the veil,

Torn shirt she puts on,

The naked she looks,

Who daughter is that girl?

She begs before stranger men,

Offer alms to your people!

Without breakfast

And bare-footed,

She ploughs

In the scorching beam,

Unbuttered pieces of meal,

She takes with spoilt molasses

Come down to taste it

A single time!

AASI’ was bestowed with insight

That utters the truth and tormented for,

“Why I am called atheist then”

Come to get [insight] it back!

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The Earth Is Closing on Us – Mahmoud Darwish

The Earth Is Closing on Us

- Mahmoud Darwish, Translation by Abdullah al-Udhari
The earth is closing on us, pushing us through the last passage, and
we tear off our limbs to pass through.

The earth is squeezing us. I wish we were its wheat so we could die
and live again. I wish the earth was our mother

So she’d be kind to us. I wish we were pictures on the rocks for our dreams to carry As mirrors. We saw the faces of those to be killed by the last of us in the last defense of the soul.

We cried over their children’s feast. We saw the faces of those who’ll
throw our children Out of the windows of the last space. Our star will hang up in mirrors.

Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds fly after the last sky? Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will write our names with scarlet steam.

We will cut off the head of the song to be finished by our flesh.

We will die here, here in the last passage. Here and here our blood will plant its olive tree.

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