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