Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s family was educated but quite conservative
Famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s ‘Hum Dekhenge’ was in dispute a few days back, alleging that it was communal and had been put in the dock. IIT Kanpur had been chosen for the decision. A committee had been formed by them which was supposed to check whether the allegations on this Najam were justified or the poet may be acquitted from it.
It started in Pakistan when the sari was banned by the then Zia-ul-Haq government. Then in 1986, Iqbal Bano sang it in a sari in front of a crowd of about 50,000 people. As soon as its line came, ‘All crowns will be uprooted, all placards will be dropped’, similarly in that packed hall, there were the slogans of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ From then on it became the voice of those opposing the Nazm government.
During the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, there was a ruckus when ‘Faiz Ahmed Faiz’ Urdu Najm ‘Hum dekhenge’ was in IIT Kanpur.
This poem of Pakistan’s famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz was called anti-Hindu by Manindra Agarwal, a faculty at IIT Kanpur.
Actually, there is a line in this Najam – just the name will remain of Allah. On the basis of this line, Najm was declared anti-Hindu.
The news came that IIT Kanpur has formed a committee that will find out whether this Faiz’s poem is really anti-Hindu. However, IIT Kanpur immediately denied the news, saying that while the committee has been formed, it would not consider Faiz’s justice.
At a time when Faiz of Pakistan is making headlines in India, it is important to know about him.
Born into an educated family
Faiz Ahmed Faiz, an Urdu adept fanatic, was born on 13 February 1911 in a Tatali Jat family of Kala Kadar (now Faiz Nagar) in Narowal District, Punjab, near Lahore. His family was very educated but very conservative in religious matters. There was a gathering of writers, poets at his house. His father was Sultan Muhammad Khan barrister who worked for the British government.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz also served in the British Army for some time. He remained in Pakistan after the partition of 1947 but resigned from the army after the Kashmir war. In 1948 he became the editor of Pakistan Times. Faiz was recognized as a cueist, he also founded the Communist Party of Pakistan along with Sajjad Zaheer. However, this party was later banned and its leaders were arrested with complete conspiracy which included both Sajjad Zaheer and Faiz.
Faiz was sentenced to 4 years in prison which was commuted by Prime Minister Hussain Suhrawardy. After this Faiz moved to London. After some time when he came back to Pakistan, he was again arrested by President Iskandar Mirza. After being released from this arrest, he went to Moscow and then moved to London. Faiz returned in 1964 and settled in Karachi. He worked in the Ministry of Education and Culture in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s government.
Always inspired by communists
Faiz studied languages and fine arts in a mosque in childhood, after taking Islamic education in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu Jubans, then a BA Honors in Arabic languages and an MA degree in English. During his college days, he joined the Communist Party, influenced by leaders like MN Roy and Muzaffar Ahmed.
When India was partitioned at the time of independence, Faiz, as a staunch nationalist citizen of Pakistan, said to the people, “Make your hearts sacred so that you can protect your country.” Established Pakistan and became a famous face of the Left there. He increased his ties with Russia from where he also received a high-class award.
Flames kept rising by writing in jail
As editor of Pakistan’s big newspaper Pakistan Times, he propagated socialism and leftism a lot. In 1951, he was arrested and sent to jail on charges of involvement in the then Major General Akbar Khan’s coup attempt. Where was Faiz going to sit silently? He also continued his journey of inklings and poetry in prison.
The administration got this scam banned during the jail itself. After 4 years, when Faiz Ahmed Faiz escaped from prison, he speeded up the same writing and also included the voice of the aggrieved class. In the year 1955, he moved to London, but in 1958 again came to Pakistan. However, he was arrested again here. He was accused of propagating leftist views and the Russian government’s agenda, but Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto helped him and moved to Moscow in 1960. From there, Faiz moved to London again.
Protest against the genocide of Bangladeshis
He returned to Pakistan in 1964 and settled in Karachi. In 1965, when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became the foreign minister in the Ayub Khan government, he gave Faiz a big responsibility in the Ministry of Information Broadcasting. When Bangladesh separated from Pakistan in 1971, Faiz protested against the Pakistani genocide in the then West Pakistan through patriotic songs. When Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became Prime Minister in 1972, Faiz was included in the government.
Wrote in 1979 – Hum Dekhenge
In 1977, when Army General Zia-ul-Haq overthrew the Bhutto government, Faiz Ahmed Faiz strongly opposed it. He wrote this nudge in 1979 against the military rule of Zia ul Haq. Hurt by the news of Bhutto being hanged, he took refuge in Lebanon in the same year but returned to Pakistan in 1982 after war broke out in Lebanon. He died in 1984 in Lahore. Just before his death, he was told that he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
When Iqbal Bano sang ‘Hum Dekhenge’
Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ is being disputed, in fact, it was written against Jia’s dictatorship. The reality was that Jia was starting to get scared by Faiz’s revolutionary acts and poems. He had banned Faiz Ahmed Faiz acts, but Pakistan’s great singer Iqbal Bano had also decided to dismantle Zia’s restrictions. On 13 February 1986, a program was organized at Alhamra Art Council, Lahore. In that program, Iqbal Bano sang the song ‘Hum Dekhenge’. No one expected that without Jia’s ban, a large number of people would flock to Iqbal Bano.