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Letter to the Editor – Glorifying Faiz

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Daily Excelsior

Dear Sir,
This is concerning “Faiz was a bridge ….” by Sankar Ray (DE 22 Jan). The chanting of a poem of Faiz Ahmad Faiz by a section of students of IIT Kanpur has triggered a controversy in the social media. Leftist thinkers and writers came out with strong support for Faiz and helped the controversy to become deeper.
Those well versed in Urdu and Farsi languages and conversant with the history of freedom movement of India, the role of Muslim League and the Communist Party of India, appreciate Faiz’s Urdu poetry. There are no two opinions about his command and usage of Urdu phraseology and his aptitude in constructing axiomatic phrases with many of them becoming the catchword for the Leftist ideologues.

Faiz’s poetry is a dirge of victim-hood and a litany of grievances against an unidentified oppressor. In Leftist idiom, the ruler is the monopolizer of power who unleashes oppression against the segment of the population that seeks its defined or undefined rights. Faiz began his poetic compositions with protest plaints against the colonial power. However, he did not think the partition of India was a disaster for tens of millions of toiling masses. He flew to India on Gandhi’s assassination less out of human or ideological emotion and more because Gandhi gave his approval to the carving of a new religion-based state on the sub-continent. He had even accompanied the vanguard of the invading tribal lashkars to Kashmir in 1947. In doing so, he had demonstrated adherence to the Comrade Adhikari doctrine that Kashmir should be part of Pakistan based on religion. Faiz’s satisfaction with the creation of a separate country for the Muslims of India was in principle the reverse of the Marxist ideology of socio-economy as the basis of the strength and perpetuity of a state.

However, when Pakistan’s President Gen. Zia thrust a theocratic programme on his nation and showed Faiz his right place, the powerful dissenting poet turned his ire against the dictator. He camouflaged his idiom in a wrapper of ambiguity and intensified his victim-hood syndrome. He very liberally used the revolutionary idiom and the hyperbole to glorify himself as the voice of the victimized populace. Nevertheless, he did not touch on the core of the issue which was the rise of radical Islamic ideology in the Islamic country he had dreamed would be the replica of the Caliphate of medieval times. He focused on the ruler (a dictator in this case) and not the ideology that became the catalyst for the ruler’s (Zia’s) use of religion for political ends.philosophy of He very subtly and cautiously sidetracked the real oppressor meaning the Islamic die-hard conservatism that was going to give a completely new shape to the nascent Islamic state. He could visualize the catastrophe awaiting the newly carved Islamic state for embracing a decadent social system.

Even the devil can quote the scripture, goes the saying. Even today, religious fanatics and revolutionaries alike quote powerful verses from Iqbal’s poetry to legitimize their voice of dissent. So do the fanatics to legitimize their radical ideology. A big difference in the ideologies pursued by Iqbal and Faiz is that the former is a critic of radical Islam and gives a clarion call for reformation whereas the latter is a vicious supplicant using victim-hood and sarcasm as instruments to assuage his hurt feelings.
K.N. Pandita

Breakthrough in a political impasse

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By K.N. Pandita

The resumption of political activity in the post-5 August stalemate in J&K was not really unexpected. What is important is the tone and tenor of an emerging initiative. Whatever the contours of the initiative, the fundamental question is whether there is a realistic approach to the ground situation. Therefore, to make an initiative a success and anticipate more political activists joining the new initiative depends on a move forward and no retracing of steps. Continue Reading…

Our PoK narrative must change

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By K.N. Pandita

“Azad Jammu and Kashmir” of Pakistan is our “Pakistan occupied Kashmir”. Preparations for annexing Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan through force of arms were secretly planned in Peshawar months ahead of the transfer of power on 15 August 1947. NWFP Chief Minister Qayyum Khan and PM Liaquat Khan were the key figures of the conspiracy. General Akbar Khan of Pakistan army, who was controlling the movement of the invading lashkars and Pakistani regulars in civilian mufti into Kashmir, has given a graphic account of how the attack was conducted. Continue Reading…

Dissection of Pak’s frustration

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By K.N. Pandita

Imran messaged his debut as Pak PM with India-Pak peace rhetoric. Pak army imagined that with a former popular cricketer as the show boy, it can repair its terror-daubed image and pass for a peace-loving country purporting to blunt India’s thrust. New Delhi stood fast by its known stand that talks and terror do not go together. This ended up in Imran’s first frustration as the PM. Continue Reading…

A dirge for Kashmiriyat

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By K.N. Pandita

In a commentary on-ground situation in Kashmir relayed from Radio Kashmir on 25 November after evening Urdu news, a litany of veiled accusations against the government and diabolic comments on the ground situation in Kashmir was broadcast. Earlier, the newscast as usual, used most of the time in accusing the administration of many hardships and deprivations caused to the people by imposing strict preventive measures after August 5 but without saying a word or a hit to the necessity and compulsion of the government taking a decision like that. A radio station is primarily expected to take up the task of educating the people. Continue Reading…

Reorganization Act and regional strategy

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By K.N. Pandita

With the passing of J&K Reorganization Act 2019, J&K’s more than seven decades old frozen political narrative has entered its de-freezing era. Remember the Act was passed by a massive majority vote in the Parliament. Those who opposed the bill during the parliamentary debate, and continue their opposition even more fiercely after the passage of the bill, are motivated by politics of vengeance and not by larger national interests. Continue Reading…

Letter to the Editor – Reorganization of J&K

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Daily Excelsior

Sir,
This refers to the write up “Is Article 370’s …..” by B.L. Saraf (DE Oct 31). Ruling political parties are within the bounds of logic to talk about their positive achievements in public domain. Achievements like BDC/Panchayat elections etc. are to be gauged not by the criterion of which party wins how many votes but by the imperative of fundamental democratic principle of empowering the people and facilitating them for self governance. Continue Reading…

Durbar move: a raging controversy

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(see on en.wikipedia)
By K.N. Pandita

Amidst a plethora of tasks awaiting attention in the aftermath of the reorganization of the State, is the question whether abolishing nearly two centuries old practice of Durbar move after every six months is or is not feasible. This is a serious question. Continue Reading…

The histrionics of J&K accession

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By K.N. Pandita

In his book Integration of the Indian States, (page 438), V.P. Menon, the then Secretary in the Ministry of States, writes, “Shortly before the transfer of power, Pandit Ramchandra Kak was replaced as Prime Minister by Maj. Gen Janak Singh. The Government of J&K then announced their intention of negotiating Standstill Agreements with both India and Pakistan. Pakistan signed the agreement but we wanted time to examine its implications. We left the State alone. Continue Reading…

UNHRC’s doubtful impartiality on Kashmir

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By K.N. Pandita

UN Human Rights Council’s 42nd session has just come to an end in Geneva. My more than twenty year experience at the UN in Geneva is that it has not been fair to India in regard to Kashmir cause. This bigotry is traceable to the days of British colonial rule over India. Continue Reading…