Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Nature of Urdu Poetry


Urdu poetry has the Sufi touch, and it attacks the fundamentalist ( Wahabi ) version of Islam, often by ridiculing it or satire ( called vyang in Hindi, or tanz in Urdu ).

Thus, Ghalib writes :

" Kahaan maikhane ka darwaaza aur kahaan waiz
Par itna jaante hain, kal wah jaata tha, ki hum nikle "

Maikhana means a wine shop, waiz means a Muslim religious preacher.

Thus, Ghalib says that yesterday when I was leaving a wine shop, I saw a waiz entering. Ghalib is hinting that secretly even Muslim religious preachers drink wine ( which is forbidden in Islam ).

Ghalib also writes :

" Masjid ke zer-e-saaya kharaabat chahiye "
Zer-e-saaya means under, kharaabat means a wine shop.

So Ghalib says that underneath mosques there should be wine shops.

Again, a satire.

Meer writes;

" Meer ke deen -o-mazhab ko poochte kya ho ? Unne to
Kashka kheencha dair mein baitha kab ka tark Islam kiya "
i.e.

Why do you ask the religion of Meer ? He put a kashka ( Hindu tika ) on his forehead and sat in a temple. Since long he has renounced Islam.

This sher ( couplet ) should not be literally construed. Meer means that he has given up fundamentalist Islam i.e. the rigid Wahabi version

Sahir Ludhianvi writes :
" Aqaid wahm hai, mazhab khayaal e khaam hai saaqi
Azal se zahn-e-insaan basta-e-auhaam hai, saaqi "

i.e.

Faith is but superstition, religion an inferior idea

Since the dawn of time, human imagination has been imprisoned by these falsehoods .

Numerous other such examples can be given, many from the greatest Urdu poets.

Urdu poetry, like that of Kabir, is often a poetry of protest, protest against injustice and inhuman, rigid social customs and practices, foolishness, hypocrisy, and religious bigotry and fanaticism

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