Akbar Allahabadi (1846-1921) is regarded by many to be a reactionary poet. However, in the poem whose verses follow, he showed himself as surprisingly progressive, and brilliantly captured in verse the coming changes in society in this transitional age.
I quoted many Urdu couplets (shers) in some of my judgments (see my book 'Justice With Urdu' published by Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. of Delhi) while on the Supreme Court bench. I had thought of quoting Akbar Allahabadi's following verses in some judgment, but this intention could not materialize, because before I could do so I retired on 19.9.2011 at the retirement age of 65. However, I am doing so now :
" Yeh maujooda tareeke raahi-e-mulk-e-adam honge
Nai tehzeeb hogi aur nae saamaan baham honge
Khabar deti hai tehreek-e-hawa tabdeel-e-mausam ki
Khilenge aur hi gul, zamzame bulbul ke kam honge
Badal jaayega meyaar-e-sharaafat chashm-e-duniya mein
Zyaada the jo apne zom mein woh sab se kam honge
Ghuzishta azmaton ke taskare bhi na reh jaayenge
Kitaabon mein hi dafn afsaan-e-jaaho hasham honge
Kisi ko is taghayyur ka na his hogaa na gham hogaa
Hue jis saaz se paida usi ke zeyro bam honge
Tumhe is inqilaab-e-deher ka kya gham hai ai Akbar
Bahut nazdeek hain woh din ki tum hoge na hum honge "