Monday 15 April 2013

Akbar Allahabadi

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 "


  1. Waah waah! Subhan Allah! Aisa lagta hai maano Akbar Allahabadi sahab ne mustaqbil dekh kar is nazm ko zere qalam kiya hoga!

  2. A great Indian jurist was against quoting from literary works. As per his view it only increases the number of pages and not the quality. Do you know his name? A five page Privy Council judgment is worth 50 pages of any modern day judgment.

  3. In his preface to the fourth edition of "Constitutional Law of India" at XV Seervai writes: " Reverting to the fall in standards of the Judiciary, the fall was two-fold: (i) Fall in the quality of judgments, and fall in the standards of conduct demanded of judges....."

  4. Same view is expressed by Faiz Ahmad Faiz in his Nazm "Hum Dekhenge"

    Hum Dekhenge
    laazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge
    wo din ke jiska waada hai
    jo loh-e-azal pe likh kha hai
    Hum dekhenge

    Jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-geraN
    Rooi ki tarah ud jaaenge
    Hum mahkuumoN ke paaoN tale
    Ye dharti dhad dhad dhadke gi
    Aur ahle-hatab ke sar upar
    Jab bijli kad kad kadke gi

    Hum dekhenge
    Laazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge

  5. One more question to you. You know sanskrit so is the information given in the following link is interpreted correctly?

  6. Could anybody translate this poem in English please?

    1. Honorable Justice Katju should demand that google provide a urdu to English translator or be banned

    2. Honorable Justice Katju should demand that google provide a urdu to English translator or be banned

    3. We will see
      It is certain that we too will see
      We will see

      That day which has been promised
      Which has been written in the divine tablet

      We will see

      When the cruel mountains of injustice
      Will blow away like cotton-wool
      Beneath the feet of us oppressed
      This earth's heartbeat will pound
      And above the heads of the rulers
      Lightning will crackle

      We will see

      From the kabah of God's earth
      All the idols will be lifted
      We of-the-pure who are labeled haram
      On high cushions will we be seated
      All crowns will be hurled up
      All thrones will be brought down

      We will see

      The only name remaining will be that of Allah
      Who is both absent and present
      Who is the spectacle and the spectator
      The cry “I am truth” will arise
      Of which I am a part and so are you
      And the creation of God will rule
      Of which I am a part and so are you

      We will see
      It is certain that we too will see
      We will see

  7. Change is the reality of life.

  8. Change is the reality of life.

  9. Change is the reality of life.

  10. Change is the reality of life.

  11. katju sahab special the,hain aur Ishwar kare bahut salon tak rahein.kya........ shandar personality aur usse bhi badi baat kya khula dimag.jab bolte hain dunia ko uska asli chehra dikha dete hain. bindaas

  12. humko maalum hai jannat ki haqeeqat lekin
    dil ke khush rakhne ko ghalib ye khayaal acha hai...

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.


    Read Akbar Allahabdi ghazals, famous couplets and his books online at
    Also meaning for each word can be found by just clicking on the word.
    All ghazals are available in Hindi, Roman and Urdu.