Saturday, March 17, 2018




"Aik hamein avaara kahnaa  koyee  badaa ilzaam nahin
Duniyaa  vaale dil valon ko aur bahut kuchh kehte hain"......( Habib Jalib )

Habib Jalib ( 1928-1993 ) was a communist and a revolutionary poet. He had lovers in the length and breadth of the subcontinent . There are many reasons for that . He was fearless. Living in a theocratic state, he never reconciled with the idea of using religion for governance. He was secular and liberal  to the core and sided with truth even when imprisoned  or made to suffer.  Jalib  was associated with  the Progressive Writers Movement in the subcontinent . A  Punjabi born and brought up in Hoshiarpur ( Punjab ) , Jalib had a  colloquial style to draw large audiences who related to his poems. He was repeatedly imprisoned  for leading demonstrations against  establishment and rulers in his country opposing martial law  or  Gen. Zial Ul Haq's rule .Once, in jail ,  he demanded pen and paper .   The jail superintendent  told Jalib :-

" This time  , I am under Instructions  from above that no  pen or paper should be provided to you for writing your poetry against the government ."

To this jalib replied :

" Tell your bosses that Jalib shall recite his poems to  jail guards  , who will recite it in the town square, and so it will reach  Lahore .”
Once a producer  friend in film industry of his country used his poems in a film promising Jalib suitable remuneration. The songs became quite popular and neither Jalib asked for the money nor the producer paid him  .However, Jhalib  recorded this incident in his poem that became quite popular in the subcontinent .Here is the poem '-

"Onchey onchey aiwaanon mein moorakh kukam chalaayein.
Qadam qadam par iss nagri mein Pandit dhakke Kmkhaayein .
Dharti par bhagwaan bane hain dhan hai jin ke pass
............Bhaye Kabir Udaas .

Geet likhaayein paise na dein film nagar ke log.
Unn ke ghar baaje Shehnai lekhak ke ghar sog.
Gayak sur mein kyon kar gaayein kyon na kaatein ghaas
......     Bhaye Kabir Udaas

Kal tak Jo tha haal hamaara haal vahi hai aaj
Jalib apne des mein sukh ka kaal vahi hai aaj
Phir bhi *Mochi Gate pe leader roz karein bakwaas
............Bhaye Kabir Udaas"

Film song  "Zulm Rahay Aur Amn Bhi Ho, Kaya Mumkin Hai Tum Hi Kaho" sung by Noor Jahan and Medi Hassan  for "Yeh Aman  (1971),"  lyrics by Habib Jalib   became very popular.
He stood up to every military ruler — Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf.In Yahya era, Jalib was imprisoned for writing poetry against military action in East Pakistan.Initially, he thought ZA Bhutto a revolutionary but soon he fell out with him also . His famous poem, ‘Larkane chalo warna thane chalo’ is the reminiscent of the disagreement that he had with Bhutto .During the Zia era, Jalib was arrested many times. The military ruler had demanded that a line from one of his famous poems be removed. The line said: "Zulmat ko zia, sarsar ko saba, bande ko khuda kya likhna?". When a film actress was asked to come to presidency and dance before a visiting head of state, she refused. When forced, she tried to commit suicide. Jalib recorded it in a poem, which was later included in a movie as a song that said:-

"Tu ke nawaqif-i-adaab-i-ghulami hai abhi
Raqs zanjeer pehn kar bhi kiya jata hai. "

(You are not aware of the manners of slavery, one can indeed dance while in chains).
Saadat Hasan Manto appreciated him by saying, “Jalib’s poetry has an emancipatory effect when experienced by the common man.” It is believed that after Nazir Akbarabadi, he is truly the poet of the masses.Jalib was a grand human being.Never ever did he compromise with his principles. And poverty never left him. We are told that Tahira ,  his daughter is driving a taxi to earn her living. Jalib's eldest daughter died in 2009 because of depression  and poverty.

( Avtar Mota)

**** Mochi Gate in Lahore is a place where political rallies were regularly held  .

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.