BY |Hamid Mir|

Our friend, known as Munnu Bhai has chosen the name of his Punjabi Nazm Naraah Haq Da, Zid Mansoor Wali. If it was not the truth that Faiz carried just like the staunch stance of Mansoor, he could not have become a great poet. This year Faiz Foundation Trust organized the Faiz International Festival in Alhamra Lahore from 16 November till 18. During the ceremony not only Faiz was remembered but few were also cheered who were adamant like Mansoor. On 17th November afternoon, one session was organized in the remembrance of Munnu Bhai and Asma Jahangir as I was also given the chance to express my views over the personalities. One more session by the name of Politics in Journalism and I was assigned to host the session. During the session U Turn was discussed between Wusatullah Khan and Marvi Sirmed; the attendees were joyous, exchanged laughter over the course of interaction.

When U Turn and Mansoors adamance was analyzed the veteran journalist Wusatullah Khan maintained that if Allama Iqbal and Quaide Azam would have taken the U-Turn the Pakistan would have not been created. The supporters of U-Turn give examples that Quaid was the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity and later changed his stance for separate state for Muslims. Allama Iqbal first wrote Saaray Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara and later denounced Muslim Hain Hum Watan Hai Sara Jahan Hamara so was this not a U Turn? It should be remembered that Quaid was not struggling for power as he was offered the role in United India which he turned down. He was struggling for Pakistan, which was not possible without Mansoors adamance. We also met Punjabs information minister Fayayz-ul-Chauhan and discussed U-Turn which the latter lightly ignored. It is better to lightly ignore u-Turn rather than defending it.

Indian poet Javed Akhtar also participated in Faiz Festival. Recently, Javed Akhter fully defended Tipu Sultan from BJP and RSS propaganda against observing Tipu Sultans birthday. Tipu was such a brave, courageous ruler and was considered to be the ally of Napolean. Tipu would have wanted, he could have easily saved his skin by coming into pact with Britishers but he refused as he never accepted slavery in the name of friendship. Rather taking U-Turn he said that a day life of a lion is better than the hundred days of a Hyena. In this one sentence you can feel the adamance of Mansoor and because of it Tipu Sultans name will live for eternity.

I thanked Javed Akhtar for defending Tipu Sultan. Asghar Nadeem Syed told him about my column in which I praised Javed for his kind words in favor of Tipu. My column dated 16th November I regretfully said that Indian extremists lambaste Tipu and some secular/Liberal “literaries” are after Allama Muhammad Iqbal, criticizing him and levying ridiculous and ludicrous blames on him.

A female student in the Faiz festival raised a question on the previous column that Faiz always defended Iqbal and asked me to quote a single book where faiz has done so. I told the student that Faiz Taqi’s book ‘Faiz Shanasi’ has an amalgamation of a lot of interviews by Faiz where Faiz deems Iqbal the last philosopher of that time and also narrated that his father took a referral note signed by Iqbal for his admission in GC university Lahore. Faiz took the note to Qazi Fazl e Haq who was the professor of Persian at the time.

The varsity organized an annual poetic symposium, the topic of which was ‘Iqbal’.

Faiz’s poetry was awarded first position and Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabbasum urged him to present the poem to Iqbal (RA). I was telling this to the student when a youngster butted in: The book you are referring is available nearby in the bookstall. In the book Dr. Taqi Abdi has infused Iqbal poem in “Pyam e Mashriq” which were translated by Faiz sahab.

The book narrates that in 1976 Iqbal’s annual birth anniversary was celebrated and Faiz from that day onwards started translating Iqbal’s poetry to Urdu. Agha Nasir said to Faiz that you yourself are equivalent to Iqbal, why waste time on transliteration? Ahmed Faraz too was of the same opinion but Faiz replied that “Payam e Mashriq” is an assemblage closer to their ideologies, I will definitely translate it. Then he translated it and recited it to Agha Nasir in his own house where Nasir was invited as guest. See our good fortune that all these stories…

The good thing is that Author of the book Dr Taqi Abid also attended Faiz festival and it was honor to meet him in Faiz festival. Dr Ayub in his book “Hum kai Tehrey Ajnabi” has written that Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi was secretary of ‘Anjumane Taraqi Pasand in 1949. It was ordered to condemn Allama Iqbal, Asmat Chugtai, Manto as they are not in the favor of progressivism. Faiz termed it as useless, Allama Iqbal written against feudalism. Same story was about Manto. Faiz denied taking U-turn against Iqbal. Afterwards, the meeting held at Mazhar Ali Khan’s Garage which was chaired by Safdar Mir. When MR. Qasmi read an article against Allama Iqbal, Faiz termed it as meaningless and extremism and he refused to attend the gatherings of Anjuman and said “Bol k lub Azad hain teray.” (Speak as you are now free to say anything).

Faiz Ahmed Faiz rejected the meaningless extremism of progressivism against Allama Iqbal and we should reject it today as well. My November, 15 column was on the extremism after which Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik has written a letter to me. He was shocked by reading the article published in ‘The News’ on November, 9. I responded the article with ‘Ideological pollution’. Mr. Malik wrote the writer of the particular article showed regret with Marxism critics that why they declared Iqbal as broadminded and revolutionary poet?

The lady is also unhappy with the philosophers which declared Iqbal’s “Tabeere Islam” as the true interpretation of Islam. She is disappointed over why Iqbal is the advisor of Islam?

You have highlighted the philosophy of Iqbal by answering all questions in detail. Thank you MR Malik for the encouragement. If Faiz denied taking U-turn against Iqbal on the name progressivism so how is it possible for us to take the U-turn? The messenger of change and revolution Mansoor Ali is still remembered today not as Napoleon or Hitler, but as Tipu Sultan.