PAANCH DRYON KA DES compiled and edited by Dr. Naveed Shahzad; pp 252; price Rs300 (lib); Publishers Department of Language and Literature, Punjab University, Oriental College, Lahore.
The book consists of poems written in recent times on or about Punjab, its language and culture and published in different newspapers, magazines and books. Some of these have been taken from private manuscripts with an 80-page research foreword in Urdu in which all poems have also been rendered.
At this occasion, a sort of political crisis has been created by the PPP government and allies who are of the opinion that being the largest province than die other three provinces in whole it needs to be bifurcated at least in two parts which would stop the central Punjab from dominating the national political scene.
The government supported would-be-Seraikistan share the larger number of the districts in the South-West of the present Punjab. A senior poet Baba Najmi while addressing Waris Shah laments that the other nationalities or the provinces are bent upon to divide the Punjab not on language basis but on the basis of dialects of the same language.
On the same theme another poet, nuclear scientist and United States-based Dr. Muhammad Afzal Shahid refers to the same politically-motivated design mainly supported by the traditional political leaders of the country and now the conditions have been brought to such an end that some of the major parties based in Punjab are also extending support to Sindhi-Punjabi feudal lords just to save their vested interests. The word Oodharr means unaware, strangers and the fact is that all the Punjab-based Muslim Leagues and other parties consist of unaware leaders who have no knowledge of the history of the Punjab and language and the main reason is either their elders and even their successors have been taught language, its literature and the pure culture of the Punjab. Another poet Afzal Saher joins Dr. Afzal Shahid.
Who are the enemies other than Punjabis more interested in their vested interests immediate than the integrity and solidarity of the Punjab and now the mother earth and mother tongue is at the mercy of executive justice. This condition has basically been created by the Punjabis themselves. This view has been expressed by Punjabis themselves.
The editor of the poems wants to touch the issue of the oneness of the language but ignores all diose past writers from all parts of the province who called themselves Punjabi. The late Asif Khan had published an exhaustive article on the poets belonging to the south-west of the province who in their writings admitted that they write in Punjabi. Asif Khan unfortunately missed the last great Sufi poet Khwaja Ghulam Farid’s authentic verdict on the language of Bahawalpur state where he used to live. Khwaja Sahib in his daily diary later published under the title of Maqabeesul Majalis had said that the language of the area is Punjabi and while addressing the gathering of his followers and visitors he used to explain the meanings of the words in Punjabi. A small quotation is enough to prove the protagonists of Seraikis that they are not doing justice to Farid whom they have been using for their political ends.
Naveed Shahzad has also missed it. At this juncture it is great blunder when the Punjabi department instead of resolving the dialects issue has further complicated it. They behaved like the “rulers” particularly the civil and military authorities, the latter created more sense of deprivation in the hearts of the people of the area because military bureaucracy lavishly J allotted vast agricultural lands to the men in the uniform. This point was much exploited by 1 the preachers of Seraiki and this issue emotionally and physically involved the deprived landless people of the area. The cost for the act of civil and military bureaucracy is now being paid by the language, literature, culture and even Sufi poets of the area because they are being separated from each other. These lines do represent the scene presented above.
To be the undisputed leader of the whole of Pakistan is the most controversial in political sense but right from the beginning of the independence the Punjabi and Urdu-speaking Junta planned to rule the country through Urdu and English. In that background more stress was laid on Urdu while Punjabi per scheme was to be eliminated from the face of the country and the same paradigm still prevails.
The editor has somehow with reference to this aspect of poetry touched this issue. He quotes:
This situation has been very artistically wound up by poet Saleem Ahmad Saleem.
SOCHAAN DI BUKKAL by Falalc Sher Tabassum; pp 144; price Rs200 (hb); Publishers Bazm-i-Maula Shah, 41-A, Chohan Road, Islampura, Lahore.
Falak Sher Tabassum is altogether a new name in Punjabi literary world but he comes out with a very mature and to some extent impressive verses in ghazal genre. On the last title page appears the photographs of the poet with a verse by his guide the famous senior poet, Syed Tanveer Bukhari which is in praise of Bukkal…the shawl covering the upper part of the body….in literary meanings the inner world of human being. Tanveer says:
The poet himself, while dedicating the book to his mentor, says:
(The book is dedicated to him who inspired the writer to write these verses).
The same publishers had sometime back published the ghazals of Tanveer Bukhari under the title of “Mukashifa”. With that reference one sees close similarity and commonality between the two books one by the guide and the other by the pupil under training. The publisher and writer Mian Maqbool Zafar has also in his foreword confirm the commonalities between the senior and the junior poets.