By Ali Husain Mir, Raza Mir
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Extra info for Anthems of Resistance: A Celebration of Progressive Urdu Poetry
Ironically, the urge to reject religious and sectarian identities was so overwhelming that the condition of minority existence in a polarizing society was never really addressed. One might argue that progressive Urdu poetry’s abdication of the space of religion made it easier for retrograde and communal forces to appropriate it (though it would be unfair to blame the Progressives for this). A more sympathetic reading might be that perhaps the burden of the minority and the urge to prove their fidelity to an India that was growing suspicious of its Muslim citizens weighed heavily on them.
Apne zulm-e be-nihaayat ka fasaana yaad hai? Company ka bhi voh daur-e mujrimaana yaad hai? Loot-te phirte the tum jab kaarvaañ dar kaarvaañ? Sar barahna phir rahi thi daulat-e Hindostaañ Dastkaaroñ ke angoothe kaat-te phirte the tum Sard laashoñ se garhon ko paat-te phirte the tum San’at-e Hindostaañ par maut thi chaayi hui Maut bhi kaisi? Tumhaare haath ki laayi hui Allah Allah! Kis qadar insaaf ke taalib ho aaj Meer Jafar ki qasam, kya dushman-e haq tha Siraaj? Voh Avadh ki begamoñ ka bhi sataana yaad hai?
When you went about looting every caravan While the wealth of India wandered bare-headed You, who used to cut off the thumbs of weavers, And fill holes in the earth with cold corpses? The industry of India was under the shadow of death And what a wretched death! At your hands! Allah! Allah! How you demand justice today! Swear by Meer Jafar18; was Siraj such an enemy of truth? Do you recall how you harassed the noblewomen of Oudh? Remember the age of the Queen of Jhansi19? Remember? Do you remember the flight of the King of Delhi20?
Anthems of Resistance: A Celebration of Progressive Urdu Poetry by Ali Husain Mir, Raza Mir