revolutionary poetry pakistan

Soul-stirring revolutionary poetry of Pakistan

This is my collection of top revolutionary poetry of Pakistan in Urdu. These poems written in Roman English can easily be understood in Hindi, as well.

Also, read

What makes Revolutionary poetry in Urdu special?

Pakistani corrupt leaders, demagogues, and power usurpers have, over the decades, provided ample subject matter for revolutionary thought to inspire poets and artists.

Urdu, being the lingua Franca in Pakistan, became the language of revolution in this part of the world.

Revolutionary poetry in Hindi has begun a revival after India got their first tyrant, Modi.

Top revolutionary poets in English literature

Before there were any revolutionary poets in the subcontinent, English literature had its conscientious writers

  • Percy Bysshe Shelly’s “the masque of anarchy”
  • William Wordsworth “the prelude, or growth of a poet’s mind,”

What makes poetry revolutionary?

Poetry that gives people awareness, and courage to speak up against Brutes is my criteria for revolutionary poetry.

My collection is all about the Pakistani revolutionary poets and their exceptional poems that can move people to real rebellion against Exploitation and Fascism.

You know these words come from the deepest recesses of the soul, as most of these poets have been jailed, tyrannized, and were left to die in poverty.

And nothing stirs the soul for the wretched people of this earth more than adversity.

Why write about these miserable souls?

My one-line reply would be

“Shair mere hain sab khawas pasand, Par mujhe guftagu awam se hai”

Mir Taqi Mir

[My verses are adored by the elite, but my conversation is with the ordinary man]

So, let us start

Top Revolutionary poets of Pakistan

  • Faiz Ahmad Faiz
  • Habib Jalib
  • Ahmad Faraz
  • Sahir Ludhianvi
  • Jaun Ailya
  • Muhammad Iqbal
  • Josh Maliabadi

 

Revolutionary poems of Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911-1984)

My ultimate favorite, Faiz sahib combined the love of humanity with the devotion to the beloved like no one else does.

“Dua” by Faiz Ahmad Faiz poetry

“Ayeye haath uthaien hum bhi; hum jinhe rasm e dua yaad nahi

Hum jinhe soz e muhabbat ke siwa koi butt koi khuda yaad nahi”

[Let us also raise our hands in prayer; we (the people) who don’t remember what to pray for

We (the people) who do not remember any god or idol, besides the affliction of love]

“Ayeay arz guzarain ke nigar e hasti zehr e imroze me shereen e farda bhar de

[Let us too supplicate that sweetness comes to this poisonous existence]

“Woh jinhe tab e gran baar e ayam nahi”

[For those who don’t have the strength to bear this daily grind]

“Un ke palkon pe shab e roz ko halka kar de”

[Lighten up this morn till noon grind on their eyes]

“Jinn ke aakon ko rukh e subh ka yaara bhi nahi

Un ke raaton me koi shama munawar kar de

Jinn ke qadmon ko kissi rah ka Sahara bhi nahi

Un ke nazron pe koi rah ujagar kar de”

[(lighten the burden) for those who can’t even visualize the azure dawn

(Lighten the burden) and light up a flame for their nights

The ones whose steps have no direction, Shine a light on the right path for them]

“Jinn ka deen pairave e kizb o riya hai

Unko himmat e kufr milay

Jurrat e tehkeek milay”

[Those whose religion is following deceit and falsehood

Give them the strength challenge (such a religion) with infidelity

And courage to question things]

“Jin ke sar muntazir e taigh e jafa hain

Unko daste katil ko jhatak denay ke tofeeq milay

Ishq ka sirr e nihan, jaan tabah hai jiss say

Aaj iqrar karein aur tapish mit jai”

[Those whose necks await the guillotine of tyranny

Be given the inspiration to stop their murderer’s hand

The esoteric mysteries of love; that have possessed my soul

May (finally) be quenched after a clear expression of love]

“Harf e haq dil mai khatakta hai Jo kaantay ke tarha

Aaj izhar karein aur khalish mit jai”

[The word of truth that rattles in my heart like a thorn,

May finally be said aloud, and the anxiety settled]

 

“Mujh say pehli se muhabbat”

“An ginat sadiyon ke tareeq bahimana tilism

Resham o atlas o kamkhwab mai bunwai huay

Jabaja biktay huay koocha o bazar mai jism

Khaaq mai lithray huay khoon mai nehlaya huay

Lot jati hai uday ko bhi nazar kya keejiyay

Ab bhi dilkash hai tera husn magar kya keejiyay

Mujh say pehli see muhabbat meray mehboob na maang”

[The age-old dark and ruthless spells,

Woven in silk and velvet and satin,

(Have) bodies sold in bazaars and lanes,

Dust covered and drenched in blood,

My gaze returns to this (sad) specter,

You are still beautiful (my love), but what to do?

Do not ask for the same kind of adoration my love]

Revolutionary poems of Habib Jalib

Habib Jalib sahib used unadulterated words against tyrants and their cronies and toadies – and I love him for that.

“Dastoor” protest poem by Habib Jalib

“Deep jiske muhallaat he mai jalay

Chand logon ke kushiyon ko le kar chalay

Woh Jo saye me har maslehat ke palay

Aisay dastoor ko subhe be noor ko

Mai nahi manta main nahi jaanta”

[(the systems) that only light candles in castles,

(And) takes only a selected few along the road to happiness,

All those who progressed under the shade of expediency,

Such a tradition, such a dimly lit dawn, I do not agree with]

“Mai bhi khaif nahi takhta e daar say

Mai bhi mansoor hum keh do aghyar say

Kyun daratay ho zindaan de Dewar say

Zulm ke baat ko, jehl ke raat ko

Mai nahi manta, mai nahi jaanta”

I am unafraid of the hangman’s noose

Tell the world, that I am also a martyr

Why are you trying to threaten me with incarceration?

(When) I do not agree with the language of tyranny and the night of ignorance.

“Tum ne loota hai sadyun say hamara sukoon

Ab Na hum par chalay ga tumhara fusun

Chara gar dardmandon ke bantay ho kyun?

Tum nahi chara gar, koi maanay magar,

Mai nahi maanta main ahi jaanta”

You have stolen our peace for ages,

Now your days of power over us are over,

Why are you trying to show fake benevolence?

You are not benevolent,

Whether anyone agrees or not, I don’t accept (you) as such

“Watan say ulfat jurm hai apna, yeh jurm ta zindagi kareinge

Hai kis ke gardan par khoon e nahaq, yeh faisla log he karein Ge”

[If (my way) of loving of my country is unlawful,

Then, I intend to keep repeating this act my whole life

Let the people decide who the real murderer is]

“Watan paraston ko keh rahay ho watan ka dushman daro khuda say

Jo aaj hum say khata Hui hai, yahi khata ka sabhi karein Ge”

[(don’t you have any) fear of God; you are calling the worshippers of the country as enemies?

This (grave) wrong that (you think) I am doing alone today will be repeated by many tomorrow]

“Liyay Jo phirtay hain tamgha e fan, rahay hain Jo hamkhayal e rehzan

Hamare azaadion ke dushman, Hamare kya rehbari karein Ge”

[All those who walk around with medals for their skills (in intellectual dishonesty), have remained agreeable with highway-robbers (of people)]

“Sitam garon ke sitam ke aagay, Na sar jhuka hai, na jhuk sakay ga

Sh’ar e sadiq Pe hum hain nazan, Jo keh rahay hain, wohi karein Ge”

[My head shall not bow before the cruelty of tyrants,

I am proud of the candid verses (of mine); whatever I have said, I will pursue too]

“Roodad sar e Daman, kab tak Na ayan ho Ge

Na Karda gunahon ke, moo mai to zuban ho Ge

Jiss waqt jaraim ke fehrist bayan ho Ge

Uss waqt adalat ke iss baat say na darna

Ai subh e matwalo uss raat say mat darna

 Jiss haath mai khanjar ho, uss haath say mat darna”

 [How long will the (truthful) story, obvious to all, be kept hidden?

How long will the tongue stay quiet, for being punished without a crime,

When the list of offenses is (finally) presented forth, then do not fear the court;

Oh those who long for the dawn, don’t fear the hand that carries the dagger ;( when that time comes)]

“Baat aise ha ke kehnay ka yara nahi

Kabar e iqbal say aa rahi hai sada

Yeh chaman mujh ko aadha gawara nahi”

(I do not have the courage to express this fact,

And a voice is being heard from the grave of Iqbal,

I cannot accept this partial yard)

“Aur aik saans pe tanked ka pehra kyu hai

Kis ne maan baap ke se aankh utha le tujh say

Cheen le kis ne kaan ke Bali tujh say

[Why is there criticism on each and every step of yours?

Who has stopped loving you like parents do?

Who has snatched your ear ornaments from you?]

Huay aaqa firangion ke Ghulam, Sab e aalam ho sake na tamam

Hukmaran ho gye kameenay log, Khaak me mil gye nageenay log”

[Mental slaves of colonial British have become lords, the night of sorrow could not end,

Brutes have become rulers, and gems (of people) have become dust]

Revolutionary poetry by Sahir Ludhianwi

“Zulm phir zulm hai barhta hai to mit Jata hai

Khoon phir khoon hai behta hai to jam jata hai

Aur laakh batay koi chup chup ke kameen gahon mai

Khoon deta hai jalladon ke maskan ka charagh

Aur tum jis khoon ko maqtal mai chupana chahtay ho

Aaj woh koocha aur bazar mai aa niqla hai”

[Cruelty is just tyranny, it eventually subsides,

Blood is just blood, once spilled, it freezes there;

And brutes can hide all they want in their homes,

Blood (eventually) points toward the one who spilled it;

Do you want to hide this blood, inside the slaughterhouse (of people)?

That blood is already in the streets and lanes (for everyone to see)]

“Katal gahon say chunk e hamaray alam

Aur niklain Ge usshaq ke kaaflay

Jin ke rah e talab say hamaray kadam

Mukhtasir kar chukay Dard ke faslay

Hum Jo tareeq raho mai maray Gaye”

[The devotees of (us) the slain, will pick up our banners and come out in processions;

Those whose pain has been eased because of our devotion to the cause;

We, the ones who have been killed in dark alleys]

“Bol ke lab azad hain teray

Bol Zuban ab tak Teri hai

Tera Sutwan jism hai tera

Bol ke jaan ab tak Teri hai”

[Speak, for your lips are free,

Speak, your tongue is still yours,

Your youthful body is still yours,

Speak out, for your strength is still yours]

“Hum dekhain Ge,

Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhain Ge

Woh din ke jis ka waada hai

Jo loh e azal mai likha hai”

[We shall see that day, we will see that day,

The promised day, which is mentioned on the permanent document,]

“Jab zulm o sitam ke koh e garan

Ruee ke tarha urh jayen Ge

Hum mehkoomon ke paaon talay

Yeh dhardi dhar dhar darkay Ge

Aur ahl e hakam kay sar upar

Jab bijli kar kar karkay Ge”

[When the towering mountains of tyranny and suffering,

Will be wiped out like cotton wool,

The earth shall beat under the feet of the downtrodden,

Furthermore, over the heads of the rulers,

Lightning bolts shall strike]

“Jab arz e khuda ke kaabay say

Sab but uthwai Ja’yn Ge

Hum ehl e safa mardood e haram

Masnad pe bithai Ja’yn Ge

Sab taaj uchalay Ja’yn Ge

Sab takht giraye Ja’yn ge”

[From the Kaaba of God’s great earth,

All idols shall be removed,

We, the wretched of this holy place,

Shall be seated on the high chair;

All crowns shall be thrown into the air,

All thrones demolished]

Revolutionary poetry by Muhammad Iqbal

“Niqal kar khanqahon say ada kar rasm e shabbiri

Yeh fiqr e khanqahi hai faqat andoh o daleri”

[Come out of the monastery and perform your duty like Shabbir,

This monastic school of thought is just grief and affliction]

“Teray Din o adab say aa rahi hai boo e rohbaani

Yehi hai marnay wali ummaton ka aalam e peeri”

[Your religion and literature both smell of renunciation,

This is the symbol of dying nations]

Revolutionary poems of Ahmad Faraz

“Iss say pehlay to aisee he ghari aye thi

Subhe wehshat ke tarha sham e ghareeban ke tarha

Iss say pehlay bhi hua chand do neem

Nok e dashna say khichi thi meri matti pe lakeer

Ab ke zalzalay aye to qiyamat ho gi

Meray digeer meray Dard ke maaray logo

Kissi ghasib, kissi zalim kissi qatil ke liyay

Khud ko takseem na karna meray saray logo”

[This time has come before too,

Like a morn of barbarity, like an evening of poverty;

The moon has been split in half before too;

A line has been drawn on the soil with a spear,

If there is an earthquake now, there will be Armageddon;

My beloved, pained people –

(Just) for some extorter, tyrant, and murderer –

Don’t divide yourself, my people]

“Dil mein le kar baghaawaton ke sharaar

Vahshaton ke muheeb saaye mein

Sar bakaf, jaan ba lab, nigaah ba qasr

Surkh o Khooni alam uthhaye huay

Badh rahe hain junoon ke aalam mein

Chand naadaan, chand deevane”

[With flames of rebellion in the heart,

Under the shade of barbarity,

Wrapped in a shroud, life at the tip of the lips, sight toward the palace,

With red and bloodied banner raised,

Marching forward in a state of madness,

A few naïve, a few dedicated fanatics]

Revolutionary poem by Jaun Elia

“Tareekh ne qaumo ko dia hai yahi paigham

Haq mangna tauheen hai haq cheen liya jaye”

[History has taught only one lesson to the people,

Begging for one’s rights is an insult, it is better to seize the rights]

“Kale k qasr e aish me bazm e sukhan thi jaun

Jo kuch bhi tha wahan wo ghareebo ka maal tha”

[Yesterday there was a meeting at a palace of luxury,

Whatever was there, belonged to the poor]

“Yeh to barhti hai chali jati hai miyaad e sitam

Juz hareefan e sitam kiss ko pukara jai

Waqt ne ek hi nukta to kiay hai ta’leem

Hakim e waqt ko masnad se utara jaye”

[The duration of suffering keeps extending,

Except for foes of suffering, who to call?

Time has taught us just one lesson,

The ruler of the day be dethroned]

Revolutionary poetry by Josh Malihabadi

“Kaam hai mera taghayyur, Naam hai mera shabaab

Mera naara: inquilab-o-inquilab-o-inquilab

My task is to change, my name is youth!

My slogan: revolution, revolution, and revolution!”

[My only job is change, my name is youth,

My slogan is revolution, revolution, revolution]

Other Revolutionary poetry in Urdu

“Ai watan kaisay ye Dhabbay dar o dewar pe hain

Kiss shaks Ke ye tamanchay teray rukhsaar pe hain

AI watan tera utra hua chehra kyu hai?

Dard palkon pe laho ban ke chalakta kyu hai?”

[Oh my country, what are these Blotches on your doors and walls?

Who left these hand imprints on your cheeks?

Oh my country, why are you sullen?

Why is your pain streaming down eyelids like blood?]

Jab kameenay urooj patay hain

Apni auqaat bhool satay hain

Kitnay kam zarf hain ye ghubaray

Chand phookon say phool jatay hain

[When brutes rise in ranks, they forget their real worth

How small are these balloons, they get swollen with a few puffs of air]

Verses of the Wicked and Tyrannical leaders

“Jo le ke niklay hain alam baghawat ka

Unhe khud apni halaqat pe noha khan Kar do

Aur bujhao garm salakhon ko un ke aankhon me

Zubanain khainch lo guddi say be zuban kar do

Aur hadaf bano dilon ko sulaghtay teeron ka

Sana say jismo ko chedo shikasta jaan kar do”

[All those who (dare) come out with a banner of rebellion,

Make them sing eulogy of their own demise,

And gouge out their eyes with red hot bars,

(Additionally), pull out their tongues from their mouths,

And target their hearts with burning arrows,

Cut their bodies and sap their strength]

The message of Revolutionary poets

  • The weak deserve to live a decent life too
  • The powerful will tyrannize the weak, which includes power-hungry
    • Religious leaders
    • Military leaders
    • Feudal Landlords
    • Moneyed Class
  • Freedom of speech is vital in society
  • Man is evil, and unbridled power brings tyranny
  • Fascism is the worst
  • Selfless knights who sacrifice for the collective good, need to be nurtured not persecuted.
  • There can be no peace and beauty in the world without justice
  • Not everyone is a mindless follower

Conclusion

Pakistani elite must return power and resources to the weak by

It takes one person with their heart in the right place, to use the same tactics of suspending the law, toxic nationalism, and islamo-fascism to gain power as the crooked elite has to date.

When the day of judgment comes, then all the ledger books of deeds shall be opened for accountability in open fields, right where these revolutionary poets are buried – and it will not be a pretty sight.

Viva La Revolucion!

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