EDUCATION
Urdu poetry is needed in this revolutionary era
10.02.20 - Markandey Katju
Urdu poetry is needed in this revolutionary era



I have repeatedly said that the massive socio-economic problems of India (in which term I include Pakistan and Bangladesh, as I regard them as part of India, only temporarily separated) i.e. massive poverty, record unemployment, appalling child malnourishment, lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, soaring prices, widespread corruption etc can only be resolved by a Revolution (see my articles Is India headed to its own ‘French Revolution’? , ‘The Storm Ahead’ , ‘Revolution and Introspection: Could it be hubris that is distorting your vision?’ etc).

Such a revolution requires inter alia a revolutionary poetry and songs to inspire patriots like ‘La Marseillaise’ in the French Revolution, and Gorki’s ‘The song of the stormy petrel’ and ‘ The Internationale’ in the Russian Revolution.

Of course there are many languages in India, and all of them have produced some good poetry. However, in my opinion none of them have the revolutionary spirit and ‘dum’ (power) which Urdu poetry has. I have explained the reason for this in my articles ‘What is Urdu’, Hindi or Urdu: which is the more powerful language? and ‘Great injustice to Urdu in India’, which can be seen online.
 
By its very nature, Urdu poetry is a poetry of protest, protest against the afflictions of the common man, and against injustice.

Some people think that Urdu is the language of Muslims alone, but this is totally false. Urdu is a totally secular language, and till 1947 Urdu was the language of educated people of all communities, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh etc in large parts of India. It was part of the British divide and rule policy to propagate the idea (through their local agents) that Hindi is the language of Hindus, while Urdu is the language of Muslims.

The propaganda that Urdu was a foreign language was also false. Persian and Arabic are no doubt foreign languages, but Urdu is a desi (indigenous) language.

I had once been invited to an Urdu poetry function in Lucknow, where a young Muslim woman said that she wants her children to learn Urdu, so that they could read the Quran.
 
To this I responded, "Ma'am, the Quran is in Arabic, not in Urdu. And there are more Ramayanas in Urdu and Persian than Qurans."

It was obvious this woman knew nothing about Urdu.

It is a common misconception that Urdu is the language of Muslims, and many Muslims think that Urdu is their jagir (fiefdom), though they know little of this great language. 

In fact, Urdu poetry is anti-Islamic (in the Wahabi sense). For instance, Mirza Ghalib writes:

Imāñ mujhe roke hai jo khīñche hai mujhe kufr
Kaaba mere peeche hai kaleesa mere aage

(Faith is blocking my path, but atheism is pulling me forwardK
Kaaba is behind me, the church is in front)

Here, 'Kaaba’' represents feudalism, and kaleesa (church) represents modernity.
 
So, Ghalib is rejecting religion as it represents backwardness and feudalism, and is approving of modernisation.

Masjid ke zer-e-sāya ḳharābāt chāhiye

(Beneath every mosque there should be a wine shop)

Now, Islam forbids drinking, but this is what the greatest Urdu poet says.

He also writes:

Kahan mai-Khane ka darwaza ghaalib aur kahan waiz
par itnā jānte haiñ kal vo jaatā thā ki ham nikle

(A pub and a religious scholar are poles apart/but yesterday when I entered the pub he was leaving).

The great Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir writes:

Mīr' ke dīn-o-mazhab ko ab pūchhte kyā ho unne to
qashqa khīñchā dair meñ baiThā kab kā tark islām kiyā

(Why do you ask the religion of Mir? He has put a kashka (tilak) on his forehead
Sat in a (Hindu) temple, and has abandoned Islam long ago)

Another great poet Sahir Ludhianvi writes:

Aqaid waham hai, mazhab khyaal-e-khaam hai saaqi Azal se zehen-e-insaan basta-e-auhaam hai saaqi 

(Faith is superstition, religion is an inferior idea)

Since the dawn of time, human imagination has been imprisoned by these falsehoods.

And here are a few verses from the Urdu Ramayana of the great Urdu poet Chakbast:

Ruḳhsat huā vo baap se le kar ḳhudā kā naam
Rāh-e-vafā kī manzil-e-avval huī tamām
Manzūr thā jo maañ kī ziyārat kā intizām
Dāman se ashk poñchh ke dil se kiyā kalām
Iz.hār-e-be-kasī se sitam hogā aur bhī
Dekhā hameñ udaas to ġham hogā aur bhī 

(He [Rama] said goodbye to his father taking the name of God
The first step to fidelity's tough path his feet had trod
Now for a meeting with his mother he began to plod
Wiping his tears he spoke inward keeping his shoulders broad
I dare not let her see my pain it will cause her unbearable grief
Better I show a smiling face that may give her some relief)

I can quote from this Urdu Ramayana on and on. One feels he is reading Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas, it is so touching.
 
I also can quote countless shers by revered Urdu poets like Mir, Ghalib, Faiz, etc., attacking Islamic fundamentalism, just like Kabir did.

Urdu poetry follows the tradition of Kabir and the great Sufi saints who believed in universal brotherhood and humanitarianism, and attacked religious extremism and bigotry.
 
As mentioned above, by its very nature, Urdu poetry is a poetry of protest, protest, both against human despots (e.g. Faiz’ poem Hum Dekhenge which was sung by Iqbal Bano against the despotism of Gen Zia, and also in the recent Shaheen Bagh protests in Delhi) and against inhuman rigid social and religious customs.

I venture to submit that no poetry in the world expresses the voice of the human heart in the manner, and with the elegance, as Urdu poetry does.

By attacking religious bigotry of the Wahabi type, or the kind currently being preached by religious fanatics and bigots in our sub-continent (both Hindus and Muslims), Urdu poetry is even more relevant and needed in India today.

As Kabir wrote:

Kankar pathar jod ke, masjid liye banaye
Ta chad mullah baang de, kya behra hua khudaye?

(With stones and bricks a mosque was built
From its top the mullah has to shout [the azaan]
Has God become deaf?)

In my opinion all Indian patriots should learn Urdu, and write verses like ‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai’  to inspire the Indian people who will have to make great sacrifices in the coming revolutionary storm. 
 
 
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
 
 
 
  
Watch video: 




Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

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A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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Was Sharjeel Imam’s speech a crime?
26.01.20 - Markandey Katju
Was Sharjeel Imam’s speech a crime?



Sharjeel Imam, a student of JNU, gave a speech on 16th January, 2020 in Aligarh during an anti CAA protest meeting, asking people to cut off Assam and the North East from the rest of India. Consequently, the police of Delhi, UP, and Assam have registered FIRs against him on a sedition charge, and are seeking him. But has he committed any crime?

I submit he has not. In Brandenburg vs Ohio, 395 US 444 ( 1969 ) the US Supreme Court held "The Constitutional guarantee of free speech does not permit a state to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action".

This decision has stood the test of time, and is the law of the land in America ever since. It was followed by two decisions of the Indian Supreme Court in Arup Bhuyan vs State of Assam and Sri Indra Das vs State of Assam, of 2011 ( see online ), and therefore is the law of the land in India too.

Hence inflammatory speech is also protected by the freedom of speech guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution, unless it incites or produces imminent lawless action. 

I disapprove of Sharjeel Imam’s speech, and I am against cutting off Assam or the rest of the North East from India. However, I do not see how his speech would incite or produce imminent lawless action. The word ‘imminent’ in the Brandenburg test is extremely important. It stresses on the time element, and makes more defined and more rigorous Justice Holmes’ ‘clear and present danger’ test laid down in Schenck vs US.(1919), which had replaced the earlier vague ‘bad tendency test‘ .

Therefore I am of the opinion that Sharjeel Imam committed no crime, and the FIRs against him deserve to be quashed by the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution or section 482 Cr.P.C..
 
In my opinion applying the Brandenburg test the prosecution against the Bhima Koregaon accused, Prof Saibaba of Delhi University , Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Sajjad Lone, Syed Ahmed Shah Gilani, Shah Faesal and other political figures also deserve to be quashed. None of these persons in detention said anything which incited or produced imminent lawleass action.
 
 
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
 
 
 
  
Watch video: 



Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





[1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 22 [next]1-5 of 110


Comment by: Dr Craig Parrish

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
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Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
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reply


Comment by: samir sardana

Indian Muslims need to understand that India is doomed,and that the Hindoo state can do nothing for them

India is a doomed nation and is a bankrupt nation,which will be inevitably be destroyed,by the Turkics and Mongols.dindooohindoo

Future for Muslims,lies in the partition of Hindoosthan and for starters- UP,Bihar,MP, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh have to be split.Even if the Hindoo wanted to uplift their own - Dalits - they could not - as they have no money.

The Hindoo nation exists to serve the banias (who are the real face of the RSS) sucking money at every level,from hapless hindoos and brainwashing them,via the media and entertainment,and the histrionics of limpet hindoo vermin,like Chaiwala and Amit Shah.

The bania vermin does not build infrastructure.The bania inports 3 rd hand tech at a brand new price, and takes a leveraged bank loan and then pays off the netas and walks off with the money or rents the factory to a management,on a parta mode.

No manufacturing is viable in Hindoosthan.Hindoos are an impotent,lazy,dimwit breed of dullards, cowards and weasels. They are incapable of hardwork,sacrifice.discipline and innovation.If import tarriffs are at 15% - nothing will be viable,to make in Hindoosthan, not even,backward integrated steel and cement.

Because the Bania/Brahmin have looted and bankrupted the nation - hence,the import and other tarriffs are at 35 - 100%.The Hindoo vermin levies the highest import and other taxes on items which hindoos cannot do w/o,for a second - edible oil and fuels.

This is the price of tolerating the Brahmin/Bania vermin and the nikamma baboos and pandoos and khakee ke kutte of the police and faujis.The Fokad Fauji is full of 10th pass clowns and weasels,who join the NDA and are, in essence, illiterates.They will lose the next war with the Turkics and Mongols - complete decimation.

Y should the Muslims bear with these Kaffir scum ? An Islamic State in Hindoosthan with strict shariat fron personal laws to finance,agriculture and industry to cater to just the demands of the Indian Muslims (id.est., the food,education,clothing and entertainment of the Muslims) will raise the per capital income of Muslims by 1000%.

The Indian industry.banking,education.legal and judicial system is bogus,busted fraudulent and nonsensical.When Muslims live with Kaffirs,as a Minority Muslim race, they pray to Hindoo Gods,Say that Rama was an Imam,That Shiva was a Muslim ........ with an array rented Bogus Muslim Hogs like Shahnawaz Hussein and Mukhtar Naqvi.Such vermin should die soon.

Whenever.India was ruled or influenced by Sons of dishwashers and/or prostitutes,doom has followed - like India is witnessing today.

The Indian GDP is also bogus.It is PRODUCED by not more than 10% of the Indian Population.Even within the direct employees who PRODUCED THE GDP will account for not more than 20% of the GDP of Goods and services.Rest is profit,interest and depreciation and payments to extended supply chain.

The Per capita India GDI will be less than Somalia and Raqqa.(If you exclude the Top 10% of the wage and profit earners.

An Islamic state is an infinitely better option.

Sharjeel is wrong on 1 thing.The way to annihilate Hindoosthan is to doom the Railways.It is an ultra cost option with no forensic trail.You just need a shovel,axe and 2 iron rods of 8 feet each.This will destroy all the supply chain logistics and port logistics and also, in a amtter of 30 days all air traffic.

Basically, the khaki ke kutte pandoos (police) and Brahmin/Bania vermin have to be eradicated - and this is morally justified,as per the Gita.The Pandoo is a Dog with a Gun and wears Khaki.When Khaki ka kutta gets order - he will shoot.So killing a Khaki Ka Kutta,is no crime.

Even an Attack Doberman/Daschund will defy the master's order - but the Khaki ka kutta pandoo and Baboo will not.

Hence,they are wajab e katal. And then we come the Hindoo Dindoos and other Bania supporters - they are potentially certain enemies - on linear progression of thought.It is better that they die,asap. It is critical to do a theological stratification of "so called humans".The South Indians and litter of trash (as in Goan filth) and Marathi ghatis etc. (who think that Shivaji will alive to fight Aurangzeb) are a race of vermin.If South Indians read history and hindoo scriptures and their raw deals,in last 70 years - they would have insurrected, by now (id.est., 2000 years of history).But they did not - as they are weasels and cowards.

If kattas can be used in Delhi in broad daylight - then the potential is infinite

reply


Comment by: Dr Craig Parrish

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

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MOURN YE ALL! HE WAS A READER.
Jasmer Singh is dead. You don't know who he was? He was a Reader.
23.01.20 - A Tribute by Punjab Today
Jasmer Singh is dead. You don't know who he was? He was a Reader.



IN AN EPIC FANTASY written for today’s generation which is hard to wean off a screen and pulled into the world of books, a character, trying to understand the concept of horizon, asks, very straight-faced: "Is it like the end of an aisle of books?” 

Jasmer Singh has left us, probably because he did not believe that horizon is anything like the end of an aisle of books. He must have thought there are more bookshelves to be explored in the yonder world. There's no other reason he would have left behind his books in his two-room flat in Mohali as he passed away on January 15, 2020.

It sounds very pompous to say something like this, and he might have objected strongly, but since he isn't around anymore, let us dare say it: in this one sense, he was a little like Socrates. Neither wrote during his lifetime, but they lived like rivers of knowledge that flowed through our lives and times.

Jasmer Singh would come into his own amidst a circle of close friends, whom he would enthral as he would effortlessly take them out for a swim in the oceans of poetry or references to the greatest minds across centuries whose names would stare down at you from the spines of books piled on his shelves.

A raconteur par excellence, his forte encompassed music, arts, literature, sports, cinema, and much else. He was a professor of English literature but also loved Punjabi literature dearly. He would talk about the greats of the Punjabi literary world, and you would be inspired to engage with Shakespeare, Milton, Eliot and Keats. He would set up a livewire connect between The Wasteland and our contemporary world. 

Shiv Batalvi was a subject that was a tad too emotional for him, and he would often proclaim him as the greatest poet after Waris. He would accord due importance to Prof Puran Singh, Bhai Vir Singh, Bulhe Shah, Baba Farid, but would not be found amiss in stating that while all of them stood tall, it fell upon only the young Shiv to carry the burden of romance on his shoulders. 
 
Of the two rooms of his flat in Mohali, one was stacked with books, spilling over the brim — by an estimate about 5,000 of them. People would often wonder how so many of these could fit in a space so tiny! And then there would be many more that would claim some real estate on his bed and besides it. Among his possessions were text books from his days in the school, and he could indulge in a long drawn harangue about why he has been holding on to these.

But pray, why the 200 odd dictionaries? Who needs so many dictionaries? But then you would only ask an inane question like that if you would have an inclination to listen to the significance of etymological roots of words. He could get you interested in a single word, peeling off the layers off a single word and unpacking the journey it has trudged through human history, and sometimes geography.

He would regale you with how the first dictionary came into being some 2300 years before Christ, but then it didn't look anything like the lexicographic works of today. His collection included dictionaries from the past century, and from the one before that. He would sing paeans to the writers of Encyclopaedia Britannica and then praise Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha and his Mahan Kosh no end, at times even crediting Bhai Sahib with being more meticulous than the folks at venerable Britannica.

Atlas was his shorter and concise version of limitless heaven. He would travel deserts and oceans, and trudge through countries and cities by just turning the pages of this cartographic wonder. A die hard admirer of Readers Digest and National Geographic, he would sometimes lament if there would ever be a time when journals and magazines like these would be published in Punjabi.

He would talk about politicians who used to be well read. His favourite examples to prove his point would often come from West Bengal, where, he would remind you, the Bengalis, when they were to christen the secretariat, opted to call it Writers' Building.

Living a life intertwined with the world of books, Jasmer Singh would remind you about the upcoming World Book Fair. For him, the occasion used to be a sort of pilgrimage. He would save some money for it. Over the years, he had become a well-informed insider who knew the book stalls, the ones that offer genuine discounts and those that hoarded rare titles.

A phase came in his life when he immersed himself in Gurbani, and would recite some compositions for ‘n’ number of times, but he wouldn’t talk about it in vain. At one stage, he came close to giving up his job and his house, but his friends’ writ prevailed.   

He could walk, and walk long distances. To walk besides him along the Sukhna’s boulevard in Chandigarh would forever be a cherished memory for many. At times, he would pause, but only to remind you of what walking is all about. "You know that it was only during such walks that Sirdar Kapur Singh conceived the idea of ParasharPrashna?” It was during walks that great minds unravelled the mysteries of time, black hole, the world of atoms, quantum theory, death, reincarnation. He would talk about the big bang theory, and the sedate calm waters of Sukhna would stand witness to a reader talking.

People might now recall that his daughter Harkirat studied in that book-lined tiny flat to prepare for her PCS exams and is now a senior officer in the state health department, or that his son Tejwant is in Australia, doing well for himself, or that his wife Rajbir Kaur, a government employee, stood by his side and was the sheet anchor of his life, but that would be like telling you only half the story.

For a complete version, you would have to summon Marcel Proust to your aid, who would have struck an uninterrupted long conversation with Jasmer Singh in that book-lined room with its peculiar smell. At times I think they were actually good friends — Proust and Jasmer Singh. "In reading, friendship is restored immediately to its original purity. With books there is no forced sociability. If we pass the evening with those friends—books—it’s because we really want to. When we leave them, we do so with regret and, when we have left them, there are none of those thoughts that spoil friendship: "What did they think of us?”—"Did we make a mistake and say something tactless?”—"Did they like us?”—nor is there the anxiety of being forgotten because of displacement by someone else. All such agitating thoughts expire as we enter the pure and calm friendship of reading.”

That was Proust, or was it Jasmer Singh? You never know. They were people of the books who sometimes leave us because they just can't overcome their curiosity of checking out the shelves beyond the horizon. In ‘Strange the Dreamer’, Lazlo asks, "Is it like the end of an aisle of books?” Jasmer Singh would know.

Or the friends he left behind. By friends, do I mean the thousands of books in that two-room flat, or ones like us who would remember him for a long, long time? Keep guessing, and walk by the Sukhna. Read Shiv or Prof Puran Singh, or Keats or Eliot. Someday, it’ll strike you, as Jasmer used to say. He didn’t write a book, but he did write a life. They call him a Reader.
 
(Adapted/translated from a memorial piece by Karamjit Singh, published in the Punjabi Tribune, on January 24, 2019.)
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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LAW AND LITERATURE
What can offer a better climax than a dramatic court trial?
15.01.20 - Ayesha Tariq and Janhvi Prakash
What can offer a better climax than a dramatic court trial?



THE INDIAN subcontinent is going through a painful turbulent transitional period in its history, a transition from feudal to modern society. In this period both law and literature can play an important role in getting over this transition, law by creating modern norms and destroying outdated feudal ones, literature by attacking feudal practices, religious bigotry, and despotism.

This article has been co-authored by two young women, one a lawyer from Delhi, India, and the other an Assistant Professor in English Literature in a College in Lahore, Pakistan, who are both progressive in their views, and want better relations between the two countries. 

Law and Literature are two apparently distinct disciplines yet both these disciplines work towards reaching the same ultimate end i.e. policing the conduct of masses to keep them within the bounds of morality. The moral codes set by literary artists can gradually get into the books of law. And on the other hand, many literary critics have attempted to put forward fixed canons for different literary genres. Just as Aristotle through his book Poetics, has shaped the laws for writing and critiquing dramas.

Law has often been taken up by literary artists as major or minor thematic concern in their works such as Antigone, The Merchant of Venice, The Pickwick Papers and The Mill on the Floss etc. to name but a few. Literature has often helped the ingenious advocates to be emphatic in their arguments by quoting from great literary texts. Literature has also at times become a part of courtroom judgments in the hands of erudite judges.

Famous writers who were also lawyers or involved in law include Henry Fielding, John Donne, Francis Bacon, Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffman, Heinrich Heine, Franz Kafka, Alexander McCall Smith, William Faulkner, and Bernhard Schlink, to name but a few.
 
And many a time men of law have been portrayed as characters both good as well as bad by literary writers.
 
Who can overlook Chaucer's portrayal of The Man of Law from his Prologue to the Canterbury Tales? Geoffrey Chaucer; the great English poet from the 14th century exclaims about his The Man of Law,

"Nowher so bisy a man as he there nas
And yet he semedbisier than he was.”

Chaucer’s The Man of Law seems busier than he actually is. He is an expert in drafting legal documents. He is from humble origins and is ambitious to mount up the ladder of social mobility. He is a great purchaser of lands because every land deal is merely a fee for him. Well! Does it ring a bell? Do we still have men of law like Chaucer’s The Man of Law from almost seven hundred years ago?

From this lighter note coming back to a serious one, literature has often become an instrument to make laws more humane and beneficial to mankind. For instance, Charles Dickens, the great Victorian Novelist, who at a point in his life was also an attorney’s apprentice, voiced adverse effects of Industrial Revolution on Victorian England through his novels.
 
He raised the issues of malnourishment, child labor, child abuse and inadequate sanitary conditions, prison reforms, etc. His popular fiction helped in building up a strong public opinion; consequently significant legislation was enacted to make social conditions bearable for the working class and poor in Victorian England.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) reveals the horrors of slavery faced by an African-American slave, Uncle Tom. The book caused immense uproar and greatly supported the abolitionist cause.
 
Abraham Lincoln greeted the author of the novel with these words, when he met her a decade after the publication, "So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.
 
Many writers after Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote anti-slavery literature which furthered the abolitionist movement. This movement ultimately led to the legislation of declaring slavery unconstitutional in 1865 as a result of the American Civil War.

Upton’s Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle (1906) aimed at highlighting the misery, exploitation, abject poverty and harsh working conditions faced by the immigrant laborers working in meat-packing industry in Chicago.
 
The book caused tremendous public commotion over food hygiene, so much so that it led to strict Food Control laws in USA (earlier there were no laws regulating food quality in USA ).
 
Sinclair profoundly remarked, "I aimed for the public’s heart and by accident I hit it in the stomach”.

John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939) lays bare for inspection the shocking poverty and misery suffered by millions of migrants moving towards California for work during The Great Depression.
 
When Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of US President Franklin Roosevelt read the novel, she called for Congressional hearings which led to reforms of labor laws in migrant camps.

Nadine Gordimer, the Nobel Prize winning South African writer boldly attacked the Apartheid Laws of her country which legalized racial discrimination by keeping the races apart. Her works were strictly banned by the Apartheid regime.
 
Nelson Mandela’s famous speech ‘I Am Prepared to Die’ delivered in the court of law just before his life imprisonment sentence was also reviewed by Gordimer prior to its delivery as per Mandela’s wish. Nadine Gordimer’s anti-Apartheid literary writings along with the works of many other likeminded writers paved the way for the enactment of The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986.

There exists an array of judgments where one can find literature, especially poetry being used to clarify facts or showcasing the legal dilemma a Judge is facing.
 
In Gopol Dass thru brother Anand vs Union of India, a case about an Indian Government employee who was arrested by the Pakistani Border Security Force on entering Pakistan, Justice Katju of the Indian Supreme Court started his judgment by quoting Faiz Ahmed Faiz. The lines"Qafas udaas hai yaaro sabaa se kuch to kaho Kahin to beher-e-khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chale” perfectly elucidated the complexities of human emotion and the power of Urdu Poetry to aptly express them (see Justice Katju’s article ‘The power of Urdu poetry’ online).

In the famous case of Aruna Shanbaug, Justice Katju while dismissing the petition to allow euthanasia quoted Ghalib – ‘Marte hain aarzoo mein marneki, Maut aati hai par nahin aati’ demonstrating the gravity of the case in hand.

In Pebam Ningol Mikoi Devi vs State Of Manipur And Ors - a case about preventive detention wherein a person was wrongfully detained, Indian Supreme Court judges HL Dattu and DK Jain made their point and despair by using Shakespeare’s lines to highlight the importance about liberty.
 
Yet, another landmark case where literature can be found is Navtej Singh Johar & Ors vs Union of India, decriminalizing consensual sex between consenting adults of the same gender - the then Chief Justice Deepak Misra quoted German thinker, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who said, "I am what I am, so take me as I am”.
 
This judgment quoted Arthur Schopenhauer, "No one can escape from their individuality” as well as John Stuart Mill was also quoted -"But society has now fairly got the better of individuality; and the danger which threatens human nature is not the excess, but the deficiency of personal impulses and preferences.

 Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra
In Budhadev Karmaskar v. State of West Bengal - Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra of the Indian Supreme Court upheld the life sentence imprisonment imposed on the accused for the murder of a sex worker.
 
This judgment referred to many literary works, from the great Bengali writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyaya’s novels Shrikant and Devdas, to Fyodor Dostoyevsky's famous novel Crime and Punishment to Amrapali, a contemporary of Lord Buddha, and to the Urdu poet Sahir Ludhianvi’s poem ‘Chakle’, to convey that sex workers are entitled to a life of dignity as envisaged Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
 
In another order in the same case the judges quoted Ghalib’s verse ‘Pinha tha daam-e-sakht qareeb aashiyan ke, udhne na paaye the ki giraftaar hum hue’ to describe the plight of young girls caught in the sex trade due to abject poverty. 

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Asif Saeed Khan Khosa 
In Contempt proceedings against Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, ex Prime Minister of Pakistan - Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa of the Supreme Court of Pakistan cited two poems "Pity the Nation” and "Crime and Punishment” by famous poet Khalil Gibran and also the poem "For whom the bell tolls” by Johne Donne.
 
Justice Khosa while citing "Pity the nation” added a new part which he wrote himself highlighting his sentiments on the political situation of the country. 

The references to the judgments above validate our hypothesis that law and literature can be allied for their mutual benefit. In our postmodern era efforts have been made by many scholars to bridge the two disciplines. However the idea has not soared much high in our part of the world and has been generally ignored by law schools as well as literary critics.
 
There is a need to develop better interdisciplinary connection between law and literature. It is essential to clarify by ‘better interdisciplinary connection’ we do not mean to merge the two disciplines but to encourage interdisciplinary borrowing.
 
Law students should be taught literature so that they could give aesthetic expression to their arguments as well as legal writings. And they can also interpret legal texts by utilizing techniques of textual analysis developed by literary critics.
 
On the other side literary artists should look into courtrooms to collect raw material for their works. What can offer a better climax than a dramatic court trial?
 
Literature is an imitation of life and to be interesting, it should be an imitation of exciting life full of tensions or jubilations which are often found happening simultaneously in courts during a trial, and at the end in a verdict.
 
 
*Ayesha Tariq, is Asst Prof of English Literature, Govt P.G. College for Women, Lahore, Pakistan and Janhvi Prakash, is Advocate at Supreme Court of India.
 
  
Watch video: 


Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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Hindi or Urdu: which is the more powerful language?
05.01.20 - Markandey Katju
Hindi or Urdu: which is the more powerful language?



I have been castigated by many people for saying that Hindi is not the people’s language but an artificially created language, as if I had said something absurd, horrifying or blasphemous (see my article ‘Hindi was created by British to divide, it isn’t common man’s language’ online).
 
I have said there that the uneducated common man’s language in large parts of India was Hindustani (also called khadiboli), while the language of educated Indians, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh etc was Urdu (see my articles ‘What is Urdu?' and  ‘Great injustice to Urdu in India’ online).

While certain vested interests have condemned me for saying so (calling me Muslim appeaser, Pakistani, and what not), the people of India have proved me right. Consider the following :

In the ongoing anti CAA protest rallies in Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, the Urdu poem ‘Dustoor’ by the Pakistani revolutionary poet Habib Jalib was sung on popular demand, and in the rally by students of IIT Kanpur in support of the Jamia Milia students, the Urdu poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ by the famous Pakistani poet Faiz was recited. 

During the freedom struggle the Urdu poem of Bismil ‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai’ was on every patriots lips, and became our revolutionary anthem, like ‘Marseilles’ was during the French Revolution, or what ‘The International’ was during the Russian Revolution.

Why is it that the patriotic youth of India recite and sing poems/songs of Bismil, Faiz, Josh etc, and no one sings or recites poems/songs of Mahadevi Verma or Sumatra Nandan Pant?
 
It is because Hindi poetry does not have the ‘dum’ which Urdu poetry has. Revolutionary poetry must be able to inspire people, particularly the youth, to heroic deeds (like Maxim Gorki’s poem ‘The Song of the Stormy Petrel’ ) but Hindi poetry is clearly unable to do so. 

For instance, if we translate Bismil’s Urdu poem ‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai’ into Hindi it becomes ;

"Sheesh katwaane ki ichcha ab hamaare hriday mein hai”.
 
Surely this has no punch in it, and no revolutionary would sing it.

Similarly, the powerful Urdu verse of Faiz "Bol ki lab azad hain tere, bol zubaan ab tak teri hai” would in Hindi translation become the impotent "Uchchaaran karo ki onth swatantra hain tumhaare, uchchaaran karo ki jibhya ab tak tumhaari hai
 
I submit that Hindi does not have the power and sophistication which Urdu has. Consider the following simple but powerful lines of Urdu poetry:

"Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahaan hain?" (a simplified form of Sahir Ludhianvi’s verse "Sanaakhwaan-e-taqdees-e-mashriq kahaan hain”), or Majrooh Sultanpuri’s couplet "Sar par hawa-e-zulm chale sau jatan ke saath, apni kulah kaj hai usi baankepan ke saath”.

No doubt there are a few Hindi poets like Dinkar (who wrote ‘Sinhaasan khaali karo ki janta aati hai’ ), having a degree of ‘veer ras’ (like the poet Bhushan who wrote verses extolling Shivaji), yet the very fact that they wrote in Hindi, not Urdu, deprived them the power of the latter.
 
Hindi simply does not have the force and elegance (andaaz-e-bayaan) which Urdu has. 

Also, the very nature of Urdu poetry, as explained in my article ‘What is Urdu?’, is that it is a poetry of protest, protest against the afflictions of the common man, and against injustice.
 
Since India is entering a revolutionary transitional period in its history, Indians, particularly Indian youth, will require a poetry to inspire them in the coming historical struggle for doing heroic deeds. 

I submit this poetry can only be Urdu poetry, though it should be simplified Urdu and not the highly Persianised variety.
 
 
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
 
 
 
  
Watch video: 


Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





[1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 22 [next]1-5 of 110


Comment by: Dr Craig Parrish

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com








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We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
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DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

We are in urgent need of a kidney donor for a good amount of 7Cr (Advance money 3.5cr) in India, Interested person kindly Contact us now..
DR Craig Parrish
Call / WhatsApp: +919047292804
Email- craigparrishkidneyfoundation@yahoo.com

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