Monday, August 28, 2023

Musings of Raghupati Sahay 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 28 August 2023 "Main Nahin Maanta Ke Log Waqt Aur Umr Ke Saath Behtar Hote Hain Ya Padh-Likh Jaane Se Insaan Ka Zehan Khulta Hai. Mera Tajurba Kahta Hai Ke Padha-Likha Insaan Har Maamle Mein Zyada Ziddi Hota Hai, Phir Woh Mazhab Ka Maamla Ho Ya Zindgi Se Jude Sawalaat Ka." (I don't agree that humans grow with time and age. Nor do I believe that an 'educated' person has an open mind. I've experienced that an educated person is often more stubborn in all matters, whether religion or the aspects of life). " Pakistani Urdu newspaper Nawa-e-Waqt quoted ' Firaq' Gorakhpuri's aforementioned quote the day he breathed his last on March 3, 1982 in Delhi. His Birth Anniversary is on August 28. In these difficult times, when humans, esp. 'educated' ones have become all the more hardcore and obstinate about all things, Firaq's statement assumes much greater significance. Now so-called educated people in all faiths have become extremely religious, nay fanatic. Scientists associated with the safe and successful landing of Chandrayan-3, urged the nation to pray and they themselves offered Pooja before launching the spacecraft into the space. Is it a sign of rationality and scientific temperament? S Somnath says that our Vedas had all the formulas and techniques for such a complex space mission. All those who call themselves Sanatanis are not lumpen or fringe elements. They're all educated Hindus. The same can be said about the educated people of all faiths. 'Firaq' explained this phenomenon in the Urdu magazine, 20veen Sadi (March 1965): "Jise Hum Taaleem Samajhte Hain Woh Faqat Degrees Batorne Ka Ek Zariya Hai. Aql Tab Aati Hai Jab Insaan Ke Tajurbaat Uski Taleem Se Judte Hain" (What we call education is just a medium to amass degrees. Wisdom comes when experiences gel with education). So very true! 'Firaq' prophetically said in that issue, "Ek Roz Chaand Toh Kya, Uss Se Bhi Aage Nikal Jaayega Insaan. Lekin Zaroori Hai Ke Woh Apne Kirdaar Ko Kis Bulandi Tak Le Jaane Mein Kaamyaab Hota Hai" (One day, humans will go beyond moon. But what's most important is whether he can take his character to those dizzying heights). Man didn't land on moon in 1965. That happened on July 21, 1969. But 'Firaq' was spot-on. "Shayar Hoon, Daawa-E-Payambari Nahin Karta/ Lekin Peshangoi Karne Se Bhi Nahin Darta" (I'm a poet not a Prophet/ Yet, I don't refrain from making prophecies). In these times, when overambitious humans are contemplating to settle on moon and mars, the most pertinent question that confronts us is: Have we learnt to live on earth? What ' Firaq' predicted more than six decades ago is unfolding before us with a clock-like precision. That apart, look at the way, ' Firaq ' used Urdu. It's so simple and not laden with the unintelligible words of Persian, Arabic and archaic Urdu, though ' Firaq' had degrees in both Persian and Urdu. His language is the quintessence of Hindustani, a linguistic symbol of Ganga-Jamni Tahzeeb. By the way, this versatile genius taught English at Allahabad University. He once famously said, "'Firaq’ Ke Tasavuur Ki Zabaan Dushwaar Urdu Hai Lekin Uski Qalam Se Aasaan Zabaan Nikalti Hai" (Though Firaq thinks in difficult Urdu, simple language ensues from his pen). We need a man of Firaq's stature in these pedestrian times living with rank mediocre people and rabid bigots. ---- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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