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Monday, May 14, 2007


If the younger readers are wondering whether the current situation in the country is of recent origin and it is only they who have to bear with this crap, let me assure them that this has been the state of affairs here since almost the beginning. Poets, artist, writers - whose role was best defined by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. when he said:

" ... when a society is in great danger, [they are] likely to sound the alarms. I have the canary-bird-in-the-coal-mine theory of the arts. You know, coal miners used to take birds down into the mines with them to detect gas before men got sick. The artists certainly did that in the case of Vietnam. They chirped and keeled over. But it made no difference whatsoever. Nobody important cared. But I continue to think that artists — all artists — should be treasured as alarm systems."(Playboy Interview, 1973)
have been pointing out to our stasis - one that gets cured for just long enough to allow us to slide down further - for years. Humourous poet Dilaavar Figaar had this to say:
Har baat ka javaab hae 'Haalaaté Haazrah!' Sün sün kay loag haal say bayhaal ho gaey. Haalaté Haazrah nah sahee müstaqil, magar, Haalaté Haazrah ko kaee saal ho gaey!
On a much more serious note, Himayat Ali Shaer's lament in a ghazal from the 70s rings in my ears as I look at images like this:
Ab bataao jaae gee zindagee kahaañ, Yaaro Barq kee haeñ phir nazrayñ sooé aashiaañ, Yaaro Türbatoñ ki sham'ayñ haeñ aur gahri taareeki Jaa rahay thay kis jaanib, aa gaey khaañ, Yaaro Baagh hae keh maqtal hae, phool haeñ keh laashayñ haeñ Shaakh shaakh hota hae daar ka gümaañ, Yaaro Raahzan ke baaray mayñ aur kyaa kahayñ khül kar? Meeré Kaaravaañ, Yaaro! Meeré Kaaravaañ,Yaaro!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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14 May, 2007 17:10

Blogger Sidhusaaheb said...

The police inaction at Karachi that I read about in news reports rings a bell! I am reminded of the anti-Sikh riots in North and Central India in 1984 and the the anti-Muslim riots in Gujrat in 2002, when the police did nothing to stop the violence.

How do the politicians who get so many people killed to satisfy their lust for power, manage to get any sleep at night?

15 May, 2007 01:41

Blogger sage said...

I was only able to read part of this due to the language barrier, but I've heard and read enough from the news on the recent events and of course I've read some of the history.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind words about my mother. I'm glad to see the windmill is once again turning.

15 May, 2007 16:30


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