Climate Change / Sustainable Development

Homage to Sahir Ludhianvi

Among the great poets of the 20th Century of the Indian Subcontinent I consider Sahir Ludhianvi the one moved me the most. 

Sep 11, 2017
Among the great poets of the 20th Century of the Indian Subcontinent I consider Sahir Ludhianvi the one moved me the most. 
To pay homage to him I named my elder son Sahir. 
Without making comparisons with his contemporaries, who were great in their own right, I would say that the canvas of his concerns was far wider than class oppression.
He took up the horrors of war, nuclear war, wrote the most powerful indictment of wars between India and Pakistan in 1965 - Aye Sharif Insaano - took up the Bengal famine which caused the deaths of two million people at least. Then, the suffering and oppression of women constituted a very special  concern of his socially critical poetry.
At an early stage of his life he decided not to conform to the classic language of the Delhi-Lucknow tradition - he left it to Faiz Ahmed Faiz and others to do it and do it most competently.
Sahir wrote about the most complicated, sensitive and challenging issues in a language accessible to the masses.
Of course his becoming a lyricist of films made him write in a very simple manner but that proved to be his greatest asset. He could say things with such ease that I don't think any other poet of the 20th century could ever match equally
I have always believed that without Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru India would have gone to the dogs much earlier than Pakistan. Today, Nehru is demonized and scandalized by right-wing Hindus. 
Sahir wrote a poetic obituary which for the first time one can listen in Sahir's own voice. 
Sahir was also a most romantic poet and like Krishan Chander in prose he described nature in words,, imageries and metaphors which are exquisite.
I share with you this video. Please listen to it and especially to Sahir paying homage to Jawaharlal Nehru.
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed
Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University; Visiting Professor Government College University;  and, Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. Latest publications, The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed, *(Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2012), won the Best Non-Fiction Book Prize at the 2013 Karachi Literature Festival and the 2013 UBL-Jang Groups Best Non-Fiction Book Prize at Lahore and the Best Book on Punjab Award from Punjabi Parchar at the Vaisakhi Mela in Lahore, 2016. And , Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences (1947-2011), Oxford, 2013.  I can be reached at:

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