Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kazi Nazrul's Prophecy

Kazi Nazrul Islam was a great Bengali poet who wrote, more than 50 years ago, on the condition of the Muslims. This is what he wrote in Bengali:
Bish-sho jokhon jach-che chaad-e,
Amra thaki Bosh-ey
Bibi talaaq-er fawta khuji,
Ketab Quran chosh-ey!
What it means, roughly translated, is this:
While the world is reaching for the moon,
We remain too busy,
Thumbing through the Quran,
Debating fatwas about Talaaq.
Nazrul's poems seem prophetic today, and ironically, even more applicable. Today, India has landed a satellite on the moon. Meanwhile her cousins Pakistan has gone to the dogs and Bangladesh is not far behind.

Pakistan now has Asif Zarderi in charge, which should be argument enough, but Zarderi recently promoted Israrullah Zehri to national cabinet who had this to say about five women buried alive in Baluchistan because they wanted to marry according to their wishes, and not that of their elders:
“These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them.” [source]
Bangladesh meanwhile looks headed back to one of the two thieves back in charge: either Khaleda Zia or Sheikh Haseena. If there was ever an argument against women leading a nation these two would be it.

In the end, the following poem of Kazi Nazrul, much more powerful in Bengali, remains sadly true.
Yesterday was feast in the mosque,
A lot of bread and meat
Are left, the mullah is very happy for that.

At this moment a traveler came wearing tattered clothes,
Said, “Sir, I am starving for seven days”
The imam shouted with annoyance, “What a nuisance!
If you are hungry, die at the dumping place.
Do you say your prayer?”

Traveler said, “No, sir.”
Imam shouted, “Then see your own way.”
Taking the bread and meat, locked the mosque.

The traveler goes back
While walking, says
“Eighty years have passed; I didn’t call you, my Lord!
But you didn’t stop my food or hunger!
There is no right of human in mosque and temple,
Priest and devotee locked all the doors of them.”

Where is Ghenghis, Gazni-Mamud? Where is Kalapahar?
Crush the locked doors of those temples.
Who shuts the door of the house of God?
Who locks the house of God?
All the doors of them will be open, use your hammer and crowbar!

7 comments:

Em said...

Salaam
Wow Mezba, you've read the Samyabadi? Powerful stuff!

shahrzaad said...

I wonder what wrong traditions will bring for them that they defend it all.. Seems more childish..

mezba said...

Em: I am a big fan of Nazrul (not much of music, but definitely of the poems). He is indeed very powerful. I might even argue he is better than Tagore.

Shahrzaad: And the people keep on voting them in ...

SK said...

Mezba up to some extent you are right, however,

Muslims can only succeed when they understand the true essence of the Hopy Quran and Sunnah. I'm afraid but 99.9 percent of Muslims think of Quran as a book to be read on funerals, or when someone is ill, having financial difficulties, job problem, etc.

We read it for the minor things in life but not the major things that is Change.

mezba said...

SK: What I believe is muslims nowadays are comfortable to live in the past and nitpick on trivialities based on the Quran. What they don't see is the big picture. They must strive for knowledge (both of the after world and THIS world).

Which main? What cross? said...

Powerful

mezba said...

Indeed.