3 comments on “Noor Jehan (on Shamim Ara) Singing a Great Poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

  1. Hello, came here via memsaab’s site.
    I am glad to see your interest and knowledge regarding all sorts of cinema and music from the subcontinent.
    There is even more to this very famous Nazm by Faiz than what you already know. As you are aware, Faiz was a strong socialist and a staunch supporter for the cause of creating the new state of Pakistan, for which he had presumably some ideals.
    In Pakistan, he was the editor of a Karachi newspaper, and esp. in the time of Liaquat Ali Khan’s govt, his newspaper ran strong editorials that were very outspoken and critical of the way the country was being run.
    Then he was implicated and imprisoned for the so-called Rawalpindi Conspiracy case. The nazm was written during this period, and if you take a second look at it, not as a purportedly poem about love for a partner, but in fact what Faiz felt about his love for his new country Pakistan, you will see that it takes on a whole new meaning…and that he was never able to believe in his idea of his homeland in quite the same way again.

  2. Hi, bawa, glad you found this site.

    I learned about Faiz’s inprisonment and the “Rawalpindi Conspiracy” case, but I hadn’t seen this other interpretation of the poem, so thanks for letting me know about that.

    Now, you say that Faiz was a staunch supporter for creating the new state of Pakistan… But according to the article I quoted above, Faiz “condemned” the partition…

    Could it be that he was a supporter of establishing the new state only once the partition had already happened or seened unavoidable?

    I was wondering if you had any more information on that. (I’ll look into it myself, because I am curious. I have read in one place, regarding Indian socialists in general, that some opposed the partition until it seemed unavoidable, then supported it with some revolutionary hopes for Pakistan.)

  3. Well, I know my Dad has said that when partition was first mentioned as an idea, M Gandhi stated, over my dead body.” Dad would bitterly add ” everything happened and no one died” and I know they felt terribly betrayed by the whole thing.

    I once found an extensive article on Faiz and RC Case, I shall try and get hold of it again: most interesting. I have it in a pdf document that I could mail you.

    Another friend who has been in higher political circles said talking to some of the oldies of the time, some had told him that Jinnah had originally wanted an autonomous region within Independent India. To quote “Jinnah was bargaining and like any bargainer, he started out with the highest bid (independence) in order to later bend and compromise towards autonomy. To his surprise, Nehru agreed right at the outset to total independence and partition. Jinnah was like a player settling in for a long game of chess and Nehru took the entire chess board from under him.”
    these are things one hears from time to time. certainly there was much more going on than what is taught in history books o either side.

    Another interesting twist that is never mentioned much in India is the figure of Master Tara Singh and the Sikhs role in the independence struggle.

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