Manmohan Singh’s ignorance

Manmohan Singh whom I have always held in high regard, disappointed millions in South Asia with his distastefully ill-timed hard talk during his Independence day address. As if Pakistan’s current misery was a time to blow India’s trumpet. He surely was also unaware of what his patriotic Indian poet, Ali Sardar Jafri had written years ago –Dialogue Souldn’t Cease. Here is an Urdu version with a full translation. Perhaps, someone should pass a copy of this poem to the exalted Prime Minister of India.






English Translation

Dialogue shouldn’t cease;
let the talk go on,
let the evening of [our] meet persist till the arrival of morn,
let this starry night pass on joyfully.

Let the stone of abuse be in the hands of words;
let the cups of poison spill ridicule;
let the sights be irate;
let the eyebrows be raised;
[yet, we must see] that our hearts, somehow, keep beating.
The helplessness shouldn’t be allowed to chain the words;
no killer but he should be permitted to murder the voice.

Some vow of loyalty, fully moulded, will arrive by the morn;
the love will arrive, albeit limping, yet it certainly will;
the sights will elude meeting sights [out of modesty],
the heart beats will increase,
the lips will tremble;
the silence will turn into a kiss and go astray;
only the sound of the blooming of buds will linger;
and the need of words and voice won’t remain
[for] the liaison of love will be carried on with [the help of] the signs of eyes and eyebrows;
the hatred will vanish, the kindness will arrive.

Holding hands in hands;
in the company of the entire world,
we’ll go across the deserts of repugnance;
we’ll cross over the river of blood.

Dialogue shouldn’t cease.

  • Sidhusaaheb

    The remark may be read in conjunction with the fact that the government of Pakistan is still unsure about whether to accept India’s offer of assistance amounting to US$5mn. More is on the cards, if this amount were to be accepted ( India is even willing to be the source country for assistance material from other countries, multilateral organizations, even NGOs, given the geographical proximity, if the government of Pakistan were to agree.

    The timing of the remark, though, I must admit, is indeed unfortunate.

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  • Indian

    Has the Pakistani Govt accepted $5 Million Aid ?

  • Raju

    Why are the Pakistanis so sensitive when someone tells them the truth? What have you done to make things any better? You take money from the entire world and then kill their soldiers and their civilians. You have money to buy all the weapons, make nukes, sponsor Taliban but no money to help your own people. You kill Shias and Ahmadiyas and cheer over their dead bodies. Get your own house in order first then point fingers.

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  • Raza

    I am not sure about the 5 million USD. Accepting it or rejecting it will make no difference when our total losses are over 20 billion.
    Raju: i think your crazy remarks are best ignored. Though I’d like to reiterate what Indians have done to their people is not any different – the Sikhs, the Kashmiris, people of the northeast. Indian state is brutal and repressive.
    Stop lecturing us and keep away from this site as you have nothing to share but venom.

  • steve

    Pakistan is the world’s 6th nuclear weapons power. It has made missiles that reach 4000km to hit any corner of India and even large parts of China and Russia. It has co-developed latest generation Fighter plane with China. Why can’t it make a few plastic sheets and boats to help its people?
    If Pakistan sells just 20 of its dozens of F16s and 2 of its many French submarines, it will get more than $3 bn, enough to handle all the relief effort on its own with head held high. I am sure there will be friendly countries like Iran, Egypt, and Malaysia who will be happy to get these items in their arsenal. It can also agree to one prominent Pakistani TV commentator that Pak should sell a few nukes to Libya or Iran for many billions dollars.
    I fully agree with you! India PM should not have mentioned the word Pakistan in his independent day speech. He should have spoken about making his own country literate, feeding all poor Indians who missed the last decade’s growth, Reaching to Moon, building world’s best cars and software, finding more oil and gas in the sea. Why talk about a failed geopolitical experiment called Pakistan on such an important day.

  • DesiGhazwa

    {EDITED} 😀 Kashmir, Ghazwa e Hind and Radio Pakistan from Red Fort.

  • Mullah Nasiruddin

    I really am at a loss at this. What did poor MMS say? “Stop export of terrorism”. Whats wrong with that? Is not Pakistan doing it? Instead of developing infrastructure and educating the masses they sopend all the money on weapons that are of no use. They know very well India will not attack. But still thats the excuse. …
    The day Pakistan gives up its dreams of ruling Delhi, understand realities and remains at his level taking care of the needs of the aam abdul and educating himself it will start improving.

  • Allaisaxuver

    I know 5 mil is nothing compared to alleged Pakistani losses. But what did Pakistan do after 2005 earthquake wen it received billions of dollars in aid? Besides the international aid my govt (SA) gave billions under Kerry-Luger plan and reimbursement of expenses in war against terror. Then IMF and world bank gave billions of soft loans.

    Hundreds of millions of 2005 aid was diverted. Pakstan acquired dozens of fighters planes, subs, frigates, refuellers, recce planes etc. But it did not spend any money to prepare itself for next natural calamity.

    May MMS remarks were not called for but has to please his own countrymen.

  • ChennaiIndian

    Hmmm. I didn’t know that Pakistan is so touchy about the issue of terrorism and their presence in their midst. If you haven’t figured it out, here it is. The world knows that Pakistan is teeming with terrorists and they continue to produce them by 1000s every year. The primary purpose of all those terrorists are to attack India and the very recent one being the Mumbai attacks.

    You should focus on removing the terrorists from your midst to start.

    In fact, you should be thanking MMS and the present government for being so patient inspite of repeated provocations from you. I cannot think of any other country in the world who would have abandoned their right to reciprocate like India, just so that there is no war in this region.

  • Raza

    As always, the jingoists want to attack and invade.. You guys are terrific. Look at the tone of your messages here and what you accuse of Pakistan.
    In times of crisis, even the worst of neighbours show some sympathy but with people like you this is a distant dream.

    • Zoya Nursingh

      Yes MMS’s remark WAS ill timed-he is not his own master! But please don’t tar ALL Indians as bad neighbors. We could be the BEST of neighbors, IF the Politicians on BOTH sides of the border would just Shut Up and leave the average citizen alone and free to make/chose our friends…CHEERS!

  • ChennaiIndian

    so now the tone of our message is an issue as well. In time of crisis you need us to help you. If there is no crisis you send terrorists to attack us. Please clarify when would it be a good time to show you the heartlessness and uselessness of your ways.

    In the best of times if Pakistan behaves as it should be like a normal neighbour instead of sending people to kill us, then in the worst of times you can look around and expect help. So change your ways first and prove that you are a normal country with normal aspirations. Else this will only get worse as the world has woken up on the issue of terrorism finally!

  • Halagu khan

    Manmohan singh is Indian prime minister and there is no country called South Asia. Let us be clear on that. Moreover, He has not said anything that is not a known fact. Does the fact change if does not say it? on 8th of Aug, General Kiyan retorted, “India is our mortal enemy and Pak army will remain India centric”. This was the initial day of floods.
    The Only sympathy I have is for the poor Pashtoons …All the shiny new toys of generals are used on these poor , brave people. Frontier gandhi was right, Congress did “throw the pashtoons to the Dogs”. They are killed by Artillery shelling, Heli gunships and picked at random but groups like LET/JEM are protected.

    Your Elite are not bothered. last time in earthquake $90 million was diverted to buy millitary equipment and what to say of gropper Gill on the hill and Taliban in Mufti (Shariff brothers)? jamali went to stop the breach of canal with his gang! 10% is visiting the chateau in france and generals are having tea in their manicured gardens. hamid gul and Zaid Zaman hamid will again pull the wool over poor abduls eyes by claiming India is responsible for floods too

  • Theo Fidel

    What exactly did Manmohan say. I can tell you for certain 98% of Indians don’t have the time to listen to our politicians statements.

    There will be aid if there is support in the country for aid to Pakistan. An informal poll in my office says there is 0% support for this in India. Not after Mumbai.

    You can expect help from your friends in times of need. Not from those you have demonized and killed as your enemy.

    Anything else is a sense of entitlement. Very feudal.

    I guess you are finding out how many friends you have.

  • Naveed

    Raza bhai, I think the independence day speech by MMS was aired when most of us were grappling with the extent of the damage by the floods. I am not suprised by the negative comments to your blog as such sentiments about Pakistan litter the cyberspace and form their public opinion. If any group of people think that our begging bowl is out so that the funds will be channelized against the neighbouring country via funneling it to Al-Qaeda, then we must take note of their feelings but their stand has been well known and their minds have been made post mumbai. As you maybe aware, what is happening on the ground in Pakistan is people volunteering in their thousands and donating the best that they can. Till the time that we are back on our feet, perhaps this utopian dream of better relationship & bonhomie with our neighbours can be put on hold. While they will continue to heap such scorn on Pakistan, we must face reality, excercise discretion and thank them for their offer of aid and politely refuse it.

  • Ali Nazim Jafri

    I am amazed at the number of readers loving my father’s poems. It has been beautifully rendered to music by none other than Seema Anil Sehgal the Kashmiri-Dogri singer from Jammu now residing in Bombay. She was helped and guided by my father in putting his verses to music and she loves the job. She is ever ready to sing as many times as there is time. And I am sure that honourable PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh will be contacted and presented the Dialogue: Guftugu band na ho.

  • Raza

    Jafri Saheb
    Thanks for visiting – It is a pleasure to see your comment here. Jafri saheb’s poems (including this one) are remarkable for their lyrical qualities and profound messages. It is sad that my mild protest at your PM’s remarks has been misconstrued in the comments above.

  • Raza

    Naveed bhai – you are absolutely right. Thanks for the sanguine advice and the right diagnosis!!

  • Shriraj

    Hello Rumi,

    I am your new ‘hindu’ follower. I read your views. I found it very transparent. Keep it up :)


  • Raza

    Shriraj ji
    thanks for the visit. Please note that I am of the old school variety which does not label or distinguish people on the basis of their religion, caste or creed. I believe in universal tolerance taught by the Bhakts, Sufis and fakirs of South Asia. I look forward to interacting with you..

  • saba

    “Stop lecturing us and keep away from this site as you have nothing to share but venom.” try and be a little rational raza,these people are here because they have something to say.
    as a journalist, accept what they say and if you dont agree,try to convince them! it becomes your responsibility to listen to their criticism and answer them logically.
    create a fratenity by your work which atleast, if not think alike,understands that their is a state of nature called co-habitation.

  • saba

    in jafri sb’s words
    guftgu band na honey paaye…

  • DesiGhazwa

    For someone who quotes


    Isnt it not amusing you edit and delete posts based on only what you feel is right ? I hope you understand that the internet is the real killer of everything which is weak. Especially weak ideas like those from religion. You can edit/delete/control as much as you want on your small corner of the world but the better ideas and the right philosophies cannot be prevented to be spread for too long.

    Good Luck Rumi

  • Hari

    Nice blog. I am little confused. Manmohan Singh is ignorant because he is unaware of a poem written by a patriotic Indian poet?

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  • manav batra

    Dear rumi

    There are several hardliners in india who are against any dialogue with pakistan, but mms still has tried to engage pakistan. What is wrong if he asked terrorism to be stopped in pakistan? He is one P.M who is ready to talk with anyone be it kashmiri harliners or hawks like quereshi(pak foreign minister) for peace. His willingness for peace has led many in india and abroad to believe that he is weak. Yet if he asks for terror camps to be closed in pak , he is criticised. Pakistan does not benefit anyway with these terror outfits then why does the pak prime minister respond seriously to this?why is geelani not accepting aid from India?

  • manav batra

    Crisp words, beautiful poetry ….. But sir indians are dying due to terrorist from pak. What is wrong with the p.m asking for an end to terror. If you ever come to mumbai try reading the same lines to 26/11 victim

  • manav batra

    Crisp words, beautiful poetry ….. But sir indians are dying due to terrorist from pak. What is wrong with the p.m asking for an end to terror. If you ever come to mumbai try reading the same lines to 26/11 victims

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  • Amit Kumar

    Raza.. The duty of any government is to protect its citizen. Manmohan Singh was just doing his job and trying to convince his people that he is has not forgotten the horrific crimes that “strategic assets” of Pak army has committed on our country for over two decades. Mumbai was one of the many.

    I have full sympathy for the flood victims of ordinary citizen of pakistan. But do not worry Pakistani elite has found the answer. One of your retired general rote in Express tribue that its fight between “the Americans in the air and beards on the ground”. Its not Pakistan’s problem sir.. You see even if Its America’s problem Pak have sacrificed so many lives. West should give Pakistan a marshal plan of $15 billion immediately and that fund should be handed over to Pak military without any string attached. Pak will not allow anyone to interfere in its sovereignty. Pak is a proud sovereign super power Islamic nation. with Islamic nuclear bomb..

    If this does not work.. give them opium of religion and mobilize against the kaafir “Hindu” india or Ahmedi. everything will be fine sir. Pakistan is not going to fail.

  • Shriraj

    Dear Raza, your reply has pleased me. I must thank ‘Zehra Nigah’, ’cause I came across your blog when I was trying to know about her. I deeply revere her.

    About the war going on between our countries…I think that we are just puppets…our strings are in the hands of those people who govern our countries

  • Umer Khan

    Indian government is committed to protect India’s unity and integrity. At the same time every one has to right to come and place his/her case to the people get elected and change the policy. If some one takes up arms against indian state, it has to respond for a larger goal. Human rights violation do occur in this process.. but.thats not the goal its unintended consequences.

    Since you have made this comment in response of Pakistan’s use of terror tactics.. i would not say anything but to give you few examples..

    Former Afghanistan ambassador to Pakistan in his book – My Life With The Taliban by Abdul Salam Zaeef (Pages 234)

    Pakistan, which plays a key role in Asia, is so famous for treachery that it is said they can get milk from a bull. They have two tongues in one mouth, and two faces on one head so they can speak everybody’s language; they use everybody, deceive everybody. They deceive the Arabs under the guise of Islamic nuclear power, saying that they are defending Islam and Islamic countries. They milk America and Europe in the alliance against terrorism, and they have been deceiving Pakistani and other Muslims around the world in the name of Kashmiri jihad. But behind the curtain, they have been betraying everyone.

    I recently read a book by Mahvish Rukhsana Khan , a Pakistani American girl who wrote a book called :
    “My GuantÁnamo Diary:The Detainees and the Stories They Told Me”
    She actually worked with Guantanamo detainees as a translator for the lawyers defending the suspects

    She wrote in the book:-
    (page 57-58)
    According to Amnesty International reports, two-thirds of the men who landed in Guantánamo were picked up in Pakistan, where many were groomed in local jails to grow out their beards and look more like Taliban before being sold to the U.S. military.

    Arabs in particular became a valuable commodity and an opportunity for profit. They stood out and were easily rounded up. Tom Wilner told me that none of the Kuwaitis at Guantánamo had been captured on any battlefield; they weren’t even accused of engaging in any hostilities against the United States. His clients told him that they had been sold by Pakistanis or Afghan warlords.

    Several Chinese Muslim detainees, known as Uighurs, told their attorney, Sabin Willett of Bingham and McCutchen, that they had been betrayed by Pakistanis. They had gone to Afghanistan for military training so that they could fight for independence from China. When U.S. warplanes started bombing Afghanistan, they, along with many others, fled to the Pakistani border, where locals welcomed them.

    They killed a sheep and cooked the meat and we ate, Adel Abdul-Hakim told Willett. Then, that night, Hakim said, they were driven to a local prison and, from there, handed over to the U.S. military.”


    Hope you will publish this post of mine.. Sir. the days of Pakistan’s lies are coming to and end.

  • Umer Khan

    Raza.. i liked your articles are respected your views. i wanted to start my post with a positive comment. but i will try that next time.. amy above post is in response to your comments.

    “Though I’d like to reiterate what Indians have done to their people is not any different – the Sikhs, the Kashmiris, people of the northeast. Indian state is brutal and repressive.?

    The days of Pakistan’s love parity with India is getting over. You cannot fool all people all the time.

  • Monika

    Funny when such articles come from Pakistanis (who are mostly filled with hatred and literally spoon fed hatred toward Indians, India and their religion Hinduism). It can be called the biggest irony of our times.

  • M.S.Vijan

    Sacchai chup nahin sakti banawat ke assolon se, ke
    Khoshboo aa nahin sakti kabhi kagaz ke phoolon se.