In 2006, I read this brilliant poem by Brijinder”Sagar (found here on Adnan’s brilliant site). I had kept it with me for an adequate translation. I have been unable to do justice and therefore I will rework my draft to post here. In the meantime, this poem will be accessible to Urdu-Hindustani speakers. This poem is about bigotry and extremism in the name of religion that has overtaken India as well as other South Asian countries. Pakistan is no exception and Bangladesh is also witnessing the rise of Islamism, though not as alarming as India and Pakistan. Sri Lanka has also seen ethnic warfare, different in its manifestation but akin to the violence and death that comes in its wake. In such a charged environment, voices for peace are delightful.
Har haath main mazhub kay parcham
Har aaNkh main wehshat ka junooN
Lub pay haiN nafratoN kay sholay
KhyaaloN pay ik aawaaraa fusooN
Ik zehar ka baadal fazaa pay chaayaa hai
Khumaar-e-ghaphlat phir zehanoN pay aayaa hai
Har nighaah main bus ik swaal ki bu
Hindu ki aulaad hai ya muslim hai tu
Tarak subnay kiyay viraasat kay khazaanay
Woh Nanak ki wehdat Kabir kay taraanay
KahiN talwaaraiN to kahiN trishool aayaay
SadioN ki pehchaanaiN sub bhool aayaay
Bhai ko bhai kay qatl ki pyaas
NamooN har samt yahi ghurbat-e-ahsaas
Lahu phir apnay hi lahu say laraa hai
Waqt phir sehmaa saa ik aur ja kharaa hai
Abhi to bhray bhi na thay Zakhm tam_ddun kay
Abhi to bhoolay bhi na thay woh aleel ayaam
DariNda insaaN main uthaa tha yeh abhi kal ki baat hai
Aadam khud bika tha yeh abhi kal ki baat hai
Aur aaj phir utraa hai afreet-e-wehshat
Aur phir say lagaayay hai chehraa mazhub ka
Phir say hai hujoomoN pay ik shauq-e-bekaar
Phir say banaa mazhub bahaanaa nafrat ka
Kab talak paighaMbar yooN neelaam karogay?
Kab talak latkaingay masihay saleeb-e-yaas par?
Kab talak pinhaaN insaaN qattl hogaa?
Kab talak pashymaaN karogay apnaa wazood?
Kab talak? […]