Poet of the masses: ‘Jalib as relevant today as when he was alive'

Published: March 14, 2011
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‘He never turned down an invitation of a protest rally or poetry recital’

‘He never turned down an invitation of a protest rally or poetry recital’

LAHORE: 

Habib Jalib’s ‘Dastoor’ is as relevant today as it was to the period it was written in, said Senator SM Zafar on Sunday.

He was speaking at a seminar to mark the poet’s 18th death anniversary at Alhamra Arts Council.

Zafar said Jalib was unrivalled in the way he put the common man’s sentiments and concerns into words. “He is rightly called the poet of the masses,” he said.

Zafar said he often invited Jalib to his office on The Mall to discuss politics and other affairs. He said Jalib had taken it on himself to speak against the injustice in society. “Very few people are able to remain so steadfast to their causes in life,” he said.

Lawyer Abid Hassan Minto said Jalib was the most courageous man he had come across. He recalled his days at the Punjab University Law College and said that whenever he used to gather his friends at his hostel room, Jalib’s presence was a must. He said his first interaction with the poet was at a procession he had organised as a student leader in 1954. He said Jalib’s recital of some his poems had charged participants and made the procession a success. He said the way Jalib related to the masses was unique to him.

Laal band enthralled the audience with their performance of a Jalib poem.

The band had included three of Jalib’s poems in its album. These are ‘Musheer’, ‘Dastoor’ and ‘Yakum May’. ‘Musheer’ was written about General Ayub’s advisors, ‘Dastoor’ about the ‘constitution’ introduced by him and ‘Yakum May’ about workers’ struggles.

Besides Jalib’s family, several film and theatre actors were present at the occasion.

Dr Taimur Rahman, Laal’s lead vocalist, said while honouring Jalib, one should also remember the message. He said the poet spoke out against injustice and inequality and both continue. He said the youth of the country need to read more of progressive poets like Jalib and Faiz. Rahman said if the youth could act upon the message of these poets, they could achieve what their elders had failed to.

The seminar was followed by the launch of a book by Rakhshanda Jalib, Jalib’s daughter.

Rakhshanda said she had attended the event to raise her voice against the unjust system in the country. She said her father was a man of character. “He never turned down an invitation to a protest rally or poetry recital,” she said.

Song writer Khwaja Pervez was the host of the seminar.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • yar jan....
    Mar 14, 2011 - 12:03PM

    Great Man…& …Hero……Recommend

  • masood punjabi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:00AM

    Habib Jalib –a revolutionary poet

    Habib Jalib was (read-is) a great peoples poet. He was committed through out his life to the Socialism. In his very early age he started to observe the situation of the masses of (united India) Pakistan. He saw very clearly how the very few families enjoyed their lives at the expense of the poor’s. Then he decided to change the Political and economic situations of the Pakistani people. He chose the poetry as weapon to fight against this rotten society. It was not an easy way which Jalib choose to help his people. He faced very many difficulties. He was sent many times to the different jails in Pakistan but he never gave up. He knew that the duty which he accepted was not a pleasure walk on the roses.
    Jalibs poetry shows that one day there will be a bright future for all the poor’s in this world. I can say that Jalibs poetry is poetry of hope for all the oppressed people of the world.
    I agree with Dr Taimur that young should read Jalib and Faiz. When the dark forces are in action in Pakistan then Jalib and Faizs poetry can play a huge roll to educate and organize the masses of Pakistan against all the unhealthy elements.
    Why not to have Jalib, s poetry in school text books? This demand should be raised by the left, secular and all the democratic forces of PakistanRecommend

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