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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Aaj Baazar mein

Faiz Ahmed Faiz is amongst the most famous poets of the Urdu language. Faiz, who was hounoured by Lenin Peace Prize in 1963, was seldom subjected to arrests by the right-wing pro-imperialist military regimes of Pakistan. Once, during the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq, he was arrested and taken to the police station in front of the public. In this context, he wrote 'Aaj Bazar mein'.



The video starts with a 'mushairah' (public recitation), where Faiz presents the poem, and describes its context. Then the video, with the melodious voice of Nayyara Noor in the background singing the verses of Faiz, shows the sufi culture of Pakistan, which was suppressed by the religious fundamentalist government of Zia-ul-Haq. Then, there are some clips of public floggings and public hangings of political dissidents, which were employed to ingrain terror in the people of Pakistan. Public floggings were a norm during Zia's time. The video, then, takes us on a trip to a well-known red-light area of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This red-light area is in the neighbourhood of a very famous mosque, a contradiction unresolved !

Quotations:

1) I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right. – Abraham Lincoln.

2) If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.– George Washington.

3) It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. – Thomas Jefferson.

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