Literary Disregards (1)


  On commercialism


 Dr. Saadat Saeed Ankara


Where lie the roots of contemporary Urdu literature?

This question leads our intellectuals to the approach of disillusionment. Enver Sajjad, a prominent Urdu short story writer writes in one of his short stories entitled "Kehar".


"Futile clouds are overshadowing the land shielding us. We struggle hard in search of water and hurt ourselves. Where are the fountains?"


No one can deny this bitter fact that we are passing our lives under the charisma of dry clouds. Our intellectuals tried their best to explore many deserts but they could not find water sources. In the end they were forced to embrace alien roots.


The dreams of our intellectuals are shattered. Their thoughts are frozen. Pens are silent or write eulogies. Albeit at times they ask this crucial question.

" Where lie our intel­lectual roots? At this stage they do not ask for joy, they take the way:


"Of turmoil's bitterest gain,

Of love sick-hate, of quickening bought with pain”



In the past Iqbal dealt with this question single handedly. No doubt the credit goes to his intellectual integrity and up­right background as a genuinely philanthropic fellow that he tried to integrate poles-apart Muslims communities living in various parts of the world. A contemporary critic admiring him veritably, states:


"He carefully considered the functions of poetry and liter­ature as a vehicle of socio-political change. He was a multi-di­mensional poet who, above everything took upon himself the responsibility to formulate modus-vivendi for the Muslims of his period in particular and mankind in general, in a period which was sterile and was looking towards intellectual leadership. He combined in himself the thought of Nietzsche, Bergson, and Marx from the West and imbibed the wisdom of Quran and philosophic thought of great Persian poet Rimii."


Iqbal was against colonial exploitation. His poetic philoso­phy and philosophical poetry fascinate even those readers who have nothing to do with metaphysics. He was a deter­mined and committed poet. His message oriented poetry blends wonderfully to his purposive thought. He initiated faith in poetic art. Iqbal's sensibility jolted the inhabitants in deep slumber.

Our contemporary writers do not contemplate the ques­tions before reaching final conclusions. This is the crucial rea­son why they are not able to captivate their readership. How can disillusioned and alienated writers budge heavy stones of social injustice? Even they could not conceive independent thought for themselves. They don't voice but only yowl on the basis of their existence.

Real literature always emerges from the political, cultural and theoretical dimension of situational consciousness. Re­sponsible intellectuals never ask such a question

 "Where are the fountains?

 They know the places where they can find the fountains. But their pens are lifeless. How could they refer them? They view the truths but don't express them. They see many fabrications but seldom utter a word against them. They are listening crying creatures heading towards their death in Kashmir, Bosnia, Africa, Latin America and the third world but they only bypass them. They do not want to catalog a single proclamation about them. These writers are keeping their hopes alive on empty terms as they cleave to shallow things and "dig with greed for precious plundering". Even our clas­sical poets like Mir Taqi Mir, Nazir Akbarabadi, Mirza Ghalib, Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi, Attaf Hussain Hali in the feudal age were sufficiently conscious about the wrecked ship of mankind. They shared the sorrow, mourning, dread, pathos and crisis of their age. But what happened to most of our writ­ers living in the modem times that no crisis bothers them. Urdu writers are by no means of one mind about purposive literature. Many among them could not portray life dying with tuberculosis and spitting blood on their own body silk. We all know that the powder of alien theories is blasting slowly the steel walls of our aspirations. The free oceans of native con­cepts have been transformed into the wastelands of slavery. Leaving aside a few brave writers like Faiz, Faraz, Qasmi and Habib Jalib who among them had the courage to pen stories about butcheries relating to excited people because in the sit­uations lacking freedom of expression facing the danger of hand cutting was self-evident. They too, were silent who pro­claimed that after cutting their tongues they have put them in chains.

The reasons behind such a behavior was unambiguous, they accepted opportunism as a new virtue of contemporary literature. They claimed luxurious living as a human right.

Now this question does not remain relevant that why they are negating literature by the help of legal opinions, warnings, fascistic psyche and traditional ethos.

 How could we create real literature? This question should be our target. Who can deny that our TV literature (dramas, songs, instructed views and speeches) is commercial in its essential nature. It is utilized to es­tablish alien superstructure as a supporting stick eaten by ter­mite. The literature under discussion is concentrating on an­nihilating the image of Pakistani homo- sapiens. Coming out from the computers of meaningless humanism, romanticism, criminology, hedonism and worthless reformism it generates lust and frustration.

 In this situation what else could the Pak­istani individual do except annihilate the possibilities of his ex­istence. There is no other way left for him except to waste the sources of his creative self. TV literature is producing me­chanical conscience. The tragic perspective of new literary business sounds, that the human personalities and emotions are surrounded by planned limitations and dimensions. Rou­tine living has become their fate. Could we call commercial lit­erature real? Obviously cannot, because it negates real literature in the name of literature.

Man and his society is raw material for commercial intel­lectuals. If a writer throws in the hell hot furnaces of poetry, drama and other prose forms, the iron ore of alien industrial ethos or the mechanical man and his experiences, he gets cash. He writes for more and more bank balance. He purchases new shares and tries to build an industrial complex of literature and art. Old literary monopolies go bankrupt and new ones come into existence. In such a situation how could writers from the new generation preserve the honor of word, free­dom of conscience and sublimation of ideas, as we know lit­erary industries supply their production only on demand and orders.

 If you don't believe, go and ask those writers whose names are writ­ten in the registers of reception rooms of radio and TV sta­tions. Your problem will be solved.