COLOMBO: The iconic Pakistani Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz had rejected the "narrow and unilinear notion of Pakistan and always represented the unity of people across borders," says his daughter and renowned artist Prof.Salima Hashmi.
Speaking as the Guest of Honour at the "Jashn-e-Faiz " an event organized by the South Asian University in New Delhi on Thursday to celebrate the contribution of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Hashmi said: " Faiz worked ceaselessly for Pakistan-India friendship."
"He did not become part of patriotic poetry writing during the Indo-Pakistan war in 1965.Instead, taking the event as a point of departure, he wrote a poem called Black Out."
Hashmi further said that Faiz was concerned about the partition of India and the violence it unleashed.
On Faiz's Marxist orientation, Hashmi said that here too he had left the beaten track.
"He married Marxism with romanticism" and stressed the need to portray Marxism as a humanistic message rather than a crassly materialistic one, she noted.
Dr.Paresh Chandra of Delhi University said that Faiz was disappointed with developments in Pakistan and his reflections on society went beyond narrow national boundaries.Dr.Irfanullah Farooqi of Aligarh Muslim University said Faiz's poetry reflected the expriences of a larger collective and not just Pakistan.
Prof.Sasanka Perera, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences in South Asian University (SAU) who organised Jashn-e-Faiz along with Dr.Ravi Kumar, Chairperson of the Department of Sociology of SAU, said that the Department of Sociology is taking initiatives to develop a "South Asian consciousness" using the emitional appeal of art forms which have a better chance of making sense as opposed to diplomatic and other political initiatives which are distant from the ordinary people.
Dr.Ravi Kumar said that poets,artists and intellectuals have shown the way to combat intolerance and violence in the region, and cited the contribution poets like Faiz, Nazrul Islam and Sahir Ludhianvi.