Five-day Sheikh Ayaz festival concludes
HYDERABAD: The five-day Ayaz Festival concluded on Tuesday at Sindh Museum with speakers paying tribute to the progressive prose and poetry of Sheikh Ayaz in an era when retrogressive forces were backed by the state.
Speaking at a session on Sheikh Ayaz ja difa kar, writer Jami Chandio said Ayaz’s was entirely progressive and he produced his poetry when the state was backing retrogressive forces and the Jamaat-i-Islami. He said Sindh’s progressive, enlightened and patriotic forces were demanding national rights.
He said the state was in league with retrogressive forces. The same religious extremism and intolerance had become an inferno today. Time had proved that Sindh’s forces were on the right path, he added.
Mysticism had dominated Ayaz’s poetry more than religion and Ayaz never sided with any particular thought. Ayaz did not change values in his poetry, Chandio said, adding that Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo had guided Ayaz ideologically.
He stated that nationalists and progressive forces criticised Ayaz at that time, which was their right and indicative of an enlightened society. He, however, said whenever Ayaz faced difficult times, the intelligentsia of Sindh supported him.
Taj Joyo pointed out that Ayaz’s independent Sindhi poetry was not against any particular religious school of thought. Mullhas were against him and retrogressive forces could not create space because of modern and progressive Sindhi literature’s dominance, he said.
Ali Akash said Ibrahim Joyo, Rasool Bux Palijo and Sheikh Ayaz served as bulwark against extremism. He said Ayaz’s poetry was the classic product of Sindhi language. He said Joyo and Palijo had defended Ayaz.
Columnist Ejaz Mangi said Ayaz was a revolutionary and rebel besides being progressive. His literary teacher Hashu Kewal Ramani had influenced revolutionary aspect in his personality. He said the period from 1930 to 1940 was an important decade from the point of view of international politics and thinking.
Rafaqat Hayat, a Sindhi and Urdu novelist, said that when the Anjuman Taraqqi Pasand Musanafeen was founded in London by Sajjad Zaheer and others; it influenced Urdu writers in the subcontinent. All Urdu poetry figures had taken progressive thinking as ideology. And, he said, Sheikh Ayaz had also embraced the progressive ideology and linked it with the soul of Sindh.
He said Ayaz promoted progressive thought in the light of teachings of Sachal and Bhitai. Today the USSR stood dismembered and the revolutionary romance had come to an end, but progressive thinking still prevailed.
Novelist Syed Kashif Raza said the influence of progressive movement was visible on Urdu literature and progressive development of Urdu literature was different from the provinces’ progressive movements. Urdu progressive poetry could not rid itself of jagirdari fiction and it also appeared to be a language of ‘darbar’ of Delhi and Lucknow.
Sindhi literature was not only progressive, but also nationalist. He said Urdu literature should link itself with the progressive literature of other provinces.
Taimiur Rahman of ‘Laal Band” said that different conditions prompted poets to raise voice for the oppressed and downtrodden. The Communist Party was the largest party at the time of inception of Pakistan.
Journalist Wusatullah Khan at a session on Ayaz aaen sahafat said that had Sheikh Ayaz lived today as vice chancellor he would have been ousted by the search committee as Ayaz would not have been able to hold this position for a month.
He said today degrees of M.Phil and PhD were issued in terms of weight. Had Ayaz been a journalist today, he would not have been able to work for four months without salary or he would have quit journalism due to censorship. He said dictators at that time had some values and they used to put their opponents in jails.