By Ferial Jabouri Ghazoul
The difficulty of Alif explores a substantial number of topics and difficulties that exist in modern South Asia, offereing views on poetry and fiction, pop culture and mythmaking, in addition to the iconic resonance of Gandhian rhetoric and philosophy. regardless of the undeniably severe difficulties that afflict the folk of South Asia, there's additionally a lot to have fun after part a century of independence. there's a pervasive feel that the subcontinent has eventually emerged from lingering shadows of the British Raj, assesting a brand new and ascendant identification, via artwork, literature, song, movie, and other kinds of pop culture.
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Extra resources for ALIF 18: Post-Colonial Discourse in South Asia
Who, now, will make flowers blossom upon thorns? '8 These two ghazals are at once firmly cast in the classical conceptual and imaginal vocabulary of Urdu poetry as well urgently Alif 18 (1998) 39 contemporary and political, addressed as they are to the Palestinian cause. The ethical principle that undergirds the poems is the concept of Fidelity19 (vafa) which in the love lyrics of the classical ghazal denotes the unswerving fidelity of the poet, in his role as Lover ('ashiq), to the Beloved (ma'shuq).
The Palestinian struggle is universalised as a symbol of the greater historical and moral conflict between justice and injustice, for which the poet employs the elemental imagery of light and darkness. I have found it useful to begin with the above analysis of Zahir Kashmiri's poem precisely because the historical and moral perspectives that inform it lie at the heart of the Urdu poetic discourse on Palestine. The themes of anti-imperialism and solidarity with the anti-hegemonic struggles of colonized and oppressed peoples have been central to the political engagemnet of modern Urdu poetry, as they have been in so many Thirdworld literatures in the post-/neo-colonial period.
To Lebanon! To give courage to the people of Passion To sacrifice our lives to Truth To die in the path of Fidelity Let us take our heads to the battlefield To Lebanon! To Lebanon! This war is for justice in the world This war is for all those who have known sorrow This war is for all of Adam's children To raise the very worth of humanity: Go! To Lebanon! 29 Similar expressions of support for the Palestinian resistance were made by several poets. The outbreak of the Intifadah in the Occupied Territories in 1987 produced, among others, the following poem by Mehmud Rahim entitled, "Intifadah: To the Unarmed Freedom-fighters of Palestine": Encircled by the enemy, the footsoldiers go forth Today the children of resolution go forth Marhabal Marhabal^ You who are teaching the winds the Verse of Victory31 Marhabal Young daughters Whose hands bear no jewels, but stones Marhabal 44 A/I/18 (1998) Schoolboys Who dance in the sights of the tyrant's gun Marhaba\ When tyranny decreed that honour be stripped of its cloak And the kings in their palaces spun fine words of equivocation Naked, the procession of the people went forth Marhaba!