A poet of revolution

LAHORE – Halib Jalib lived his life by his ideology, prominent lawyer Abid Hassan Manto reminisced at a seminar arranged by the Souh Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) on the 18th death anniversary of the revolutionary poet Habib Jalib on Friday. Manto said that Jalib’s poetry has an emancipatory effect when experienced by the common man. The occasion was graced by a number of Jalib’s old companions with Manto accompanied by human rights activist I A Rehman, SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam, reknowned poet Shahzad Ahmad, Zahid Akkasi and lawyer SM Masood.
Voice against dictatorship: Manto said that Jalib became the voice of public against dictatorship.
Sharing his personal experience with Jalib, he said, “Once I was addressing a law college’s function for my college union elections and suddenly Habib Jalib came on stage and spoke a few words in my favour. I think it was because of this that I won the election.” Amidst despair, a new slogan: Secretary General SAFMA Imtiaz Alam said that Jalib became his favourite immediately after he heard his poems for the first time. He said that Jalib became the voice of public when people needed new slogans. Gen Ayub Khan wanted to celebrate his ten-year rule when Jalib began to agitate through his poetry and fought for democracy, he added. He also said that Jalib had the gift of knowing how to motivate public into action. He also said that Jalib own life passed in tough conditions in which he had to wait for food for days.
He is still relevant: Speaking on the occasion, I A Rehman said that Jalib’s poetry is still relevant and he was a true poet. He also shared quite a few interesting experiences with Jalib.
Famous poet Shahzad Ahmad was of the view that even though Jalib was a political poet, his poetry was also technically masterful. He said that Jalib remained true to his thoughts, for example his mates at Pak Tea House always insisted that he join Pakistan People’s Party but he had his own style and remained indepedent. He said that normally Jalib had no money for tea but whenever he used to get the payment from the newspaper “Amrooz”, he used to arrange tea for his mates. Popular poem of Jalib “Dastoor” was displayed on the multimedia projectors which forced the audience to clap on the fantastic and everlasting poem. Waqar Mustafa also a read a Jalib ghazal which moved the audience.
Poet of the public: A lawyer and companion of Jalib, SM Masood said that Faiz Ahmad Faiz termed Jalib the “poet of the public.” He said that the practice of printing fake Jalib poems should should be stopped. Speakers said that Jalib never bowed in front of the dictators and was never afraid of imprisonment. They also said that Jalib’s poem “Dastoor” is still relevant, and stressed the need to transform society in Jalib’s mould.



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