Critics have unanimously decided that Meer, Ghalib and Iqbal are the greatest poets of Urdu Literature. Anees, to most of the critics, was capable of competing with the greatest poets, but he remained limited to one topic only, thus leaving his poetry a single-layered narrative.
Chronologically, Faiz, Rashid, Majeed Amjad and Meera Ji are the modern poets. Rashid, Majeed Amjad and Meera Ji wrote remarkable nazms, but to Faiz’s credit, there are some exceptionally haunting ghazals too. This is how he charmed the readers of both the genres, that is, ghazal and nazmand had been more successful in gaining popularity as compared to his counterparts.
Moreover, he addressed the core issues of the society in a very lucid, profound, poetic but simple way. He literally infused new meanings to the old symbols we know as words. For example, to him, Koo-e-Jaanaan was not the same as that painted by his predecessors. Faiz’s Koo-e-Jaanaan was in fact the gallows touched by the ideology-bound zealots.
Faiz’s greatest contribution to the Pakistani society is: he identified the incomplete independence by saying, “Yeh Daagh Daagh Ujaala, Yeh Shab Gazeeda Sahar…..”, and on the fall of Dhaka, he lamented the way none of the other poets did, “Hum kay thehray ajnabi itni madaaraaton k baa’d”.
He had been loyal to his ideology till he breathed his last. He wanted a red revolution in the country: a revolution that ensures equality, classlessness and justice for all. He had been dreaming of a Raj executed by the masses, and not by the elite.
He, unlike Josh and Jalib, kept himself from being merely rhetorical. The very essence of poetry remained fresh and flowing in the veins of his poetry.
There are a few astounding similarities among Faiz, Iqbal and Ghalib.
1- Each one of them was a creative genius.
2- Each one of them was a pro-Persian Urdu poet. That is, they loved to use Persian expressions while communicating their masses to their readers.
3- Each one of them found an era when their countrymen were suffering from the worst adversities and they then gave them an aspiration of being prosperous and free.
4- Each one of them infused new meanings to clichéd symbols
5- Philosophical poetry is a ground that these three greats share.
6- All three loved to write ghazals
We look forward to another Faiz who can make us realise the gravity of the situation, the mischief of the establishment and the value of democracy in attaining a progressing Pakistan.