By Dr Saulat Nagi
The message of Faiz has met the same fate.
By achieving a status of an icon, his image has become a standard-bearer of the
existing reality and not something against it. He is discussed in symposia of
elites owned by the expropriators who read his remarkable poetry filled with
lyrics and enjoy the cadence of the language much beyond the place where misery
multiplies. Faiz the poet of expropriated has lost in the dense fog of capital.
Not that the subversive message in his poetry has eclipsed but the razor edge
sharpness, his bitterness, and the content carrying rebellion, the destructive
force has been assimilated only to become a delicacy of the society. The
message is invalidated by the harmonising pluralism of the capitalist society,
which absorbs all the contradiction and the truths as a unified entity.
When the tyranny of capitalism sent the
Rosenberg couple to the death chair Faiz cried in agony. "Those who were
killed in unlit pathways", expressed the anguish he was going through.
"Do not ask me sweet heart, the love we had before"
Faiz, being a fellow traveller of Communist
party treaded on every path beginning from imprisonment to exile and even
suffered the scare of gallows. A threat of death is worse than the real death.
With superb qualification, exquisite poetry and a western wife he could have
lived a comfortable life. Instead, for a greater cause he and Ellis preferred
to choose a life of suffering and pain. From a Journalist to a trade-union
leader to a celebrity he went through all phases of life, savouring every kind
of taste, finding his culmination as fully recognized champion of working class
nearly all through the world. In his last days living in a tiny apartment he
turned into man having a different sensitivity, a selfless ‘new man’ of Che
Guevara full of hope and conviction for his ideas.
Faiz with whom we are coerced to be
introduced today, was not a man of this category, the people who lived in his
era knew him. My generation is extremely fortunate to have lived in romantic
yet real times. The wind of freedom, freedom from alienated labour, was blowing
from Indo-China, to Angola and South Africa. Soviet might was glowing with
sizzling light. On the other hand, McCarthyism was taking heavy toll on the
workers of the US; even the person of Einstein’s stature was not forgiven. Panther’s
party was brutally crushed; Malcolm X was drenched in his own blood. Refusing
to fight an unjust war Ali was sent to prison. Martin Luther King was killed in
cold blood. America had gone berserk. It became an open-air asylum, a condition
since then hasn’t changed or perhaps it was always the same.
When the tyranny of capitalism sent the
Rosenberg couple to the death chair Faiz cried in agony. “Those who were killed
in unlit pathways”, expressed the anguish he was going through. “Do not ask me
sweet heart, the love we had before” clears every doubt about his conviction.
He was a Marxist, and he remained so until his last breath. Today Faiz is
promoted as an apostle of peace while he categorically denied any possibility
of peace between the belligerent classes. My generation, which saw the glimpses
of Guevara, welcomed Lin Baio and Liu Shaoqi, heard the victorious march of
General Giap, the success story of Lumumba and his cold-blooded murder by the
predator of the world and march of some ‘distorted’ kind of socialism from Cuba
to Latin America is witness to the integrity of Faiz. We know his journey to
Lebanon where he went to participate in the freedom struggle of the
Palestinians. The hotel in which he stayed was bombed by the Israeli barbarians
and it was a mere chance he wasn’t in it. How can we let this Faiz be stolen by
those who barely are aware about his struggle? Remove the message of socialism
and Faiz would be nothing more than a “little man” of Nietzsche.
Adorno has succinctly pointed out that
“whatever has once been thought can be suppressed, forgotten, can vanish. But
it cannot be denied that something of it survives”. “The ideological stages of
the past would not be equated simply with stupidity and fraud... Though
divested of the power they had in their contemporary setting, they would serve
to cast light upon the current course of humanity. In this function, philosophy
would be mankind’s memory and conscience, and thereby help to keep the course
of humanity from resembling the meaningless round of the asylum inmate’s
recreation hour” (Horkheimer). Faiz must be seen in the light of this
philosophy which happens to be a Marxist truth and not in the glitter of gold
in which he is being presented by all who claim to be his monopolists.
Dr Saulat Nagi is based in
Australia and has authored books on socialism and history.
of Part Two: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-society/dr-saulat-nagi/that-which-is,-cannot-be-true-—-ii/d/110652