Wali Gujarati: Father of Urdu poetry

Wali Gujarati [1667-1707] is considered father of Urdu poetry. While we all know the respect Ghalib paid to Meer few of us know what Meer Taqi Meer said about Wali:

Khugar nahin kuch yun hi hum Rekhta-goi kay
Mashooq jo apna tha, bashinda-e-Dakhan tha
[It isn’t casually that I began dabbling in Urdu
I picked it from my lover, a native of the Deccan]

Sample some of his ashaar:

mujh par na karo zulm tum, aik laila-e-khoobaN
majnooN hooN, tere gham kooN biyabaaN se kahoonga

dil-e-ishaaq kyuN na huay raushan
jab khyaal-e-sanam chiragh hua

aik qibla-roo hamesha mehrab meiN bhawaaN ki
karti haiN teri palkaaN mil kar namaaz goya

asr-e-baaadah-e-jawani hai
kar gaya hooN sawal kuchh ka kuchh

ai wali uss be-wafa ki meharbani par na bhool
dil ka dushman hai, magar karta hai baateiN pyaar ki

Wali

Here is a documentary about Wali’s life:

Hamida Chopra talking about Wali:

and some ghazals of Wali:

jisse ishq ka teer kari lage by Iqbal Bano:

Tujh lab ki sifat by Abida Parveen:

Gulab aahista aahista by Mallika Pukhraj:

Wali’s dargah was destroyed during 2002 anti-Muslim violence of Gujarat and a road built over it overnight. There is a facebook page demanding rebuilding of the dargah.

How Secular Is India Today?

Gateway of IndiaThere is always a big gap between theory and practice, theology and history. Indian constitution, no doubt, is one of the best in the world. It is truly secular in spirit so much so it was secular even when word secular was not added to it until 1975 i.e. during emergency. If it were truly implemented India would be an ideal country to live in especially for minorities, both religious as well as linguistic. Continue reading How Secular Is India Today?

Relief For Gujarat Riot Victims, Justice Still Eludes

A 60 minutes segment I watched recently profiles men that were wrongfully convicted by Dallas District Attorney office over years. Now, many of these inmates are being released from prison with some help from the same DA office which is re-examining their cases. One man spent 27 years in prison even though he was innocent all those years and was released recently after a DNA test confirmed his innocence. The judge while releasing him said that this is not justice but just an end to the injustice meted out over all these years. Continue reading Relief For Gujarat Riot Victims, Justice Still Eludes

Tehelka, Journalists Lead Indians to Redeem Their values

Tehelka, the intrepid news magazine did what the Indian government should have done in the past five years. The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the editor of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal and reporter Ashish Khetan who took enormous risk to procure evidence on video tapes about the planning of the genocide perpetrated by the Gujarat state government in February – March 2002. The tapes also record admissions of suppression of evidence and bribery by the public prosecutors to protect the guilty. Continue reading Tehelka, Journalists Lead Indians to Redeem Their values