How many of us enjoy going through proverbs or quotations? Some of these are invigorating for our spirits, uplifting our moods instantly. Brief yet impactful, these sayings can be rightfully termed as “Pearls of Wisdom”.
Poetry, too, has the potential to influence our minds in the same way. We have tried our best, to some extent, to preserve and promote the works of those legends who made some significant contributions. However, when it comes to Poetry, more work certainly needs to be done to make it understandable for everyone in Pakistan. I, hence, assert that the poetic works of our brilliant Philosophers like Dr. Allama Iqbal and the poetic sayings of our great Sufi Saints such as Baba Bulleh Shah and Shah Abudl Latif Bhittai should be taught in a simple manner to all, especially the students.
Generally speaking, mostly this generation is deprived of the flavor of Urdu poetry. This may not necessarily be because young people are not interested in poetry anymore. In my opinion, it is more so because they are find it somewhat difficult to comprehend it properly. Consequently, they consider it outdated and redundant, especially poetry that is old. For instance, even though most of us are aware of Dr. Iqbal`s contributions, we lack the keenness to understand his poetry. However, if we do not understand the depth of his words, we will miss the essence of what Dr. Iqbal propagated. What then is the use of quoting his poetry in speeches and essays? The same holds true for the poetic words of our Honorable regional Sufi poets. It is a fact that while the West has written extensively about Rumi and his teachings, we did not do the same for our Regional Sufi saints and poets. Even though we venerate such personalities, we are unwilling to learn anything about them or follow their suggestions.
Beauty of our Culture
One of the main reasons why studying this Poetry is essential is that it has the fragrance of our own culture. In fact, it can be used to learn more about our culture, history, and norms. Our region has witnessed invasions, struggles for freedom, mutinies, and Independence too. The poetry of these great ones imbibes all that. Unlike Western proverbs, our poetry incorporates what is important in the local context. When going through it, we will be surprised to note that some of that is still as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago. At the end of the day, we are all part of this culture,after all. For instance, regardless of how much we enjoy Western music, our craving for our own classical, local music can never diminish. Similarly, we can find true solace in these poetic words by people who were part of the same society as we are. They were far ahead of their time though.
Furthermore, these poetic verses generally help us in our improvement as individuals as well. To illustrate, we are all aware of Dr. Iqbal’s poetry about the falcon (Shaheen). It is obvious that he wanted us to emulate the praiseworthy characteristics of this bird. This can be taken in a collective sense (as a nation) as well as individually. A person who religiously follows this will try to be ambitious, farsighted, and determined. He or she will want to soar high like a falcon does. Thus, these poetic verses of Dr. Iqbal inculcate optimism in a person. Dr. Iqbal also talks about the importance of courage, action, and taking risks. In other words, going through this poetry gives us the required motivation to surmount the challenges that we face in our lives.
In a Nutshell!
Therefore, I reassert that sincere efforts be made to make it possible for this poetry to be understandable to all. A proper interpretation of these verses by proficient individuals can enable this to happen. These resources should then be cherished as our prized National Assets. While it is absolutely acceptable to study Shakespeare and his works, equal emphasis should be placed on learning about our regional philosophers, mystics, and saints. Their sayings should hold an important place in our day-to-day lives, and in this lies our own benefit, no doubt. Doing so can help us take a step forward toward the Pakistan that our Quaid envisioned for us. In the words of Dr. Allama Iqbal himself,
“Nations are born in the hearts of the poets; they prosper and die in the hands of the politicians.”