As Jammu paid tributes to the revolutionary poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, poets and writers from India and Pakistan made an impassioned appeal to demolish the walls of hatred between the two countries. They called for strengthening cross-border contacts to create an atmosphere of peace and amity.
As “Jashan-e-Faiz,” organised by the Jammu Civil Society for Art and Literature in connection with Faiz’s centenary celebrations ended with a scintillating India-Pakistan Mushaira, his daughter Salima Hashmi said
“it was a kind of homecoming for me.”
Acknowledging Jammu’s civil society for remembering the legendry poet, she told The Hindu :
“I am happy for being here. This is the place where my father and mother made promises to each other and got married.”
Maintaining that Faiz’s poetry showed the way for both the countries to live together, she said:
“It is time for both to see what they have lost out.”
Ms. Hashmi, who reached Jammu after crossing over through Wagah, said her father’s message made it easier for India and Pakistan to understand each other and sink differences.
“The whole world has changed but they [India and Pakistan] refuse to shun the adolescent behaviour.”
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who was the chief guest on the first day of the programme, also referred to the fact that his grandfather Sheikh Abdullah was a witness to the “Nikah” of Faiz.
“If Jashan-e-Faiz would facilitate this trend, it would be a great tribute to the world-famous Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who had great relations with Jammu and Kashmir and its people,” Mr. Abdullah said.
Over 20 poets from both countries also focussed on improving the relations. Noted poet Nida Fazili said:
“Life is not about terror and fight but it is about curves of beauty. India and Pakistan have been divided two times. We cannot afford any more divisions or discord in relations,” he said, and blamed politicians for exploiting the people in the name of religion.
Pakistani poet Aizaz Azar said they had come with the message of peace and love. Saluting the people in the jam-packed auditorium of Jammu University for showing their affection towards Faiz and the poets from Pakistan, he said:
“We have come here for the first time. And are overwhelmed by the love and affection you have shown to us. But we need to work for demolishing these walls of hatred and work for peace and amity.”
The poets came out with myriad expressions ranging from being voices of conscience of nations, communities and races, to issues such as ethics, economics and love that concern the man on the street.
Prominent poets who participated in the Mushaira were Fayaz Farooqi, Farhat Ahsas, Nawaz Deobandi, Ashok Sahil, Waseem Barailvi, Sardar Pancchi, Tahir Fayaz, Khushbir Singh Shaad from India and Kishwar Naheed, Ayub Khawar, Ishrat Afreen, Manzar Naqvi and Anwar Massod from Pakistan.