ANJAAM-E-ISHQ

‘Shahnawaz’ se khafa yun mere pyare nahi hote,
kya mangne walon ke Gujare nahi hote!
Mahfil se nikala mujhe nakara samjh kar,
Kya Chand ke najdeek Sitare nahi hote!
Shama jo khud aakar jale to meri khta kya,
Kya Parwano ke Dili aag me sarare nahi hote,
Bahta hi ja,Bahta hi ja ae ! Dil-e-Mayush
Dariya-e-Mohabbat ke kinare nahi hote!
Hum lakh chahe Husn walon ko,
Nahi hote,Nahi hote wo hamare nahi hote!!!

Saal-e-nau tujhko bulaya nahi’n maine…

Khushk honto’n se mera naam pukara us ne,
Aur phir kar liya har ranj gawara us ne…

Main agar us ka na hota to yeh kahte ahbaab,
Kar liya phir se muhabbat mein khasara us ne…

Ain mumkin hai ke kal us ko jala hi deta,
Aaj jis khwaab ko mushkil se sanwara us ne…

Dekhne waale isey sheeshagari kahte hain,
Apne andar hai naya aks utaara us ne…

Saal-e-nau tujhko bulaya nahi’n maine hargiz,
Haaye kambakht! Kiya tujhko ishaara us ne…

Meri har baat khamoshi se ada hoti hai,
Husn-e-maa’ni to chura rakkha hai saara us ne…

Shahnawaz Sheikh

Meri baat sun mere Chaaragar!

Meri baat sun mere chaaragar,
Woh jo chashm-e-surma-farosh hai
Wohi mere gham ka ilaaj hai,
Wohi mera sabr-o-sukoon hai,
Wohi kal bhi thi wohi aaj hai…
Meri baat sun mere charagar!
Kahi’n yun na ho ke teri dawa,
Mera dard aur baRha hi de,
Mera haal usko paRha hi de,
Meri baat sun mere charagar!
Abhi mujh mein itna shaour hai,
Mera karb harf nahi’n bana,
Meri zaat bikhri nahi’n abhi
Mera lahja barf nahi’n bana,
Meri baat sun mere charagar!
Kahi’n yuun na ho ke teri nazar,
Meri tees aur ubhaar de,
Mere ashk gir na paRein kahi’n,
Koi sabr de na qaraar de,
Meri baat sun mere Charagar!
Jo teri bisaar mein ho agar,
Mujhe khilwato’n mein tu chhor de,
Mujhe lams de mere yaar ka,
Meri zid hai waqt ko moR de,
Meri baat sun mere charagar!
Mujhe fikr-e-hijr-o-visaal kab,
Mujhe kab talaash-e-wafa hai ab,
Mujhe ab faqat hai bas ek talab, Mera haal sun mere charagar!
Yehi hai mudawa-e-dard-e-dil
Usey kah kabhi mujhe aa ke mil,
Main hunek paikar-e-aab-o-gil,
Meri rooh mujh mein utaar de,
Meri baat sun mere charagar!

The Holocaust

The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was World War II genocide of the European Jews.
Between 1941&1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany & its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population.
The murders were carried out in pogroms & mass shootings; by a policy of extermination through work in concentration camps; and in gas chambers and gas vans in German extermination camps, chiefly Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór, and Treblinka in occupied Poland. Germany implemented the persecution in stages. Following Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor on 30 January 1933, the regime built a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and those deemed “undesirable”, starting with Dachau on 22 March 1933.
After the passing of the Enabling Act on 24 March, which gave Hitler plenary powers, the government began isolating Jews from civil society; this included boycotting Jewish businesses in April 1933 and enacting the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935. On 9–10 November 1938, eight months after Germany annexed Austria, Jewish businesses and other buildings were ransacked, smashed or set on fire throughout Germany and Austria during what became known as Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”). After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, triggering World War II, the regime set up ghettos to segregate Jews from the rest of the population. Eventually thousands of camps and other detention sites were established across German-occupied Europe.
The segregation of Jews in ghettos culminated in the policy of extermination the Nazis called the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”, discussed by senior Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January 1942.As German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized. Under the coordination of the SS, with directions from the highest leadership of the Nazi Party, killings were committed within Germany itself, throughout occupied Europe and within territories controlled by Germany’s allies Paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppen, in cooperation with the German Army and local collaborators, murdered around 1.3 million Jews in mass shootings and pogroms between 1941 and 1945.
The killing continued until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945.The European Jews were targeted for extermination as part of a larger event during the Holocaust era, usually defined as beginning in January 1933 in which Germany&its collaborators persecuted & murdered other groups, including Slavs(chiefly ethnic Poles, Soviet citizens & Soviet prisoners of war),the Roma,the “incurably sick”, political & religious dissidents, and gay men. The death toll of these groups rise to 11 million.

Men and his world

Women know they will be taken care of. Men will take care of them. The state will take care of them. Complete strangers will come to their aid in disasters.

Men know instinctively that NO one has our backs.

We know that if we don’t work hard enough, or get injured, or just have a spell of bad luck, we will be homeless. And, in fact, 80% of homeless are men.

Men know that if they get divorced, the mother will get full custody 80% of the time. The man knows he will lose half of his assets or more, and be on the hook for 18 years of child support and possible lifetime alimony payments. In fact, 95% of all child support and alimony dollars are paid by men. And if he misses any of these payments, he will go to prison. He will be stripped of his passport, drivers license, and professional licenses—but his child support debt will continue to grow.

Many of these men die in jail, unable to ever get out from under the cycle of debt. That is why many of those who understand how badly family court is stacked against men, like family attorneys and police, simply kill themselves when served with divorce papers. They know the hell they are about to go through is worse than death. But no woman has ever been jailed for delinquent child support payments.

Perhaps, then, it is not surprising that four of five suicides are male. We know that if we seek help, we will be seen as weak. If you are a military man, you know you may be discharged by simply admitting to such problems. But our failure to seek help will be derided as an example of “toxic masculinity.”

Incidentally, the man carrying the woman and baby out of danger after Flood was widely decried by feminists as an example of “patriarchal toxic masculinity.” We know we will get no thanks for doing heroic things. It is simply expected of us.

We know that our safety is our personal responsibility, because we know that no one will come to our aid in when things get rough. And in fact, men are four times more likely to be the victim of violent crimes than women. But there is no Violence against Men Act in Congress. We are on our own.

We know that in times of war, only men will be called to defend their country. We know this because 1.5 million American men have died defending their country, while less than 100 women have. While a male soldier can be court-martialed merely for getting a sunburn, thus damaging government property (the soldier) and harming unit readiness, female soldiers can opt out of service by getting pregnant at any time with no penalty.

Men know that we are expected to build and maintain our society. We know that we will have to do all of the dirty, dangerous jobs to keep things running—not women. And, in fact, 19 of 20 workplace deaths are male. That’s right: 95% of all deaths on the job are men. Yet no feminists are protesting for more women in sewer work, or garbage collection, or bricklaying. We know that all of this falls on our shoulders.

That is what men know that women never have to think about.

SO SORRY

On October 2, 1944, on the occasion of Gandhiji’s 70th birthday, one of the most renowned scientists of our time, Albert Einstein expressed his admiration for Mahatma Gandhi and said, “Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”

It has been 70 years since India got its Independence. Every year, on August 15, a mega event of colourful tableaus and parades is organised as if a newlywed bride named “azadi” is walking down the aisle. Yet, 70 years on, the idea of “azadi” is still being challenged, one can hear the strange whispers of muzzled voices calling for azadi from the streets we have never walked on. From the corridors of universities and colleges to the scenic valleys of Kashmir, the calls for azadi are all too common.

What sort of liberalisation is this? What freedom are they seeking?

Well, if you look at the discourse in India and matters of national importance, you’ll get the answers. Somebody is seeking the freedom to express love, somebody is merely asking for the freedom to eat the meat of his/her choice. Someone is seeking freedom of expression and someone asking for his right to live peacefully.

If you look at the discourse in India and matters of national importance, you’ll get the answers.

Hindu-Muslim riots are still the order of the day, Dalits are still being persecuted and their backs carry the whipping scars of upper caste Brahmins’ atrocities. This speaks a lot about the current state of the country.

Every five years, politicians lure the nation with false promises and sell fake dreams much like the heartless deceitful beloved would.

Since time immemorial, societies across time and space have nurtured this special kind of squalid reality, although its name and face may differ from country to country. Blacks in America, or Shia and Ahmadi in Pakistan are some examples of this squalid reality. In India, we call them Dalits and these days Muslims have been a target of the same ugly reality – a result of the sense of insecurity being fed and propagated in the minds of the majority.

These insecurities, the fear of the “other” are the reasons we see riots and public display of violence engulfing the prevailing peace and at times taking the life of a Shia, Ahmadi, Muslim or Hindu.

These pyres of bodies and corpses serve as fuel for politicians and their hate machinery, as they are aware that these bodies, these pyres are the lifeblood of their ugly propaganda. Politicians feed on these corpses like vultures. To cut the long story short, bodies are essential to their politics. A world without politicians feeding on bodies would be a peaceful world of coexistence, one devoid of melancholy.

Perhaps, these bodies are as important for politicians as filth and dirt are for insects and bed bugs. As I discern from my thoughts, seen from the lens of politics, every Hindu will appear to be Godse and every Muslim a jihadi.

Truth be told, in the garb of India’s democracy, the dreams and vision of a democratic state, humanity dies everyday with painful sighs. Even after 70 years of Independence, it is in this “lassi” made of spoilt milk that India is looking for traces of self-rule. We have more bystanders than leaders in our country. And those few leaders we have are hell-bent in not obeying the law of the land. To drown the voices of those who speak truth to power and to ensure we censor these voices the moment they are born. Politicians have gagged the freedom of speech – lawlessness and barbarity are the new order.

This barbarity tells the story of an unaided and forsaken prostitute whose personal desires have no place; they have long been drained by the society which dubbed them as “filth”. Abject as it is, this barbarity carries the silence of that middle class salaried professional who is desperately trying to make his ends meet, and failing everynight in this tussle. This barbarity carries the melancholy of those women who have drained her lungs fanning the fire of cookstoves and wood burners, for she’s afraid here’s another night when five heads will live on two chapatis and water to douse the fire in their belly. This barbarity of free hoarding and the nakedness of the society, and the barbarity unleashed by political cacophony.

To silence the voices of those who speak truth to power, in fact, to nip them in the bud, politicians have gagged freedom; lawlessness and barbarity are the order of the state.

Together, these uncivilised acts are doing irreparable damage to India’s history. Everyday. Without any break. In the light of India’s barbarity, maybe Einstein was right about Gandhi and future generations. India, as we see it, is far from Gandhi’s ideals, for it’s now the India of Godse and his ideologues.

Gandhi is long gone and so is the India he envisaged. India now stands tall as a half-naked theatre of absurd. Perhaps, it’s not entirely inappropriate to conclude that India is a children’s playground before me.

WOMEN’S DIGNITY

When the funeral procession of India’s democracy was passing through the martyrdom of an 8-year-old girl, Ram’s eyes were moist with tears and the tricolour wrapped in shame, too, was crying. She was the moon, the sparkle in someone’s eyes, she was a sweetheart, an angel and now there she lies — a mere body, with scratches and bruises all over, devoid of any life. The many wounds on her body are a stark reminder of an ugly reality of this society, one that can’t be concealed with any hijab, any veil or any below-the-knee-length skirt.

Since time immemorial, women are being subjected to all kinds of exploitation and maybe this will continue till eternity, as usual. Our history is a shameful acrolith of our collective shame as it has completely diminished the identity of a woman and her self-respect to a point where she is seen only as a piece of blood and flesh. If she is lucky enough — and if she is not thrown away into a roadside dustbin soon after she is born — she is called “daughter”. Over time and age, she becomes a daughter, a wife and a mother. Her entire life is a constant struggle to fit into the roles defined by our society, while the locus of her identity is always centered around men.

Men. A word which, in itself, is devoid of any dignity.

Had the title of this article been “Man’s dignity”, in all probability, your mind would have been in a fix, because the concept of “dignity” has always been seen through the optics of a woman. The difference between a man and a woman is tied to the structural and functional polarities of their reproductive system and sexual organs. And perhaps this skewed understanding of gender roles explains the frequent incidents of sexual assault and rape suffered by women. These are intended to not only assault a woman’s “dignity” but also act as gunpowder and pistol — a weapon of its kind used against enemies. Be it Hindu-Muslim riots or the persecution of Jews under Nazi rule, time and again, a woman’s body has been used as a battleground.

What she can or can’t do, her ability, her aptitude, and mental wellbeing, the limits of her desires and the scale of her character, everything is codified by society. Here, women are allowed to run a brothel, but a woman driving bike is not acceptable. Here, a woman who sells her body to make ends meet is considered impure, while the men making a pilgrimage to brothels are immune to those impurities; rather, they are treated with respect and accorded honours of distinction.

It is society that attaches the label of “good” and “bad” to things and people.

As I have mentioned before, in our milieu, women are nothing more than a piece of meat hanging outside a butcher shop, ravaged by the hungry eyes of stray dogs. Ah! The manly valour that is still under the false belief that a woman’s dignity is akin to a plastic doll, kept in the showcase of decency and nobility.

As long as women are treated like a pound of flesh, vultures feeding on the carcass, some Ram or some Ali, maybe inside a temple or inside a madarsa, or perhaps a certain uncle or a nephew, a brother or a father, will continue shaming humanity as a whole. As long as a woman is seen only as a decked-up plastic doll and locked in a showcase of decency, an eight-year-old girl, an 11-year-old girl or another Nirbhaya will continue to be assaulted, uncovering the naked reality of this society.

A reality we have been veiling with such hollow words like shame, modesty — and dignity.

Hypocrisy and Muslim

Hypocrisy is the biggest of all shames in this world and today’s Muslims are a textbook example of this trait. The prayer bumps on their foreheads are as shallow and artificial as their faith. They swear by Halal meat while their pockets are overflowing with the money earned from sources which are proscribed by Islamic laws.
Owing to the same hypocrisy, long ago, these custodians of Islam turned the faith into a beautiful beloved. A beloved, under the garb of whose piousness, religious paper tigers can camouflage their vile and ugly disgust. The crux of the matter is that the so-called followers of the right path are now self-proclaimed Gods in their own light. And as far as the real God is concerned, who in the words of the Holy Quran, is impenetrable, self-sufficient, merciful and all gracious, lost somewhere in the thousand names that have been given to him.
It’s not clear if the God is Shia or Sunni, what if he’s a Deobandi? Maybe he’s Barelvi; if he turns out to be Ahl-e-Hadis, I am afraid, this article would end up being the work of an infidel.
Al-Ma’mun’s dream:-
If we look at the history of Islam, in the early years of the faith things were not as bad as they are now. The smuggling and hijacking of the faith by mullahs and maulvis is a recent phenomenon and it started only in the last few centuries. Prior to this, Muslims practiced and preached logic with a firm grip on their faith. However, ever since they deviated from the path of pure intellect and reasoning, jihad has replaced the art of critical thinking and ijtihaad.
In the Golden Age of Islam, when one-third of the world population was under Islamic empire, Al-Ma’mun, the then Caliph of Baghdad, had a dream. The dream of Aristotle, the pioneer of Greek philosophy. Caught between the ideas of rationalists and those of religious thinkers, Al-Ma’mun was struggling which way to choose. “You must first choose reason, because reason is the doorway to revelation,” Aristotle told him.
Owing to the same advice, Al-Ma’mun went on to expand the reach of the Islamic Empire and Baghdad became the center of knowledge and science. It was Al-Ma’mun’s dream that became the foundation of the western renaissance.
Sadly, the dreams of Aristotle have been replaced by the nightmares of bhagva-clad terrorists hammering down the walls of Babri Masjid, protesting triple talaq, pants folded over their ankles. He’s happy and contained in his vexed and poverty-ridden state.
With this non-progressive and laidback attitude, he likes to live in the past rather than keeping abreast with the progressive world he’s a part of.
Instead of improving his own condition, which is plagued by poverty and helplessness, the average Muslim is rather dismayed by a book written by certain Salman Rushdie, because of which he thinks Islam is suddenly in danger. The Muslim community seems oblivious to more pressing issues concerning its well-being, for it is habitually fettered in the shackles of a literalist version of Islam and the barbed wires of Sharia (Islamic law).
The progress and matters concerning the education and employment of its next-generation find no place in the community’s scheme of things.
The smugglers of Islam:-
The relationship religious preachers share with the faith is akin to the relationship the illegal liquor mafia shares with spurious desi liquor: both sell poison in the name of intoxicants and – in the end – it is alcohol that gets a bad name.

Hajj has been reduced to a privilege for a select few and lost its original purpose, the faith.
Perhaps, that’s why you see people boasting about the number of times they have performed the Hajj, as if it’s not a religious pilgrimage but a picnic. Or maybe, it’s a necessity for their list of sins is vast and requires multiple pilgrimages.
To cut the long story short, ever since faithful deserted the faith, believe me, satanic humans like myself are rejoicing like never before. Listen to me, I am neither a religious critic nor do I have any intellectual understanding of the religion; however, I’d like to say that it’s high time Muslims get rid of their hypocrisy and try becoming the followers of the beloved Prophet in their actions and deeds because as they say, even Iblees used to offer Namaz.
If not Gustakh Iblees, at least listen to what Allama once said: “You need to worry is inherent in your deeds, else, it’s not difficult to solve the difficulty”.