Syed Ahmad Shah generally known as ‘Ahmad Faraz’ was born on January 12, 1931, he was an ethnic Pashtun who set new standards in Urdu poetry. Faraz was probably the last of the great progressive line of Urdu writers. He spoke the language of common man and highlighted the issues affecting the daily lives of commoners. His was a style of using more easier and meaningful language which makes him the most popular reactionary with classical touch. Faraz was a poet of many moods, he appears as idealist when he praises dreams and stresses the significance of being an idealist, and at the same time he rejects mere idealism as a hollow approach to achieve ends, without genuine struggle.

Faraz’s support for Islamic socialism always put him at odds with the Pakistani ruling classes. He addressed Pakistani people as Pakistanis of different colours and in the process built bridges between naturally diverse and natively multicultural Pakistan. He protested over denial of rights to poor and flayed exploiters in all shapes and colours. He was forced to go into exile during tyrannical rule of former despot General Zia ul Haq.

His famous poem ‘Muhasara’ is an evidence of how he abhorred illegitimate rulers of Pakistan and how he believed in the supremacy of democratic rule. Faraz travelled across the world and his admirers live in all corners of the world. He was awarded “Hilal e Pakistan”. With his demise on August 25, 2008 a great era of progressive writing came to an end. He would surely be missed for all times to come.

MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA,

Australia, August 21.