Tuesday, January 16, 2018 | ePaper

Humanist poet Farrukh Ahmad

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Prof Muhammad Matiur Rahman :
Farrukh  Ahmad (1918-74) is one of the greatest poets of Bangla literature. He is commonly known as 'the poet of Muslim renaissance' as many of his poems emblem the spirit of resurrection particularly in the hearts of the down-trodden Muslims of the then Bengal. The Muslim nation had a glorious past and a colourful history. Once they were the mightiest power and ruled all over the world. They had a strong ideological base and moral standard. During the time of the last and the greatest Messenger of Allah, the Muslims, inspired by the teachings of Al-Quran and guided by the Prophet himself, turned as models of humanism, fairplay and justice. They were unrivaled among the nations the world in terms of knowledge, moral standard, character and high thinking. Arab Muslims were known as the best warriors of that time. The Muslims conquered almost the whole world, not by their physical might alone, but by their wisdom, knowledge, scientific inventions, high morals and strong will and convictions.
But during the past centuries the Muslims forgot the teachings of the holy Quran as well as the guidance of the holy Prophet and lost all their might, supremacy in all fields of knowledge and human potentials. They were defeated by the imperialists and they lost all their power, material achievements and glories. They were down-trodden, subjugated to inhuman tortures and miseries.
Farrukh Ahmad was born at a time when this subcontinent was under British rule. The Bengali Muslims were at that time mostly illiterate, socially backward and economically poor. Farrukh Ahmad appeared in the literary arena, when the Second World War was going on (1939-45) and the great famine of 1943 broke in. Millions of hungry people died as a result of famine. The wealthy, heartless greedy people amassed immense wealth creating artificial crises in the market. Farrukh Ahmad with his mighty pen, depicted the true picture of the society.
He inspired the fellow Muslims to wake up reminding them their glorious past and checkered history. He used symbols, similes and metaphors to describe the nation's past and awaken them to rise and take the highest position once again to show true humanism and glories of human pursuits to the world, which at present is confronted with so many odds, miseries, wars, hunger, injustice and inhuman sufferings. He referred Islam as a true panacea to all odds and sufferings and advocated strongly that Islam alone can solve the problems, confronted with the present may world and the mankind as a whole. He symbolised Islam as 'Herar Rajtoron' and asked the people to accept it as a true and perfect guideline to the entire mankind. He says in his famous poem- 'Sat Sagorer Majhi' (The Sailor of the Seven Seas') as follows:
"I do not know how long has been the dark night before the breaking of this dawn.
The green leaves in the orange grove are quivering;
The seven seas' tide is in, foaming on your doorsteps.
Yet you are still in deep slumber? still you do not wake up?
O Sailor of the seven seas! have a look, the ship calls at the door,
Motionless, she is standing at the door, like a painted picture.
The helm is high and dry, the sails are drooping.
O Sailor! Respond to my clarion call.
Do arise, arise and join the seamen.
You will find your ship at blue sea again
like a full moon she will sail along
Braving clouds of waves and breaking down all barriers.
Then do wake up, the morning is wearing on,
it is long since Hasnahena petals withered and fell.
Yet you are still asleep? Still you do not wake up?"
(Translated by Dr Sadruddin Ahmed)
"O Seeker, you will find this time at the end of the long voyage
The gate of Hera in front of you.
Then weigh anchor,
Then you set sail,
Then you set sail." (Do)
Farrukh wrote many poems about famine. He depicted the untold miseries of hungry people. Side by side, he narrated  the inhuman behaviour of the wealthy greedy people who amassed huge amount of wealth at the cost of unfortunate poor people. He condemned in unequivocal terms the inequality, injustice and unfair behaviour of a section of the society which shamelessly favours the wealthy and opportunists and looks down to the unfortunate have-nots. The poet stood boldly for the poor and down-trodden people for justice, equality and fair deals for all. In his famous poem entitled 'Lash' (The Deadbody), he condemaed the inhuman exploiters in unique poetic creation.
Farrukh Ahmad was a great exponent of humanism. The source and inspiration of his idealistic approach are undoubtedly Islam. His strong conviction was that Islam is not a mere religion of some rituals, but the, true and perfect code of life, chosen by the Creator Himself for not only the Muslims, but for the entire human race.     
He tried his best to follow Islam in his personal life and expounded Islam in his literary works. His approach was not of a missionary, but of a poet, who aspires the salvation of mankind. He also strongly believed that the salvation is possible only when the people take Muhammad (Sm), the last and the greatest Messenger of Allah, as their guide. In his famous poetical work, entitled as 'Sirajam Munira', he presented his greatest tribute to the saviour of mankind.
Farrukh is a romantic poet. He depicts the life of all classes of people, all kinds of human bonds and sufferings, the joy and sorrows, the despair and aspirations of life. He narrates the scenic beauty of Bangladesh as well as the vast seas, the open sky and the deserts.
His poetic canvas is as wide as the world is. He belonged to the entire world and for all times, as he considers himself as a member of the entire human race.
Farrukh's contribution to Bangla literature is vast and encompasses almost all branches of literature. They include poems, songs, short stories, novel, drama and essays. But he is best known for his poetic genius. He wrote Poems in various forms--- lyrical poems, epic, sonnet, satirical poems, juvenile poems, lyrical drama etc. His contribution is vast and outstanding in all these forms of literature.
His language is different and distinguishable from others. His use of symbols, similes and metaphors are characterised  by his own distinct marks. He is a poet of outstanding genius and recognised as one of the greatest poets of Bangla literature. He upholds true values, pure humanism and inspires his readers to lofty hopes and aspirations to build a perfect world of peace, harmony and fellow-feeling on the ashes of this old mutilated and materialistic exploiting world.
His romanticism has a particular hue and colour containing a particular message and distinct goal, which he depicts with his poetic depth and diction to imbibe into the hearts of his inspired readers.
A great poet of love for the suppressed. and oppressed people of the world, a romantic poet of dream for the resurgence of the oppressed Muslims with the goal to achieve the emancipation based on the eternal and universal light of the holy Quran and Sunnah (in the words of the poet 'Herar Rajtoron'), a poet dreaming the emancipation and salvation of mankind, Farrukh Ahmad will be ever remembered for his great contribution to our literature and resurgence of the chained and downtrodden oppressed section of humanity.
(The writer is a researcher and he is the President of
Farrukh Gobesona Foundation)

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