Mustafa Zaidi – A poet remembered 5/9

“Harassment: On April 24, 1969, when I was living in a bachelor’s hostel with my family, a subordinate brought thousands of rupees to me as a bribe. The following day, when I complained in writing to the chief secretary of the province, I was harassed for months and tortured to the extent that it was beyond the endurance of any normal human being. What was my fault? I had refused a bribe but my subordinate was enmeshed in the corridors of power and he ensured that my life was a living tale of misery.”

Zaidi’s dramatic soliloquy is self-explanatory and a microcosm of the larger existential woe of Pakistani society. It encompasses the dying values of inquiry, creativity and integrity, and bemoans the limited space for individual passions and interests. Notably, it also mentions religious bigotry and the lack of space for individual liberties, even in the pre-‘Islamised’ Pakistan of late ‘60s. Small wonder, then, that Zaidi uttered forebodingly:

“On whose hands shall I find stains of my blood

The whole city is gloved in anonymity.”

Cont. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Published on July 25, 2006 at 6:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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