An evening devoted to Habib Jalib’s poetry

Zubair Qureshi

Habib Jalib deviated from the run-of-the-mill poetry although he started as a poet in tradition of great classics like Hasrat Mohani, Mir and others but his deviation and his poems on public issues won him instant popularity among the masses, this was said by speakers and lovers of the Shaer-e-Inqilab (Poet of Revolution) during an evening devoted to celebrating his poetry at Nomad Art Gallery.
After Nazir Akbar Abadi, perhaps Habib Jalib was the only poet who remained a living organic part of public conscience and his poems became idiom of the day in 1960s and 70s.
According to Raza Naeem, an academic, critic and award-winning translator Habib Jalib’s commitment to his progressive ideals, to the cause of the wretched of the earth and his association with people’s movements made his poetry unique among all his contemporary progressive poets.
He was of the view that Jalib never compromised on his principles and wrote about social injustices, the exploitation of the working class and the misdemeanours of the ruling class.
His poetry is still relevant today and will remain so for all times to come as long as the injustices, exploitation and oppression of marginalised segments continues, he added.
He also drew a parallel between Jalib and Prometheus, a Greek hero known for his intelligence and for defying the gods. He taught men the use of fire; and revealed a divine secret to them.

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