Who other than Faiz, speaking of his turbulent times with unflinching poetic and revolutionary commitment, could offer the rallying cry for our own dark times? As the regime intimidates and imprisons poets, thinkers, truth sayers, Faiz reminds us of the force of words, of poetry and speaking up, with his resounding “Speak, for your lips are free!” — the keystone of this poetry series, BOL, which has completed 25 episodes since August.
For his 110th anniversary, we remember Faiz with his fearless poetry that takes tactics of repression, exclusion, incarceration with an incisive irony. This week in Bol, singer and scholar Madan Gopal Singh reads his Punjabi translation of Faiz’s iconic song of revolt and triumph Hum Dekhenge, accompanied with Mustansir Dalvi’s English translation of the poem.
Madan Gopal has been writing and composing several songs in solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ protests. With Faiz’s poetry, we celebrate this week all the individual and collective acts that carve a pocket of resistance and challenge the regime with a deep resolve to speak up against all attempts at muzzling dissent, our democratic fundamental right, with a steadfast belief in a better day.
When the clarion call of ‘I am Truth’
(the truth that is me and the truth that is you)
will ring out, all God’s creatures will rule,
those like me and those like you.