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Bahadur Shah Zafar's Punjabi connection

Discussion in 'Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabiyat' started by aristotle, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. aristotle

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    SPNer Contributor

    May 11, 2010
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    Punjabi poetry traces its origin from the hymns of Naath-Jogis, the wandering renunciates and the likes of Baba Farid, whose poetry gave a new dimension to this great language. Not only in the Punjab, but elsewhere in the subcontinent too, Punjabi has always been seen with a sense of respect.

    In Sindh, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (1689 – 1752), Sachal Sarmast (1739–1829) and many other Sufis wrote in Punjabi in addition to their native Sindhi. In the Urdu literature of Gujarat-Kathiawad and the Deccani Urdu, the hues of Punjabi can be clearly seen. The poets belonging to the Delhi and Lucknow schools of Urdu too considered it an honour to versify Sheyrs in Punjabi. Those prominent among them are Saadat Yaar Khan Rangeen, Mirza Muhammad Rafi 'Sauda' (1713–1781), and even more interestingly, the last Indian Mughal King, Bahadur Shah Zafar.

    Bahadur Shah got poetry in his heritage. He possessed a great amount of knowledge about Punjabi language and the Punjabi literary tradition. So much so, he was even aware of the famous Punjabi folk-songs and folk-stories, and sometimes used to pen his poems in pure Punjabi himself. In his Urdu poems too, he frequently mentions the Punjabi qissa of Heer-Ranjha as an example of unparalleled love.

    One explanation of such heavy influences in this Sheyr can be that Non-Punjabi scribes, while copying his Punjabi verses, tried to put an Urdu touch to these verses or could not copy them with full justice, and the Punjabi original became obscure in character. The last word on this will probably never be heard. But still, the Punjabi element in these can well be judged.

    At another place in the appreciation of his spiritual mentor, Hazrat Fakhruddin Dehlavi, Zafar has cast a Punjabi verse using pure Punjabi metre,

    In another of his famous poems, Punjabi flavour shows its colour in a subtle manner,

    The Punjabi connection of Zafar's poetry is a matter of serious research, but still, even to the lay reader, his knowledge of the Punjabi folk-tradition and Punjabi language is very evident, and that too, in more than one way.


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    #1 aristotle, Nov 23, 2013
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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    Jul 4, 2004
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    Great Work Arsistotle ji..thanks. greatly appreciated.
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