‘Perhaps some day I might end up as a poet after all’

Salima Hashmi in Himal Southasian:

The daughter of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the Subcontinent's iconic bard, discovers letters exchanged by her mother and father.

Faiz on Gandhi

FaizAt the height of the Kashmir conflict in 1948, Faiz flew to Delhi for Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral. In his editorial in the Pakistan Times dated 2 February 1948, Faiz wrote:

The British tradition of announcing the death of a king is “The king is dead, long live the king!” Nearly 25 years ago, Mahatma Gandhi writing a moving editorial on the late C R Das in his exquisite English captioned it as “Deshbandhu is dead, long live Deshbandhu!” If we have chosen such a title for our humble tribute to Gandhiji, it is because we are convinced, more than ever before, that very few indeed have lived in this degenerate century who could lay greater claim to immortality than this true servant of humanity and champion of downtrodden. An agonizing 48 hours at the time of writing this article, have passed since Mahatma Gandhi left this mortal coil. The first impact of the shock is slowly spending itself out, and through the murky mist of mourning and grief a faint light of optimistic expectation that Gandhiji has not died in vain, is glowing.

Maybe it is premature to draw such a conclusion now in terms of net result, but judging by the fact the tragedy has profoundly stirred the world’s conscience, we may be forgiven if we may store by the innate goodness of man. At least we can tell at the top of our voice suspicious friends in India that the passing away of Gandhiji is as grievous a blow to Pakistan as it is to India. We have observed distressed looks, seen moistened eyes and heard faltering voices in this vast sprawling city of Lahore to a degree to be seen to be believed.

More here.