Bang-e-Dara translates into English as the call of the marching bell. It is a collection of deeply philosophical poems in Hindi* written by Allama Iqbal in the early 20th century. Given below are some couplets of this magnificent poem dealing with the message of Gautam Buddha and Guru Nanak. Through these lines, Iqbal pays tribute & obeisance to both these great personalities who lighted the lamp of knowledge in this Bar-e-Sagheer Hind which was deeply engulfed in the darkness of ignorance & inequity. Broadly speaking, this great poem reflects on the aspect that despite the repeated attempts of evil Brahminical forces since ages to enslave this glorious Nation in idolatry, inequity & caste oppression, great personalities like Buddha and Nanak have also risen from time to time to liberate it from social frauds & spiritual corruptions. The poem is apt in today’s context as well, given that the same forces inimical to justice & equity have once again seized this holy land of Adam (s) and have usurped & monopolised its resources to the great exclusion of others and a temple of idolatry & fraud is once again going to be erected on the ruins of Justice by piercing the heart of the Bahujan Hind or the Greater India.
Qaum ne Paigham-e-Gautam ki zara Parwah na ki;
Qadar na pehchani, na apne Gohar-e-Yak dana ki.
Ah! Bad-Qismat rahe Aawaz-e-Haq se be-Khabar;
Ghaafil apne fal ki Sheerini se hota hai Shajar.
Aashkara us ne kiya jo, Zindagi ka raaz tha;
Hind ko lekin, Khayali Falsafe par naaz tha.
Shama-e-Haq se jo Munawwar ho, ye woh mehfil na thi;
Baarish-e-Rehmat hui lekin Zameen qabil na thi.
Aah! Shudra ke liye Hindustan Gam-Khana hai;
Dard-e-Insani se is basti ka dil Begana hai.
Brahman sarshaar hai ab tak Mae-e-Pindaar mein;
Shamma-e-Gautam jal rahi hai Mehfil-e-Aghyar mein.
Butkada phir baad muddat ke magar roshan hua;
Noor-e-Ibraheem se azar ka ghar roshan hua.
Phir uthi aakhir, sada Tauheed ki Punjab se;
Hind ko ek Mard-e-Kamil ne jagaya khwab se.
The nation didn’t care at all about the Message of Buddha;
It didn’t realise the value of its priceless gem!
Aha! The unfortunate ones remained indifferent to the voices of Truth;
Like a tree remains indifferent to the sweetness of its fruit.
What he revealed was the secret of life;
But al-Hind (India) was proud of its whims and fancies.
It was not an Assembly-Hall to be lit up by the lamp of Truth;
The rain of mercy fell, but the land was barren.
Alas, for the Shudras, India is a house of sorrow;
And this land is indifferent to the sufferings of Humankind.
The Brahmins are still drunk with the wine of Pride/Arrogance;
And Buddha’s lamp is burning in the Assembly-Halls of Foreigners.
The idol houses have lit up again after ages;
But Azar’s house was lit up by the light of Abraham.
The call of Monotheism rose again from the holy land of Punjab;
When a pious man awakened al-Hind from its deep slumber.
*Hindi here does not mean the highly Sanskritised Brahmanical Hindi in Devanagari script (which would be alien to Bahujan masses had it not been deceptively imposed on post-independent India). Hindi here refers to the Jaban-e-Hindi/Urdu/Ordu or the language of the ‘exalted camps’ written in the Arabic/Persian script. For those having outsider-insider thoughts at this moment should know that even Sanskrit is an outsider tongue brought by the Aryans according to great Bahujan scholars. The only difference is that whereas those who brought Sanskrit to India brutally monopolised it and didn’t let anyone else study it but there was no such prohibition on the languages brought by the newly Islamicised Arabs, Turks & Central Asian nomads. And they welcomed everyone in their order by beautifully Indianising their camp languages as Hindavi, Hindi, Urdu, etc. We proudly prefer to refer ‘Urdu’ as ‘Hindi’ because Hindi seems to us a more suitable, appropriate & better name for this magnificent tongue. By the way, the word ‘Hindi’ itself is an Arabic/Persian term derived from the river Sindhu. Also, the word ‘Hindi’ gives this charming language a geographical identity. Since it is the language of al-Hind, it is appropriate & better to call it ‘Hindi’. This becomes more clear when seen in light of Muslim Nationalism of Bar-e-Sagheer Hind-o-Pak (The Holy Indian Sub-Continent) as reflected in the Children’s Anthem and the concept & vision of Islamic Revivalism best captured in the Qaumi Tarana of Allama Iqbal. Both draw their inspiration from Deen-al-Islam and are Justice oriented & Egalitarian in character in both substance & form and they both talk about & advocate the interests & welfare of the oppressed, marginalised & backward classes as opposed to the parochial & deceptive Hindu-Brahmin Nationalism that harps on some whimsical ancient Brahmanical glory and nefariously advances the interests of Brahmins and allied upper castes only.
We are Muslimeen al-Hind (Muslims of India). al-Islam is our Faith/Imaan and the whole Ummah is our family. Equity & Fraternity are our legacies. Social Justice, Welfare & Progress are our visions. al-Hind is our Homeland but the World is our greater Homeland. al-Hindi is our lingua-franca (common-tongue) and it is also our Geographical Identity. Together we will rise again and we will march ahead to establish the rule of al-Imaan, al-Insaaf & al-Haqqa (Equity, Justice & Truth). Inshallah!Concept Notes
- Allama Iqbal Poetry