This is an excerpt from Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s aggregated book, Nuskha Haa-e-Wafa. The poem is called ‘Bol.’ And not even Voltaire could have written it better.
bol k lab azad hain tere
bol zaban ab tak teri hai
tera sutawan jism hai tera
bol k jan ab tak teri hai
dekh k ahangar k dukan main
tund hain shole surkh hai ahan
khulne lage quflon k dhane
phaila har ek zanjir ka daman
bol ye thora waqt bahot hai
jism-o-zaban k maut se pahle
bol k sach zinda hai ab tak
bol jo kuch kahna hai kah le
Freedom of speech is an inalienable human right. To freely be able to express one’s thoughts and feelings without putting one’s life in jeopardy is, and should be, a cornerstone of democracy.
Forming and communicating opinions signifies life and individuality. To deny them is to deny life. To affirm life is to affirm liberty. Liberty consists of enunciating the truth, if there is enough time. And he says to you that there is enough time.
Liberty is not given it is taken.
A 23-year-old student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan was killed and another seriously injured by a vigilante mob for “publishing blasphemous content online”, local police said Thursday.
Reports say there were thousands of people – too much for the police and it is this sensible police work that did not cause the needless death of police officers nor of the people in the mob. It was a huge mob with just the one initiative – and that of to kill and like any other mob, thought torture and murder was a legitimate response to blasphemy.
Criticism has poured in but mostly because we’ve been bored.
Two critical mindsets have saliently deemed the death of Mashal to be a tragedy. The distinctions, ofcourse, will blur and overlap but we must endeavor to differentiate, as intelligibly as possible, between the two mindsets here.
One believes that it was wrong of a couple thousand people to enjoy killing a student all by themselves. They believe this mob should have shared. Good citizens should report to the state authorities which should then discipline blasphemer in a fashion most of the country’s citizens may enjoy. This group of people have every right to feel offended. They plead that they have missed out. And they are in accord. A few videos wont satiate our need for oppression, they grieve. “We wanted it live, on tv!” was the crux of most comments on news statuses relating to Mashal’s case. Some tax payers rued being unable to secure a front seat view to the State administered punishment because there had been no State administered punishment. “Blasphemers are very evil people,” said the spokesperson for Group X, “and should be dealt with communally. Us vs them.” The mob is wrong because it has upset the people of mindset X, the mob has made them feel disrespected, and unincluded. Some of the group members even came forward with personal allusions and recalled the times they had themselves saw a blasphemer and abstained from beating them to death. Some of the morally praiseworthy individuals had experienced this a whopping 3, or sometimes even 4 times, in their lifetime. Group X is offended with the mob; because the mob has wronged group X.
Mindset Y: People who think it was okay that he was blasphemous. Who think that beating to death is not an appropriate response to a blasphemous person. That not even the State should have authority to take away the life of citizens it deemed blasphemous. These people are truly deplorable people. They rally that people running Facebook pages which publish blasphemous content are not to be taken too seriously, not even by the government of Pakistan. In fact, they think memes about religion are not justifiable grounds for involuntary detainment and torture of persons. What are these people talking about? This devious viewpoint believes that the mob was wrong because the mob wronged the blasphemer. This to be a grim state of affairs. What is even more alarming is that, as we speak, these filthy radicals are growing in number – and are actively propelling us into a future where they enforce a doctrine of the most heinous of crimes; to wit they let citizens say what they think.
Where would the torture be, indeed if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him?
The lucidity that was to constitute torture at the same time crowns our victory.
We conclude that all is well. And that remark is sacred. It echoes in the wild, and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has not, been exhausted. It drives out of this world a god who had come into it with dissatisfaction and a preference for futile suffering. It makes of fate a human matter, which must be settled among men.
Teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rock. The universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile.
We’re acknowledging the pointless human existence and the human condition. We’re the rebellion. We’re partying inspite of it!
In defense of ecstasy.
It’s like a saccharine dream, it’s like understanding a Jackson Pollock, a quest into the known, rediscovering innocence. It gives you a tribal feeling, a sense of community, a release, a vista outside of the self, being fully human, being more alive than you’ve ever been, immersed, engaged.
It’s like skydiving without actually skydiving. It’s like waking up, even though you’ve been awake the whole time.
You get right to the heart of an empathetic, human experience. Connecting with people is easy and there is an absence of judgment, fear, small-talk, social stigma. It’s almost like a highway past all the bullshit small talk you spend during the first few weeks of getting to know someone. Because you’ve connected with someone so fast and so deeply, it’s easier to become friends with them quickly and on a personal level.
Touch feels amazing – every sensation is dialed up to 11 in terms of how pleasurable it feels, and how electric that touch is.
Some senses arrive in waves – smells break into their component parts, which arrive in sequence rather than together.
More abstractly, there’s the sense that the intuitive side of your brain takes over. You appreciate and understand things from the holistic perspective. You just ‘get it.’ All of ‘it’. The same way you might just ‘get’ a particular piece of music you like or a paragraph in your favorite book.
The visceral: you bask in the moment, liberated from the need or ability to rationally understand your enjoyment: you only know that it is there and it is all powerful – more authentic than most of the things you’ve done in your life. You don’t feel happy, you are happy.
We want the whole world to know about this feeling. We wish everyone would try it. Bliss, Euphoria, Heaven, joy, better than sex, better than heroin. E is not a drug, its a state of mind, it’s a dimension into the godhead, a glance of pure freedom, a trip into the visceral, the allowed.
Always be drunk.
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time’s horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
Get drunk and stay that way.
On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
ask everything that flees,
everything that groans
everything that speaks,
ask what time it is;
and the wind,
will answer you:
“Time to get drunk!
Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,
On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!”
“His pill was kicking in, and the music, which he had had a resistance to, was getting into him from all sides, surging through his body in waves, defining his emotions. Before it had seemed jerky and disjointed, it was pushing and pulling at him, irritating him. Now he as going with it, his body bubbling and flowing in all ways to the roaring bass-lines and the tearing dub plates. All the joy of love for everything good was in him, though he could see all the bad things in Britain, in fact this twentieth century urban blues music defined and illustrated them more sharply than ever. Yet he wasn’t scared and he wasn’t down about it: he could see what needed to be done to get away from them. It was the party: he felt that you had to party, you had to party.”
Dry, raw, witty, clever, drôle, sly, satirical, conceptual, radical, humourous, hilarious, angry, absurd, obscene, effortless, postmodern, funny, feminist, subtle, poignant, light, in-your-face, offensive, amusing, bemusing, simplistic, sardonic, sophomoric, crude, bawdy, bodily, tragic, comic.