Relegating Ahmad Faraz to a Facebook poet


Ahmad Faraz is one of the greatest poets of modern era and is bracketed with Firaq Gorakhpuri and Faiz Ahmad Faiz, known as the 3 Fs of Urdu poetry. While it's laudable that more and more readers, nay dilettantes, are becoming aware of his magnificent poetry thanks to Facebook, it has also relegated him to the level of Javed Akhtar and Gulzar, two much-hyped poets or should I say pen-pushers?

The rampant wrong Urdu in Faraz's poetry uploaded on portals, Facebook and Twitter, whether it's in Roman, Devnagari or Urdu scripts, is indeed off-putting. Popularity among the masses often dilutes a poet's true status among the stalwarts, because the masses cannot be the arbiters of class and aesthetics.

Any Tom, Dick and Harry quoting Faraz erroneously is an assault on the poetic sensibilities of the cognoscenti. Portals like 'Rekhta', 'Zabaan-e-Urdu' among others have desecrated Urdu poetry and those who upload the poetry seem to have a smattering of Urdu, let alone Persian and Arabic.

This is bad and sad. Accessibility robs you of your exclusivity. This is happening to Faraz and a host of other great poets. Alas, internet has made every fool a poet or a writer.

Ahmad Faraz's birthday falls on January 12