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Baloch poets and their inspirational work

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Metrical composition, a source of sagacity and knowledge, is one of the irreplaceable holdings of the Baloch land and its populace. It imparts pure illumination that victual our souls and minds. The sapling of that poetic heritage has grown up, experiencing bloodshed into and out of the annals that even the entire battle-weary could not grub-up the Baloch poetic fortitude. Balochi literature to the core is connected with love, grace, dynasty, struggle and doctrine. In short, it’s a book of parts. It’s both edifying and ornamental in temper.

The land of Balochistan has given nativity to dynamic poets named Gul Khan Naseer, Attah Shad, Sayeed Zahoor Shah Hashmi, Murad Awani and Yousaf Ali Khan Magsi. The chief aspiration was bringing political awareness among people in general.

Balochistan has been able to bring up adroit poets because its people take great pleasure in poetic expression. As Walt Whitman an American poet said, “To have great poets, there must be great audience.”

Poems of that era refer to events, trends and developments. Mir Gul Khan Naseer was a prominent progressive poet, politician, historian, and journalist of Balochistan. Born on 14 May 1914 in Noshki, he gave a distinctive meaning and form to Balochi poetry. The notion of freedom and sovereignty was appealingly portrayed. It was his patriotic poetry that caused the ideals of Baloch movement affiliate to the hearts of Baloch mob and intellectuals.

Gul Khan Naseer’s poetry is the foremost manifestation and the top insightful expression of Balochi political and social approach since the early thirties. His work took in some fifty years of his life. His struggle for national independence remained behind the bars for several years between 1945 and 1979. Back in November 1936, he put together a poem to awaken ignorance. The poem which is in Urdu, shows his perception to carry a life long struggle.

Gul khan Naseer had a placid mind. His message is impressive, which circles around the Baloch and their history. His art portrays resentment for those countries which have occupied the Baloch land, which he regarded as corrupting of nature. His philosophy has put a tremendous impact on the new generation and Baloch youth.

Sayeed Zahoor Shah Hashmi was born on 21 April 1926 and died in 1978. He by all odds is one the “big three” of modern Baloch literature, the other two are Gul Khan Naseer and Atta Shad. He spent his life seeking knowledge of the Balochi literature and work avoiding active political and social activities. On patriotism and other social and political subjects, Sayeed Hashmi is superfluous fine than Gul Khan Naseer and less ideal than Atta Shad.

Twentieth century marks as an era of evolution for mankind, though the world was heading up with conflicts and blood sheds. As the world overcome the challenges of time, diverse revolutions changed the world hence such change touched the Baloch land too. It is the same era where for the very first time the Baloch youth turned up with change of fields from politic to education, from literature to linguistics and business to economics.

Undoubtedly twentieth century turned out to be a fortunate period as it is blessed with enormous unwritten language research and literary work. In the progressive times, Atta Shad proved to be a pioneer of modern Balochi literature and is also known for the creative origination that reflects in his writing.

Atta Shad was born in November 1939, Kech, Makran. For the desire of acquiring higher education, he moved to Quetta for collage which at that time was affiliated with Punjab University.

He won numbers of awards for his literary contributions. Muhammad Ishaq known as Atta Shad lived as a legendary figure for his creativity produced in each line he composed. His journey of work started with Urdu language, with the touch of Balochi literature portraying love and affection for his motherland. He felt the need of showcasing the richness of Balochi language in Urdu literature, hence we cannot only find the translations of Balochi folks but also the poetry related to social aspects.

A famous Balochi proverb that he often used shows his commitment and dedication in life, “Tas e aab sad sal wafa int” (A bowl of water worth loyalty of hundred years), which basically means to remain loyal for a hundred years to a person who fetches you the water.

Atta shad was a believer of unique art, new innovations and diverse thoughts. He often found himself bound with his homeland when it comes to art and literature. His style was influential amongst today’s Baloch poets. His life changing illustrations takes the reader to a new journey of looking at the world through a new perspective. He contributed a lot through his prose and poetry. Few of his contributions in the form of books are;

• Shap Chirag Andeem (Balochi poetry)
• Rooch Gir (Balochi poetry)
• Barpag (Urdu poetry)
• Dareen (Balochi folk poetry)

He worked for Radio Pakistan in Quetta from 1962-69. Later, he worked in several other government departments. He remained the Information Officer in the department of Information and Production Pakistan and Director of General Affairs for government of Balochistan. Director and Executive Director in Arts Council, Secretary of Information and Production for Sports and Culture Balochistan, Secretary of Forest for Government of Balochistan and Director General for Archaeology. Throughout his career, he served 34 years and 11 months as a government officer.

Besides his literary work and contribution to Balochi literature and work in government departments, Atta Shad got opportunities to travel to several places like Germany, Thailand, Italy, China, Turkey, Denmark and Singapore.

His deliberant contribution and efforts for bringing Balochi and Urdu languages together are pure and full of love and gives ideology of spending one’s life if we read in depth.

All Baloch poets are assets of the motherland who have contributed a great deal in promoting the culture and literature of Balochistan and shall be remembered in the pages of history for eternity.

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Nimra Arshad

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