REVISITING THE LOVE OF POETRY AND MUSIC AMID RESISTANCE
“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it” ~ Anonymous
Resistance means to oppose, to take a strong stand against any ideology. It actually means to show non acceptance or to resist to any ideology, exploitation, occupation, oppression etc. It is a fight and that can be between two groups or among many groups who repudiate any act or any other form which according to them may be the core reason of hampering the growth and development. It is an important part of life and at the same time, it could be harmful as well for the people, especially for those sections who are marginalized and live a life of vulnerability.
Since resistance is usual, seen in every nation and it’s of vital importance for an oppressed nation because people of the said course use this instrument in order to form their protests as a recognition of their unacceptance which ultimately comes under the edifices of resistance. This is an important aspect of an occupied and oppressed nation. In simpler terms, I can say resistance is the production of oppression or it is the byproduct of any form of oppression. Resistance can be expected from the depressed, occupied or exploited people who overtly and covertly reject their fate of being occupied, oppressed or exploited. Examples can be made from Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kashmir. And it can be seen wherever oppression has taken the position atop being committed by the government or any particular recognized group or authority.
There are diverse ways to show resistance and formally it has so many forms by which people unleash their excruciating anguish like situations they observe themselves in. The resistance of people can be seen through many ways such as violent as well as non-violent ways. Violent ways include abduction, killings, stone pelting, armed fighting etc. and campaigning, peaceful protests, wall writings, paintings; writings come under the non-violent ways. But it has seen a change in its ways, especially in the non-violent forms. Poetry and Music have also been added to it, and in the contemporary times, people are seen using both the instruments to have their voices heard by the world.
Poetry and Music are universally believed to be the ways of translating and reciprocating the feelings of love, entertainment, enjoyment and happiness as their major forms. They both act as the indispensable part of every society for projecting and representing the actual reality of people and their aspirations as well. Poetry and Music are equally dependent on each other as there will be poetry wherever we find music. They both have equal distribution in their respective forms. Poetry to Music is like, what mother to her child is. An irrevocable relationship they have I would state.
The traditional ways of translating things have observed a drastic change with the onset of accepting and projecting resistance as its core subject. Poetry and music have both came out from the only subject matter as they used to be in the past. Poetry and Music were believed to be for love and happiness only but with the time and from the demands of culture and society, their subject matter had to observe the change. Therefore in no other way, the duo had to adopt this contributive change aimed to give voice to the aspirations of people whose rights according to them may have reached to extinction. As Plato once noted, music at times carries meaning that goes beyond the purely musical level, and this may even enter the political sphere. And in the same tone, Pablo Neruda says, “…for with blood and darkness poetry is written, poetry should be written.”
And you’ll ask: why doesn’t his poetry
Speak of dreams and leaves
And the great volcanoes of his Native Land.
Come and see the blood in the streets
Come and see the blood in the streets!! ~ Pablo Neruda
Michael Heart composed a song for Gaza, Palestine in the year 2009 which became more popular as it reciprocated the sufferings of Palestinians. The verses are;
A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they’re dead or alive
They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze
We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight ~Michael Heart
In Kashmir, since 2008 (the year called for reviving indigenous resistance) people have joined their nibs and fingers with the only motive to write poetry and give it recognition by music. And here we could sense the dependency of the duos on each other. Similarly, in the year 2010 many young poets and musicians emerged with the same intention to air their anguish of occupation and violence. The year of 2016 will be called the year of Poetry and Music as it was seen many young fellas coming forward and began to write poetry and sing songs of resistance so that they’ll form their unanimous protest against the occupation and its ugly results. And with the time people fell in love with them both and continued their protests in a stated way.
Poetry also witnessed the youngsters, in order to vent out their pain and anger, taking up their nibs and staining paper in the form of their woes, pains, sufferings and blood at its core. New poets emerged with the same subject; resistance – and one can vividly sense its temptation in the form of love. Mushtaque Barq a celebrated writer and poet of Kashmir believe that recent conflict has triggered poets for the unrest has come out as an eternal metaphor for an unheard cry. Further, he states that a poet is keen to pick his components from the locality he lives in, one can never isolate his perception from the wind that is vibrant to the extent of brutality – and poetry and resistance are two sides of a coin, pain and poetry cannot be separated. In certain lines, he reflects;
‘Our blood they say, but a rotten puss
And to our tears they say, water of Absurdity
To our demands, they say bullets and bamboos
Our heroes are lying in graves, it is Kashmir ~Mushtaque Barq
They extort us to write. And write. In blood.
Of peace. Of tulip gardens they grew on
Soils made fertile with our flesh, and bones.
And write. When they. Are at war with us. ~Ather Zia
Ather Zia who belongs to Kashmiri Diaspora in the US, is a political anthropologist, poet and short fiction writer. With the same notion of writing poetry, Pervez Ali has throughout his life talked about resistance and love in his poetic pieces. In demonstrating 2016, the year full of nightmares for Kashmiris, Pervez Ali projects it as a year of dead eyes and revival of new resistance.
Pellets aimed to maim and blind the future generations,
Tags of “violent mob” are used to shield killers from justice.
Innocent death dished serves only to harden resolves,
A cycle now developed in a revolving door of death and blame. ~Perveiz Ali
This song is still in the hearts and minds of people when in the year 2010 a Kashmir-based rapper found his way to vent out his pain and anger in rapping. Roushan Illahi alias MC Kash with so much odds commenced to write and sing songs in the format, which was a bit new to the people of Kashmir but was an old fashioned trend for the people living outside Kashmir. His song and relentless struggle paved the way for new artists in the same genre of music and the outcome was that we saw this trend getting a great demand.
Against the things you were done
For a mother who lost her son
I’ll throw stones and never run
Until my freedom has come
For my brother who’s dead ~MC Kash
Having the nation in mind and penning poetry and composing music for it, has strengthened their irrevocable relationship. Now they have fallen in its love and it seems as if they have got themselves in a deep ocean. Their poetry and composition are resistance and resistance. For a young poet Muhammad Nadeem, poetry is always resistance, either resistance of love or love of resistance. In his edifices of belief, resistance should prompt one to write; a poet can’t turn a blind eye to the happenings and he says;
We Moved the Mountains
And We Can Climb More
We Sacrifice, And
Yes, We Can Immolate More
Because The Fire of Our Soul
Its Fuel Is Resistance
Its Elixir Is Hope…
Hope… to Breathe In The emancipated Vale! ~Muhammad Nadeem
During 2016 civil uprising, with the intensely curfewed nights and continuous patrolling by the Indian security forces, an emergence of young poets writing for Kashmir and the uprising was seen. Zabirah Fazili is a young poet who believes that her writing is for resistance only, so she calls herself a Resistance Poet. In reciprocating and translating the agonies of Kashmiri people, she writes;
The muezzin’s call for prayer now
Is replaced by roaring guns
Oxygen is now the pepper gas
And tears come wrapped in smoke shells. ~Zabirah Fazili
Poetry and music seem to have shunned projecting the traditional ways and have adopted a new kind of subject or a genre if we won’t get involved in doing injustice with it. Now both poetry and music have joined their magical hands with woes and pains with the only motive to project the sufferings of people. New poets and writers are coming up with their best efforts in order to give vent to their anger and pain, which is ultimately a great resistance for them. In the year 2013, in a cultural event Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir, two adolescents from District Srinagar were seen singing a song written and composed by them, ‘Resistance is a choice, gonna make some noise’. Therefore Kashmir’s new genre of poetry has not alienated from the facts and main aspects of life but has also come up with a demanding perspective of every society. Poetry in itself has changed the ways of expression as the demand for reflective poetry pieces was felt more by the people all over the world.
‘Poetry is to Resistance, what Paper is to Pen’.
*The poet is an Independent Researcher & Aspiring Social Worker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position and policy of Oracle Opinions.