Abdul Malik Fida

Abdul Malik Fida

Haji Shamsuddin Muflis Durrani

     Shroud on head, to the field of match,
     I am coming O' death! don't you come.

     This resolve was expressed in emotional metallic voice in a big public meeting which was being addressed by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, and it floated, like an electric current, echoing and ringing through the hills and plains of the province, stimulating desire and elating spirit of freedom fighters. Like so many rebel poets of the freedom war, Abdul Malik Fida had also put everything at stake for freedom. A die‑hard follower of Bacha Khan, he had willed that his body be lowered in the grave by Bacha Khan. His will was fulfilled on April 21, 1957, when Bacha Khan participated in a huge funeral rally and lowered the body of Abdul Malik Fida in the grave.
     Poets and writers are considered eyes and tongues of the nation. Whatever they feel and see may be felt and seen by any man, but that can not be expressed and communicated to others in an impressive way unless the man has talents to do so. Communication of ideas has too many ways and styles, but the most impressive and lasting is poetry, because of its spontaneous appeal. Howevever, writing, in total, does not need only talents but study, observa­tion, devotion and courage.
     Art and literature have been playing significant role in construction and destruction of the nations. They are like the vehicles. If given in the hands of a trained and expert driver who feels his responsiblity, the vehicle is put on the right way to go safe and reach its destination. If the same vehicle is driven by a careless and wicked driver into bumpers and ditches, it will be damaged and destroyed, and its passengers are also doomed to annihilation. Therefore, live nations always celebrate their good poets and writers from whom they get inspiration and guidance.
     Pashto has a congested galaxy of bright and memorable poets and writers. Most of them shone on the horizon during the Khudai Khidmatgars movemnet in the third decade of the century. This was a movement of reformation which took a sharp turn to freedom struggles. A few of these poets and writers are: Habibullah Kaka, Mohamad Akbar Khadim, Fazali Mahmood Makhfi, Abdul Akbar Khan Akbar, Master Karim, Amir Nawaz Khan Jalya, Fazal Rahim Saqi, Shad Mohammad Megay, Abdul Malik Fida, Abdul Hakim Sati, Mian Akbar Shah, Mian Ahmad Shah, Jalbal, Taj Mohammad Khamosh, Abdul Khaliq Khalique, Wali Mohammad Toofan, Hussain Bakhsh Kausar, Sanobar Hussain Kakajee etc. Ajmal Khattak, Mir Mehdi Shah Mehdi and Ghani Khan known as Lewanay Falsafee are also from this lot.
     Some of these poets were not much educated but had developed, with utmost devotion and hard struggle, intuition and knowledge of their people and environments. Their poetry was more popular among the masses due to its direct approach in their own language. They had the art of entrancing the audience with their flamboyant poetry normally recited from memory in emotional tone.
     One of this host of rebel poets was Abdul Malik Fida. Not only by his nickname, but by his clean and bold character, he was a devotee (Fida), in true sense,  to his people and country. He had sacrificed everything, not caring for his own family even. He had melted in the torrential stream of freedom movement and was all absorbed in his epic poetry which was playing up emotions of the people in public meetings. His ideal was freedom. Freedom was his sweetheart, his beloved, his Laila, his bride and his everything. He was mad for freedom. His raqeeb was the Englishmen, Europeans, whitemen, usurpers, their servants and rulers. His country was his home, and his family his people. And that all reflected in his simple, smooth, fluent and flugurant poetry.
     That war of freedom in which Pashto poets and writers took chivalrious part gave too much to Pashto literature also. Freedom from slavery of the aliens invigorated nationalistic spirit also. The educated people who were shy, heretofore, of even speaking in Pashto, took a surprise turn to write and express their ideas and feelings in their own language. Works of these poets and wrtiers enriched Pashto literature in term of quantity as well as quality. Abdul Malik Fida, not formally educated, had learned writing and was one of those poets who had embelleshed excellently the folklore with literary requirements. Just have a look on the following lines:
     Hungry and naked at home as a labour,
     A patient in need of help of the healthy ones.
     I wont hesitate to offer my flesh to dogs of my land,
     But, I don't like a stranger in my home as my enemy.
     White eagles and grey hawks of Europe would be my game,
     If the falconer untied my wings.
     Take away the dust of Fida Abdul Malik,
     From the soil called the land of slaves.
     I was exposed and you evade me, where are you!
     O' my sweetheart, my Laila, where are you!
     No clue of yours in churche or temple,
     Nor in mosque, hujra, nor in home,
     But an aroma has spread over hills and plains,
     I was flustered to hear your name in cities
     Not seen you are, Laila, where are you!
     I do exist but in the books,
     Far better than worldly gains,
     But, am captive of selfish people,
     O' senseless youth, what a desire you have for me.
     Abdul Malik Fida had no certificate from any educational institution. But neither his knowledge was superfluous nor his writing was crude. He had set a clear goal for him. Freedom. Freedom of the country and the people. For this sacred cause he had been doing Jihad with pen and tongue. He had suffered imprisonment several times, but he had never faltered on this way. He did not hestitate to criticise the government, even when his own party was ruling the province under Dr Khan Sahib.
     Abdul Malik Fida has written some good romantic poetry also. But, on the whole, he was known best for his revolutionary ideas. He did not stick to a particular branch but expressed his feelings in any form, ode, Ghazal, folklore, question‑answer (dramatised), even Tappa. He was writing prose also in form of his diary as well as in form of short stories.
     The renowned poet, Abdul Malik Fida, had been born in 1897 Kandi Yasin Khel of village Prang, and passed away on April 21, 1957. His father was Abdul Jabbar Khan.
(Courtesy: daily Frontier Post, Peshawar; 14 November 1992)


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