Sunday, 16 November 2008

Fatwa against Madhushala !

Long back in mid thirties, Harivansh Rai Bachhans's Madhushala was most exceedingly a hot topic not only for poetry lovers but people in general particularly the youth for the reasons that it had a great romantic note and that it boldly talked about alcohol. After more than seven decades, there is a fatwa issued by certain muslim clergies now with the contention that it talks of alcohol and that it pollutes the mind of youths. Looks like there were no youths in the country all these 73 years nor there were clerics during this period to realise the harm the book is likely to cause. What about Umar Khaiyyam, Mirza Ghalib and several other romantic poets who brazenly wrote on alcohol most suggestively talking of sex. There is hardly any one of them who didn't talk of wasl (sex). Compared to them what Harivansh Rai Bachhan wrote appears to be quite moderate. Urdu poetry is well known for a hecticly suggestive romance and those aptly covering this topic have all along been laudably acclaimed as best poets. Difficult to trace any thing absurd in Madhushala and whatever is there is just on a popular love note and that too in a chaste order. The love theme enunciated in Madhushala revolves  around wine not as a material object but is just symbolic to eternity. The lines Kabhi na til bhar khali hoga, lakh piyen do lakh piyen, Pathak gan hain peene wale pustak meri madhushal are an ample manifestation of serene thoughts lasting eternally. Reference of alcohol is in the same order like 'sharab-e-arghawan', 'jam-e-shabab', 'may-e-angoor' used by several urdu poets and one fails to understand as to why there is so much fuss over what Harivansh Rai Bachhan wrote. Madhushala was a rage amongst the then younger generation and rightfully continues to be so popular even today.
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