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India and the Cold War$
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Manu Bhagavan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651163

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651163.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Faiz, Love, and the Fellowship of the Oppressed

Faiz, Love, and the Fellowship of the Oppressed

(p.57) Chapter Three Faiz, Love, and the Fellowship of the Oppressed
India and the Cold War

Syed Akbar Hyder

University of North Carolina Press

Faiz Ahmed Faiz was one of modern South Asia’s most renowned poets, his work a favorite not only of first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, but of millions. Over the course of his later life, he had to navigate the complex realities of partition, a condition that refracted the larger bi-polar Cold War world in which he found himself. He raised his voice against illegal occupations, confronted religious charlatans, and protested the rule of military dictators. He was incarcerated in Pakistan, the country he embraced, while simultaneously impacting popular culture in neighboring India. He received the Soviet Union’s highest literary award even as he was once denied a visa to the United States. Through all of this, Faiz spoke of ways in which to rise from the parochial human to the universal being. This essay will focus on the modes of Faiz’s discourse that connect his present with liberatory moments of the past; in turn, this connects his personal struggle with those of everyday people, humanity writ large. The paper will draw from discourses of world citizenship that are embedded in Islamic mysticism (Sufism) to show how these discourses helped frame Faiz’s outlook and his critique of a world defined by negating opposites.

Keywords:   Faiz, Poet, poetry, Partition, Cold War, India, Pakistan, Sufism, Islamic mysticism, critique

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