Nationalism : Political ideas of Mahjoor by Prof. Ms Tasneem Bakhshi | Part 7

Nationalism in Mahjoor

In order to trace nationalistic trends in Mahjoor, it is important at the outset to list briefly four to five factors, which were mainly responsible for strengthening such trends in his poetry. The first and important factor in this regard was the period in which Mahjoor was born. The strong tide of ‘nationalism’ that swept the Europe in the Eighteenth Century engulfed most of the Eastern and Western nations alike by the close of the Nineteenth Century. Mahjoor was born this in twilight of politically awakening East in the year 1887. Kashmir did not witness the upsurge of such forces up to the early twilight of witness the upsurge of such forces up to the early Twentieth century in the true sense of the term.

However, in 1931 Kashmir saw a remarkable resurgence of nationalism which P.N. Bazaz calls unprecedented, elemental upheaval that brought Dogra Raj to a realisation of stark reality. One of the most striking of those wide-range of new political forces was the growth of nationalism. In it was seen an answer to the challenges posed by the decaying political system. The forces of democracy in the state were directed against the political absolution and arbitration of Dogra rule, against institutionalised political inequality and entrenched economic privileges. Such a temperament as Mahjoor’s could not have found a more stimulating environment than this.

None is born an ardent nationalist. It was a period of overall political awakening to which Mahjoor contributed by further such an awakening to which Mahjoor contributed by further such an awakening. Nevertheless, this was not a little contribution.

Coupled and closely associated with the first, a second factor was the political and social atmosphere of Kashmir. A vast class distinction between alien lords and native population absolute illiteracy of the masses, low economic conditions, were the salient facts of the situation.

Such deplorable conditions of the Motherland must have been in great degree odious to a sensitive and thought Mahjoor. Here his essential contribution lies in revolting against the prevalent conditions by inducting the theme of work-man in his poetry and in urging countrymen to overthrow the Yoke of slavery, of oppression, rampant in their land.

to be continued…