A Communist, Marxist And Much Democratic Faiz Ahmed Faiz

by Ali Asad

Take A Quick Look At: Glimpse On The Life Of Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Of being one of the most influential and gifted intellectual poet of the 20th century, Faiz Ahmed Faiz was the one who didn’t stood in the line as the tradition of Urdu poetry and poets. Brought up in the shadow of the Russian Revolution and nurtured on the populist notions of the French Revolution, Faiz Ahmed Faiz felt drawn to Marxism because of the dissatisfaction with the sociopolitical structure of the times, the oppressiveness of the British rule and a strong sense of the need for change.

Faiz the Communist

Faiz Ahmed Faiz though never remained a core hearted communist and not a leftist by all means. As a young lecturer at MAO College in 1935 in Amritsar he acquainted with two writers, both astound communists, Dr Rasheed Jahan and her husband Mahmooduz Zafar. In their sittings and those of other like-minded people he became all the more conscious of the plight of farmers and workers alike of suppressed class. He stood in the line of Karl Marx.

Faiz was also active in the trade union movement. In 1951, when the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation was formed he became its general secretary. He also became the vice president of the Trade Union Congress, the labour wing of the Communist Party of Pakistan.

The president of the organization; Mirza Ibrahim, who was a high ranking office bearer of the All India Trade Union Congress, was also part of the old guard. In 1949 Faiz led Pakistan’s delegation to the annual conference of the International Labour Organisation at Geneva.

Rawalpindi Conspiracy (1951): The Failed Coup-Makers

Rawalpindi Conspiracy case was an attempted coup d’état against the government of Liaquat Ali Khan who the first Prime Minister of country. Major General Akbar Khan who was serving the country as Brigadier at that time called together a meeting at his place in Rawalpindi on 23rd February 1951. It was attended by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Syed Sajjad Zaheer, and Muhmmad Hussain Ata.

According to the planned coup d’etat offered by Khan, both Governor General and Prime Minister were to be arrested; the Governor General was to be forced to suspend the Prime Minister and his government. And after the dismissal of the government, Khan was to form the new government which was to organize general elections in the country.

Rawalpindi Conspiracy meeting attended by faiz ahmed faiz
L to R)Major General Akbar Khan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Zafar Ullah Poshni, M Hussain Ata
Source: Historypak.com

The new government was to allow the communist party to take part in the political process and as a return, the party was to welcome and provide support to the new government. The Daily under the editorship of Faiz, was to provide the editorial support to the new government.

But one of Khan’s confidants, Ali, reported the whole plan to the IG Police who, through the Governor of NWFP, brought the plan to the knowledge of the PM. As a Consequence, Khan, Begum Nasim, Faiz and Zaheer were arrested.

Alliance of Army officers and Communist leaders

The most surprising point of the Rawalpindi Conspiracy case was the alliance between the communist party leaders and the army officers, as both sectors of the society obsessed different approaches towards the society and its functioning and progression.

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