“Faiz doesn’t need Passport Anywhere in South Asia”: Jyoti Babu

Modi government has yet again brought shame for the entire Country. Moneeza Hashmi, the daughter of renowned Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz and an internationally renowned media personality, travelled to Delhi to attend a media summit organized by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) based in Kuala Lumpur. She had been officially invited and had a multiple entry visa to India. However, on the evening of the conference she was told that her registration had been cancelled and so had been her hotel reservation. She was deported back to Pakistan few days later.

Moneeza sent this moving text to one of her friends:

faiz 1

Ali Hashmi, Moneeza’s son had this angry message for the PMO and Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs of our Country:


While the Modi government has shunned even the basic virtues of hospitability and decency, it will be worthwhile to remember the decade of 70s when Faiz was visiting Bangladesh and on the way back to Pakistan he boarded off in the then Calcutta. Faiz didn’t had the visa for India and he wanted to see Calcutta. The officer at the airport called the CM Jyoti Basu asking for the directions.


Jyoti Babu instructed the officer to take care of Faiz for 5 minutes and ensure that he doesn’t at all feel uncomfortable. The CM was at the airport within minutes, the formalities declaring Faiz as personal guest of the CM were done and the things were settled. Jyoti Babu remarked famously at this juncture that: “Faiz Ahmad Faiz doesn’t need passport to go anywhere in south Asia. His face is his passport”.

See this video, where the famous poet Gulzar narrates this interesting incident:


Why did Jyoti Basu say so? This was because he knew what Faiz Ahmad Faiz represented. Faiz represented the pain, hope and desires of the millions of people of South Asia who were torn apart by forces of religious fundamentalism again and again.

Socialist India reproduces portions of  Faiz’s poem ‘Subh-e azadi (Dawn of Independence)’ which expresses these pain, hopes and desires like nothing else can:

Ye daagh ujala, ye shab gazeeda seher

Wo intezaar tha jiska ye wo seher tau nahi

Ye wo seher tau nahin, jis ki arzu le kar

Chaley thay yaar ke mil jaye gi kahin na kahin

Falak ke dasht mein taaron ki aakhri manzil

Kahin tau hoga shab-e sust mauj ka saahil

Kahin tau ja ke rukay ga safeena-e gham-e dil.


This stained light, this night-bitten dawn;

This is not that long-awaited day break;

This is not the dawn in whose longing,

We set out believing we would find, somewhere,

In heaven’s wide void,

The stars’ final resting place;

Somewhere the shore of night’s slow-washing tide;

Somewhere, an anchor for the ship of heartache.


Abhi giraani-e shab mein kami nahin aai

Nijaat deeda o dil ki ghadi nahin aai

Chaley chalo ke wo manzil abhi nahin aai.


Night’s heaviness is unlessened;

The hour of the heart and spirit’s deliverance has not yet arrived;

Let us go on, that goal has not yet arrived.


Today, when religious fundamentalism continues to create havoc and tear apart lives across South Asia, Faiz’s poetry will be boldly written over the banners in the hands of those who are bravely fighting the barbarians. Need we say anything why Faiz’s daughter was deported back?

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