Folk Literature

The world is so unmindful

Despite the long process of evolution and development, man either follows the inherited ideas or the populist discourse. It has barred human intellectual growth and development in its proper direction.

Kabir Bhagat ignites the analytical or awakened thought among people. He takes human thought towards humanity. His modus operandi is very simple and takes examples from daily life of the time and advances his thesis effectively.

By Noor Ahmed Janjhi

Every saint or sinner has seen world from his own perspective. Majority of people have remained in a state of being unmindful and following the whistle of populist discourse. It has been continuing since centuries. Most of the people remain under the influence of the populist narrative without considering its all aspects and far reaching impacts. That is why it is said that the mob has no logic and it works as headless genii.

Bhagat-Kabir-DasKabir Bhagat, a renowned poet and great thinker of the subcontinent, has reflected on the populist discourse in his poetry. His poetry offers a neutral and pro-humanism thesis taking human beings towards intellectual evolution and development irrespective of caste, creed, color, faith or any other discrimination. He takes human thought towards humanity. His modus operandi is very simple. He takes examples from daily life of the time and advances his thesis effectively.

Focusing on populist narrative and practices, Kabir offers a different thought. He says that people are very misunderstood in developing their point of views. They say non- colorful to a colorful thing and declare loss to the gainful thing. He narrates it with a very simple example of the colorful orange and enriched milk in form of milk cakes:

رنگي کو نارنگي کهين ، بني دودهه کا کهويا

چلتي کو گاڙي کهين ، ديکهه کبيرا رويا

Kabir laments on the situation of world that how people behave with things and develop senseless concepts and theses. They not only develop such things but inherit these misunderstood prescriptions from their predecessors and do not bother to analyze or evaluate things minutely. He says in the above cited couplet such blind behavior of the people. People call the orange with the name of ‘non-colored’ or narangi. However, the orange is very much colored and attractive. Similarly, people attribute the saturated milk as ‘lost one’ by naming it ‘khoya’. If an orange is non-colored and the saturated milk is a lost thing, then what will be about such other things? People don’t think it over as they have inherited the concepts attributed with the names. It is a clear crystal example of deviation and blind following. It deprives of people their analytical faculties of thinking. Gari is said to a vehicle and the word ‘gari’ means a posted or stationed thing. If a running thing is called a stationed one, then what will be about the running things? These un-mindful narratives of world make Kabir moving and he laments on it.

Bhagat-kabir_stamp
A memorial stamp issued in India to pay homage to Mystic poet Bhagat Kabir

In another such couplet, Kabir says about the deviations by world. He says the world seems very much deviated and moves in misunderstood directions. He says:

دنيا کيسي بانوري ، پتهر پوجن جاءِ

گهرکي چکي کوئي نه پوجي جس کا پيسا کاءِ

(How much is world heedless that it revers the stones. None revers to the home grinding stones, which produce flour to eat)

It is a very simple example from daily life. It was a domestic practice to grind flour with the two stones called chaki. Now the practice has been replaced with mechanized flour mills. The flour has been and is very essential item of food supplies. It is very necessary for life as sustenance. Kabir focuses on the concept of sustenance and mentions ‘chaki’ and ‘stones’ in this regard. People utilize two stones as chaki to produce the flour. They also make idols from the stone and worship those idols. He compares both the human presentations in the light of production. He calls people deviated as they worship idols made of stones producing nothing. On the other hand chaki produces the flour but people don’t worship it. It is an un-mindful state of human being. They follow things blindly.

Kabir ignites the analytical or awakened thought among people. They should ponder on the things and their behavior towards different things. It is human behavior that makes the mess and disturbance. Despite the long process of evolution and development, man either follows the inherited ideas or the populist discourse. It has barred human intellectual growth and development in its proper direction.

All the reform practices have been aimed at to take the right path. However, people pay less heed to it and follow the cliché ridden inherited concepts or follow the populist discourse. In this so called age of information and technology, people face the threat of the influence of the populist discourse greatly. The age of information and technology benefits mostly haves and have-nots lag behind or get things by default. The populist discourse is a very strong input as it is funded and supported by the market. It makes people laugh, weep and dance. People do follow the things as they are being given. They do it all without any analysis or tinge of second thought.

Bhagat-Kabir-2In this cutting edge competition and market pressure, the message of Kabir seems very pertinent. He draws attention of the masses towards right thinking, right path and right doings. People are not a rudderless ship to wander into the sea on the push and pull of waves. People are bestowed with the reason and faculty of choice. They can think and analyze the things and the concepts. It will enable them to set a right direction for them. People have a great and good legacy of learning. They can follow it to avoid the repetition of the sins of omission and commission. Human thinking is a developing process generating new ideas day in and day out. Nature has enabled human being to survive in all the situations. However, it is for human being to live a real human life full of love, security and peace. World can come out of the troubled water of the populist discourse initiated by market through media. Man should lead whole the development process, initiated and executed by him as a real human being rather than an ambitious, profit oriented puppet playing in the hands of market trends.

Noor Ahmed Janjhi

Noor Ahmed Janjhi is a senior educationist based in Desert District Tharparkar Sindh. He is author of several books in Sindhi and English language on folk literature including two poetry books.
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