The poetry is the genre of literature in which many test themselves, but few sustain. Literature is source of amusement but it is not its target. This is the reason, poetry is called philosophy and each great poet is treated as a philosopher. Romance is key element the poetry has but there are other parts of life it deals with. Some poets prefer social events over romance; therefore they are known masses poets rather romantic. Habib Jalib, who always picked up poetic pen to address injustice, inequality, torture, and suffering his people had, is a great such name in literature. He never surrendered to his commitment.
He did not compensate with dictatorship Pakistan saw on the hands of military generals, his composed verses against Ayub Khan and Yahya mesmerized listeners. He was put behind bars many times for his fight for truth and rights of ordinary people. The rulers could not stop him to pen revolutionary songs even in prisons. He is said to have penned poems on the walls of the cell he was in to tell rulers that they can not control voice of a creative mind.
For the betterment of people, he supported democracy and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, but he resisted him when he betrayed democracy and withdrew democratic values. Habib Jalib proved what Hemingway said in his prominent novel, “Old man and Sea,” man can be destroyed but can not be defeated. His health deteriorated and he remained poor for ever, but lived life like undefeated man.
Bread one needs food to energize him, he was not immune. To earn bread he wrote songs for films. His films which became popular are: Maa, Bahu Beta, Tamasha Meri Ruswai Ka, Na Shaakh Raha, Baqi Na Aashiyana He, Ab Aur Preshan Dil Nashad Na Karna, Ghoonghat, Zakhmi and Zarqa. The song shook film industry world was, “ Raks Zanjeer Pahn Ker Bhi Kaya Jata He” sung by renown Ghazal singer Mahdi Hasan for Zarqa film. This song earned him Nagaar Award.
Romance and poet are coincident, poet begins his career with romantic poems, so did Habib Jali. His first collection published in 1956 with the title, “Burg-e- Awara’. All verses revolve around lover’s pain and suffering for the beloved and magical beauty, and fragrance the beloved has.
His three works, “Zikr Bahte Khun Ka, Gambd Be Dar, and Sur Maktal” were censored by then governments. Despite of animosity he had groomed on the part of rulers, he was rewarded great awards like Nishan-e-Imtiaz and Nishan-e- Hilal in 1996 and 2009 respectively.
The most loved poet breathed his last in 23rd March, 1993, today he is remembered 17th time by his lovers. But meantime channels have aired a story that Habib Jalib’s life partner is fighting with illness and she is deprived of the money President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister have announced for her.
Habib Jalib was born in a Punjabi family at Hoshiarpur district in 1928. His name was Habib Ahmed and Jalib was his pen name. His childhood passed in the streets of India’s capital city, New Delhi. He was student of matriculation, when Pakistan and India surfaced on the map of the world. His father Sufi Inayatullah left India and settled in Karachi. Later on, Habib Jalib shifted to Lahore. It is said that his father was also Punjabi poet.