Shaikh Ayaz, a poet of his people

By: Ali Palh

Some people die while still living. Mubarak Ali Shaikh, who is widely known as Shaikh Ayaz, the greatest Sindhi poet of the 20th century, NEVER died. He still lives in people’s memories, hearts, and souls through his poetry. Shaikh Ayaz was born on March 2, 1923, in a beautiful city of Sindh province called Shikarpur. Today is his 88th birthday is being celebrated with love, respect, and enthusiasm, both within Sindh and other parts of the world where people love this poet.

Great Sindhi Poet-Shaikh Ayaz
By profession, he was a lawyer but by heart a poet. He also served as a Vice-Chancellor of Sindh University, Jamshoro. This great Sindhi poet’s motivational, inspirational and revolutionary poetry gave people of Sindh awareness, and courage and rekindled their love for their motherland (Sindh). Shaikh Ayaz’s poetry is recognized both within and outside Pakistan.

Shaikh Ayaz’s literary career spanned almost six decades during which he covered a wide range of poetry and prose ranging from the traditional bait, waiee , Azad Nazam” and ghazal. Shaikh Ayaz also wrote in newspapers on people’s rights and miseries. Shaikh Ayaz, as said above, never died, taking rest at Bhit Shah near another great Sindhi mystic poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai.Not only Sindh but he did compose his poetry in Urdu and two of his anthologies, “Booye Gul, Nala-i-dil” and “Neel Kanth Aur Neem Ke Pate” were highly acclaimed.

Through his revolutionary poetry, Ayaz voiced the miseries of people of Sindh. The way he portrayed their sufferings, no political leader can ever do. His poetry was earth quake for Pakistani dictatorial regimes of Ayub and Zia. I was not born at that time but history witnesses, everyone knows, how Shaikh Ayaz through his poetry did battle against the military dictatorship of General Ayoob Khan. During the anti-One Unit campaign one of his poems “Sindhri taan sir ker na deendo, sanhando ker mayar (Is there anybody who will not sacrifice his head for Sindh, and be ashamed of it)”. Shaikh Ayaz’s poetry gave people progressive and revolutionary thinking.

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