Celebrating pakistani poets in schools

Celebrating pakistani poets in schools

Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua Ban Ke Tamanna Meri

Zindagi Sham’a Ki Surat Ho Khudaya Meri

This poem has been celebrated for years in Pakistan. Schools have played these verses countless times in the morning assemblies; yet, they’ve failed to embed the message of these verses in students’ life. The prayer in these verses has failed to find its way into our ways. The promise students had made to themselves of becoming a sparkling light whose sparkle would remove the darkness of the world, and of becoming the pride of a nation whose presence would be like a presence of flower in a garden remained nothing but an unfulfilled fantasy.

Certainly, the true spirit behind this poem has been lost somewhere. What the poets of Pakistan expected from this country has lost its real track. Our wire is being plugged into the wrong socket; therefore, we are unable to find our way through education. Our system of education is still influenced by Lord Macaulay who wanted to make us caged in slavery. We each year celebrate the Iqbal day for enjoyment. Students memorize a few poems and speeches to deliver at the school event. They participate in quizzes to answer questions like the birth date of Iqbal, the education of Iqbal, and the names of the books of Iqbal. Is this the sparkling light Iqbal wanted from his Shaheen? Weren’t we supposed to understand the essence of Iqbal’s poetry instead of memorizing it for an event?

Hence, Iqbal is the one who gives sense to the insensible. His poetry is like a flower blooming in the infertile desert. It is the light for the blind to see in the darkness and seek wisdom. Our teachers were meant to evoke such feelings and emotions in the students through the poetry of Iqbal. They should have made Iqbal’s poetry a tool to uplift society. Iqbal’s Asraar-e-Khudi should have been taught in the schools to enlighten the ideas of the students, to guide students to the path of self-actualization, and to spread the themes of love, truth, justice, freedom, and brotherhood among the students. That’s how the students could have rightly said that:

Elevate yourself to such heights that before every decree, 

God himself may ask his slave, 

“Tell! What doeth thou will?”

Though, Iqbal wanted the students to be “Mard-e-Momin”; the one who is not concerned about the world and its glamour; but the one who searches for higher values. Our education system should’ve not produced the literate uneducated but the literate educated, who have a heart with feeling and a life with emotions. Thus, Iqbal says that;

Seek from God also a Seeing Heart,

Eye Vision is not Always Heartful

We therefore should move forward from the tradition of reciting poetries in School functions; rather, we should teach students to apply the knowledge, construct the knowledge, and then evaluate the constructed knowledge through poetry. We work a lot on the logical brain of the students; we teach them all the calculations, physic, and math. But, if we consider diving deep down into reality, we could see that the world’s leading professionals work on the imaginative side of the brain. They use the imaginative brain for creation and innovation. Therefore, we should also move ahead of the culture of rote memorization of facts and ideas, instead; we should start experiencing the real world of Iqbal’s poetry. And, the seeds of nobility that Iqbal plants in the heart of others through his poetry. Iqbal teaches the true concept of life, the message of struggle, the greatness of knowledge, the knowledge of God, the love of the Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him), the right to leadership and freedom, the establishment of self-confidence, the competition with the inner self, and the domination of Islam through his poetry. All of Iqbal’s words should be given the right importance if we want to achieve something as a country. If we want to give back to our country, more scientists, more writers, and more philosophers, we must read Iqbal.

Thus, the words of Iqbal should be celebrated; these words should not only be repeated by tongue but; should become the practical reality of a student’s life. Iqbal’s message behind his famous Asrar-i-Khudi, Bang-e-Dara, and Zarb-e-Kaleem should be practiced and applied. When Iqbal’s poetry will be taught in its true manner it will likely develop the qualities of courage, tolerance, superiority, creativity, originality, free will, resourcefulness, dominance, self-control, self-confidence, and patriotism in the students. It will surely make the students succeed, grow, and develop. Thus, Hakeem-ul-Ummat Allama Muhammad Iqbal rightly said,

The Mysteries Which Schools Hid from You;

Try to Find Them in the Solitude of Hills and Desserts

The writer is the prospective teacher in the Teacher Education Department of the University of Karachi