Marking the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq
To prove one’s greatness
Is it necessary to shed blood?
To banish the darkness of the house
Is it necessary to set it ablaze?
Bartari ke saboot ki khaatir
KhooN bahaana hi kya zaroori hai?
Ghar ki taareekiyaaN miTaane ko
Ghar jalaana hi kya zaroori hai?
War is the problem
Not the solution to any problem
All it will give is fire and blood today
Hunger and want tomorrow
Jang to khud hi ek masla hai
Jang kya mas’aloN ka hal degi?
Aag aur khoon aaj bakhshegi
Bhook aur ehtiyaaj kal degi
And so noble human
Better to let war simmer out
Better for you and I to light candles
In one another’s courtyards
Isliye ae shareef insaano
Jang taltee rahe to behtar hai
Aap aur ham sabhi ke aangan mein
Shamah jalti rahe to behtar hai.
From “Ae Shareef InshaanoN” (‘O Noble Humans’) by Sahir Ludhianvi, translated by Ali Husain Mir & Raza Mir, cited in “A Celebration of Progressive Urdu Poetry: Anthems of Resistance” (Roli Books, New Delhi: 2006), at p. 161, edited by Randeep Purewall