The tenor and message of both poems are different, reflecting the situation in both India and Pakistan at the time. The events of 1971 brought a second round of fame to Jaun Elia’s life. The tragic disaster of the separation of East Pakistan occurred on 16 December 1971. On that night, wet with tears, Urdu poet Obaidullah Aleem had Jaun write a poem forPakistan Television (PTV), the state channel. The title of the poem wasIstifsaar(Inquisition). Its opening verse was:
Kya is qadar haqeer tha is qaum ka vaqaar
Har shehr tum se pooch raha hai, javaab do!
(Was the dignity of this nation so insignificant
Answer, every city is asking you, adamant!)
Here is my original English translation of Jaun’s poem:
Was the dignity of this nation so insignificant
Answer, every city is asking you, adamant!
What is the reason that in the wilderness of time
You give us a mirage by increasing the feeling of thirst
We were made careless by showing us dreams
Why are you silent? Now give us the interpretation of dreams
What was not expended in the garden, went in vain
The blood of the eyewitnesses who fulfilled the promise, explain.
The respect of the nation was dishonoured
The courageous people were dishonoured
Dishonoured was the colour of that morning and night
Which was to receive tribute upon this earth from the evening twilight
Dishonoured was that order, that system
With which the ranks of our courage were clad in iron
Dishonoured was that grandeur of the gait
Upon which the belief in the greatness of the destination was proud
Dishonoured was that eternal grandeur
Before which history remained prostrate
O, conquerors! The crusade was insulted
O, poets! The verses were dishonoured
Dishonoured were the names of the famous
Who were writing the history of the season of colour.
The self-respecting settlements ask time
The one who has deceived us, who is he?
Who has undignified the wounds of the nation
Who is the cause of our humiliation?
Who said that we have lost our courage
We sing the war-songs of our spirits even today
We do not accept the defeat of the fervour of life
We are the sentinels of the fervour of life even today
We, who were bloodied for the sake of good
Even today we are the title of the tablet of livelihood
We have suffered wounds, carried scars
We are the illustrious colours of spring even today.
Invincible are the people of this nation
Treat the people of this nation with adoration
Even today this nation is exalted and victorious
Acknowledge the glory of the nation.
We have not accepted a wrong retreat
We have always defeated, defeat.’
This poem touched the hearts of the people and gave voice to their feelings.PTVwas the most popular and eminent means of communication. Jaun’s fame began to spread wave after wave in the vast sea of the people, freeing itself from the circle of the elite.