dooja wahga-e


Justice Asif Shahkar

It goes without saying that Punjabis have flare for all kind of divisions.They have easily managed to divide  themselves along the lines of  religion, casts, sub casts and  numerous other  factions. As if  one  Wahga of  barbed wire was not enough that they have erected another division, another Wahga  of their language ‘ Punjabi’  and that for sure is more dangerous and deadlier  for Punjabis than that of  actual  barbed wired  Wahga Border. Within the language there is another border of Scripts.  Punjabi is probably the only language which has so many scripts.


is one of the so called script.  As a matter of fact it is not even a script but a simply a word and such a word that can not be found in any dictionary and is known only to handfuls. Majority of Punjabis have no knowledge of this and are totally unfamiliar to this word. It has been coined not long ago and is very recent concoction. There is an interesting story behind this concocted  word and has its roots in  religion and intense loathing  and opposition to India. During the 1965 war between Pakistan and India China gave verbal support to Pakistan and no one really knows how much actual support came from China.  But because of whatever little support China gave, it became an ideal in the eyes of Pakistanis and that had Political implications and repercussions.  Part of Pakistanis not only started idealizing the country but also its political structure and system. Some of them were already members of Pakistani Communist Party. Like they say enemy’s enemy is the best friend similarly   to them India being common enemy  of China and Pakistan a lot of Pakistanis pleased with Chinese support now became Maoists.  After that When Bhutto appeared on the political scene he came up with his version of socialism which he named   ‘Islamic Socialism’ this too was inspired by Chinese Ideology. To be a leader like Mao was Bhutto’s dream he tried to incorporate Chinese political Ideology and culture in his agenda.  After gaining power Bhutto showed true color of Feudal Culture and got rid of this Islamic Socialism.   Lot members of his party who supported Islamic Socialism got disappointed with him and started to look for some other option.  These people got fragmented and scattered into many smaller groups. One of such groups was that of Aziz ul Haq.  This group operated on the basis of Urdu literature.   Their playground or battlefield was ‘  Halqa Arbabe  Zoq’.   Many young Urdu writers and student  political activists  joined this group.  This group was extremely hostile towards India and Russia.   After assassination of Aziz Al Haq this group was disintegrated.   Many other groups met with same plight. Now people of these disintegrated groups had only  two parties to choose from.   One was NAP Bhashani group( which later became Socialist Party Of Pakistan) and second was NAP Major Ishaq Party. The main difference between these two parties was that NAP  Bhashani party was not  So much against India or Russia and sometimes worked in association with NAP Wali Khan group which was pro  India and pro Russia,  where as NAP Major Ishaq group opposed  India  & Russia with vengeance . NAP Wali Khan group was the worst enemy of  NAP Major Ishaq. NAP Major Ishaq group  later changed their name to Mazdoor Kisan Party.

They simply changed their  name. The  Prejudice & hatred  for India and Russia remained  the  same. According to some Research Scholars   NAP  Major  Ishaq group always collaborated   closely with every  anti Indian  Pakistani  Government. One proof  of that is  Its role during  Bangldesh freedom   movement.  It helped  and supported Pakistani Army in killing and massacre  of  millions of Bengalis. Apart from this when Bhutto suppressed & crushed  NAP Wali Khan Group NAP Major Ishaq Group supported Bhutto.   Behind the scene of this group was Shahji  .  This Shahji  had an interesting  and dual aspect to his personality. One he held  an important official post,  he belonged and associated with Elite and eminent section  of people.  Apart from this he belonged to a Peer Family .  Other aspect of his  personality was that  he was a Marxist   On top of It he was Punjabi & English writer.   After 1965 War  youth , newly turned socialists impressed by Chinese support came to join  Mazdoor kisan party Hence came in contact with Shahji.  he Slowly persuaded  them to forsake Urdu   and embrace Punjabi language  When China distanced itself from their version of  Marxism these parties which had affiliation with Chinese Marxism became orphans not knowing where to go or  who to Identify with. Some of them went on to join Communist party pro Russia and others took refuge in arms of rightist Religious parties and many  others came to Shah ji. In this way out of Mazdoor Kisan party Shahji’s group was born. Rather than going and delivering the  message of Socialism to masses they  chose to sit in the four walls of their  homes and sing Sufi music. Secondly  Shahji  would interpret  Classical Punjabi Poetry  in the light of Marxism  & socialism.  After this Shahji with the help of Punjabi  came up with new form of  Marxism , and that was Sufi  Marxism.  Basis of this  and message of Sufi Marxism was that  what Marx ,  Engel , Lenin and Mao introduced and proposed  was not new or unique in any way  & that our Sufis had handed over this message and Philosophy long ago. His another message was of  that of hatred towards India that came from Kisan Mazdoor Party . Sufi poets became  integral part of this party but slowly all the other poets came in its grip including  Waris Shah and  Baba Nanak. To blend Marxism with Religion was not something new or unique in this case. Historical evidence exists that efforts were made to blend  Marxism with  Hinduism , Buddhism  , Christianity and  Islam but when it came to practice they became contrary to Marxism.  The recent example of that  is  Bhuttos’s Islamic Socialism. There  was basic contradiction between Marxism and Sufism and that was that  of Religion.  Marxism and Sufism  are actually at daggers end with each other and totally opposite. Marxism negates both god and religion.  where as Sufis are neither atheists nor  secular but   they are believers. Sufis did  not have any problem with Islam but were against  the interpretation of Islam and  theocracy . Sufis never rejected Islam but gave an alternative form  to it.  Shahji and his supporters do not  agree with this  label  Sufis as atheists and secular and they include Baba Nanak in the same category.  Another major difference between the two is that Marxism believed in   theory of  revolution  and use of force &  arms as its mean to achieve it.  On the other hand violence & use of arms has no place in Sufism.  Shahji’s sect calls Sufis as revolutionaries .  Marxism gives a system where as Sufis  neither do they give any system nor do they accept any system.  Shahi ji’s sect   associates every system with Sufis .   If you tell them that Marx and Engel were not ignorant that they did not know of Sufism if Sufis had socialism of some kind they would have mentioned it not only that In Europe eminent supporters of freedom and social justice Russo and Voltaire  also never mentioned them.  Supporters of Shah ji would not even listen to any thing you say as   in their eyes Shah Ji was right and to doubt or contradict him in any shape or form was a sin. To  them every word of  Shahji  was sacred  and god sent. Like this Shah Ji formed  a separate  group with in kisan Mazdoor  party. With Zia ul Haq came Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan and  he banned leftist parties.  Many Members of these banned parties too came to join Shahji. Where  Fundamental Islam produced   enough Maulvis .  Peer and Babas  came in to being as its by product. Shah ji took advantage of this trend and started to  convert  this political group in to a sect. he started to incorporate number of religious rituals and instead of being a political leader  became self styled Peer. His followers would come and touch his feet.  Just like other religious fundamentalist  sects his group had the same character tics . His attitude towards Punjabi language was prejudicial  as  to him other Punjabi groups were  illiterate, unsophisticated and had gone astray  just like a Religious fundamentalists think of other religious groups. They do no stop here to them only Shah ji and  writers of their sect were the only Punjabi writers and scholars .Others meant nothing to them &  their first target was Amrita Pritam Whom they called ‘ Bitch’.  Unfortunately Jealousy,  envy  & competition is like second nature to Punjabis and to feed this frenzy they find  and keep competitor or shareek close to them and another thing is that when they can not  perform better than the shareek than they will come down to name calling .  The first  fault of Amrita is that the excellence that she achieved was not with in the reach of Shah ji another  reason why Amiita became their target was because of  Shahji’s sect’s trade mark of hatred of India. and Amrita was Indian so to hate and abuse her became their religious agenda and sacred religiouos duty. In reality abusing Amrtia Preetam was equal to abusing and insult  the whole  Punjab, Punjabi nation, Punjabi heritage & Punjabi  history.

This sect  at  no cost  was going to work with any  other group to promote Punjabi unity or Punjabi language due to the fact that followers of this sect are so arrogant that  high school graduate of this group thinks him self no less than Harvard University Scholar. As far as they were concerned  all of them  used  a different and distinct form of  Punjabi. They were using words which no longer  in  use any more  and also started coining & manufacturing  new words and terms. The Word SHSHMUKHI  is also product of this sect .  When it became a sect and then his followers  like Sikhs needed to come for new Script . When they failed to come up with new script  then  His followers like Sikhs  in an effort to raise his stature to that of Gurus removed Guru  from Gurumukhi added Shah . In totality  their role was not to remove borders between Punjabis but to  erect and promote new Wagha borders among Punjabis and Punjabi Nation.


This script came from Persian. Sindhis  made some changes  according to their needs and named it Sindhi. And  Pashtu, Balouchi  Kashmiri and Urdu speaking People did the same.  The script was always called as Punjabi . From Baba Farid to Ustad Daman called this script Punjabi and most of the classical literature of Punjabi was written in this script. some claim it as Urdu script which is historically wrong and erroneous. Punjabi was script came with the Northern  invaders and was spread & made popular among masses by Sufis.  This proved to be a blessing for  Hindustan and its masses.  Before this  Devnagri script was in use which was used for Sanskrit. Sanskrit was  property and monopoly of  Brahmins & it was sin and taboo for common man to even  learn this language and script .  Persian broke this  monopoly of Brahmins  and gave chance to common man to attain knowledge. It will not be wrong to say that  Persian and this script was at the root of Sikh Religion  because Guru Nanak attained education and Knowledge through this language and Script. Besides that  it was used and embraced by other prominent Sikhs leaders. Gurus Gobind Singh ji was an  eminent Persian scholar and delivered his message in this Script too.   Even though  Raja Ranjit  Singh was a Sikh and Punjabi  still  he   adopted Persian language as official language, court language and language of Medium of instruction and education.  Every educated Sikh  knew Persian.  But with the partition  this script started to slowly disappear as only older generation of refugees from  West Punjab  knew how to read this  script . Unfortunately  after partition  this script was abandoned and banished from East Punjab by Sikhs.  As long as the refugees from West Punjab were alive  they continued to read this script but as the time passed with this generation slowly dying  this script now  has  become  non existent  in East Punjab. Besides that those born after partition  did not learn or had no means or desire to learn this script which is oldest and original  script of  Punjabi Language  . Loss of  this script has become a divide between Punjabis on both sides of the border. ‘ A second Wagha’ for  Punjabis of East Punjab.


On the  other side  of  Wagha  this Script is used in a big way , and has played an Important role in the progress and promotion of Punjabi language. But this script and this script  has been attached to Sikh religion became a sacred script and can no be  criticized .  No language or  script  or script is religious. Once it  gets attached to a religion Its progress and growth  is hindered and dwarfed.  Due to the fact that  this script and this  language was attached to  Sikh Religion it has become limited to Sikhs only. Large number of Punjabis have no knowledge of this script. In Pakistan  there is no facility to learn this script and it is quiet a task if you want learn it on your own.  Personally  I came across this script in Lahore when I saw a friend Ahmed Saleem  who knew the script and  would often be carrying these books with him.

All we could do was look at these books and  wished  we could read them too.  Once during one of my visit to my Village wedding preparations for a boy’s marriage were in progress his father requested me to hand write  invitation cards in Urdu as my hand writing was beautiful.  After I wrote those cards  they were hand delivered and each  recipient had signed for it. I had to read those names for  groom’s father.   To my amazement one person had signed for it in Gurumukhi. I slowly located this person and went to meet him and told him of my desire to learn  Gurmukhi from him.  He readily said’ Shahji that is no problem but you have to accept me as your Ustaad or  Guru’ I said there was not problem at all. He gave a long list of things like a Turban, sweets , money and what not. On top of it another condition was that   I will obey his every order.  I went to him the very next day with all that he had told me to bring and so began my lessons in Gurmukhi. He seated me on the ground and started to write on the ground with his fingers and I started to follow his every instruction. The next moment he called me and asked me to assist him  in farming in his fields. I started to obey  his every  order.   Being the oldest son of  Land lord  surrounded by fleet of servants, I did not have to lift a finger for anything and then was a college student and student leader, and on top of it was famous writer of Urdu and Punjabi  became virtually   his slave and was working in his fields, taking care of  his cattle doing  menial jobs for him to  and all this to  learn  Gurumukhi.  I did succeed in my mission but how many Punjabis in West Punjab would suffer like this  to learn this script? specially where they are forbidden to learn Punjabi  in this script.  Today among hundreds of  thousands of Punjabis living in West Punjab those who know this script can be counted on fingers. In this respect this script has become another divide and a big Wahga.


To learn this script  is non issue for Punjabis in India because  they have to learn it weather they like it or not.  But it is almost impossible to learn it in West Punjab. The main reason for that is that  in last  sixty plus due to hate mongering for Hindus to express desire to learn or even talk about it is equivalent to being a traitor or an agent of Indian Government. I am reminded of an interesting but sad anecdote .  Father of  one my  acquaintances who was Christian got his name  ‘Titoo’  tattooed  on his arm  in Hindi.  After partition this became his night mare.  His whole life he was scared that if any Pakistani fanatic  Muslim sees it he will be labeled as a spy for Indian Government . This person never wore half sleeve shirt to hide this tattoo on his arm.   This script too is Wahga border

Once a Punjabi takes a Visa and  crosses the border he is able to bulldoze this border  and Punjabi on the other side welcomes him  with open arms and showers him with love & affection.  but  still has to face the border of scripts and  this border can not be torn down  or crossed by any visa.  What lies a ahead in future is unknown and uncertain,  but we are passing through an era of surprises and  unexpected  things do happen every day .  If it comes to tear down barbed Wahga border like Berlin wall  Punjabis will do so in few hours but it  will consume  generations of Punjabis  to tear down this Wahga  border of scripts.


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