ACROSS THE BORDER : Pak-based Foundation remembers Punjabi poet Ustad Daman who decried partition
"Barbad ehna azadian ton, hoye tusi vi ho, hoye asin vi haan"
Ferozepur/Lahore, December 2, 2023: Pakistan-based Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation, Chairman Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi appealed to the present government to construct a memorial in memory of Punjabi poet Ustad Daman, who decried partition.
Qureshi is promoting Shaheed Bhagat Singh's sacrifice among the people in Lahore and fighting in the court of law to prove his innocence as his name did not appear in the FIR based on which he was sentenced along with Rajguru and Sukhdev.
His real name was Chiragh Deen. He was a staunch supporter of Hindu-Muslim-Sikh unity. Pandit Nehru called him the ‘Poet of Freedom’. He was the most celebrated Punjabi poet at the time of the Partition of India in 1947.
Daman’s father was a Muslim tailor and mother a washerwoman, and he was originally named as Chiragh Din. He managed to complete his matriculation, but could not get the job of a clerk he wanted. He went through life wearing, as he said, the ‘crown of poetry’ on his head and not “bowing before anyone”.
He recited poems at the Congress gatherings in the gardens and streets of Lahore during the 1920s. Satire was his forte.
Jawaharlal Nehru famously gave Daman the title of ‘Poet of Freedom’ when he recited a poem at a public gathering in 1930 wherein the towering Congress leader was present. The friendship between the two lasted long.
After visiting the grave of Daman, he said that people like Ustad Daman were born after centuries. He left us around 39 years back but no ‘Makbra’ – Memorial has been constructed. He was born on September 3, 1911, and on December 3, 1984, he left for Heavenly Above. He was a Punjabi poet from both the countries – India and Pakistan. My father used to visit him when he was admitted to the hospital.
At the time of partition of India and Pakistan, Daman wrote – “Barbad ehna azadian ton hoye tusi vi ho, hoye asin vi haan/ Akhan di laali payi dassdi hai, roye tusi vi ho, roye asin vi haan”. During his visit once to India, after the partition, he recited a poem at a public gathering in 1930 wherein the towering Congress leader was present - “Akhan diyan laliyan payean das diyan ne, roye tusi vi o, roye asin vi aa, moye tusi vi o, moye asi vi aa”.
Qureshi appealed to the present government to release a postage stamp and coin in memory of Ustad Daman besides making his life history a part of the syllabus in schools and colleges so that the coming generation should know about his feelings in words.