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The Painful Wail


This is the first poem in Bang-i-Dara representing ‘Allamah Iqbal's nationalistic sentiments. He laments lack of amity between the Muslims and Hindus, which were the two major nations in the Indian sub-continent. His pain was aggravated by the fact that this lack of amity was delaying the independence of India from Britain. Several poems on this subject will follow. These poems have created misunderstanding about the political ideology of ‘Allamah Iqbal. Opinion has been expressed by some responsible persons that he was initially an Indian nationalist and was only swept away by the "separatist ideology of the Muslim League" into what the Indian Hindus call "communalism". This opinion betrays complete ignorance of the works and thought of ‘Allamah Iqbal as well as the basics of Islam. See Chapter 3 under "Political Ideology" for a discussion of this subject.
It is explained therein that ‘Allamah Iqbal loved India and its natural beauty and had respect for its heroes and heroines
1. He wanted to establish Hindu-Muslim amity to hasten India's independence from Britain. However, his political ideology was not the Western style democratic system but pan-Islamism.

Consumed with grief I am, I get relief in no way
O circumambient waters of the Ganges drown me

Our land foments excessive mutual enmity
What unity ! Our closeness harbors separation

Enmity instead of sincerity is outrageous
Enmity among the same barn’s grains is outrageous

If the brotherly breeze has not entered in a garden
No pleasure can be derived from songs in that garden

Though I exceedingly love the real closeness
I am upset by the mixing of waves and the shore

The miraculous poet is like the grain from the barn
The grain has no existence if there is no barn

How can beauty unveil itself if no one is anxious for sight
Lighting of the candle is meaningless if there is no assembly

Why does the taste for speech not change to silence
Why does this brilliance not appear out from my mirror

Alas! My tongue poured its speech down
When war’s fire had burnt the garden down

Explanatory Note:
1. The metaphor of "shore" and "waves" are used here for an enclosed area like a country and an expanding ideology , like Islam , respectively. In this verse Iqbal exhibits his perturbation for Islam being restricted with in the space of a country .

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