Few writers have garnered as much praise and adoration as Baloch poet Mubarak Qazi. He was regarded as a national hero long before his passing, firmly establishing himself in Balochi literature as a true reflection of the Baloch world’s spirit and character.

Born in 1955 in the coastal city of Pasni, he emerged as a voice that transcended mere verses. Qazi’s poetry, marked by its unabashed love for Balochistan and graceful lyricism, held a special place in the hearts of those enduring the trials of colonization.

From his student days onward, he began composing poetry in Balochi, and his verses were melodiously sung by renowned singers on radio and TV programs. While much of his poetry delved into themes of war, revolution, love for Balochistan, and the resilience of its people, it also beautifully explored themes of Sufism, love, and nature—all infused with the vibrant colors of his homeland and its people.

Qazi’s contribution to Balochi poetry is truly remarkable. He authored 10 anthologies of poems, beginning with his debut collection “Zarnawisht” published in 1990 and culminating with “Gissa Watar Kanag Lota,” his final work. Notably, one of his poetry books, “Murg pa Kodoh an Raptaga,” released in March 2014, holds a unique distinction in Balochi literature as it saw a second edition published within just two or three weeks in April 2014, also, all of his other books were best selling.

Throughout all his poetry books, Qazi gained fame and recognition for his revolutionary perspective, portraying the authentic lives of his people and their homeland. His pen vividly depicted the lives of fishermen, farmers, shepherds, and all those who inhabited his land. His deep connection with his homeland and its people was evident, as he never detached his writing from their stories. He even celebrated the birds native to his land and paid homage to the ancient birds that once thrived in Balochistan but have since disappeared. Qazi’s verses celebrated every facet of his beloved land.

Mubarak Qazi, a name that resonates not only with poetry but also with revolution. In the annals of contemporary poetry, he emerged as a poet whose words carried a profound purpose—a purpose that echoed the feelings of the marginalized, the silenced, and the oppressed. As he penned the lines, “Wate jend e gulzameen e sara cho daramad an Kassa e gham na enth ke ma chincho kiyamat an,” Qazi set a tone of displacement in a desolate land, portraying how the colonized felt alienated and displaced, with no one paying heed to their suffering.

This poet of revolution is most renowned for his impactful and revolutionary poems that employ bold metaphors, resonant language, vivid imagery, and compelling speech rhythms. Through the use of lyricism and dramatic monologue, he delved into intense subject matter, as evident in one of his poems where he created an intense and dramatic atmosphere: “Gulzameen Zoraka’ Sar Da Sar wati Kortag Man Habka O’ Heran Mahe Huda Kuja Gary.” Here, he poignantly addresses the complete capture of the motherland by powerful tyrants (colonizers). He reflects on how these tyrants now wield authority over Balochistan, their tyranny and brutality so potent that he questions the silence of God in the face of Baloch suffering, and the tyrants’ disregard for divine consequences.

Mubarak Qazi’s poetry indeed serves as a profound reflection of his ideological convictions. It’s important to acknowledge that his poetry goes beyond being a mere artistic creation; it’s a manifestation of his deeply held beliefs. It stands as a testament to the inseparable link between art and ideology, where words become the vehicles of change, and poets like Qazi emerge as champions of revolution.

In one of his poems, he eloquently states, “Watan ke nest ent tan ech namani Watan ke ast ent mn zindag an, zindag an nameeran,” emphasizing the centrality of one’s national existence to the land. His clear stance is that a nation with free and sovereign land will endure forever, for land represents dignity. Conversely, a nation that loses its land ceases to exist. This perspective is further elucidated in another poem,

“Sui be Aaram ent, Gwadar be chaad ent, Pa tao pedak ent Ranjaani Aar Baloch” convey a poignant message. Sui, known as the hub of Balochistan’s natural resources, and Gwadar, with its deep blue sea, are symbols of great significance for the Baloch people. These lines reflect the concern that these vital places may suffer from exploitative projects or activities, which would undoubtedly affect the land and the people who hold these locations dear. Mubarak Qazi’s poetry has the power to capture and convey the deep emotions and anxieties of the Baloch people in the face of potential exploitation.

The revolutionary poet’s commitment to his ideals is evident in the fact that he faced 8 months of imprisonment in Turbat jail for one of his poems. This particular poem, “Atkaga girany Nobat o Jang’ani Bahar Dem pa ma Kooh ‘aan Raptaga Mally Sarmachar,” vividly explores the themes of war and the courageous young men who are poised to fight it.

In another poem he writes that “Chaar Rochy Charpy Chaaneega Nabajentag ey Dil
Zendagi Huqqa Pehl kan K man dge Raah ey shota”. He resolutely declares his disinterest in worldly charms and luxuries, choosing instead a different path in life, one guided by his convictions.

The revolutionary poet, Mubarak Qazi, left a profound impact on Balochi literature and the hearts of his people. His passing on 16th September 2023 marked the end of an era, but his legacy lives on through his enduring contributions. From his early days to his last, he dedicated himself to Balochi literature and served his land, highlighting the inseparable connection between art, history, and politics.

Mubarak Qazi’s perspective on his own contributions remains a striking aspect of his character. Despite his substantial impact on Balochi literature, the widespread use of his poetry in Balochi music, and the personal sacrifices he made, he maintains a profound humility. In his words, “Ey Aadaal che zaahm e madatag pa raaj o’ labzank aa Ey Qazi k Chatay Dewanagy Behaal knagi ent,” he expresses that he has done little for his nation and literature, viewing himself almost as a form of madness. He anticipates being forgotten and that again proves that

Chushay Qazi ey k Mubarak ent
Pda Mushkil ent K wadi bebith

The poet of revolution, Mubarak Qazi, is irreplaceable and immortal in the world of literature. His works, like all great literature, possess timeless significance, preserving the essence of his era. Though he is no longer physically with us, his words will live on vibrantly, just as they did during his lifetime. His literary contributions will forever be celebrated by the Baloch Nation, for literature never truly buries its creators.

His passing was deeply mourned by his people, with thousands joining his funeral and commemorating his legacy through walks and candlelit vigils. Mubarak Qazi’s influence and spirit will continue to inspire generations to come, ensuring that his poetic voice remains alive in the hearts of those he touched.

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The writer is a student of English Literature at university of Karachi and works as the Secretary General of Lyari Literary Forum LLF. She has co-authored four anthologies and can be reached at Instagram @hazaran_writes