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      /  Language   /  The Melodious Poetry of the Baluchi Language

    The Melodious Poetry of the Baluchi Language

    Author: Aziz Dadiar

    In this article, the author discusses the evolution of Baluchi literature and music in Western Baluchistan and talks about how this is done in contemporary times. In this article, the role of great masters of song and music in the advancement of Baluchi language, literature and music is discussed. This article is divided into four parts, the first part of which is published below.

    Part I

    No one can kill the parrot of my mother-tongue

    He who does so will not be able to repent

    The mother tongue makes my soul happy

    Such a pious man will never turn its back on the enemy

    The living language of the people, or the garden of their poetry and literature, can be plundered for a short time or be trampled under the feet of the tyrants, but even destruction from war can not ruin its beauty.

    The languages of ethnic groups ( minorities) suffer and wither due to the oppression of the past but they are not perishable. Baluchi language is one of those languages. A language on whose land not a drop of water has flowed by any government for more than five centuries, the rain of their love has never fallen on its ground and the thirst of its dry tongue has never been quashed. No government has ever attempted to celebrate its beauty; it has been constantly under the whip of oppression.

    Beside the ban on writing, if a Baluchi poet and songwriter tried to write anything, his place was in the prison in Pakistan and he had been forever shamed by the rulers of the country, in the same way Gul Khan Nasser and other poets of his time were treated by the dictatorial regimes.

    In Iran similarly, there was such a fear and terror over the students that they did not want to go to the big cities to continue their education, for example; a year before the Islamic Revolution of Iran took place , I and some student activists from Iranshahr (Pahreh), wanted to hold a concert in our university to show the talent of the great singer of Baluchistan, Kamalan, the Shajarian (renowned Iranian singer) of the Baluch community, to their professors and to Persian-speaking students of the university.

    To fulfill such a wish, we, the intellectual group, which included more than a hundred people did all our efforts to provide the resources and financial aid for such a meeting. We booked two buses and went to one of the villages in Sarbaz (a city and district in Baluchistan, Iran). We stayed there with the professors and students of Zahedan University. We chose a village next to the Sarbaz River because we knew that the singer Kamalan was too nervous by the government and the SAVAK to sing ballads such as “Mekran and Dadshah”, especially when the student activists were involved. Anyway, because I had promised my professors and Persian-speaking compatriots to accompany them for such a tour where we could show our culture, poetry and music to them, however no matter how much we tried Kamalan did not show up.

    After seeing the disappointment of all the professors and students, to convince Kamalan I rented a car again and went to the village of the singer in Dashtyari (Chabahar District), which was a long distance and had a difficult journey . His people told me that he had gone somewhere else and conveyed his message that, “Sir, I won’t come to Iran”. He made a conscious decision to keep himself away at the time of political unrest in Iran.

    These two examples: the Camp prison in Pakistan and the political unrest in Iran at the time of Islamic revolution, both rightly represent that the culture and language are not perishable. Ms. Carina Jahani who is a world-renowned professor of Iranian languages at Uppsala University in Sweden, identified the beauty and value of Baluchi language and literature and through her expertise and linguistic efforts tried to convince the governments of Iran and Pakistan to accept the Baluchi as one of the oldest surviving languages of the region.

    Thus, this great and noble professor opened the gates of Uppsala University for Baluch students from t Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan and took them under her wings to revive and revitalize the use of Baluchi language. As you might know, since Baluchistan has been divided into 3 parts against the will of its people, until 1947 no book in prose or poetry was published in Baluchi language or had permission to be published.

    The independence movement in British-occupied Baluchistan, later referred to as Pakistan’s Baluchistan and as the Baloch refer to it as East Balochistan, dates back to India’s anti-colonial movement. It was in the days of this political uprising that the great question of the re-creation of the Baluchi language was placed on the agenda of the intellectual Baluch striving to secede from British rule, the first manuscripts and writings were found, and then the work of writing in the Baluchi language was established without an official script. In parallel with the political movement for the liberation and independence of Baluchistan from Pakistan, national political songs and slogans by the poet Gul Khan Naseer without previous religious references and connotations rejuvenated the sad and morose atmosphere of the Baluchi language.

    At the same time, literary figures such as: Sarbazi, Rumi Nadavi, Siddiq Azad, Syed Hashemi and Ata Shad came to prominence as poets of Baluchi and their poems and other literary works had started to make regular appearance in weekly magazines. Thus, the Baluchi language laid a solid foundation in the literary world and was addressed the national issues of liberation from the ruling system through all literary medium: “poetry, prose, song and music”. Eventually, they illuminated the Baluchi language and literature with its shining light.

    In the west Baluchistan (Iran), unfortunately, the new government which emerged from the Constitutional Revolution, with the aim to achieve democratic freedoms, instead chose a bloody path to build a unified nation-state Iran. And based on this unified ideology conquered all the languages of the people of this historical plateau. And the Persian language became the only official language and was imposed on the rest of the non- Persian people.

    Thirty years after the creation of Pakistan, the Baluch from Western Baluchistan (Iran), were able to obtain poems, revolutionary songs, music, and very few writings from their brothers and sisters of East Baluchistan. It was almost after 1958 that the immortal and heartwarming and melodious song “Mashkatay Mehrok” of Faiz Kaserkandi (Faiz Baloch) reached the Baluch audience in Western Baluchistan and conquered their hearts.

    to be continued…