Remembering Habib Jalib

The 12th of May marks the death anniversary of the People’s Poet Habib Jalib. Habib Jalib was a member of the Communist Party of Pakistan, and remained a Marxist-Leninist till the end of his life. His poetry is popular all across Pakistan, and is appreciated by workers and peasants alike. We, the members of CMKP, salute this great hero of the proletariat, and declares that we shall uphold the banner of Socialist realism and people’s art, literature, poetry and music.

Here I am presenting the English translation of two of the most famous poems of Jalib:

I refuse to Accept

The light which shines only in palaces
Burns up the joy of the people in the shadows
Derives its strength from others’ weakness
That kind of system,
like dawn without light
I refuse to acknowledge,
I refuse to accept

I am not afraid of execution,
Tell the world that I am the martyr
How can you frighten me with prison walls?
This overhanging doom,
this night of ignorance,
I refuse to acknowledge,
I refuse to accept

“Flowers are budding on branches”, that’s what you say,
“Every cup overflows”, that’s what you say,
“Wounds are healing themselves”, that’s what you say,
These bare-faces lies,
this insult to the intelligence,
I refuse to acknowledge,
I refuse to accept

For centuries you have all stolen our peace of mind
But your power over us is coming to an end
Why do you pretend you can cure pain?
Even if some claim that you’ve healed them,
I refuse to acknowledge,
I refuse to accept.


So I said this to him…

So I said this to him:
“Your 100 million people,
are ignorance personified,
Their minds have gone to sleep,
And every ray of hope,
Has been lost in the darkness,
It is completely true,
They are the living dead,
Completely unaware,
A disease of life itself,
And YOU hold in YOUR hands,
The cure for all their ills”

So I said this to him:
“You are the light of God,
Wisdom personified,
The Nation is with you,
And it is only through YOUR grace,
That the nation can be saved,
You are our morning bright,
After you there is only night,
The few who dare speak out,
Are simply mischied-makers,
You should tear out their tongues,
And throttle them on sight!”

So I said this to him:
“Those eloquent with pride,
Their tongues are silent now,
There is calm now in our land,
Oh what a difference there is!,
between today and yesterday,
People are in prison today,
At their very own expense”

So I said this to him:
“China is our friend,
We’d give our lives for her,
BUT the system that they have,
Let’s steer well clear of that,
From far off say ‘Salaam’,
The hundred million asses,
referred to as ‘the masses’,
How could they become rulers!,
Of this there is no doubt,
And my only prayer now is,
That you’ll always be our boss”


4 Responses to “Remembering Habib Jalib”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful words by Habib Jalib ….

  2. Shaheen Sultan Dhanji Says:

    Why have I not come across this outstanding site all this time?!

    Habib Jalib remains one of the eloquent and profound writers of time…

    I share with you his thought,

    In my hand I hold a pen,
    in my heart the light of consciousness.
    How can your forces of oppression
    ever win?

    Comrade, keep up the meaningful thoughts runing on this incredible site.

  3. Mein nay uss sey yeh kaha, Bhai Bahoot Shandaar Post Hai.

    Comrade Habib is not only popular in Pakistan, he is also admired in India.

    Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, Indore (India) or Anjuman Jamhuriyatpasand Musannfin Salute Comrade Habib.

    Comrade Habib ko Laal Salam!

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