People’s Poet of Balochistan: Commemorating Mir Gul Khan Nasir

5th December is the death anniversary of People’s Poet of Balochistan, Mir Gul Khan Nasir. He was a prominent progressive poet, politician, historian, and journalist of Balochistan, Pakistan. Born on 14 May 1914 in Noshki. His father’s name was Mir Habib Khan. Habib Khan belonged to the celebrated Paindzai subclan of the Zagr Mengal branch of the Mengal Tribe.

Naseer in defence of Nationalism

Mir Gul Khan had been doing poetry since the age of eight but it was during his time in Lahore when he began writing Urdu poetry which was of a revolutionary nature.  This poetry of his became very popular and was published in the newspapers under his pen name Nasir which he chose as a tribute to Mir Nasir Khan The First (The Ninth Khan of Kalat, also known as Noori Nasir Khan). These Urdu poems of his, like Nawab Youzaf Ali Khan Magsi and Mohammad Hussain Anqa’s poems, were aimed at raising the political awareness of the Baloch people, especially, the youth. During his time at Lahore Mir Gul Khan played an important role in the students organization “Baloch aur Balochistani Thalbaa kee Anjuman” (B.B.S.O) which was formed by Mureed Hussain Khan Magsi and other Baloch students on the advice of Mir Yousaf Ali Khan Magsi.

He participated actively in student politics and was a part of various progreesive parties and alliances as Anjuman-i Ithihaad-i Balochaan, Anjuman-i-Islamia Kalat, Kalat State National Party, Muslim League(for a short period), Usthman Gul(Balochi fot “The People’s Party), Pakistan National Party and finally National Awami Party(NAP), He served as the first education minister in the NAP provincial Govt in Balochistan. When NAP Govt was dismissed by ZA Bhutto, His brother Mir Lawang Khan  martyred in military action after the imposition of Governor Raj, he was imprisoned along with other NAP leaders and was imprisoned along with other NAP leaders and was facing trison charges in Hyderabd Tribunal case.

Mir Gul Khan Nasir was arrested on several occasions from 1939 to 1978 on many different charges, all of them pertaining to politics. He collectively spent almost 15 years of his life in jail.

Mir Gul Khan Nasir was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and passed away on 5th December, 1983 in the Mid East Hospital, Karachi. He was taken back to his village, Noshki, in the form of a huge procession. On 7th December, 1983 he was laid to rest in his villages’ cementery.

Literary Works

Gul Baang (1951) was his first collection of Balochi Poetry.

History of Balochistan (1952) (Urdu) Volume 1 – After much research Mir Gul Khan published this book which consists of 340 pages. It is a history of the Baloch Race and removes many mis-conceptions about the Baloch which were prevalent at that time.

History of Balochistan (1957) (Urdu) Volume 2 – This volume consists of 15 chapters and deals with the history of Balochistan from Khan Khudadad Khan to Khan Ahmedyar Khan until 1955.

Daastaan-e-Dostain o Sheereen (1964) is considered to be one of the best books of Mir Gul Khan Nasir. In this book he has penned the classical Balochi Love Story of Dostain and Sheereen. In the preface of this book the famous Baloch poet Azad Jamaldini called Mir Gul Khan “The Greatest Poet of the Balochi Language”.

Koch o Baloch (1969) was a book in which Mir Gul Khan, through intellectual reasoning proved that the Brahvis and the Balochis actually came from the same race.

Garand (1971) is an important collection of Mir Gul Khan Nasir’s poems.

Balochistan Kay Sarhadi Chaapa Maar (1979) is an Urdu translation of General Dyre’s “Raiders of the Frontier” by Mir Gul Khan Nasir.

Seenai Keechaga (1980) is a Balochi translation of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s “Sar-i Waadi-i Seena” by Mir Gul Khan Nasir.

Mashad Na Jang Naama (1981) – Mir Gul Khan Nasir completed this Brahvi book when he was a student in the 8th grade but it was published in 1981.

Shah Latif Gusheet (1983) is a Balochi translation of that part of Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai’s poetry which concerns the Balochs.

Posthumous Compilations

Gulgaal (1993) is the ninth compilation Mir Gul Khan’s poetry.

Shanblaak (1996) is Mir Gul Khan Nasir’s tenth collection of Balochi Poetry which also includes Urdu translations by himself.

Poetic Skills

Gul Khan Nasir wrote poems in Balochi, Urdu, Farsi (Persian), Brahvi and English. Most of his poems are in Balochi language. He was good friends with Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Once Faiz Sahib offered to translate Mir Gul Khan’s poems in Urdu but Mir Gul Khan turned down the offer. Most of Mir Gul Khan Naseer’s Urdu poetry was written between 1933 – 1950 and there has bee no publication of his Urdu poetry to this date. Mir Gul Khan’s poetry is filled with revolutionary and anti-imperialist themes and it reflects his progressive nature and socialist ideals. Mir Gul Khan Naseer was very much against the class differences that prevailed at that time, and still do. He wrote many poems against the Sardari System and their bogus institutions like Jirga and tribal traditions of injustice and discrimination.

He opposed Sardars for playing in the hands of miliatary establishment, criticized the clergy for his retrogressive tactics and religious doctrines and thethe Jirga syatem, a tool of oppression in the hands of Sardars against their peoples whom they treated as sub-ordinates.

While speaking to the Mullah in his poem titled as “Man O Mullah”

English Translation of Balochi poem

The Mullah getting ready to deliver his sermon,
Stroked his beard proudly,
And started preaching:

“One is a Master, One is a Mir (a leader or chief)
One is a Ruler, One is a Pir (a saint)
One is sad, another is happy

One makes heaps of wealth
One is starving, One is fed
One’s faults are visible, another’s are hidden

One rides his steed,
Wears only the best
His galloping horse kicks up dust

While another Bare-footed,
Naked and hungry
Miserably drags himself through life

Without a doubt it’s God’s will
It is written in the Righteous Book (Quraan)
That the path is narrow and quite tough

Five fingers can never be equal
God himself has made it that way
So, you should accept this as fate”

Waves of anger rising in my heart made me interrupt him
I said: “May you be smitten O Mullah!
Don’t lie so much

Evenings of begging have left you blind
The Devil has over-powered you
Why are you hiding the truth like this

Humans of every kind are alike
Men and women, both, are equal
Just as Honour and Dignity are the same

Humans aren’t high and low
O Moron! Just read the Quraan
You’ve been misled by the Satan

These Mirs, Masters and Sardars (Tribal Chieftans)
These Pirs, Clerics and Zardaars (the Wealthy)
These are the real roots of evil

They are criminals and pimps,
Traitors of humanity,
Blood sucking Leeches and Poisonous snakes

They travel in cars and planes
Their houses are furnished with velvet carpets
And they eat from golden plates

I know you’re mouth is watering
You’re living off loans from the Rich
Mullah! Now just think

From where did they get this wealth?
How did they amass this fortune?
How did they become our masters?

Mullah! Now stop making excuses
The mother’s womb didn’t provide them with all these riches
Nor did the sky rain money on their heads

Listen to my words,
Open your eyes which have been blinded
The answer is right infront of you

They have stolen the rights of the weak,
They have looted the property of the poor
And disrobed everybody in sight

Who has told you this is fate?
It’s an argument not thought out,
A serious blow to faith

Mullah! Now don’t you mislead
Don’t stray people off the path of God
Just to satisfy the affluent

Don’t sell your faith for cash
Don’t present the lies as truth
And stop your incessant gibbering

The times have now completely changed
You’re going to vanish alongwith the rich,
The aristocrats and the powerful monarchs

A better age will dawn on us
When no one will be worried for food
And there won’t be wars for money

Mullah! It’s time you woke up and smelled the air
Because in this new world your obsolete teachings won’t work
There won’t be anymore killings in the name of religion

Humanity’s liberation is inevitable
Mullah! If there’s any doubt in your heart
Then you ought to be taught a lesson

Mir Gul Khan Naseer, G B Bizenjo, Attaullah Mengal

He was a nationalist but with progressive ideas believing in the contemporary political thoughts and institutions and for his whole life struggled for the cause of getting social, political and economics rights for his people. He complained his countrymen for their Criminal Silence over the Genocide of Balochs and crying in solidarity with people of Palestine, Kashmir and other parts of the world.

He mocked at the feudals, landlords, Waderas, Khans, Peers, Sardars and Bourgeoisie intellectuals raising the slogans of Socialism, hence playing politics of Deceit with the emotions of the masses.


English Translation of his Balochi poem

Today, the world is changing fast

Socialism’s charm is in full swing

Sindh’s Wadera, with a bank balance of millions

Is telling Lenin how socialism should be

Punjab’s rich and pompous Chaudary

Is twisting and twining socialism

Khan Sahib (of The Pashtuns), whose pockets are full of cash

Is (pretending to be) trembling in agony [like the strings of a violin]

On the pain of the proletariat

Mir Sahib (of the Balochs) is looting the impoverished Baloch farmers (not the big landlords)

On pretext of enacting land reforms (like Mao)

Even as I am uttering these words

The fire burning in my heart is barbecuing it

The dacoit has donned the mendicant’s garments

The murderer’s thoughts are of earning rewards from God

The defendant wants to be the judge

Thieving pigs desire to be compared to friends of the Prophet

The wolf yearns to be made the shepherd of the sheep

The cat dreams of getting pieces of fresh meat

The mouse is craving for flour

The jackal is impatient to get its hands on the hen

The rich and powerful are asleep

The black snake (the bourgeoisie) is burning

The bosses’ brains are located in their heels

The ship of their thoughts is sailing towards a mirage

These Mirs and Waderas fail to realize

That imperialism is about to leave (its foot is in the stirrup)

The poor labourers and farmers

Have their loins girded, and are ready for a revolution

The age of flattery has gone

Now things will happen as they do in the books

The public have become their own masters

The bubble of the aristocrats is about to burst

Take a look at the tides of change

Nasir is moving forward with the red flag

It was the reason when Habib Jalib said about him,

“Had Mir Gul Khan Nasir been born in Punjab he would’ve become Faiz Ahmed Faiz and if Faiz had been brought up in Balochistan, he would’ve become Gul Khan Nasir”.

Courtesy: Mir Gul Khan Naseer official Site



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