Mahjoor, the poet of Kashmir, whose anniversary we are commemorating today, introduced his pen name Mahjoor when he visited Punjab and started writing poetry under the influence of great Urdu poet, Shibli Nomani. Mahjoor's poetry reflects a Kashmiri emotion at social, political and psychological level. It's music in words that flows from the tongue of a common Kashmiri.
The poet under discussion was greatly influenced by his father who was a scholar of Persian language. He received the primary education from the Maktab of Aashiq Trali (a renowned poet) in Tral. After passing the middle school examination from Nusrat-ul-Islam School, Srinagar, he went to Punjab where he came in contact with Urdu poets like Bismil Amritsari and Moulana Shibi Nomani. He returned to Srinagar in 1908 and started writing in Persian and then in Urdu. But he was more interested to write in his native language to express his emotions. He spent his free time writing poetry, and his first Kashmiri poem 'Vanta hay Vesy' was published in 1918.
The ability and proficiency of Mahjoor as a leading twentieth century Kashmiri poet has been accepted by all in the state as well as in the country. He is great because he symbolizes the brilliance of the Romantic movement of the Kashmiri literature. He is not confined to poetry only, but his words depict the society of the times he lived in. It was the voice of the voiceless. He continuously wrote his beautiful verses in Kashmiri and wrote many lyrics romantic in taste. One among these famous lyrics is 'Bage Nishat ke Gulo' the verses of which activate excitement in the hearts of the readers. He had deep interest in the bounty of nature in Kashmir and he invariably depicts the scenic gardens, moors, forests, waterfalls, rivers, lush green fields and mountains as a source and means of conveying his heartfelt emotions and messages to awaken his countrymen to raise their voice against all kinds of injustices and ills perpetuated against them. He expresses his emotions in this manner;
"Bulbulan Dup Gulls Hussan Chui Pur
Keyha wanai , zew chai ne, su chui kasur"
Through his verses in Kashmiri, Mahjoor contributed to the sentiment and movement of freedom struggle during the tyrannical and autocratic Dogra regime. His poems gave momentum to the struggle and served as a clarion call to the masses to free their nation from the chains of slavery. He express his patriotic fervor in the poem "Walo Ho Bagewano" and stresses upon his fellow countrymen to embellish their nation and land with the flowers of honour and dignity.
In other beautiful poem, "Gulshan Watan Chu Souni" Mahjoor expresses his love for his nation and breathes out the idea symbolically and that too with candor and pride that there is nothing dear to him than his nation.
"Bulbul Wanan chu poshan Gulshan watan chu souni
Andi Andi Safaid Sangar Deware Sange Mar Mar"
There is no doubt that the themes of the poetry of Mahjoor involved freedom and progress in Kashmir and his poems awakened latent nationalism among people against the barbaric regime of those times. His popular verses engaged such topics as love, communal harmony, social reform, and the plight of the Kashmiris. He also wrote on such timeless themes as youth, the flowers of Nishat Garden, peasant girls, gardeners, and the blond shades. He is considered as a poet who revolutionized the traditional forms of poetry which put him in the company of great poets of the valley.
Mahjoor through his immortal verses teaches lessons about nature, love, peace, unity, faith in God, upholding of human values, dangers of jealousy, animosity and hatred. Given the quality and the tone of his poetry, he could be easily called as the harbinger of modern Kashmiri poetry because he widened and diversified its parameters, enriched its language and extended its use of idiom and put it on the pedestal of vibrancy and exuberance.