Political and social dynamics of class in revolutionary Urdu poems by Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Habib Jalib

  • Farkhanda Shahid Khan Government College University Faisalabad


Revolutionary poetry is considered the most concentrated verbal expression and literary mode practically suited to provoke political uprisings and revolts in a society. This article explores the intricacies of class on political and social grounds in the revolutionary Urdu poems of Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911–1984) and Habib Jalib (1928–1993). Given the pace of social progress in Pakistan, the writings of these poets have played a radical role in shaping people’s ideology by educating them about freedom of expression and provoking them to speak out against imperialism and other exploitative systems of the status quo. The power dynamics in the devastating system of capitalism in Pakistan led to the exploitation of workers and the suppression of their rights. Against the background of these problems, through close reading, this article analyses selected poems by progressive writers—Faiz and Jalib, under the guidelines of Marx on class, Gramsci’s hegemony, and Louis Althusser’s ideological and repressive state apparatuses. This article concludes that the revolutionary poetry of these two poets aims to transform the social and political fabric of Pakistani society.


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Author Biography

Farkhanda Shahid Khan, Government College University Faisalabad

Farkhanda Shahid Khan is working as a lecturer in the department of English Literature at Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan. Currently, she is a doctoral fellow in the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures at the University of Edinburgh. Khan works on Feminism, Marxism, Culture, and Gender & Sexuality with a focus on the Global South.

She can be reached at: farkhandashahidkhan@gcuf.edu.pk