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Saturday, November 12, 2005

On Fakir Lalon Shah - Response from Sulav Chowdhury

[The article on Fakir Lalon Shah by the esteemed Farhad Mazhar elicited a very well thought out response from the London based academic Sulav Chowdhury, who has kindly permitted me to post it on this website. I thank him for the same and would be grateful for the input for others interested to participate in this discussion. I am sure Mr.Mazhar despite his hectic schedule will assist all of us interested in Bhab-baad and share his deep insight into the life, spirituality and complexities of the sage Fakir Lalon Shah's blessed time on mother earth. For those interested to participate in this discussion please forward emails to my address Kind regards, Mac]

Dear Mac,

The repudiation of the symbiosis between ontological and epistemological reality just to detach Lalon's ideological stance from established philosophical norms and conceptions and to establish him an iconoclast who executes a quotidian life is meretricious, well thrashed-out, but, by such reasoning of Lalon's philosophy, the question that surfaces is whether Poet Farhad Mazhar failed, overtly or covertly, to locate the true identity of Lalon's cherished destination! My answer to this enquiry is in the affirmative for once he tried to clothe Lalon with spirituality Mazhar explicates that Lalon is in one sense known and in other unknown, then again, in the following paragraph, he strives to build up an image of the same which is materialistic! Contradictory?

A stream of thought is an overarching feature when one has to dissect, plumb and read the matrix of one's mental life. Denials of genetic contribution in the developmental process of our mental life is a sordid form of prevarication, and I fear, pardon my audacity, Mazhar has refuted this reality ostensibly to save Lalon and his materialistic observation of life. However, I concur thoroughly with the author on the point that Lalon is materialist.

What song Lalon was crooning in his stentorian voice at the time of his death doesn't substantiate his spiritual fecundity. It is all located in the system of thought--- in what way you intend to elucidate an incident. To Mazhar it was a clear quintessence of his mental sublimity, but to me, it is just an uncanny coincidence. What I would however prefer to pander to is how Lalon systematised and conceptualised his thought process and created a kingdom of his own, where he felt a perpetual frisson of happiness.

Lalon's greatest achievement was an ability to recognise his physical constitution-- Mazhar accepts it too--- , but what is more significant and which the author never broached, is Lalon extracted his mental energy from this bodily bondage, which dragooned him into thinking of "another supernatural power" to whom he lays prostrate with bovine submission!

I think, this is Lalon’s intellectuality. So, billing Lalon as a man without intellectuality is somewhat, again pardon me, supercilious mentality. Lalon's simplicity, materialistic contemplation, spiritual meditation all are the concatenation of his final desire to be mentally elevated.

Whether Lalon was a Sufi, Tantric, Huzur or sage seems to me otiose. What he believed is not the apogee of his ism, but whether the system of thought he left behind for us would be an effective medium for our diurnal livings needs to be analysed and grappled and is the cardinal asking. Mazhar, though I enjoyed reading the write-up, in his whole construction has strained his sinews to create an artificial aura of Lalon, which, in my view, has crippled Lalon's objective thinking.

I never allow myself to think over what time someone was born, where he hailed from or what relationship he maintained with his neighbours, rather I do intend to ponder on one's school of thought and how it could best be used for the wellbeing of the society.

I see Lalon as a cornucopia of ideological thinking and so, I would better expend time on his system of thought. That is most urgent. Because whatever covers we essay to knit for someone, if the measurement is wrong, then it is of no value at all.

However, I do have to admit that Mr. Mazhar has definitely touched upon some points on Lalon, which have never been mentioned before by any researcher. I also enjoyed his comparative analysis on body, subjectivity and objectivity, though i collide with him on some explanations.

I thank you for sending me this article and I externalise my gratitude for Farhad Mazhar for writing copiously on Lalon.

Love and respect



Shishu Vaidya said...
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