Anthems of Resistance: A Celebration of Progessive Urdu Poetry


Mir, Ali Husain & Mir, Raza


Anthems of Resistance is a book about the iconoclasm-inspired poetry tradition cultivated by Ali Sardar Jafri, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Javed Akhtar, Fehmida Riyaz, and all those who have been a part of the progressive writers’ movement in South Asia. It covers the establishment of the Progressive Writers’ Association and its rise to power as well as its vital role in India’s independence struggle and unwavering commitment to equality.

In the course of which, it assesses the PWA’s aesthetics and politics, such as its internationalist perspective, love for modernity, engagement with feminism, proximity to Hindi cinema and film lyrics, and vision of a radically new world articulated by members with passion. This book is essentially a one-of-a-kind research tool because it combines history, literary analysis, poetic translation, and outright exuberance for the PWA era.

This is a wonderfully written narrative of a crucial period in the history of Indian literature. The stirring verses of the PWA poets are deftly rendered and, combined with the very accessible transliteration, provide the general reader a unique chance to appreciate writings that helped form his nation. Anthems of Resistance is an uplifting and pleasurable book.

Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Mushirul Hasan: “The concept of investing in a trade school may be sound. However, it is not easy to execute.”

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