Akbar Allahabadi ( 1846-1921 ) is regarded by many as a reactionary Urdu poet. However, in the nazm ( poem ) given below he was surprisingly progressive, and brilliantly captured in verse the coming changes in society in this transitional era.
I love Urdu poetry, and often quoted Urdu couplets ( shers ) in my judgments ( see my book " Justice with Urdu ', published by Universal Law Publishing Co. Delhi ). I had thought of quoting the verses given below in some judgment where it would be appropriate to the context, but this intention could not materialize, because before I could do so I retired from the Indian Supreme Court on 19.9.2011 at the age of 65
" Yeh maujooda tareeke raah-e-mulk-e-adam honge
Nai tahzeeb hogi, aur nae saaman baham honge
Khabar deti hai tehreek-e-hawa tabdeel-e-mausam ki
Khilenge aur hi gul, zamzame bulbul ke kam honge
Badal jaayega meyaar-e-sharaafat chasm-e-duniya mein
Ziada the jo apne zom mein woh sabse kam honge
Guzishta azmaton ke taskare bhi na reh jaayenge
Kitaabon mein hi dafn afsaan-e-jaaho-hasham honge
Kisi ko is taghayyur ka na his hoga na gham hoga
Hue jis saaz se paida usi ke zer-o-bam honge
Tumhe is inqilaab -e-deher ka kya gham hai ai Akbar ?
Bahut nazdeek hain woh din ki tum hoge na hum honge "