| Book Name: Gwachin
Publisher: Nigwar Labzanki Majlis(Ball-e-Nigwar)
Price: Rs. 50
Naguman, formerly known as Naguman Hamdum, is one of the most widely read Balochi language short story writers. His first and so for the only collection of short stories Daar-ay-Asp was well received by both readers and critics way back in the early 2000. The book instantly ran out of print which is quite rare in Balochi literature given people’s limited ability to read Balochi poetry and also the appalling readership ratio of Balochi prose. However, Daar-ay-Asp proved to be the first and so for the only blast from Naguman as a fiction writer. After the publication of his first book, Naguman disappeared from the scene of Balochi fiction. His absence is indeed very unfortunate for Balochi literature as he was the storyteller who had somewhat directed the art of narrative storytelling on the right path. Nonetheless, in the late 2000 we came across a new Naguman. Literally dormant in the field of fiction, Naguman this time emerged vibrant in the domain of lexicography. In 2008, he compiled a valuable collection Nokaz (Update). The book was aimed at preserving the typical Balochi words which were either less common amongst the new generation or replaced by words other than Balochi. Besides, it includes several newly found Balochi words. Like Daar-ay-Asp, Nokaz too attracted a wide range of readership and in a brief period of just three years it ran up to its third edition with increase in size and stuff.
However, the book (let) before me is neither the fictional work of Naguman nor the Nokaz. It’s a new reading revealing yet another aspect of Naguman as a gifted writer. Gwachin ( Reality) is a brief collection of one or two-liner satires or punch on the contemporary politics of Balochistan. This collection is the first of its kind in Balochi literature which mainly deals with political satires. Prior to this work, no writer has ever been so harsh on politicians as Naguman. The dichotomy or hypocrisy of self-seeking politicians is what prompted Naguman to write these satires. The majority of these satires is based on newspaper statements of politicians reflecting their party policies on the burning issue of Balochistan. Generally, nationalists and particularly, the National Party (N.P) is the character to whom Naguman has unleashed his spells of diatribes which is lamented by the activists of the said party. However, Naguman justifies his stark criticism of the National Party by saying that the claim of the N.P. being the flag-bearer of the Baloch nationalism is far from the truth because its most policies, especially the one that endorses affiliation with the federation is actually contrary to the true spirit of the Baloch nationalism.
Parliamentary politics and the question of the Baloch national identity are the two major themes of this collection. Naguman has preferably quoted those statements of the nationalist politicians which deal with either of the theme and bluntly criticized them.
Let us leaf through Gwachin to observe the writer’s approach:
• The Balochistan National Party has announced that it will launch a “National Awareness Campaign”. (Print Media)
“The Balochs have already acquired the awareness. May be you have just awaken from the deep slumber.”
• About the current political situation of Balochistan, our party policy is quite clear; we have nothing to do with the armed struggle. National Party
“It sounds as if somebody’s house catches fire and he lets it burn to ashes by saying that; “I have nothing to do with the fire.”
• We would carry forward the ideologies of Shaheed Fida Ahmed and Mir Ghous Bux Bezanjo. (National Party 2 May 2010 on the eve of Fida Day)
“Fida’s struggle was meant for the sovereignty of Balochistan while Ghous Bux’s for the solidarity of Pakistani federation. How would you carry forward two different ideologies at the same time?”
Besides party policies, Naguman has also quoted several individual statements of politicians which, in a broad sense, depict their party policies:
• I will be amongst the Balochs in the last battle. Ehsan Shah (17-9-2010)
“The last battle began during the Musharraf’s era and it is Zardari’s rule now; but sycophant! You are still serving the Punjabi establishment.”
• The Pakistani state is meeting out the same cruel treatment to the Baloch which they did to the Bengalis. Former senator Lashkari Raisani (Ex) President PPP Balochistan. (Daily Tawar/Intekhab)
”Then when are you going to revolt like the Bengalis?”
• Despite mutilated corpses, we keep supporting the democracy. Tahir Bezanjo NP (January 2012)
” A man who is more loyal than the king”.
Of politicians, Dr. Malik Baloch, the former senator and the current head of the National Party, is the man at whom Naguman has directed most of his satirical remarks. Moreover, he sarcastically quipped him as the “Ostrich of the Baloch politics”. On the page 30, he writes: “during the 1985 polls, Dr. Malik raised the slogan “we want blood not ballot” and today, when the time is ripe to shed blood, he has not only drifted away from that old slogan but also given a renewed slogan which says like: “no armed struggle but parliamentary politics”.
Let’s have glance on these lines:
• The government is paying mere lip services to the issue of Balochistan. Dr. Malik Baloch (Daily Tawar/ Intekhab 16-9-09)
” Wow, isn’t that exactly what you are doing?”
• We wouldn’t let anybody occupy the Baloch land. (Daily Tawar, Intekhab 22-11-2009)
“Dude, are you still in deep slumber? Balochistan has been enslaved by the Punjab for the last sixty years.”
To many readers these punches may sound biased comments which are meant to distort the image of popular politicians of Balochistan. But when looked closely through the prism of Baloch nationalism, especially keeping the current situation of Balochistan in view, these remarks reveal that the chasm between the Baloch intelligentsia and obsequious politicians is yawning by the day. Moreover, what Naguman has precisely said in these, one or two liner punches, usually people render pages yet they fail to deliver. Overall, Gwachin is an interesting read in which humor and satires go side by side.