Remembering Khaaki Joyo on his 4th demise anniversary

May 2 marks the demise of Khaaki Joyo, Eminent Sindhi poet, journalist, the political activist, lead political intellectual, companion of G.M. Syed and the Editor of renowned and largely circulated fortnightly Sindhi magazine, titled: “Saanjaah” (Means: Comprehension), which he edited for more than 25 years and cherished almost 2 literary generations, by encouraging young writers, publishing their poetry and prose-creations in this journal, with his proficient editing skills.

Born in Kaathiya, a small village of taluka Khairpur Nathan Shah, of Sindh’s district Dadu, British India on March 8, 1942, 5 years before the partition of Joint-India. He was the son of a very poor farmer, named Haji Joyo and was named Khameeso Khan. His family kept migrating from one place to another due to floods and the misery of poverty, in search of it’s bread and butter. Khaaki grew up ploughing in the fields and performing as a shepherd in his native village KaathiyaAabad (near Laki Shah Sadar, Taluka Sehwan, now district Jamshoro, Sindh), a village near Sann and Village ‘Pir Kolachi’ near Kazi Ahmed, on the left bank of the giant Indus. Later he also laboured in various shops, restaurants and performed as a household cook. His love for letters compelled him to accompany his village-fellows to a school near Kazi Ahmed (Nawabshah) escaping from his shepherd-errands, for which he was punished by his father also several times. Later, after many years he achieved the formal certification of “Adeeb Sindhi” and “Adeeb Fa’azil” from Mustafa Oriental Collge, New Jatoi, district Naushehro Feroz. Prior to that, he learnt to recite the Holy Qura‘an. Besides that, he also learnt informally from his younger brother, who started attending school on his recommendation, though his father repelled this time too.  

Khaaki practically participated in nationalist politics of Sindh, standing by the school of thought of G.M. Syed. He remained the part and partial of various nationalist political parties and movements, including “Progressive Jeeye Sindh Party”, “Watan Dost Inqalabi Party”, “Jeeye Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party” and “Jeeye Sindh Qaumi Maha’az”. After the demise of G.M. Syed, he tried his best to unite all the grazes of G.M. Syed’s core political party, but couldn’t really be succeeded, therefore he seemed to be disenchanted from nationalist politics during the preceding years of his lifespan.

Khaaki started writing with the pen-name of “Khayaam”, as he started composing poetry, but later out of his love with his soil, he switched to his name “Khaaki” (which means, ‘born from the dust’). Though Khaaki Joyo was originally a romantic poet, his insurgent poetry created during the era of the embargo on expression became more prevalent and dominantKhaaki bestowed Sindhi literature with thirty books. Besides 4 books of his poetry, 2 of political criticism and three translations. His publications include:

1) “Aazad Ghurjay Watan” (We need an independent piece of land!) a long dissenting poem – 3 editions published. Third edition published in 2008

2) Ee’u Khaaki’a Jo Khayaal” (This is Khaaki’s message) – First Edition: July 1982, Second Edition: April 2018

3) “Kedaaro” (poetry of resistance) – Published: 1984

4) “Aasann Jin Araij” (Long-poem about MRD movement in Pakistan) – First Edition: March 1985, Second Edition: 2008

5) “Qaumi Suwaal Jo Nazriyaati Jaa’izo” (The theoretical review of the nationalist question) – Published: March 1986

6) “Taraqqi Pasand Adab’a Ja Mayaar” (The standards of progressive literature) – First Edition: April 1986, Second Edition: 2008

7) “Khaabi Dhur Ji Moqay-parasti” (The Opportunism of the left-wing) – Published: 1986

8) “Punjabi Daanishwer & Mazlom Qomoon” (Intellectuals from Punjab and the oppressed nations) – Published: January 1988

9) “Qaumi Alehdgee’a Jo socialist Jamhoori Haq” (The socialist democratic right of national separation) – Published: January 1987

10) “Qaumi Suwaal jo tanqeedi Jaa’izo” (The critical review of the national question) This was the translation of Vladimir Lenin’s work – Published: 1988

11)  “Bethakiyat’a chha aahay?” (What is ‘Colonialism) – Published: 1988

12) “Qaumi Kaarkunan lae Tadreesi course” (a text guide for nationalist workers) – Published: 1988

13)  “Inqalaab ji waat’a” (The avenue of revolution) – Published: 1988

14)  “Phirya pasee phenn’a” (Political criticism)

15)  “Ishq, Hub-ul-watani & Insaaniyat’a” (Love, patriotism and humanity) – Published: January 2001

16) “Sindh mein Urdu Aabadi’a jo Mustaqbil” (The future of Urdu population in Sindh) – Published: October 2001

17) “Aazadi’a Jo Haq” (The right of independence) – Part One (a compilation of G.M.Syed’s comprehensive interviews) – Published: January 2003

18) “Sooreh Badshah ji Sindh ji Aazadi’a Jo Khuwaab” (Shaheed Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi Sooreh Badshah‘s dream of the independence of Sindh) – Published: 2003

19) “Taareekh mein fard Jo kirdar” (The role of an individual in the history) The Sindhi translation of Georgi V. Plekhanov’s work – Published: February 2006

20) “Soonhaan Bhaa’een, Sudh na deen” (Political criticism) – Published: January 2007

21) “Jadeed Qaumi & Bain-ul-Aqwaami Nizaam” (Modern national and international system) – Published: March 2007

22) “Sindhi & Urdu Aabadi’a ji Taareekhi Zaroorat” (The historical need of Sindhi & Urdu population of Sindh) – Published: April  2007

23) “Adab jo Qaumi kirdaar” (The national role of literature) – Published: April 2008

24) “Tanzeem-kaari’a Ja Usool’a” (The organizational principals) – Published: April 2008

25) “Urdu Aabadi, Saa’een G.M. Syed ji Nazar mein” (The Urdu population from the view-point of G.M. Syed)

26) Social chauvinism & Mazloom Qaumoon” (Social chauvinism and the oppressed nations) – Published: August 2008

27)  “Watan & Qaum ji Siyaasat” (The politics of the country and the nation)

28) “Taareekhi Amal’a ji Roohaani Zindagi” (The spiritual life of historical action) – a translated work – Published: April 2009

29)  “Aazadi’a jo Haq” (The right of independence) – Part two (a compilation of G.M.Syed’s comprehensive interviews) – Published: January 2010
and last but not the least, his colossal autobiography consisting of 562 pages, which was his last book published during his lifetime, written by him on the bed of ailment. i.e.
30) “Jin Parrhaayo Paannrr” (Who made themselves learn) – his autobiography – Published: 2010
These books are paragons of literature, particularly the political-literature. Most of these are published by his owned “Sanja’ah Publication”, from the banner of which fortnightly “Sanjaah” also used to be published, but some of the above publications are by others, including “Marui Publication” of Sakrand, Sindh, Pakistan.

In around the year 2010, he had a severe paralysis attack, after which he lived a very inadequate life in Hyderabad Sindh and breathed last on May 3, 2017, in a private hospital of Karachi. He was rested in the historical graveyard of Sann, district Jamshoro Sindh Pakistan, on the bank of Indus, which is his ancestral graveyard too. He is resting next to his father. The ‘the son of the soil’ (Khaaki) is quiescent in his ‘soil’ (the Khaak)

Khaaki‘s works will always remain alive and will also enable him to be remembered for a long period. His write-ups published in his own periodical, particularly his editorials need to be compiled, published and translated to disseminate his contemplations to thoroughgoing observances and generations.

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