Vol. 6 No. 2 (2023): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs


Published 2023-06-20


Akbar Allahabadi is a poet in the Urdu poetic tradition who, through his creative consciousness, revealed the inner layers of colonialism. The environment in which Akbar's poetry thrives is in colonial India, where he and other political and social leaders of his time are loyal to the British government. The historical context in which his poetry presents its meaning is the scenario of the beginning of the nineteenth century in India when it was a time of flux for the Muslim community. After the Revolt of 1857, Muslims, in particular, had been the subject of attack by British rulers. Many were forced to abandon Delhi and others were not allowed to enter the city. In the wake of this crisis, the community adopted two opposing ideologies. While one group was staunchly hostile towards the British, the other saw a benefit in collaborating with the benefactors. The latter—called supporters of the ‘new light’—believed in adopting British culture as modern. This bothered Urdu poet and satirist Akbar Allahabadi (1846–1921), as he lamented the loss of culture that would come with imitation of the British way of life. He took to his trusted weapon—satirical poetry—to critique this trend. the post-1857 era of peace and reform and the beginning and the end of the First World War. Although the concept of history is not very clear in his poetry, the external conditions which influenced his poetic temperament cannot be understood without being detached from history. Akbar interprets the cultural conditions of the age with his poetic consciousness. This article seeks to study Akbar’s poetry from a Postcolonial perspective