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Speak Up

Central Idea:- A human being has been created with enormous bounties and certain liberties. These liberties cannot be taken over by any oppressor. In such a case, a person should stand against the oppression and make use of his liberties in a peaceful manner.

Summary:– The poem entitled ‘Speak up’ is taken from the collection of poems ‘Naqsh-i- Faryadi’. The poem has been authored in original Urdu by “Faiz Ahmad Faiz” and has been translated into English by ‘Shiv-K-Kumar’. The poem is a beautiful expression of the poet to defy oppression. It is a poem of profound meaning and encouragement that intends to give voice to the voiceless. The poet actually is a stem believer of the classless society. He wants to free the low-class people of the society from the clutches of the selfish high-class people. The poet requests the suppressed people of his society to raise their voice against the injustices done to them. He requests them to speak up because their lips cannot be sealed by cruel people. The poet tells them to use their power of communication to break the shackles of brutalities. The poet advises his citizens to use their well-built body to free themselves as long as they are alive.

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The poet further uses various metaphors & here his language is plainly symbolic. He uses the symbols of smithy, oven, flames, padlocks and fetters. The smithy us the struggle going on for India’s freedom. The oven is the heat generated by the death of the various martyrs. The flames are the voices of protest that have begun to rise. The padlocks & the fetters are clearly the symbols of slavery. They are waiting to be melted in the Smithy if the freedom fighters. What the poet means to say through these symbols is that the common people should also join this struggle & raise their voices against the cruel repression of the British rulers. The padlocks & the fetters of slavery have already begun to melt & the cooperation of the common people will surely give the movement a big boost.

Finally, the poet urges the oppressed people to speak up before the time is out and before they expire. He encourages them by saying that truth is unchallenged so one should be daring enough to speak what is true and lawful.

OR

The poem, ‘Speak Up’ written by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, is the poet’s artistic exhortation to the sleeping society against injustice and inequality. The poem is a clarion call to the people for action than quietism; people who are reeling under the constant tyranny of the Corporate World in the present times. The poem is a wake-up call from the somnolence of centuries of slavery, pessimism and submission. A better world opens up contained within the poem and lines nudging us to directions new and liberating. The poet talks of solidarity and unity, awakening humanity ready to fight and throw off all the burden of oppressive histories and chains.

The poem appeals to the wounded hearts to discard their Shackles invisible and get united, become strong and a better being. The poet encourages people to speak up against oppression. Speak up, says the poet revolutionary; Speak up for your rights and dignity and stand up against the ongoing oppression by the Capitalist Order. The poet exhorts that the people have lips that are their own. They have a soul that is still their own. They have an upright body that is also their own. So they should stand against the colonial oppression. And they should speak boldly against the oppressor. Only then they can break the fetters of slavery. The poem ends with a caution that people should muster their courage before the time will run out and their bodies and minds will fade away.

Questions and Answers of Speak Up

Q. 1. The poet Instigates the reader to speak up. Why does he do so?

Ans. The poet wants his countrymen to speak up the things which are suppressed in their hearts. He wants them to be bold and courageous and express their anguish against the tyrant high-class people ( the cruel Britishers). He wants his people to free themselves from the chains of slavery and oppression.

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Q. 2. The poet addresses the reader to come up with the truth. How does he do so?

Ans. The poet says that the truth is not yet dead. It is known to everyone what is just and what is unjust, what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, it should not be difficult for the reader to recognize this truth and speak for it.

Q. 3. How will the chains break?

Ans. The chains will break if we have the courage and zest to break them. They will break if we refuse to live in them. And they will break if we have a sense of patriotism and if we cooperate with others who have been kept chained. Our sincere and dedicated efforts can break the chains of slavery.

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Q.4. Why does the poet urge the reader or his countrymen to speak up now?

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Ans. ” ….Speak up now, for time’s running out….” The poet urges his countrymen to utilize the opportunity properly. The poet urges his suppressed people to revolt against the brutalities of the powerful for this is the high time to get rid of the suppression. Wind of change has already begun to blow. The struggle for freedom 1s at its peak. So he calls upon his natives to lend their voice for freedom.

In other words, the poet wants them to strike the iron when it’s hot. He feels that it is the proper time to do so.

Q. 5 Do you think ‘Speak up’ Is an effort of the poet to give voice to the voiceless How?

Ans. Yes, the poem ‘Speak up’ is an invigorating poem. It speaks against the suppression. The poet finds that the common man is too oppressed to speak up.

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She/He is dumb with fear. The poet wants these people to hear the voice of their soul and speak up. They should realize that God has bestowed them with lips to speak. They should come out of fear and speak up freely and liberally.

Q.6. What are the metaphors used In the poem?

Ans. Metaphor is a figure of speech in which comparison is made between unlike things indirectly, categorizing them as identical.

Various metaphors used in this poem are oven, the flames, the padlocks and the fetter & smithy.

These metaphors have been used to describe the struggle for a classless society in a symbolical manner and metaphors describe some aspects of our struggle for freedom in an imaginative manner.

Q. 7. What Images does the poet draw from the blacksmith’s shop?

Ans. ‘The Blacksmith’s Shop’ stands for the situation the freedom fighters have created for the future or freedom of their motherland.

‘The red oven’ and ‘fierce flames’ stand for their boiling courage.‘The chains’ and ‘fetters’ are the epitomes of slavery which are determined to arrest and limit the people who revolt against the powerful. The cruel people are ever ready to curb the freedom of the weaker sections.

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