Mirza Ghalib and Karl Marx
It was an historical encounter between two intellectual giants of the nineteenth century, Mirza Ghalib and Karl Marx. It took Abida Ripley 15 years to fish out the details of their correspondence which reflects the acute contrast of their thoughts.
"FIFTEEN YEARS ago when I visited the library of the famous India Office in London, I took out one pale jacketed book belonging to the Mughal era. A wrinkled leaf fell down to the floor. When I picked it up, I was startled. The style and expression of its content appeared to be familiar. The doubt which prevailed over my mind, vanished when I saw the seal and signature of the Urdu poet, Ghalib.
After I returned home, I flipped through Khaleeq Anjum’s two volumes of translations of Ghalib’s letter writings. But, to my amazement, I could not locate the letter anywhere in the books, which I had found. What sparked my curiousity was that the letter was addressed to the famous German philosopher, Karl Marx. It is shocking as well as ironical that not even a single biographer or translator has yet mentioned about Ghalib’s communication with Marx.
From the content, it seemed a reply to Marx’s letter. And that intensified my desire to somehow to get hold of the letter of Marx. Finally, my quest ended after painstaking 15 years as I found the letter of Marx to Ghalib. I would rather make you go through those rare pieces of writings between the two geniuses in their own rights than describing the obstacles that came in my way." - by Abida Ripley