Bhagat Singh

I

Why, Bhagat Singh, did you die?
At a time when people were shy
To come out of their homes to fight
Against the British’s indomitable might

You had dreamt of freedom
For the future generations
Thus you sacrificed your life
For this mission of yours

Yes, comrade, your dream’s fulfilled
Your death paid off, India was freed
British are no more ruling over us
How can we thank you, our words are at loss

You got yourself hanged; for the sake of the motherland
With a dream in your eyes; and a smile on your lips
Alas! Today’s country is not India of your dreams;
Your great sacrifice has gone in vain, it seems.

II

Why, Bhagat Sing, didn’t you marry?
Why did you flee away from home feeling sorry
For your family which was arranging your marriage
You boldly defied them and took revolutionary’s pledge

You were only seventeen then
Why didn’t you enjoy life like other men
Look upon us, from school days, flirting with girls
All of my friends think your death was a farce
The girls of my age say you were sexy and young
Boys of the group say you could have composed film songs

For whom did you die, when you had no children
If you think, for this you are revered, you are sadly mistaken
For, the people of your land don’t recall your sacrifice
At the mention of your name, they just say the fighter was nice

After all you died, so that we could enjoy
Then won’t you forgive us for this little joy
Your mission’s completed, your people are happy now
Like every mortal, you are dead, what have we got to do with you now?

III

Lenin was your god, Michael Jackson is ours
So what if Lalaji could be your guide, Tendulkar is ours
If Aruna Asaf was the women’s voice then, its Madhuri’s turn now
You were dying for the country then, none’s gonna shed a blood for India now.

I shudder to think that you were born in India
A country that gave birth to people like Indira
Shysters like Narasimha Rao have ruled over us
Chandraswami, Thackerey and Imams are our fortune tellers

Why Bhagat Singh, did you die for such a wretched nation?
Why did you go to the gallows for the sake of this MTV generation?
If ‘Chand’ and ‘Pratap’ were your journals, ‘Playboy’ is ours
We’re busy with our own lives, no time to think of India for hours

You were a Communist and defied even Gandhiji for that
Our communists support the mainstream and united front for power and what?
There is competition among all the opportunists
There is no sense of idealism left in politics

Here Safdar Hashmi is killed, Sahir Ludhianvi dies unwept
Here Communists compromise with coalitions, still claim to be in the Left
Be grateful that your name has not been forgotten as yet!
Can you forgive these idiots who have not realized the value of your sacrifice as yet?

IV

Why Bhagat Singh, did you die?
I am baffled, tell me thy
Weren’t you a big fool then
Being unable to anticipate the kind of men
(that were to rule over your soil)

(and if you come alive to pay a visit)
“Why Bhagat Singh did you die”
Modern Indians will ask with a pouting “Hi!”
“Why didn’t you flirt with buxom belles then
Oh, come-on, lets go to ‘Basic Instinct’ then”
They will say thus, your feelings shall be hurt
Your hopes will be shattered, you shall cry a lot
So, never should you come back here
This country does not deserve you; comrade do ye hear!

Why Bhagat Singh, did you die?
Tell me comrade, why did you die….

– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet

Advertisements

Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

What are your thoughts?