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

 

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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…

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