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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 6, New Delhi, January 23, 2021

Deshnayak | AK Das

Friday 22 January 2021

[Poem on the Birth Anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose on January 23, 2021.]

Deshnayak

As the guns fell silent,
bombers were taxied to the hangers,
fire ceased to rain from the sky,
marching steps of heavy squads
returned to the barracks,
passive resistance wearing out
failed to weave its spell again;
future course uncertain, uncharted.

At that time of dithering came flashing
the heroic deeds of freedom struggle
waged outside the country.
It electrified the imagination
of the countless masses.
The trial of the INA soldiers aroused
deep public anger, causing
disaffection in the Ruler’s Army.
Its loyalty being a suspect,
the edifice of the empire crumbled.

The tri-colour flag was hoisted
on the historic Red Fort.
The new dispensation of a free country
started its journey, but forgot to honour
the true, towering hero Netaji
whose voice boomed with the message
of freedom from across the border,
his fighting Arm becoming so much central
to the making of the nation.

His image looms large on the horizon
every year on his birthday.
His ever saluting posture inspires
indomitable courage, love for the country.
Deshnayak lives, continues to be alive
in our collective consciousness.

by A.K. Das

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