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    Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 1, December 20, 2008

    Ten Poems on Bhagat Singh

    These poems have been sent to us, for publication in Mainstream Annual 2008, by Professor Chaman Lal, Chairperson, Centre of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, with the following note: “While searching for writings on Bhagat Singh, I came across some poems on Bhagat Singh in the P.C. Joshi Archives of the JNU, New Delhi. It was a pleasant surprise for me as these poems are collected from Home Ministry files. These are proscribed poems published in different Indian languages—Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Tamil. All over the country, poems were published mostly after the execution of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on March 23, 1931. Most of the poems were published in 1931 and proscribed in 1931-32. It seems the English translations were done by colonial officials in order to get orders from superior British officers for proscribing the literature. P.C. Joshi’s own comments are not there, but on one poem, it seems Joshi had written about the Act or Ordinance which was promugulated to proscribe these publications, which is referred to by Joshi as “extra-ordinary, extra-judicial powers verging on martial law”. It is a fitting tribute to P.C. Joshi to see his collection of proscribed poems on Bhagat Singh published in his birth centenary year, courtesy the P.C. Joshi Archives of the JNU, which allowed photocopying this precious collection. “The tenth poem is a recent one by the celebrated Pakistani poet Fahmida Riyaz who, on reading about the controversy relating to the statue of Bhagat Singh in the Parliament House complex, wrote this poem in Urdu and herself translated it into English.” —Editor

    Nine Proscribed Poems

    Insaaf ka Khoon (Murder of Justice)

    (Extracts from pamphlet in Urdu entitled ‘Insaf ka Khoon’, printed at the Narindra Electric Press, Lyalepur, edited and published by Pandit Shivlal ‘Bismil’, journalist, Lyalepur)

    Long live Revolution
    - Long Live Revolution
    - Unparalleled Revolution
    - Unparalleled Revolution
    - Revolution! Revolution!

    On this side heads for the sacrifice
    - And enthusiasm to add,
    - From that side tyranny.
    - On this side silence,
    - Revolution in silence
    - Long live Revolution
    - Revolution! Revolution!

    On that side baton. Practice
    - On this side indifference,
    - On that side mischief-making (and) excessive bragging
    - On this side melting of hearts.
    - On that side acts of high-handedness
    - It is their doings that will bring about Revolution.
    - Revolution! Revolution!

    On that side acts of oppression
    - On this side starvation
    - Source of aspirations.
    - Are these revolutionaries
    - Who put up with rigours?
    - Revolution demands rigours
    - Revolution! Revolution!

    When Bhagat, Sukhdev and Guru have
    - Sacrificed themselves for the nation.
    - Many a man will come to ascend the gallows
    - Without fear and anxiety.

    We want a Revolution
    - But fight shy of rigours,
    - Revolution of the youth.
    - Glorious Revolution.
    - The Russian Revolution.
    - Asia’s Revolution.
    - This Revolution of India,
    - Is the Revolution of the world.
    - That too was a Revolution
    - This too is a Revolution
    - Revolution from every side.
    - Behold the Revolution is coming,
    - Long live revolution.
    - Revolution! Revolution! LONG LIVE REVOLUTION. [Home Poll. F. No. 13/IV A & KW./1932]

    Bhagat Singh
    - (From the Tamil book, Bhagat Singh or the Heroic War of the Gallows)

    The 23 March, 1931
    - The wretched day
    - In which goddess Bharate’s eyes
    - Were suffused with tears

    The inauspicious day
    - Which was responsible
    - For all the Indian’s weeping aloud.

    (The) day is an important
    - landmark in the history of the future war of independence

    India realised her helpless
    - Condition on that day,
    - On account of the domination By six erose of Englishmen Over thirty erose of India, Keeping the latter under subjection And ruling over them with arrogance

    That cruel day On which were sacrificed The lives of three selfless heroes Can never be forgotten in any manner, by anyone.

    The Duty of the True in India
    - (Statement I)
    - BOMBAY—from Mauji newspaper of Karachi, 26th May, 1932.

    O ye Indians, rise against slavery,
    - O youth, Mother is shedding tears
    - And calls you to the field.

    - The Firangis have spread out
    - A big snare of ignorance
    - Destroyed the fertile garden of Bharat.

    Hearing the lamentations of the starving breathren
    - The stony heart melts.
    - Defame not the name of India like cowards, give life
    - Like Bhagat Singh, Raj Singh, Sukhdev.

    (They) taught the Tension of heroism to everyone
    - and then went to the execution ground.

    Now the innocent are suffering in Jail
    - The award of patriotism is gallows
    - If you have true love, O ye Indian,
    - Strike at slavery, pull out its very root. [Home Poll. F. No. 13/IV A & KW. 1932]

    Piyara Bhagat Singh

    (Extracts from a pamphlet entitled Piyara Bhagat Singh, compiled, printed and published by Mehr II in Hindi, Punjab Satyagraha Camp, outside Delhi Gate, Lahore, printed at the Sanatan Dharma Press, Hospital Road, Lahore). ON COVER PAGE: BHAGAT SINGH ZINDABAD! INQUILAB ZINDABAD! BOL BHARAT MATA KI JAI!

    O pitcher don’t drown me midstream but help me meet (my lover)
    - Dashing Bhagat Singh sacrificed himself for the country
    - Dashing Bhagat Singh ascended the gallows laughing.
    - (He) passed his love in love for the country
    - (He) at last sacrificed his life for its sake
    - Without caring for death dashing Bhagat Singh
    - Made his own life miserable, in his love for the country.

    They caused mothers to be invented
    - They got children flogged
    - May God cast his wrath upon them
    - The bukkers did not show mercy.

    The tyrants seized in India.
    - Slaughtered with the blunt side of the kives
    - Go and ask the widows at
    - What happened at Peshawar
    - Ever since the time they have taken India
    - They have sucked our blood like lucks.
    - The tyrants got Bhagat’s daughters
    - This stranger (the poet) says with folded hands
    - Brothers you should burn the foreign goods.
    - [Home Poll. F. No. 13/IV A. 1932]

    Bhagat Singh
    - (Statement I specimens of objectionable books, articles etc. published in 1931, when no ordinance was in force in respect of which prosecutions were instituted or warnings issued. Put before the Legislative Assembly in defence of Criminal Law Amendment Act 1932 incorporating all the powers of Special Powers Ordinance and more, extra-ordinary, extra-judical powers verging on martial law.)

    MADRAS: Extracts from a book, entitled “Sutindra Nadam” by K.B.S. Mani
    - (Bhagat Singh is) the lion that appeared on earth
    - to render service to Mother Bharata.
    - (He is) the lion that avenged the wrong
    - done to the lion of the Punjab.
    - (He is) the lion that said that victory
    - must be achieved by means of war
    - (He is) the lion that damned the Legislative Assembly
    - as a pretence indulged in broad day-light.
    - (He is) the lion that threw a bomb (deemed to be)
    - an act of conspiracy.
    - (He is) the lion that stood
    - boldly on the gallows.
    - (He is) the lion that departed
    - from the world with (his) two comrades.
    - (He is) the lion of India that relieved
    - the misery of the poor.
    - (He is) the lion that helped
    - get rid of timidity.

    Lutfi-Shahadat ya Teen Shaheed
    - (Extracts from a pahmphet in modern Urdu entitled ‘Lutfi-Shahadat ya teen Shaheed’, compiled by Bharat Bhushan alias Aflatoon, printed by Bharat Bhushan at the Sanatan Dharma Steam Press, Hospital Road, Lahore.)

    Inquilab Zindabad! Bande Mataram!
    - Indian Napoleon Sardar Bhagat Singh,
    - Rajguru Zindabad.
    - Sukhdev Zindabad
    - If for the sake of the country anyone applies
    - The sword to your throat

    Bow your neck laughing after
    - Uttering: Bande Mataram!

    O Britain what has thou gained
    - By dismembering the dead body.
    - They should have allowed some visible
    - Relic of my Sardar to remain.

    O Youngman! Why are you waiting
    - For the Kindness of the Sarkar
    - A non-violent cry for redress
    - Never gets a hearing.

    You should also bring your courage
    - And bravery into play
    - You have so far ruined
    - Your lives in cowardliness

    What hast thou gained
    - By dismembering the dead body, Inquilab!
    - O Tyrant! We shall make you moment a donkey
    - After blackening your face, Inquilab!

    O firanghi! We will give you the taste
    - Of the tyranny you practice, Inquilab!
    - What right have they to the country
    - We state the truth.
    - Little men like Aflatoon will
    - Sacrifice their lives for the country, Inquilab!

    O Indians rally under the banner
    - Of Inquilab, Inquilab!
    - You are how to go into jails, laughing, Inquilab
    - Remember whoever will practice tyranny
    - The sighs of the poor will blow him off.
    - Remember, this citadel of sand will
    - One day tumble down!

    [Home Pol. F. No. 13/IV. A 1932]

    Dialogue between Bhagat Singh and Dutt

    (From the Gurumukhi pamphlet entitled “Virlap”, a verse on the execution of Bhagat Singh)

    Dutt: how are you doing Bhagat Singh?Bhagat Singh: My blood increased by a seer When I heard of my impending execution.

    - Dutt: O Brother, your separation has wounded my heart
    - Bhagat Singh: O beloved Dutt! Don’t weep
    - I shall send for you soon.

    - Dutt: O Bhagat Singh! I will die weeping, for you soon.
    - Bhagat Singh: O my dear Dutt! Accept my last saluation!

    [Home Poll. No. 13/IV A & KW 1932]

    Qaumi Shahid
    - (Extract from a pamphlet in Hindi entitled ‘Qaumi Shahid’ (National Martyrs) written by Bismal, printed by Ram Prasad of Kandan Printing Press, Lahore and published by Ram Prasad, publisher and bookseller) (From statement I specimen of objectionable articles, books, etc. published in 1931 when no Ordinance was in force in respect of which prosecutions were instituted or warnings of prosecution issued—plea for amending the criminal law and for Criminal Law Amendment Act 1931, giving extraordinary powers to the government.)

    Sardar Bhagat Singh
    - Was a courageous man.
    - If you ask me the truth
    - (he) was the lion of India.
    - O! The Tyrants did not
    - Act considerately.
    - O! They executed
    - The gem of India.
    - By bringing the false
    - Charge of murder
    - They executed them.
    - And finished with them.
    - Ah! The gems of India Were separated from us.
    - (Their) dead bodies
    - were thrown into lorries
    - On reaching the Sutlej bank
    - Pits were dug in the ground,
    - And the dead bodies

    Were taken down the lorries.
    - (The dead bodies)
    - were first cut into pieces
    - and were next
    - placed in the pit.
    - The British troops
    - Stood around the pit,
    - Considering (the matter) a play,
    - The tyrants poured petrol
    - And kerosene oil
    - On (the dead bodies).

    Ah! The saws are
    - Sawing our hearts.
    - The tyrants threw
    - The half-burnt (bodies)
    - Into the river
    - (and Thus proved that)
    - Their days are numbered.

    They did not let
    - The dead bodies
    - Be burnt into ashes.
    - May the martyrs go
    - to paradise
    - flying happily!

    O! May the House
    - Of the enemies
    - Who put them
    - (Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru)
    - to great trouble, be destroyed!

    - Soon take another birth,
    - Come and teach them
    - A good lesson,
    - For the oppression
    - They are practicising,
    - (We) are anxiously waiting
    - for you!

    [Home Poll. F. No. 34/IV A & KW (Printed)]

    Dialogue between Mother India and Bhagat Singh

    Mother India:
    - When my ‘Moon’ disappears, darkness
    - Will spread all over the world, O people! Bhagat Singh:
    - O Mother! This ‘Moon’ of yours
    - Will illumine the whole world. Bhagat Singh:
    - We will swing on the gallows. As people do
    - in swings during the rainy season. Mother India:
    - O Son! Your sacrifice will cut
    - Asunder my bonds.
    - Bhagat Singh:
    - O Mother! Let me sleep in peace.
    - Don’t keep me awake now. Mother India:
    - O Son! Your execution will break
    - the chains of India. Bhagat Singh:
    - I will be reborn over and over again
    - for the liberation of India
    - Mother India:
    - O people, I bred and brought up the lion but
    - Irwin put him in a cage. Bhagat Singh:
    - O Mother! When your lion wars
    - The whole of England will shake.
    - Let one lion die, lakhs of lions
    - Will take birth in his place. Earth and sky shook when Bhagat Singh
    - Mounted the gallow.
    - He took Sukhdev and Rajguru with him and began
    - The end to the sufferings of Mother India. (From the Gurumukhi pamphlet “Virlap” of verses on the execution of Bhagat Singh) [Home Pol. F. No. 13/IV A & KW 1932]

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