Through the entire stretch of August, events and launches and speeches focused on the Partition. Yes, 70 years back hundreds and thousands were left severely affected, when Partition wrecked lives in this subcontinent. Today, in 2017, we seem so hell bent on retreating to those bygones that we fail to see eerie build-ups for another round of partitioning. Nah, it’s not a question about being cynical or an alarmist but simply realistic. For the last couple of years I have been stressing that ‘partitioning’ relays are hovering around us, yet we, the masses, are getting conned by the rulers of the day into believing that all’s going fine!
Nothing is moving along the developed strain, as disasters stare in the face. Let’s not sit short sighted. Look around, see the political mafia all out to devour, if not to cut and chop each one of us. The ‘left overs’ are to be consumed by an array of hellish nightmares, as diseases and displacements spread out.
Not to overlook that partitioning of psyches is peaking; fed that we are on a daily dose of lopsided notions of the ‘other’. Overnight shifts are taking place; entire families uprooted from one locale to the other; refugees in one’s own country. They are left with no choice but to get moving from one locale to the next, hit not just by the mafia but by the bunch of failed promises.
After all, those bogus developmental theories are going completely haywire. Can’t we see floods wrecking one State after another. Uncontrolled waters hitting Manipur, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh… This sarkar is not even equipped to provide you and me with adequate boats and shelters and the connected rescue bandobast. Those not drowned are consumed by the offshoots. You don’t have to be an investigative journalist to see the filth and dirt and stink around, even in the so called posh market places, around frilly cafes, and not too far from the corridors of power, where the mighty place themselves. And if you have the nerves to walk around mohallas and ghettos, you will see for yourself how the hapless two-legged is surviving in an atmosphere where not just drains are choking but the entire stretch is un-liveable!
Not much difference to be spotted in the government hospitals where strays loiter around in the various wards, general and the not — so. In fact, patients have rather too patiently detailed how monkeys and mosquitoes, together with rats and cats and dogs sneaked into their wards in the so called best government hospitals of the country!
Today we are told minutest details of those horrifying build ups to death and destruction that took place 70 years back when Partitioning frenzy overtook even the sane, but why are we not told of the killings taking place right now – in 2017! Every day, innocents are killed if not blinded by the State in the most brutal of ways, yet we are told a bunch of lies of bliss reigning supreme in this mahaul of deceit and State unleashed terror.
In fact, even today, as I am filing this column, political creatures like BJP’s Harish Verma has been found guilty of trading in flesh and bones and hides of hundreds of starved cows he had stuffed in the three gaushalas he ran as a side business in Chhattisgarh.Nah, he isn’t lynched by the gao goons; after all, he is one of them!
Not to overlook the political rapists going about in the garb of babas, with the political — police nexus in place to keep them untouched for years. And even today, 70 years after that Partition, children and men and women are sold and re- sold till there’s nothing left to their souls and forms! Pathetic is the state of affairs. Perhaps, worse than that partitioning phase. Alas! Today we have yet to come up with apt verse describing the dark times we are living in, now, in 2017. At least poetic verse of yesteryears was stark, detailing the disasters, here and there; near -compelling one to cry out in anguish if not in rebellion.
As I was going through the volume Anthems of Resistance (Roli Books) I was pleasantly surprised to see a vast collection of hitting verse put together by Ali Husain Mir and Raza Mir.
To quote Faiz’s lines from his ‘Subhe-Azaadi’ tucked in this volume – “The burden of the night still weighs on us /The eye and the heart are still not free /Move on, for our destination is still not reached.”
Or to quote these lines of Sahir Ludhianvi from his poem ‘Khoon phir khoon hai’ (Blood, however, is blood). “Tyranny is but tyranny; when it grows it is vanquished/Blood however is blood; if it spills it will congeal / It will congeal on the desert sands, on the murderer’s hand /On the brow of justice and on chained feet /On the unjust sword, on the sacrificial body/Blood is blood; if it spills it will take root / Let them hide all they want, skulk in their lairs /The track of spilled blood will point out the executioners’ abode /Let conspiracies shroud the truth with darkness / Each drop of blood will march out, holding aloft a lamp/Say this to tyranny’s worthless and dishonoured Destiny/say this to Coercion’s manipulative intent /say this to Laila, the darling of the assembly /Blood is wild, it will splatter and stain your garment /It is a rapid flame that will scorch your harvests /That blood which you wished to bury in the killing fields/ has risen today in the streets and courts / Somewhere as a flame, somewhere as a slogan. Somewhere else as a flung stone /
When blood flows bayonets cannot contain it /When it raises its defiant head, laws will not restrain it / Tyranny has no caste, no community, no status or dignity /Tyranny is simply tyranny,from its beginning to its end /Blood is however blood; it becomes a hundred things: /Shapes that cannot be obliterated /Flames that can never be extinguished /Chants that will not be suppressed.”