Bhagat Singh’s Statue by Fahmida Riaz

There is news from Delhi
alas! Alas!!
What a mess they have made
Of Bhagat Singh
In the Parliament Square!

For sixty years they petitioned
The British rejected him
But YOU! Our own government.
Erect his statue
in the Parliament Square.
At last the government beat its breast
and said why not!
and erected the statue in the parliament square.
But when the veil was lifted
You discover it is not Bhagat Singh
That 24 year old beautiful lad
Nor his young limbs that they could not properly burn
On the fateful night when they hanged him.

It is some 60 years old guy
Flabby and tired looking
With upturned mustaches
Ah what the hell is this.
This is not our Bhagat Singh
In the Parliament Square
Who the hell is he?

Ha ha ha! Dear friends
Wipe your tears look closely
At all the other statues
Is it the same Jawahar Lal as he was? Is it the same Gandhi?
The same Abulkalam Azad?

The in-coming and out-going respected parliamentarians
Have made an omlette of thier reality
And gobbled them up long long ago.
In this grand square
Only scissored and edited versions
Can find a lasting place.

Bhagat Singh was the child of his time
And times have changed. He loved Urdu poetry and Ghalib
And Ghalib, getting rid of his robe
Is Galib now, winking and singing some trashy “gajal”
Ishwarya Rai is dancing on it
So kind of her.

And in his city Lahore
Bhagat Singh is a Sikh
Who perhaps left for India in ’47
Such names make people nervous
Is the god-damn man coming back?
to claim his property??
We shall never let that happen
After all we left fields and barns
shops and houses
in Ludhiana.

Bhagat Singh was a pure Indian
His times are swept away with the wind
He was a purely Indian heart-flame
Light in the water
rustling in the wind
He was a purely Indian passion of his time
And times have changed.

Let his statue remain where it has been for 60 years
Accross both sides of the border
In a heart or two.
There every morning
Longings as innocent and ignorant as little children
Cover his young body with fresh garlands of marigold
Bathe his limbs with tears of love and adoration
He belongs there
He is happy there.

Translated by the author from the original in Hindustani

Original Urdu Version

On Bhagat Singh Statue Controversy

Background Information

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Bhagat Singh Ki Moorat by Fahmida Riaz

On Bhagat Singh Statue Controversy

Background Information
Urdu Poem
Bhagat Singh Ki Moorat
Fahmida Riaz

Bhagat Singh Ki Moort
Dilli sey khabar aai hai
Duhai hai Duhai hai.
Parliament Complex main
Sheed Bhagat Singh ki
Sarkari shilpkar ney
Yeh kaisi chabbi bani hai!
Are hai hai hai!!!
Yeh tau Bhgat Singh naheen
Voh kaisri ghabroo humara
Jis ki deh ko jala na paey they theek sey.
Saatth painsatth varsh ka
Mota Phappas sa
Moti munchon wala
Yeh to koi aur hai!
Saatth varsh sey koshish kar rahey they
Dhar petition par petition
Angrezun ney thukraya
Tum to mat thukrao
Bhagat Singh shaheed ki
Murat yahan lagao.
Aakhir satth varsh baad Sarkar ney
Chati par haath mara aur kaha
“Han! Kiun naheen!”
Aur laga di mooat, Parliament Comlex main.
Hain! Yeh kia?
Yeh to Bhagat Singh Naheen!

Hahaha! Piarey mitro
Rona band karo
Zara is parliament main doosri mooraton ko bhi ghor sey dekho
Kia yeh wo hi Jwahar Lal hai, jo who tha? Wohi Gandhi hai?
Wo hi Abulkalam Azaad?
In ki asal soorat aur atma
Tau is Parliament main aney janey waley
Kab ki omlette bana kar kha pee chukey.
Is chogherey main kaiwal
Badli hui muratain hi lag sakti hain
Kuja Bhagat Singh!
Who Ab baqi naheen raha.
Us ka zamana beet gaya.
Who jo Ghalib ka aashiq tha
Sher o shairi ka rassia.
Ab Ghalib bhi Galib hain
Aur ankh mar mar kar, gajal ga raha hai
Ishwarya rai jis par naach rahi hain
Unki mehrbani
Aur uskey shehar Lahore main
Bhagat Singh aik Sikh hai, zyadatar logon key liey.
Jo shayed san sentalees main
Wahan sey chala gaya.
Aisey naam sun kar loog ghabra jatey hain
Kambakhat kaheen wapis tau naheen aa raha
Apni property claim karney!!!
Naheen, naheen, humm aisa naheen honey den gey
Aakhir humm bhi tau chor kar aey hain
Khet khalyan, dukaneyn makaan
Ludhyaney main.
Kiun tum ney chaha us ki murat lagana
Parliament Complex main? Bhagat Singh sarkar ka hero naheen ban sakta
Kisi bhi sarkar ka naheen.
Who Khalis Hindustani tha
Uska samey beet gaya
Who khalis Hindustan ki mitti ka geet tha
Paani ki chamak
Hawa ki sarsarahat
Khalis Hindustani josh aur jazba apney waqt ka.
Hawa us waqt ko ura ley gayi
Uski murat waheen lagi rehney do
Jehan who saatth baras sey lagi hai.
Sarhad key iss paar aur uss par
Ikka dukka dil main.
Har subha bacchon jaisi masoom kaamnaen
Us key korey pindey ko gaindey key phoolon sey dhanp deti hain
Aur us ko nehlati hain
Pyar aur samman bharey aansuon key namkeen paani sey.
Yeh hai uska asal asthan
Bhagat Singh yahan khush hai.

English Translation by Fahmida Riaz

Courtesy: Chaman Lal. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi: prof.chaman@gmail.com

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