Let us salute those who wrote the poetry of revolution

Posted on December 22, 2011

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By Pankaj Prasoon

This Poem by Pankaj Prasoon salutes the undying revolutionary spirit of the people who rose against the exploitative order.

Our REVOLUTIONARY RED SALUTE to all those martyrs who gave supreme sacrifice for the cause of Equality, Freedom and for an exploitation free world.

Poetry becomes a weapon
Against the tyrants and imperialists
In Tunisia, Egypt and Syria
Yemen, Bahrain and Malaysia 
For those who raised the flag of independence! 
Who composed the music of revolution! 
In a different note
Against injustice
Against exploitation
Against those who boast-truth will die
It says-truth will always remain alive
For dignity
Who dreamt of the spring of hope! 
Welcome to that intoxicating spring
I salute
We salute
Let’s salute those
Who martyred for truth! 

Salute the Zanj Rebellion
A series of small revolts
500,000 slaves
Led by Ali Ibn Muhamad
and shook 
the mighty, despotic, and debauch empires 
from Iran to Iraq
in the ninth century

1579
Salute
Gaspar Yanga
The slave brought from Gabon, Africa
The son of a king of Bara
Led the slave rebellion in Mexico 
Alongwith his slave friends
Against the Spaniards
Defeated them
Established the independent town of the slaves
Hundred salutes to Yanga

1712
The inhuman torture of enslaved Africans
Kept under abusive and harsh conditions, 
Angered 23 slaves
They came forward, showed courage
Attacked and killed nine whites by showering bullets
The criminal white colonists 
Hired mercenaries
caught seventy blacks
threw 21 rebels on fire-alive! 
like poultry on barbecue
Executed one on breaking wheel
It was the first slave rebellion
Salute to those 21 burnt alive

1757
East India Company unleashed a reign of terror
Barbaric inhuman rule
Fakers and Sanyasis (ascetics) couldn’t tolerate it
They defied
Took arms
All ascetics- Dushnami Nagas, Madari Sufis
Hindu, Muslims all united
started the early war for India’s independence from foreign rule
around Murshidabad and Baikunthupur forests of Jalpaiguri.
150 fakirs were killed
Salute to the Sanyasi- Fakir revolt
Salute to Majnu Shah, Bhabani Pathak, Debi Chaudhurani

1798
Midnapore, Bankura, Jangalmahal
The forest land
The forest dwellers
Adivasis-tribals
Raised their bows and arrows 
against the feudal landlords 
and British colonialists
who insultingly called them chuars-the mouse-eaters
And called their revolt-chuar rebellion
The Adivasis were brutally killed
Their leader Durjan Singh was murdered
Salute to them

1784
Johar
Salute
Baba Tilka Manjhi! 
The first freedom fighter of India
The first warrior against the colonialists
Who launched full scale war-the first war
And wrote the first poem of independence
By bow and arrows
He was killed and hanged in a tree
Salute to him
Whom we have easily forgotten

1787
Salute to the Shays’ rebellion
Which gave nightmare to the robber barons
Living leisurely in the rich-dwellings of Massachusetts
1000 Shaysites arrested
Five killed
Rebellion crushed
But it erupted again as people’s anger
In 2011
Against the filthy rich area of New York
Reincarnated as Occupy Wall Street movement

1806-1816
The revolutionary flames
Engulfed the sal (Shorea robusta) forests of Midnapore
It kept on burning for ten years
The enemies of people killed those valiants
Achal Sinha and his 200 fellow martyrs
Salute to all of them! 

1858
Johar! 
Salute! ! 
Veer Narayan Singh Binjhwar
It was 1856
A great famine swept the forest region of Chhatisgarh
People starved to death
Landlords and merchants of Sonakhan
Stocked in their godowns foodgrain 
usurped from the poor
He looted their warehouses
Distributed the food grain among the poor
The feudal and colonialists conspired
Arrested him
And publicly hanged him

1862
Johar
U Kiang Nongbah
After income tax in addition to the house-tax.
Tax was going to be imposed on betel and betel-nut.
Jaintias rose again in a fierce rebellion 
The leader, guiding spirit was U Kiang Nongbah
a young man, 
he said: 
Ka Jinglaitluid ka long ka kyndon ba donkam 
tam ha ka jingim U briew bad ka Ri kaba khlem ka jinglaitluid 
ym lah tang ban ong ba ka long kaba im
(Freedom is the most important factor of a Human’s life 
And a country without freedom cannot be claimed to even be alive’) 
hundreds of Jaintias were killed 
U Kiang Nongbah was betrayed, captured and put to the gallows publicly
From the scaffold he announced prophetically-
‘If my face turns east when I die on the rope, 
we shall be free again within hundred years, 
If it turns west we shall be enslaved forever ‘
How true was his prophesy! 
India became free within a hundred years! 


1885
Johar
Four Murmu brothers
Of a insignificant village-
Bhagnadih, Dumka
All revolutionaries-
Siddhu, Kanhu, Chand, Bhairav
British colonists, money lenders, zamindars
Usurped their land
Disgraced their women
Turned the innocent Santals into slaves
Cheated and insulted Santals
Led by Siddhu, Kanhu, Chand, Bhairav started
Sonthal rebellion
It swept across the Santhal country
Giving nightmare to those criminals
destroyed all semblance of British rule
Those criminals cheatingly
Killed Siddhu, Kanhu, Chand, Bhairav
Killed 10,000 Santals
Crushed the rebellion-
The Hul-revolution
…but the legend of the Santal Rebellion lives on

1871
Four Arab slavers with guns 
entered the market 
in Nyangwe, Congo
1500 people were gathered, 
most of them women.
Fired shot after shot
on the terrified fugitives
Six hundred innocent killed
Salute to those who were killed! 

Dharti Aba: Bira Munda

1900
The volcano of revolution erupted
flowing lava
Birsa Munda –Dharti Aba (father of the earth) 
Launched the Munda rebellion-ulgulaan
Torching the dikkus(outsiders) 
Police stations and churches 
Raided the property of moneylenders and zamindars.
Raised the white flag –
The symbol of Birsa Raj
The colonial government was shaken
Munda warriors assembled at Dumbari Hills
The British attacked them
Slaughtered them
Thousands of freedom fighters were killed
Dumabri became Topped Buru-mound of dead
Birsa Munda was captured
Killed in Jail
He was only 25
He was killed
But ulgulaan
The revolution -continues
Long live ulgulaan
Long live Birsa Munda-Dharti Aba

22 January 1905

Zdravstvujte 
Salute
To the simple soul
priest George Gapon
who was moved to see 
the sad plight of workers of
Putilov plant
It was Czar’s Russia
Cruel, despot, tyrant, oppressor
Bloody Nicholas II was reigning
He issued the diktat-
Workers would work for hours twelve
On Saturdays ten
He raised the price of everything
Reduced the wages of the workers
Gapon was an innocent man
Thought he-Czar doesn’t know this
This is the work of his subordinates
Father Gapon organized the workers
Thousands of workers
Marched towards
The Czar’s winter palace
To give a petition
Showering bullets welcomed them
Killing one thousand of them
The workers were silenced
The movement failed
But it fuelled
Gave birth
To that revolution
That wrecked the vicious monarchy of the world

25 October 1917
The revolution
The biggest one of the 20th century
Of workers and peasants
The October revolution
Led by Lenin and Stalin
Red salute to that revolution
In the poetry of revolution new pages were added
Red pages
Russia, China, half of Europe 
Cuba, Vietnam, Laos 
All became red
Salute to all of them! ! 

1921
Revolution spread on the streets of Istanbul
Revolutionary cadre roamed
Mustafa Suphi was their leader
The paid agents of the dictator
Killed him by dagger
And thrown his corpse in the Black Sea
Black Sea became red
Salam to Mustafa Suphi
Marhabaa! 
Salute! 

1923
The splinter of freedom
Became a raging forest fire in Andhra Pradesh
Salute to Aluri Sitarama Raju of Chintapalli
Salute to Rampa rebellion

1950
Selamat siang
Salute to Sudisman
Great mobiliser 
created
Twenty million defeated persons into
Revolutionary-a dynamic force
In Indonesia
But the revolution failed
Thousands of comrades were massacred
Sudisman was sent to gallows

1952
From the jungles of Kenya 
came the slogan
Mzungu Aende Ulaya, 
Mwafrika Apate Uhuru 
Let the European go back to Europe (Abroad) , 
Let the African regain Independence.
Children, old all thundered-
Uma Uma 
get out, get out
-expression of unrestrained emotion
nationalist response to the unfairness and oppression 
freedom fighters, the ‘Mau Mau’
vowed to free Kenya from colonialism….
the Mau Mau Uprising
Habari! 
Salute 
to the Kapenguria Six – 
Bildad Kaggia, Kung’u Karumba, Jomo Kenyatta, 
Fred Kubai, Paul Ngei, and Achieng’ Oneko! 

17 January 1961


Salute to Patrice Lumumba
The first democratically elected Prime Minister of Congo
Who fought for African identity. Said he: 
For a thousand years, you, African, suffered like beast, 
Your ashes strewn to the wind that roams the desert.
Your tyrants built the lustrous, magic temples
To preserve your soul, reserve your suffering.
Barbaric right of fist and the white right to a whip, 
You had the right to die, you also could weep.
The criminal colonial Belgium 
Robbers of the precious copper, gold and uranium of Congo
Conspired with the champion of democracy
-the superpower- US of A
Lumumba was arrested, beaten and tortured
Was lined up against a large tree
Then fired
And killed him
His body was hacked into pieces
Then dissolved into acid filled drum
Shame to those criminals 
Who still preach and sing peons of democracy

11 September ,1973
In the Chile Stadium
While he was tortured
His fingers were being cut
He wrote the last poem of his life
Which remained unfinished
By the oozing blood of his fingers
-the swan song
Amidst bullet hurled on him
He wrote-
How hard it is to sing
when I must sing of horror.
Silence and screams is the end of my song
Salute to the great soul
Victor Jara

17 December 2010
There was a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi, 

Mohamed Boauzizi

In small town Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, 
He gave free fruit and vegetables to very poor families
Affectionately he was called Basboosa-the sweet halwa
He himself was poor
Running a family of six siblings
He didn’t have a licence.
Police wanted bribe
Municipal staff wanted bribe
Confiscated his wares 
Fed up with the harassment and humiliation
he procured a can of gasoline
standing in the middle of traffic, 
He shouted ‘how do you expect me to make a living? ”
He immolated himself alight with a match 
He died
5,000 people participated in the funeral procession
the angry crowd chanted ‘Farewell, Mohammed, 
we will avenge you. 
we weep for you today.
we will make those who caused your death weep
Thawrat al-Karā mah- Dignity Revolution started
Ultimately called Jasmine Revolution
Jasmine-the national flower of Tunisia
Dethroning thedictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 
Mohamed Bouazizi
wa ‘alaykum is salā m! 

17 June 2011
Salam –
Yacoub Dahoub of Mauritania
who dared to set fire 
himself in Nouakchott
Just in front of the President Palace
he burnt himself for a better Mauritania 
where all people will enjoy justice
and revolution descended in the Arab world
in Egypt
Salam Asmaa Mahfouz
in Syria
Salam Razan Zaitouna, 
In Yemen
Salam Tawakkul Karman
And so on…
The fire of revolution never subsides
It cannot be subsided
It may remain dormant for a while
Yet it will be burning inside
Its only companion is poetry
Poetry never bends
It always remains
And burns
Sending flames
with the revolution
In the frontline
It still continues
the epic of revolution 
still unfinished
no one knows when it will be completed
Till then several new names would be added
in the new blood soaked chapters
Salute to all of them
And Salute…

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Posted in: Poem