Pankaj Prasoon

Let Us Salute Those Who Wrote The Poetry Of Revolution - Poem by Pankaj Prasoon

Poetry becomes a weapon
Against the tyrants and imperialists
In Tunisia, Egypt and Syria
Yemen, Bahrain and Russia
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
Absit reverentia vero
'The truth shouldn't be silenced to spare someone.'
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

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

The inhuman torture of enslaved Africans
Kept under abusive and harsh conditions,
Angered 23 slaves of New York City
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

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

Midnapore, Bankura, Jangalmahal
The forest land
The forest dwellers
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

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

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
Salute to John Woolman
-years before the American Revolution,
who refused to pay taxes spoke out against slavery
And Salute to John Ross - Guwisguwi
The Cherokee chief
who resisted the dispossession of his people,
whose wife died on the Trail of Tears
Salute to Frederick Douglass, who represented the struggle against slavery
Salute to Emma Goldman, who was sent to prison,
Salute to Helen Keller, who fearlessly spoke out against the war
Salute to Fannie Lou Hamer,
evicted from her farm
tortured in prison
after she joined the civil rights movement

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!

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

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 prophesying!
India became free within a hundred years!

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!
British conquered the Jaintia kingdom
The Garo warriors confronted them
spears, swords and shields
the battle was unmatched
it was a battle between haves and have nots
between the exploiters and exploiteds
young Togan Sangma was the commander of the valiant Garo warriors
he was killed in the war
Salute to Pa Togan Nengminja Sangma.

Four Murmu brothers
Of an 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

Manipur was an independent kingdom
It had resisted the British occupation
Manipuri fought to their last breadth
to save their Motherland
Tikandrajit Singh led the patriotic forces
Military General of Manipur Mr. Thangal helped him
Tikenderjit Singh and General Thangal were arrested
then hanged by the British on 13th Aug,1891
Salute to these revolutionaries.

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

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

22 January 1905
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 1907
The revolution
The biggest one of the 19th 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! !

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

Selamat siang
Salute to Sudisman
Great mobiliser
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

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
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

6 December 1961
Frantz Fanon- a Caribbean Negro
Doctor, social therapist and author
Wrote The Wretched of the Earth-
the psychopathology of colonization
the handbook of revolutionaries everywhere
from Ché Guevara in South America
to Steve Biko in South Africa
Said he: colonizers were present in Algeria
simply on military strength
told people to use violence
resistance must be violent
to get independence
salvation lies in people's solidarity
expelled from Algeria
he died of leukemia
in America
didn't see liberated Algeria

11 September 11,1973
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
Hasta luego
Victor Jara

12 September 1977

Salute! !
Bantu Stephen Biko
martyr of the anti-apartheid movement.
Who gave the slogan 'black is beautiful'
mobilized the youth
started a movement
the 1976 Soweto Uprisings
accelerated the liberation struggle in South Africa
Biko was frequently harassed and detained
The racist regime couldn't tolerate him
He was arrested
chained to a grill at night
left to lie in urine-soaked blankets
He was transported to Pretoria central prison
twelve-hour journey
in the back of a police Land Rover.
he died on the floor of an empty cell in Pretoria Central Prison
as Biko's coffin was lowered into the grave
several thousand black mourners
gathered at his funeral
defying rifles and machine guns
punched the air with clenched fists
shouted 'Power! '
Stephen Biko
Hamba Kahle!
Good bye!

10 November 1995
E n le
Kenule 'Ken' Beeson Saro Wiwa
Executed with eight friends
For launching non-violent campaign against petrochemical giant Shell
It was dumping petrochemical waste
Degrading the land and water of Ogoniland
Oppressing the Ogoni people of Niger Delta
Ken stood for the oppressed ethnic minorities
to stand up now and fight fearlessly and peacefully for their rights
Shame to Shell
Shame to General Sani Abacha
Hats off to Ken Saro- Wiwa! !

17 December 2010
There was a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi,
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-Karamah- Dignity Revolution started
Ultimately called Jasmine Revolution
Jasmine-the national flower of Tunisia
Dethroning the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Mohamed Bouazizi
wa 'alaykum is salam!

17 June 2011
Salam -
Yacoub Dahoud 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 Bahrain
Coalition of February 14 Youth
Hassan Mushaima', Abd al-Jalil Singace, and Ebrahim Sharif,
Zainab al-Khawaja, and hisfather, Abd al-Hadi al-Khawaja
Ghazi Farhan
Dr Ala'a Shehabi
in Egypt
Salam Asmaa Mahfouz
in Syria
Salam Razan Zaitouna,
In Yemen
Salam Tawakkul Karman
And so on…

October 9,2012
Salute to 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai,
a student in Mingora in the Swat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan,
who dared to defy the diktats of the bute, fanatic, obscurantist and terrorist Taliban:
that no girls could attend school after 15 January 2009
Taliban blew up more than a hundred girls’ schools.
In her own way Malala wanted to inform the world about the brutalities going on against women by extremists.
She wanted to wake up the women of the rural areas of Pakistan to stand up and defend their due rights.
She hoped to organize the Malala Education Foundation, which would help poor girls go to school.
She was awarded Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize in December2011
She wrote blogs exposing the dangerous life under Taliban.
She became the enemy number one of Taliban
She was gunned down by those fundamentalists
She was was shot in the head
A Taliban gunman shot her as she rode home on a bus after taking an exam
The masked gunman shouted 'Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all',
On her being identified, shot at her.
She was hit with one bullet, which went through her head, neck, and ended in her shoulder.
The entire world watched it in horror
Malala, in Pashto means 'grief stricken'
She was saved by the doctors

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…

Comments about Let Us Salute Those Who Wrote The Poetry Of Revolution by Pankaj Prasoon

  • (12/22/2011 7:52:00 AM)

    I do not have patience to read long poems, though I read yours. Any way would you specify the reason for including Malaysia here? (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Vipins Puthooran (12/22/2011 6:11:00 AM)

    'Tis a great poem! ! Very descriptive and an excellent narrative! ! ! !
    Top marks! !
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 22, 2011

Poem Edited: Monday, April 15, 2013

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