Removal Of The Gandhi Statue From The Ghana University Campus (A Poetic Drama) Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

Removal Of The Gandhi Statue From The Ghana University Campus (A Poetic Drama)

Removal of The Gandhi Statue From The Ghana University Campus (A Poetic Drama)
(A One-act Play)

Background is the scenery of the historical poetic drama opening with it, a mode to introduce to the audience, the readers giving a background of all that happened or to take place and in Background lies it Premonition, Nightmare as the latter is just a realization on the part of Gandhi. First, Background was put forth as for introducing the play, but later on the Chorus was assigned with and allotted to the role.

Scene I
The Chorus As The Voices of Prediction And Prophecy:
In this age of post-truth evaluation,
Post-truth evaluation,
How to prevent them
If the values keep changing?

Again, The Same Choric Voices:
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are here,
To listen them,
Listen them.

The Same Choric People:
What they say,
What they do,
Hush, hush up,
Silence please, silence, let me, let me hear!

(In three turns and poses and postures to predict as prophecies, giving ears to whispers and mutterings, chuckling and laughing to give an impetus to enactment, staging of the Gandhian drama of life.)


My days are nearer,
Maybe will not here tomorrow
As this life of man too is as thus
For a brief stay comes he here,
Goes away from here.

In the nightmare
Saw I someone approaching me
With the pistol into the hands,
Bowing me with folded hands,
Why is this nightmare,
I don't know.

(And the news spreading,
Gandhi lies it assassinated,
Gandhi assassinated by Nathuram Godse
Who also knew it
That he was assassinating a great soul.

At Birla Mandir
Lay his body still,
The earthly remains of the great man,
The old man at prayers
But the things took a turn
As thus, drastically.

With the words,
Hey, Ram,
Passed he away, breathed his last,
Hey, Ram on the samadhi of his
At Rajghat.)


(A shift in scene. Gandhian images of different pensive moods of reflection made to speak with the Gandhian look-alike personae or posing as Gandhi reminding of Gandhi Jayanti celebrations, birthday anniversary celebrations falling on the 2nd of October each year.)

Gandhi Bewildered And At A Loss (With the faint Image of his) :
Again, again want they,
They to assassinate my character,
For what I did,
What I said it then!

Gandhi In Remorse(A Penitent Image) :
O God, where are You,
What are You seeing,
What they saying,
O God, God…

God, The Voice of God As An Oracle:
Let them, let them, my son,
My son,
Let them, let them say
As theirs is the day!

(Gandhi feeling disturbed, blamed as for the misinterpretation, misanalysis. Gandhi looking sad and morose.)

Scene IV

Well-wishers (Inclusive of Some Ghanaian And Indian Voices Or The Winds Hinting It) :
Gandhi, Gandhi,
Get away, get away from here
As the campus is brewing with,
Brewing with trouble and tension
Fomenting for sometime.

The Voice of Gandhi:
The Voice of Gandhi,
Gandhi speaking,
Why, why, my dear,
Why, why, for what?

Gandhi, Gandhi,
Gandhi, you my Sir,
They are coming,

The Voice of Gandhi:
Who, who my boys, girls,
My sons and daughters,
Who, who they
Coming, coming to?

They are coming,
The guys
To dismantle you, dismantle you.

The Voice of Gandhi:
Why, why are they,
Let them, let them
If they want to,
Want to.


(After the trouble being fomented for quite a lot of time, the tension brewing, the radio broadcasts and T.V. news-breaks, the media personalities and the anchormen visiting the campus as for an opinion with regard to the statue installation and the aftermath of it, to gauge how the intensity of painted feeling of protest which a simple statue can provoke.)

Good Anchorman, Media Fellow
(With the microphone) :
Lo, I am here,
I have reached the spot
To know the opinion
Of the boys and girls studying!

Good Anchorman Addressing the Passing Students:
Will you,
Will anybody of you
Tell about the trouble
Brewing it for sometime?

One Girl Student:
Yah, I shall
Though I do not know too much,
Bu have heard the people saying him
And the Indian independence.

One Boy Student:
Yeah, he was a great man
Who did so much for India
As far have I
From the teachers.

Anchorman Addressing Another:
Have you heard
That this old guy
Has anything derogatory
For the African people?

Another Girl Student:
No, I don't know,
Know about it,
Know about it,
All about that.

Scene VI

(The Chorus as a choric voice or an assemblage of people reflecting upon from time to time with regard to what to take place, happen or occur in the future course of action or to enlighten upon otherwise as a hint, gesture tendered.)

The Chorus As The Notes of Dissent Sensing:
Lo, the storm is gathering
In the form of the dissent,
Dissent against the icon, the scion
Though we not against!

Good Judgement:
What, what,
What did you,
What your murmuring,

The Same Chorus:
Nothing, nothing
Did we,
Did we against the things

(Premonition as the Refection and Musing of Gandhi ordaining it with its ruminations over and the Image of Gandhi flashing over. The Statue of Gandhi feeling discomfort in the midst of trouble brewing, fomented. The Image of Gandhi may be as shadow of Gandhi or a tiny speck of that something as photographically. It is not that Gandhi saying, but supposed to be the photos, images of his saying with the deigns and temperaments of their makers, be they makers of sculptures or images as they too are Gandhians, Gandhists, not less than as they continue to make after proper reading and assimilation of thoughts and ideas and images.)

The Image of Gandhi:
The image of Gandhi
Flashing upon
And they,
They holding meetings under the shadow of.

The Chorus:

They, they holding meetings,
Meetings unaware of,
Unaware of
Under the shadow of Gandhi.

The Chorus:
Let us, let us hide
Lest they see us,
See us hiding,
Hiding and conspiring.


(The complainants, suited and booted coming, coming to hold meetings, the notes of dissent to be given approval in the form of resolutions drafted and the sub-committee to approve of; they coming with the petition to be handed over, to be submitted to the good office of the Hon'ble be forwarded to be the Govt. as for relocation.)

One Complainant:
No, no, he has said
Quite derogatory,
Derogatory about the Africans.

Another Complainant:
The copy of the text,
The text is with us
To see and verify,
What he has?

Another Complainant:
Why shall we,
Shall we the statue
Of an Indian leader
In the African campus?

Another Complainant:
Are there no leaders
In Africa,
In Ghana
Whose statue we cannot?

Another Complainant:
He did for India,
What did he for Ghana,
So why to install,
Install the statue of?

Pol. Sc. Prof. As Diplomat:
No, no, how can it be,
How can it be so
Gandhi anti-African,

One who lived in South Africa
Fighting for justice
How can,
How can be branded so at once?

He was not,
Was not a racist,
Not, not at all,

Lady Journalist:
No, no, I cannot approve of
That he was a racist
As I myself loved to love
And like his theories
And went to see his statue personally.

The Chorus:
They have resolved,
Resolved in the sub-committee meetings
As for the removal.

The Voice for the Govt.:
People, people
As the critics must understand,
Understand the compulsions of the times,
People too evolve.

The Chorus:
But who,
Who hears the good counsel
If they want not,
Not to hear the good words?

Good Voice:
Was Gandhi a good man,
Was Gandhi a bad man,
How to say,
How to say in this age of post-truths?

The Chorus:
But the professors,
Professors and lecturers not upon,
Bent upon brining the statue down,
Nothing, but the statue of his.

They going on a signature campaign,
Threatening a strike,
Demonstrating and protesting against
The Gandhi statue in the campus,
Campus of Ghana University.

I do not think
All are interested in bringing it down,
All cannot be of the same opinion,
Some may definitely opinion,
If it is, let it be, what harm is it going to do?


Campaigners (With pen and paper) :
We shall continue to campaign,
Campaign for the removal,
Removal of the statue,
O Secretary, President of the committee,
Let us, let us be with!

Again, They Saying (Hand-in-hand, Shoulder-over-shoulder) :
We the campaigners,
Campaigners on a signature trail
For removing the Indian statue
From our native campus.

Again, The Campaigners:
Brother, O Brother,
Sign you,
Sign you, here,
O Sir, O Madam!

Our campaign is against
The so-called Mahatma
Who is actually not,
But a simple man.

The Voice of Reasoning Contradicting:
No, no, say you not,
Say you not so,
It is bad, bad,
Very bad to say so,
You the people!

(The Campaigners looking white-collar people come and go away with the pen and paper to get it endorsed and signed, initialed by more and more people though many of the Ghanaians know their tricks, not on their side. They are just a few after their vested interests, politicking to come to the fore, to be in the limelight. And finally Gandhi will bail them out. I shall not see, you will but see it.)


Campaigners Joined In by Protesters:
Gandhi, Gandhi will have to go,
Go out,
Our protests will continue
Till it is removed.

If not, we shall, shall blacken
The statue of Gandhi,
Take off the specs
Stealing from.

The Joker As The Ragged Man Wandering Around:
No, no, do you it not,
As live I near him,
My friends, if take you off
The specs,
How will, how will an old man?

The Protesters (One Or two of Them) :
Who hears you,
Hears you, the mad man,
O you rag picker,
It is not your business to see!

The Ragged Man:
O my compatriots, what did I,
Said I rightly
If take you off the specs
Of an old man,
How will he see?

Do not think yourself
A patriot of Ghana,
I too am a patriot,
A freedom fighter,
A patriot.

The protesters:
What is he saying,
Ho, ho,
O what is he?

The Ragged Man:
Ho, ho,
I am not saying,
Which you are but,
Ho, ho!

The Protesters:
O, who hearsmad a man,
A mad man babbling,
What does eh about
The statue?

The Ragged Man:
What do you, my friend,
I a man of Ghana,
You too a man of Ghana
And the old man an old man,
Off where which but I don't know it!

And the thing that I am mad,
I am not, but you
Debating over
A cemented thing,
Dong politics.

I too a son of Mother Ghana,
You too a son of Mother Ghana,
Yours is not the word of mine
And mine is not yours,
Why to impose upon, my friend?

(If the petition is placed before with the make-believe statements distorted and proven in favour of then what to reason as there lies no scope for debating and discussing the matter. What can the Hon'ble Chair do if the law is taken into?)

May I come in, Sir,
May I?
(The door is opened
And he enters
To place before the files.)

The Hon'ble Council Members:
Let us peruse,
Peruse the papers
Of complaint,
The petition signed by.

O.K., nothing to say
And debate,
Had it been,
Would have been good
As it is in a corner.

If we like it not
Remove we
With respect
Keeping in view good gestures.

(The Hon'ble Chair without stoking the controversy refers it to the Govt. for an understandable better disposal and relocation and the Govt. which goes not by loose sentiments and is run by able persons and administrators, diplomats and ambassadors and secretaries think about the modalities of relocation and shifting the statue. The meeting ends and the Chair moves out to the Ministry of External Affairs to relay to about the come out to work out a plan for shifting it outside the campus.)


The Wailing Winds:
Rustling by, whispering,
Rustling and murmuring,
Mahatma Gandhi ki,
Mahatma Gandhi, amar rahe, amar rahe
Taking to Rajghat.

Taking to Nathuram Godse
Who shot Gandhi,
After saluting him
As knew it
That he was assassinating a great soul.

Protesters (shouting slogans with) :
The statue must fall, must fall,
Gandhi has to go, has to go
From this African campus,
From this.

(The Protesters as cheerleaders cheering the crowds, the campaigners with badges distributing sweets as for the statue of Gandhi to be removed.)


The Last Part

(The campus full of hectic activity and chaos, hullabaloo and pandemonium. The cranes have been called in with the earth-moving machines to lift it with the drivers, operators, masons and contractors, university officials and govt. men to supervise it.)

Masons Discussing:
Why was the statue installed
If it had be recalled,
Removed from?
Well, wages our concern,
Not the bone of contention.

Women Gathered Around (as the representative of Mother Ghana) :
Great Soul, forgive you,
Forgive and forget it
What they are doing,
Forgive you
What they are ignorantly!

Winds Sombre And Sad Wailing:
Yah, the moments are somber,
Grave like the ones
Felt during the time of
The assassination of Lincoln!

Women Gathered Around (as the representative voice of Mother Ghana) :
Great Man, they do not know,
Do not know
What they are,
They are doing!

A Few Illiterate Women:
Even in the house,
The young ones care not for the old,
What to say to
About the old man's statue?

In this modern age
When we talk of old man homes,
Old age rehabilitation,
What to say about this man
In specs?

The Ragged Man:
The world calls me a ragged man
But I know it,
Know it
What they do not.

Where shall I go,
If the statue is removed
The place of my refuge,

(The Ragged Man goes to the site, asks the masons and labourers from uprooting the statue. Later on, the security staff of the varsity campus come to take a hold of.)

Security Staff:
O maddie, abstain you from
Showing the abnormal behavior,
Let them, let them be doing,
The work they have to do.

The Ragged Man:
Where shall I sit,
Sit on the campus
To repose in,
Seek refuge and shelter
From the wide world
To think and ponder over philosophically?

(The cameramen take the snaps of and the Ragged Man lapses into the things of his own self, reclining and brooding in the aftermath of Gandhi, bringing out the books, the New Testament, Sermon on the Mount portion, The Murder In The Cathedral by T.S.Eliot and Milton's Paradise Lost and those too the pale page old and used books received from an old newspaper collector. The Ragged Man smiling and talking to himself.)

No Man:
Gandhi going,
Going from the Ghana Univ. Campus,
The Statue of Gandhi lifted on
And placed on a cart.

Post-truth Phenomenon(As The Critic And The Judge) :
In this age of post-truth evaluation,
What to judge
And how to judge?

Who can but say,
Was Gandhi good,
Was he bad
As the things keep changing?

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