Habib Jalib

(24 March 1928 - 12 March 1993 / Hoshiarpur, Punjab / British India)

These Honourable Ministers - Poem by Habib Jalib

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One is obliged to the British, the other is a slave of dollars.
Their heartbeats are in chains, but the name of liberty on their lips.
How could they know, how do the people live?
These honourable ministers.

They have leisure time, but only for the high and wealthy.
Their telephones are installed, but only for diplomats.
Why would they have time for us, beggars.
We can’t touch them, they are placed high.
These honourable ministers.

They are here for morning tea, invited there for dinner,
Why won’t they be arrogant? Their shops are flourishing.
As they wish, they can issue statements on radio.
We are on foot, they in cars, how could they talk to us?
These honourable ministers.

They even die in the Assembly, for the sake of nation,
They impose their will, by their muscle-power.
They hurl abuses and bear abuses as well,
They are the glory of the nation, pay respects to them.
These honourable ministers.

Ministry is their love, chairs are their keeps.
Let their lives be snatched away but not their chairs.
Let us see how long they will fling the chairs.
Their rule is transitory, their stay passing.
These honourable ministers.


(Translated from the Urdu by: Arjumand Ara)


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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 12, 2011

Poem Edited: Saturday, August 13, 2011


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