Articles

Waiting For The Twenty First Century [Poem]

1) Revolution!......

The romantic tradition;

A vision for all

Truly universal!

Start with matter;

Theorise with science;

Recall vividly

The history of struggles;

Pour one's heart,

And distil the feelings!

Mass of humans

To rise as One! 

With the blood of

Kith and kin they make,

A brand new Life

And vision of Future

Spread their Message

Of Universal Happiness.....

 

2) Nehru saw these

Clearly too!

And fo!lnd a meaning

For Modem life!

The Indian wisdom,

Or fear of blood,

Or Mahatma Gandhi's

Mystic force,

Or the British background

Of careful thought,

He spurned violence

And drastic change!

In heart he loved

The romantic Left!

Pained to see them

Crushed with force!

 

 3) The nineteenth century

Gave us Marx,

In the early twentieth

The Soviet was born!

The International (e)

Was a heady call!

The dictatorships

Were overlooked,

As they were made

On people's name,

The History

Was the juggernaut,

To crush all

Thoughts and dissent alike!

Nehru spoke

In agony but

The developing countries

Under Colonial yoke

Needed somebody

To cut the chains;

Liberation wars

Were the heady calls.

And people's blood

Poured allover.

The masters fought

To keep the mines,

Tea gardens

And the access ports.......

The leftist goals

Were limited to

Tactics, alliance

And short term gains!

The ruling Left

And the fighting ones

Had different goals

In life and fight.

But slogans were cried

To rouse people

In whose name

They all swore.

The international (e)

Became formal

For fiery speech

And manifesto.

 

 4) Science changed

The production tools,

And the products

That were marketed;

Nuclear bombs

And missile force

Made many wars

So irrelevant!

Technology changed

So fast! So much!

The transport, guns

And everything

Communications

Became so fast;

And computers gave

The power and might

To those in charge of

The State to rule;

They monitor men,

And women and all!

Of every rebel

To keep them tracked!

The Leftist States

Used these with zeal

To keep under check

The peoples' fervour.

 

 5) Liberals abhorred

The States' new eyes

And the kill power

At their disposal;

Men like Sartre

Rebelled and fought

But knew not

What the humans

Could do.

Despair, gloom

And hopeless doom

Fell on those

Who thought of the status

Human race!

One-fifth lived in

Glory and boom

Four-fifths rot in

Penury and pain!

 

 6) The new Left

With its youthful men

And women of courage

And passion for change

Jumped into fray

To fight in streets

In cities, jungles

And any place they choose!

Che Guevera

With an ascetic courage

Fired their minds

And wiry bodies!

'Fight and die!

And kill them all!'

Was the message

They took with them!

States, both of Right and Left

Hated them

For asking change!

Change to what

And how and all,

No one knew.

And guns were shot.

 

 7) Technology and trade

Jumped in!

Newer guns and

Terrorist tools! 

Gory groups

And mass murders!

Language, religion or

Any other divide,

Was good enough

For a leftist to crutch!

Some went to polls

Siding one side

In a parochial divide!

Some were clever

To make a business

Of the human uneasiness!

Some still fought

From hills and towns

With an eye on power!

Some cried

Within their hearts

And took on

Petty jobs!

Nehru leaned on

Buddha's thoughts

On science and human mind!

He talked of

The miles to go

A quarter century gone!

 

8) Some naxalites died

In Nehru's own land....

And we hear many others die!

Reasons vary

And places vary

But the overall vision

Looks so wary!

 

 9) The Soviet Union

Is showing cracks

Of nationalist

And ethnic hatreds;

Shampoo, soaps and cosmetics

Better dress

And fun, they want!

Eastern Europe

Is shackling down

Its rusty

Leftist bureaucracy!

China still is

Under the lid

Of party-military

Overlords!

West is buoyant

And Africa dull.

And the Latins

Are without their zest;

Part of Asia

Has gone with the West;

The Islamic societies

Are searching themselves;

 

 10) And India waits!

For too long it waits!

Tied up

In its pluralism!

Where to go?

And what to do?

Answers are not

Coming forth!

Past weighs heavy;

Present looks tricky;

How will future be?

Many are busy

With daily routines;

The Left is lost

With Nehru's century!

 

 11) Yesterday Rohana died,

An angry man

Of disarrayed left,

Ethnic hatred

The fuel he used

Engulfed him,

In its spit-fire!

Whatever be it,

The last of all rebel

Is dead and gone

For the world to see!

 

12) Look at the world!

And think of it!

Is it marching on?

Or drifting along

Sedation phase?

With dreams and loves,

Passions and peace,

Of visions of

Past and future;

Engineered through

Electronic means?

Are their lives

Governed by Will

Collective or individual?

Or are they a part of

The Market Force?

 

13) Is it necessary

To find answers?

Is it possible

To find them all?

May be,

It is beautiful

To walk along

To run and sweat

To tire and sleep

To wake again

To feel fresh

And walk........

And act with passion

And peace in mind.......

Does it sound mystic?

Or agnostic?

Optimistic?

Or pessimistic?

 

 14) Lose not hope

In humans or Life

The complexity

Is now puzzling us!

Stop not the search,

Or the questioning mind,

Or the work at hand

Or the newer tasks!

Walk, march, run,

There are miles to go,

Never there is an end,

Life is what you make it.....

November 14, 1989