Freedom

Free, free, free

Yes, we are free,

Free from social responsibilities,

Free from civic responsibilities

Yes, we are free from foreign rule,

Yet, yoked to the unforgettable past

We keep crying over

Blaming others for our own foolhardiness;

Yes, we can do what we want

We can say what we want

(But… under cover… in between lines),

This land is ours

Vivekananda’s ‘pavitra matra bhoomi’

The land of sages and philosophers

The land of Manu and Valmiki

The land of Buddha and Mahavira,

The land of Charak and Chanakya,

The land of Ashoka and Gandhi,

The visionaries and the freedom fighters

Who laid their lives for India’s freedom?

This motherland is ours

The land of superstition and black magic

Sadhus, sants, fakirs, mahatmas

And

Self-proclaimed gods

The Hare Rama cult, the Osho cult

The Mahabharata and the Ramayana

Reminding us of our ‘Krishna kanhaiyas’

Veer Arjun, Hanuman, and the Ravanas

Draupadi, we find amongst our midst

Shrieking and wailing to save her from shame

Lost on dumb voices and deaf ears

In the ‘rarest of rare’ category

Girls’ are ‘devis’ to be worshipped

Now no more

We boast about our spirituality,

Our morals and values

Deep culture, ethnicity, and traditions

Instilled and taught by the ancients

Lost in the vacant beat of the raucous drums

That beat and howl our religious fervor

Janmashtami, and  Raksha bandhan

Now close at hand

Brag and claim their piety

When the next day

A sibling is raped and mutilated hideously

Demons and rakshas live amongst us

Blackening our glorious past

Somewhere, all is forgotten

Layers of dust has gathered around it

They are dreams, long drowsed in slumber

Our Brahma Samaj, our Arya Samaj

Remain just deposits

We have gained prosperity in every sphere

Yet, we are poor

Poorer than the hungry beggar on the street

We are driven cattle

We have lost our conscience.

                                                                       ~Shobha Diwakar

                                                                       Jabalpur, India

3 Comments

  1. A very beautiful poem depicting the gone by days of spirituality, truthfulness, rich culture & the downfall of all those glorious days & culture in the present time. Let’s hope we will one day again see Bharat, our loving Motherland raised to that height of being a golden bird once again with her rich culture & goodness all around.

  2. thank u ASB for your very promising comments
    let us all stand together and pray for our dear MOTHERLAND to achieve greater heights in all spheres of life and once again make it a land flowing with milk and honey

  3. Jaishree Misra says:

    Very poignantly expressed pain .
    We are free from many past tyrannies but free for what ??
    A very pertinent and timely reminder to wake up !

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