‘You turned out to be just like us’ –
By Pakistani poet Fahmida Riaz.
The inimitable Fahmida Riaz, who is a favourite of mine, was disappointed during her stay in India (during the 1980s) with the growing trends of exclusion – an anathema to the plurality of India. The poem is also included in my book.
Naya Bharat (New India)
Tum bilkul hum jaisey nikley
Voh moorkhta, voh ghaamarpan
Aakhir pahunchi dwaar tumhaarey
You turned out to be just like us;
Similarly stupid, wallowing in the past,
You’ve reached the same doorstep at last.
Preyt dharma ka naach rahaa hai
Saarey ultey karya karogay
Tum bhee baithey karogey sochaa
Kaun hai Hindu, kaun naheen hai
Ek jaap saa kartey jao
Kitna veer mahaan tha Bharat
Your demon [of] religion dances like a clown,
Whatever you do will be upside down.
You too will sit deep in thought,
Who is Hindu, who is not.
Keep repeating the mantra like a parrot,
Bharat was like the land of the brave
(translated by Khushwant Singh)