Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The 1984 riots and how they deprived us of the one thing - hope.


The 1984 riots are a miracle in human history, because NO ONE KILLED THEM, and yet, 2700 people burnt to their death in the biggest known occurence of spontaneous human combustion(look that up).
 
For 29 years, the victims have waited patiently, hearing after hearing, court after court.. for SOMEONE to be convicted. But miraculously, NOT ONE of the leaders who killed thousands in the most brutal way, not one of them was convicted.
 
Today, as Sajjan Kumar was also acquitted, i lose all hope.
 
Waris Shah, a well respected Sufi poet from Punjab, wrote of the plight of Heer - a daughter of Punjab. Many centuries later, Amrita Pritam, a Punjabi poetess, saw the massacre of partition, the rapes and the forced conversions, and wrote a very famous poem, in which she exhorted Waris Shah to rise from his grave and see. When he saw one daughter of Punjab cry, he wrote a long story about her. What will he do today, when millions of daughters cry in the land of Heer?
 
Today, this comes, straight out of grief. There is no other emotion. No anger, no rage, not even a hollow sense of injustice. Just. Grief. and an emptiness that cannot be filled.
 
The piece is in Punjabi, and borrows from the original of Amrita Pritam.. because today, i know what it is to not have a single living soul to look up to for hope or solace.
 
ਆਜ ਆਖਾਂ ਅਖਬਾਰਾਂ ਨੂ,
ਕਿੱਤੇ ਪ੍ਰੇਸਾਂ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਬੋਲ
ਇਕ ਧੀ ਮਰੀ ਸੀ 
ਤੂ ਲਖਾਂ ਅਖਰ ਵਗਾਏ (ਅਥਰੂ ਵਰਗੇ) ..
... ਆਜ 2700 ਲਾਸ਼ਾਂ ਪੁਛਦੀਯਾਂ ,
ਕੀ ਸਾਡੇ ਲਹੁ ਦਾ ਮੋਲ ?
 
ਕੋਈ ਇਕ ਨਾ ਅਖਰ ਬੋਲੇ,
ਕੋਈ ਇਕ ਨਾ ਅਥਰੂ ਰੁਡਯਾ ,
ਬੀਬੀ ਬੈਠੀ ਸੁਬਕਦੀ ,
ਕੋਈ ਇਕ ਨਾ ਲਁਗੇ ਕੋਲ...
 
ਆਜ ਆਖਾਂ ਜ਼ਮੀਰ ਨੂ,
ਕਿੱਤੇ ਕਬਰਾਂ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਬੋਲ 
ਤੂ ਉਸ ਵੇਲੇ ਵੀ ਚੀਖਦਾ , 
ਜੱਦੋਂ ਬੁੱਲ ਰਹੰਦੇ ਅਡੋਲ 
 
ਆਜ ਆਖਾਂ ਚੀਖਾਂ ਨੂ,
ਜਿਗਰਾ ਫਾੜ ਕੇ ਪਾਓ ਸ਼ੋਰ 
ਡੋਰੇ ਸਾਰੇ ਜਜ ,
ਸਾਡੇ ਹੌਕੇਯਾਂ ਨੂ ਕਰਨ ਖਮੋਸ਼ .

आज आखां अखबारां नु,
कित्ते प्रेसां विचों बोल 
इक धी मरी सी,
तू लखां आखर वगाये (अथरू वर्गे)
...आज २७ ० ०  लाशां पुछ्दियाँ ,
की साडे लहू दा मोल ?
 
कोई इक न आखर बोले 
कोई इक न अथरू वगेया 
बीबी बैठी सुबकदी ,
कोई इक न लंगे कोल ...
 
आज आखां ज़मीर नू 
कित्ते कब्रां विचों बोल 
तू उस वेले वी  चीखदा 
जद्दों बुल रहंदे अडोल 
 
आज आखां चीखां नू 
जिगरा फाड़ के पाओ शोर 
डोरे सारे जज ,
साडे हौकयाँ नु करण खमोश .
 
Please see the comment for a translation.

5 comments:

How do we know said...

Today, i beseech the newspapers,
to speak from their presses
when one JEssica died,
they cried ream full of words.
Today, 2700 corpses
ask, what was our massacre worth?

No one speaks a word,
No one sheds a tear
The old widow sobs,
No one walks by her.


Today, i beseech conscience
to speak from its grave
For she screams
even when
the lips remain tightly shut.

Today, i beseech the screams
to tear the lungs apart and create an impregnable din
For all the judges in this land are deaf
and put our tears on "mute".

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Frog-in-the-Well said...

What riots ?? Did the riots happen ?? Gujarat riots happened. Nothing happened in 1984. What are you talking about ?? You are violating Sec 66 of the IT Act. You can be arrested and silenced unless you silence yourself.
The "conscience" of the press is an expensive commodity to purchase and a few can actually afford them.
So Nothing Happened in 1984

Onkar said...

Very touching poem. The 1984 massacre is the darkest chapter in our history. Thousands killed and no evidence to nail even one! How shameful!

catawampusme said...

Recently when I went to Arunachal Pradesh.. I end up travelling with two men who were *there* when this whole fiasco happened. and their stories.. chilled me to the bone!