Modern Punjabi Poetry – The Revolutionary and Anti-Colonial Poets: Ustad Daman, Diwan Singh and Ghadar Poetry

Inquilab Zindabad

Translated by Randeep Singh

USTAD DAMAN

Ustad Daman (1911-1984) was born Chiraagh Deen in Lahore. A tailor by profession, he was schooled in poetry by Ustad Hamdam. Ustad Daman soon began reciting nationalist poems at public gatherings. He wrote against British rule in India before 1947 and, after 1947, against military and political leaders in Pakistan. Latterly, he was arrested under the governments of Ayub Khan and Bhutto. His poetry, was compiled and published after his death in 1984.

Russians have Russia … (Rūs rūsīāñ dā cīn cīnīāñ dā)

Russians have Russia, China’s the Chineses’
Japan is the country of the Japanese
Conquering country after country
The English have England on top

The French hold France
Iranians take their seat in Tehran
As Afghanistan belongs to Afghans
So Turkey belongs to the Turks

So what a surprise it should be
That India belongs not to the Indian

Rūs rūsīāñ dā cīn cīnīāñ dā,
Ēdhar mulk jāpān jāpānīāñ dā.
Jagah jagah ute mall mār baiṭhe,
Inglistān nāle inglistānīāñ dā.

Hoiā hai frāns frānsīsīāñ dā,
Toṛe nāl tahirān tahirānīāñ dā.
Afgānistān hōiā hai afgānīāñ dā,
Turkistān nāle turkistānīāñ dā.

Ih kiḍī hai gall hairānīāñ dī,
Hindustān nahīñ hindustānīāñ dā.

 

Zindābād o Pakistān  (Long Live Pakistan)

Long Live Pakistan
As the petty child screams for a sweet
The elders watch on as it’s put in his mouth
We listen to qawwali on the radio
The one about God and the five saints
Wherever you look, cigarettes and paan
Long live Pakistan!

The hemp and opium stores open
Drink, eat and plunder in puffs!
Throw water onto your hearths
Sleep soundly under your quilts
Wherever you look, chickpeas and naan
Long live Pakistan!

The doors of the mosque are closed
The Mullahs lecture on intentions pure
Quarrels break out over rite and ritual
The pure and corrupt mingle and mesh
The common man ekes out his days
Long live Pakistan!

The Sunnis issue their edict
The whole world goes Wahhabi
Who is looking at us in the mirror?
Whoever speaks, it is in commands
New tunes there are on the breeze
Long live Pakistan!

Our country’s strapping youths
Weakened by hemp and hashish
Fashion has become their life
Singing songs of going afar
Our glory rolls in the mud
Long live Pakistan!

Zindābād ō Pākistān
Cījī mangaṇ bāl añāṇe,
ñh vich pānde vēkh siāṇe
Reḍīō utōñ suṇō kavālī,
Allāh rākhā panj tan vālī.
Jidhar vekho sigraṭ pān.
Zindābād ō Pākistān.

Charas afīm de ṭheke khulhe,
Pīo khāo luṭo bule.
Pāṇī pā dio āpṇe culhe,
Sauñ jāo lai ute jule.
Jagah jagah te chole nān.
Zindābād o Pākistān.

Būhe band masītāñ de ne,
Mulāñ māre nītāñ de ne.
Jhagṛe pae hoe rītāñ de ne,
Pākāñ nāl palītāñ de ne.
Ḍagōñ ḍaga hoe insān.
Zindābād ō Pākistān.

Sunīāñ valōñ hōiā ailān,
Vahābī ho giā kul jahān.
Kithe tur gaī aj pahchāṇ,
Jo bole so nā farmān.
Vakharo vakharī lage tān.
Zindābād ō Pākistān.

Sāḍe mulk de naujavān,
Bhangī charasī te bhalavān.
Faishan hai ihnāñ dī jān,
Gīt hijar de gāundē jāṇ.
Miṭī rōldē apṇī shān.
Zindābād ō Pākistān.

 

DIWAN SINGH

Diwan Singh (1894-1944), wrote free verse critical of religion and the colonial state. He earned the epiphet “kalapani” (‘black waters’) after being stationed in the Andaman Islands (traditionally a place where the British sent Indian prisoners and exiles) as part of the Indian Medical Corps. He remained on the islands until his death in 1944, after the Andamans had been conquered by the Japanese during World War II.

He published two books of poetry, Vagda Pani (‘Flowing Waters’) and Antim Lehran  (‘Winding Waves’).

O’ India (‘O’ Bhārat’)

India,
Giver of the Buddha, Ashoka and Nanak,
Abode of Gods incarnate
Land of the gentle
What happened?
The die rolled out of turn
The wheel turned out of kilter
Who recognizes this new garb?
Having died, you still live
Having fallen, while still standing!

Darling,
Fled is thine life, shame but remains
This weakness of a servant enchained
In superstition, touchability and caste
In illusion, in ghosts
Foes of reason, this foolishness and folly
How they’re stuck to you…
How did such power fall
To brahmins and mullahs?
To wastrels and free-loaders?
Those hungry are dying
Over crumbs fighting
For centuries you’ve slept
Serving at others’ beck and call
Rise, O’ India…

Bhāratā,
Budh de, ashok de, nānak de janam-dātiā ilmāñ
Avtārāñ dī janambhūmī
Sāūāñ diāñ desāñ
Kīh ho giā?
Ulṭ giā pāsā,
Giṛ giā chakkar ulṭā,
Pachātā nā jāndā terā ves,
Mar giā hai, phir jīndā hai
Gir giā haiñ, phir kharā haiñ!

Suhinā,
Zindagī gaī terī, sharmindagī rahī bāqī
Ih gand balā qaid ghulāmī dī
Vahmāñ dī, chūtāñ dī
Bharmāñ dī, bhūtāñ dī
Akalāñ de dushmanāñ, ulūāñ, ūtāñ dī
Kiveñ chanbaṛ gaī tainūñ
Bholā bhāle tere bande
Brahman de, mulāñ de
Vehle muft khorāñ de
Jo bhuke pae marde ne
Tukṛiāñ te laṛde ne
Sadīāñ toñ sutiā
Chākarīāñ kardiāñ
Naukrīāñ bhardiāñ
Uth, o bhāratā

A Storm (‘Hunerī’)

A storm’s brewing, a storm
Its dark speech, dense, swift fog
The night shall remain, encircling, dense
The sun, moon and stars all obscured
The light of our worlds burnt out
A storm is brewing, a storm
Whatever came until now
No one saw, no one recalls

A storm’s brewing, a storm
Of revolution, destruction, change
Beyond the storm, there’s naught to see
No one will recognize anything
The worth of all things changing

Fruits, blossoms, boughs, branches, arms –
Even their dust shan’t abide
Sheds, shacks, mansions, all swept away …
The earth shall crack, the stars will fall
The planets into one another collide
Oceans shall take the mountains’ stead
And from the oceans shall rise mountains
The earth will be beyond recognition
The cloud shall spread a new sky

Hanerī ā rahī hai, hanerī
Kālī bolī, andhā dhundh, tez
Bas rāt ho rahengī, haner ghup ghare
Sūraj, chand, rāt, sabh kajje jāvsan
Sāḍe sāmān raushnī de sabh gull hovsan
Hanerī ā rahī hai, hanerī!
Ajehī agge āī hosī
Vekhī nahī, yād nahī

Hanerī ā rahī hai, hanerī
Inqilāb dī, tabāhī dī, tabdīlī dī
Hanerī ute jo jaegī, disegā kuch nā
Siān nā rahegī kise nūñ kise dī
Qīmatāñ sabh badalīā jāvsan

Phal, phul, shākh, ṭunḍ, ṭahnī
Kakh nā rahisī
Chappar, kule, koṭhe kul uḍ vahisan
Panchī, manukh, sher, hāthī
Uḍange, ḍigange, ṭuṭange, dhahinge,
Zamīñ phaṭegī, tāre, ḍigange
Garih bhiṛsan, āpe vich
Samundrāñ dī thāñ pahāṛāñ thāveñ samundar ho nikalsan
Dhartī de parkhare uḍ jāngeNawāñ akāsh-chandoā tanengā ghaṭ dā

 

GHADAR POETRY – “The Echo of Revolt” (‘Ghadar Dee Gunj’)

ghadar-pub2

Ghadar Dī Gunj was a compilation of poetry composed by members of the Ghadar movement. It includes nationalist, anti-colonial and revolutionary poetry. The poems were published in San Francisco in 1913-14. Ghadar poetry ranks amongst the most fervent of revolutionary and anti-colonial Punjabi poetry of the time and is an early example of Punjabi diaspora poetry.

Coolies we’re called by the world
A flag-less nation are we
Are we slaves forever?
Why don’t we master politics?
A few birds laid siege to our pasture
Who will cultivate Hindustan?

Better to die than live as slaves
This saying may we never forget
China has awakened from slumber
The drums of India’s waking roll
What need of Pandits and Qazis have we?
What fondness have we for a sinking ship?
The time for prayers and meditation are past
The time to raise the sword draws nigh
The Ghadar paper proclaims so
The time for revolt has arrived

Kūli kūli pukārda jag sānūñ
Sāḍā jhuldā kithe nishān kiyon nahin
Kikūn bachānge sadā ghulām rah ke
Sānūn rājniti wālā giyān kiyon nahin
Dhāi ṭoṭrū khā gaye khet sādā
Hindustān dā koi kisān kiyon nahin

Marnā bhalā ghulāmī dī zindagī toñ
Nahīñ sukhan eh man bhulāvne dā
Mulk jāgāyā chīn jo ghūk sutā
Dhol vajāyā hind jagāwāne dā
Sānūn loṛ nā panditāñ qāziāñ dī
Nahīñ shok hai berda dubāvane dā
Jap jāp dā waqt batīt hoyā
Velā ā gayā tegh uthāvne dā
Paṛhke ghadr akhbar nūñ khabar lagī
Velā ā gayā ghadr machāvane dā

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under History, Poetry, Politics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s