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Archives for : Poetry

Bertolcht Brecht and Me – Share Birthdays :-)- 10th Feb

A Worker Reads History

   Who built the seven gates of Thebes?

The books are filled with names of kings.

Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?

And Babylon, so many times destroyed.

Who built the city up each time? In which of Lima‘s houses,

That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?

In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished

Where did the masons go? Imperial Rome

Is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up? Over whom

Did the Caesars triumph? Byzantium lives in song.

Were all her dwellings palaces? And even in Atlantis of the legend

The night the seas rushed in,

The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.

He alone?

Caesar beat the Gauls.

Was there not even a cook in his army?

Phillip of Spain wept as his fleet

was sunk and destroyed. Were there no other tears?

Frederick the Greek triumphed in the Seven Years War.

Who triumphed with him?

Each page a victory

At whose expense the victory ball?

Every ten years a great man,

Who paid the piper?

So many particulars.

So many questions.

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Faiz Centenary Celebration Program -Pl share widely

FAIZ AHMED FAIZ
Birth Centenary Celebration Program

”Faiz is a poet who drew as many as fifty thousand people to his readings, a poet whose work is quoted by heart by the literate and the illiterate, a poet whose lines were recited even by those who opposed him…. A poet whose ghazals had been (and continue to be) sung by the leading singers of the subcontinent (including the legendary Begum Akhtar), a poet who was such a master of the ghazal that he transformed its every stock image and, as if by magic, brought absolutely new associations into being. For example, the beloved – an archetypal figure in Urdu poetry – can mean friend, woman, God. Faiz not only tapped into these meanings but extended them to include the Revolution….Waiting for the Revolution can be as agonizing and intoxicating as waiting for one’s lover…”

– Agha Shahid Ali

Kashmiri poet and a translator of Faiz’ poetry

Faiz wrote all his life with an unmatched empathy for the toiling people and to give spirit to their struggle to change their lives. His poetry gave hope to struggling people everywhere of their ultimate victory……Come, let us celebrate his birth centenary …..

Programme

Release of a book published by Muktiyaan Sanskritik Sangathan of essays on the life and poetry of Faiz along with a selection of his poems translated into Marathi by

NADIRA ZAHEER BABBAR
Actor, director and daughter of Com Sajjad Zaheer, the mentor and close friend and comrade of Faiz

Talk on the life and philosophy of Faiz by

PROF. ZAHIR ALI
Writer, freelance journalist, professor of political science, author of a book on Faiz in Urdu entitled Talmihaat-e- Faiz

Recital of Faiz’ poetry and singing of his ghazals interspersed with a Multimedia Presentation on his life and times

Friday, 10th February, 2012

5.45 pm (please try and be on time)

P L Deshpande Sahitya Academy, Mini Theatre, Ravindra Natya Mandir Complex, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400 025.

Entry is free. All are welcome.

—–Muktiyaan Sanskritik Sangathan & Faiz ki Biradari—–

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We cannot let them break the pen or ration the ink: Vikram Seth

The Speech upon Inaugurating the First Kolkata Literary Meet, 26 January 2012

Thank you very much for inviting me this Republic Day to inaugurate the first Kolkata Literary Meet – or KLM – or (most aptly of all) ‘Kolom’.

By the word ‘kolom’ I imagine we mean not only the pen but also the typewriter and the computer – in other words, any means of writing. The ‘kolom’ represents them all.

I am happy and honoured to be here – in this place, during this year, on this day, for this occasion.

In this place, because I am back where I was born.

During this year, because it is a century and a half since the birth of Tagore.

On this day, because it was today, more than sixty years ago, that we put into effect the book of law by which we as a nation live.

For this occasion, because it celebrates the word not as law but as literature, the expression of ourselves as human beings.

I shall call these the four ‘ko’s, following the Bengali style: Kolkata, Kobi, Constitution, Kolom: the place Kolkata, the year of the Kobi, the day of the Constitution, the occasion of Kolom.

Let me say a few words about each of these.

***

[KOLKATA]

Kolkata is where my life began.

Birth is easy enough. I have no memory of it. Any pain or inconvenience was borne by my mother. I was born in the Elgin Nursing Home – which doesn’t exist any more – at 1.48 in the afternoon. I was called Amit. That is the name that appears on my birth certificate. I have seen the document. It is green in colour.

I was called Amit because when my mother was pregnant with me, her friend Kolyani Bannerji read Tagore’s Shesher Kobita to her and, as you know, the rather wimpish hero of that novel was called Amit. My mother, though from UP, speaks Bengali and loves Bengal. She decided that if I was a boy, I would be called Amit; if a girl, Ameeta.

But my father’s family, who live in Panipat, had different ideas. The first-born son of each brother in the family had to have a name beginning with the syllable ‘Vi’. It was a family tradition. My father’s eldest brother had named his first-born son Vijay. My father’s second brother had named his first-born son Vinod. What was all this Amit nonsense? They vetoed the name and told my parents to think again. The name Amit (written in ink) was crossed out on the green birth certificate and the name Vikram was pencilled in. And since Kolkata is possessive of its children, although I am not Bengali, I have once or twice seen myself referred to in newspapers here not as Vikram, but (I am proud to say) as ‘amader Bikrom’. And I for my part certainly consider this city to be ‘amar Kolkata’.

I am always happy to return here, in fact or in fiction. I spent formative years of my childhood here – on three separate occasions. The parts of A Suitable Boy that I most enjoyed writing were the scenes set in Calcutta, whether it was with the garrulous Chatterji family (I especially enjoyed writing about the shocking Meenakshi), or at the Eden Gardens, where Lata’s three suitors, Kabir, Haresh and – yes – Amit, meet at an India vs England cricket match. In fact, the Bengali translation of A Suitable Boy by Enakshi Chatterjee (I am told it is a very good translation) is called Sot Patro, which of course makes one think immediately of Abol Tabol and the immortal Sukumar Ray, the father of another immortal, Satyajit Ray, who was no mean writer himself.

***

[KOBI]

The thought of authors past leads me back to the second ‘ko’ or ‘Kobi’, whose 150th anniversary we are celebrating and have been celebrating this past year.

One can say many things about him. I will say just three.

The first is this. I apologise to him for the fact that my parents renounced the name of Amit. But since he himself, when asked by parents to name their children for them, saddled so many children with impossible names, I am sure he will be tolerant of our sacrilege.

Secondly, today of all days, when our thoughts turn to where we are going as a country and as a people, it is right that we should think of him, because he was the creator of what – after his death – became our national anthem, an anthem that is intriguing because it is so ambiguous – not only with regard to who exactly is being addressed, but also because it must be the only anthem in the world to end not on a shadaj but on a madhyam – not on certainty and finality but on ambiguity and continuity. Of course the national anthem is only the first of five stanzas of a song. But still, this ambiguity and continuity seem to reflect, at least to me, some aspects of the openness and open-mindedness of the poet himself – who was writing at a time when many people’s views were becoming closed and rigid.

The third point about Tagore has to do with the limits of reverence. I am not now talking about the tendency to revere Tagore himself, which is a mild malady in these parts. No, I’m talking about Tagore’s attitude to someone he himself admired: Gandhi. Tagore may have venerated him and called him the Mahatma, but he disagreed with a lot of what he said – on non-cooperation, for instance; or on modern science; or even on nationalism. He did not let his admiration gag his criticism, sometimes quite strong criticism. Other people disagreed with Gandhi too, some less reverently, some indeed very bitterly. Nehru and Patel disagreed with Gandhi on the question of accepting the inevitability of Partition. Bose disagreed with Gandhi about reserving the option of violence when used against the violence of foreign occupation. Ambedkar disagreed with Gandhi on the question of rights for Dalits, as opposed to pity and accommodation. In some cases, Gandhi used what some would consider unjustified tactics to get his way: a fast against Ambedkar, a boycott of Bose.

I say this because, though most of us may well think of Gandhi as one of the greatest Indians who has ever lived, we can and do criticise him. This highlights a general principle. There is no human being born since our species first came into existence whom we should consider immune from criticism. Let me repeat that. There is no human being born since our species first came into existence whom we should consider immune from criticism. No one. Whether from the fifth century BC or the first century AD or the seventh century AD or the twentieth century AD. No human being is above criticism.

***

[CONSTITUTION]

This leads straight to the third ‘ko’ of what I wanted to talk about: the Constitution. ‘We the People of India’, in the famous phrase, gave it to ourselves on the 26th of November, but it came into effect two months later on the 26th of January, sixty-two years ago. The day was chosen because twenty years before that, Nehru, on behalf of the Indian National Congress, had declared Complete Independence or Purna Swaraj.

But was this self-rule or independence intended to be limited to independence from foreign occupation? The writers of our Constitution, from Ambedkar on, most assuredly did not think so. It was to be independence from tyranny of all kinds, including tyranny of thought and expression and belief, the tyranny of those who think one should not speak one’s mind. These and other aspirations are embodied in the Preamble, the words that precede the actual Articles of law.

Among its succinct and inspiring words are these:

‘LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.’

Liberty is one of four words – the others being Justice, Equality and Fraternity – which are the keys to the Preamble and, indeed, to understanding the Constitution as a whole. So here it is once more: ‘LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.’

But let me ask you – not as writers or readers but as plain citizens, as ordinary Indians – Where is this liberty today? Yes, the liberty of faith and worship are alive and kicking, but what about the liberty of thought, expression and belief, those liberties that equally make us what we are and give expression, insight and dignity to our lives? We are opening our gathering here on Republic Day a mere two days after another gathering – based like ours on the word and the freedom of the word, on the mind and the freedom of the mind, on the heart and the freedom of the heart – ended with a disgraceful exhibition of the suppression of the word, the suppression of the mind, the suppression of the heart.

To avoid a gut reaction to particular names, let me present the situation to you without names – as a case study, if you like – so that you can see it in its full absurdity.

One of the most prominent and admired authors of our times was not permitted to appear and address an audience in person – and then, in the strangest twist to the tale – was not permitted even to appear on a screen to address them. No one was going to be compelled to hear him. As it happens, he was not even going to talk about a book of his which had proved controversial, and which had been published more than twenty years ago. Indeed, he had even appeared in person at the very same venue five years ago, and there had been no protest. And yet he could not speak to those who wanted to hear him.

People are not fools. It is election time. Everyone knows the truth. The whole affair was started because of power and politics and the misuse of religion; it was whipped up because of power and politics and the misuse of religion; and the government knuckled under and enforced this disgrace because of power and politics and the misuse of religion.

Frankly, this is madness.

God and the prophets do not need bullies to defend themselves.

God and the prophets do not need bullies to defend themselves.

Neither the bullies who shout nor the bullies who enforce.

We are a constitutional nation, not a religious dictatorship. Unless he or she threatens violence, you do not have the right to gag or bully or dictate to your neighbour – or decide what he or she can say or see or hear.

You do not have the right to go up to the three monkeys and with your own hands cover up their mouths and eyes and ears.

You cannot use the argument of ‘religious morality’ to do this. As Dr Ambedkar said, there is something more important in a republic, and it is known as ‘constitutional morality’.

***

[KOLOM]

I will now go to – or, rather, return to – the fourth ‘ko’ or Kolom. I have touched upon the word in law and literature. But especially when one thinks of Tagore, one also thinks of the word as a graphic form, a form of art. I am very happy that Sunil Gangopadhyay and I – as part of this inauguration – were asked to write the word ‘kolom’ in black paint on those white boards there. As you can see, Sunil Da has written it in Bengali and I have written it in English and Urdu. It is interesting that three of the world’s great civilisations, the Hindu, the Islamic and the Judaeo-Christian, are thus incorporated on those boards, just as they are part of our common discourse. This is the richness of our country; we cannot allow it to be filtered and thinned. This is the strength of our country; we cannot allow it to be contorted or distorted.

Let me end with the two opening lines of a poem by Tagore that I have known – in his own English translation – since I was eleven years old. It was one of our school prayers and it expresses his aspirations for India.

‘Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free.’

Let me repeat that: ‘Where knowledge is free.’

Those who try to cloud our minds with fear are the enemies of both knowledge and freedom.

We cannot let our republic, our beloved republic, our constitutional republic, our free and free-speaking republic, be hijacked by fear. It happened once in the Emergency. It must never happen again.

We cannot let them close our mouths and eyes and ears.

We cannot let them break the pen or ration the ink.

Kolome kali jeno na shokaye.

May the kolom flourish.

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वीरता पदक देकर अंकित गर्ग को… कलंकित किया है हर एक मर्द को-

सोनी सोरी की कहानी सुनो   

सोनी सोरी की ज़ुबानी सुनो

पढ़ी है लिखी है पढ़ाती भी है

एक माँ है, पत्नी है, साथी भी है

भारत की नारी है, वासी भी है

अधिकार से आदिवासी भी है

तिरंगे का इतना उसे मान है

लड़कर के लहराया पहचान है

भले ही अभी लोग अनजान हैं

मगर ये भारत की असल शान है

लिंगा कोडोपी की हैं ये बुआ

सुनो के इक दिन कुछ ऐसा हुआ

गाँव में तीन सौ घर जल उठा

हुए बालात्कार और सबकुछ लुटा

हत्यारा पुलिस बल था पता जो चला

लिंगा ने जाकर के सब सच लिखा

सबूतों से लिंगा के रमण सिंह हिला

यहीं से शुरू हुआ नया सिलसिला

पहले तो लिंगा को दोषी कहा

नहीं बस चला तो उसे अगवा किया

प्रताड़ित किया और भूखा रखा

फिर सोनी सोरी पर इलज़ाम गढ़ा

पैसों के लालच से बिक न सकी

तो सोनी भी बलि की बकरी बनी

उठा लाए दिल्ली से सोनी को वो

फिर सुन न सकोगे आगे है जो

अंकित गर्ग नामक एस पी है एक

वहशी दरिंदा है इन्सां के भेस

अकेली नारी को बंदी बना कर

अपने कमीनो की टोली बुला कर

सोनी सोरी को नंगा किया

माता को गाली देता गया

जब बिजली के झटकों से दिल न भरा

तो सोनी की इज्ज़त पर वो टूट पड़ा

पीड़ा से सोनी बेहोश हो गई

अत्याचार इसपर भी न रुक सका

सोनी की कोख में पत्थर भरा

सुबह को सोनी थी आधी मरी

दर्द से कराहती वो चल न सकी

चक्कर जो आया तो फिर गिर पड़ी

शरीर से निर्बल थी, मगर वाह रे वाह

टूटा न मर्दानी का हौसला

उच्चतम न्यायलय में अर्ज़ी लिखी

रमण सिंह की सरकार हिलने लगी

सीबीआई तक बातें पहुँचने लगी

हर एक अत्याचार सबूत बन गए

आईपीएस के अफसर कपूत बन गए

वीरता पदक देकर अंकित गर्ग को

कलंकित किया है हर एक मर्द को

धिक्कार है ऐसी सरकार पर

फिटकार है ऐसी सरकार पर

जिस कोख से जन्मे हैं सब के सब

उस कोख के लाज की बात है

लड़ेंगे, क़सम से हम मर जायेंगे

इन्साफ़ माता को दिलवाएंगे——– by  Rizvi Amir Abbas Syed

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Video of Republic Day protest against Gallantry awards in San Francisco

Concerned citizens and friends of India organized a peaceful protest in San Francisco outside the venue of the official Republic Day function hosted by the Indian Consulate which was expected to be attended by around 400 invitees – the movers and shakers of the Indian community as well as local politicians. Much to our satisfaction, we were able to engage in one-on-one conversations with many of the attendees outside the venue and distribute flyers. Many of them signed our petition and many more were sympathetic.

The petition is as follows

Every year on the 26th of January, we celebrate the Constitution of India [1]. Every 30th of January, we remember the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to freedom. However, for the vast majority of the people of India, even the most basic of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution – the right to life and personal liberty and due legal process if these rights are to be abridged – remain unrealized promises. And the ideals of the independence struggle, as articulated by Gandhi, stand indelibly tarnished.

One of the most shocking recent instances of this trampling upon the Indian constitution is the torture and sexual abuse of prisoner Soni Sori [2,3]. An adivasi school teacher from the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, Sori had exposed evidence of police misconduct in the framing of several cases against her [4]. Police intimidation forced her to flee, and she reached Delhi seeking legal assistance, but was arrested before she could file a petition in the Supreme Court. Fearing for her life in Chhattisgarh, she asked to be held in custody in Delhi, despite which she was handed over to the Chhattisgarh police [5]. In custody, Soni Sori was brutally tortured by the Chhattisgarh police, because of her refusal to corroborate their false statements. A subsequent independent medical examination found sizable stones lodged in her vagina and her rectum and severe damage to her spinal cord [6].

Another instance is the case of Lingaram Kodopi. In 2009, Kodopi was locked up by the police in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh for 40 days, tortured and pressured to join a vigilante force [7]. After the High Court ordered his release, Lingaram went on to complete a course in journalism, and later documented villagers’ accounts of arson, murder and rape during a three-day police operation in March 2011. In September 2011, Lingaram was arrested on charges of collecting ‘protection’ money for the Maoists from Essar, a large business conglomerate. Sori, his aunt, came under pressure from the police to persuade Lingaram to accept the charges. She refused, saying the charges were false and ended up being an accused herself. Amnesty International has pronounced both Sori and Kodopi, Prisoners of Conscience [8].

Sori’s and Kodopi’s are not isolated cases. Authorities in various parts of India have a record of imprisoning innocent people, including human rights workers, on false charges, the most notable case being that of Dr. Binayak Sen. Dr. Sen was convicted of ‘sedition’, and sentenced to life imprisonment, but released by the Supreme Court on bail, pending appeal [9]. Many other innocent people, mostly from marginalized sections of the society, continue to languish in India’s jails; Adivasi activist Kartam Joga [10] and labor leaders, Bhagwati Sahu [11] and Abhay Sahoo [12], are just some of them. Others like Kopa Kunjam [13] and documentarian Ajay TG [14] were released on bail and are awaiting trial. Arun Ferreira, a social and human rights activist, was acquitted in 11 different cases for lack of evidence, but re-arrested each time on a fresh set of charges, until he was finally released on bail on the 4th January [15].

In custody, Soni Sori was pressured by the police to implicate many prominent human rights activists as Maoists [16]. Though Sori resisted the pressure, other news reports indicate a concerted attempt on the part of the state to stigmatize human rights defenders [17]. This was a serious concern placed on record by Margaret Sekaggya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, after the completion of a mission to India a year ago [18].

The gross misconduct of the police is enabled by several draconian laws of questionable Constitutional validity, such as the law against sedition in the Indian Penal Code [19], the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act [20], the Armed Forces Special Powers Act [21] and state-specific laws such as the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act (CSPSA) [22]. These laws are intended to help the police to bring charges against anyone on no or the flimsiest of evidence or to arrest and detain people for extended periods without charges or evidence. This process of filing false charges and detention based on them, is being used as a punitive tool in itself.

Where there are credible reports of torture or of other grave misconduct by the police, rarely have the police authorities been investigated, or the democratically elected representatives sanctioning systemic abuses held accountable [23].

Therefore, we demand that:

Torture and other prisoner abuses must stop

Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders must end

The practice of filing false charges, extended detentions without trial, and “arrest, detention and trial” as punishment must end

The law against sedition (Section 124A of Indian Penal Code) be abolished

Laws which give unconditional and unchecked power to the authorities, such as UAPA, AFSPA and CSPSA, be abolished

Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi be released immediately and unconditionally

Police and higher level government officials responsible for torturing and pressuring Soni Sori be prosecuted

Pl sign petition here

Below is a short  video (3 min) of the  Republic Day protest against Gallantry awards in San Francisco

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Gallantry Award for Sexual Torture on Republic Day in India

IPS OFFCIER CHHATTISGARH ANKIT GARG

The Victim of Sexual Torture

Soni Sori, an adivasi school teacher and warden from Chhattisgarh, is currently facing trial in Chhattisgarh. Accused as a
Maoist supporter, despite evidence of her having being framed as one in several cases, she has been in custody in Chhattisgarh for about three and a half months.

The Perpetrator of Sexual Torture

S P Ankit Garg,   who holds degree in ( ME Env Bot)  B.E.D,  is  2004 batch   IPS officer who  has been secretary of Chhattisgarh State Human Rights Commission though he has been involved in Ponjer massacre in which six tribal who were collecting Mahua were killed by axe, he saw a CRPF jawan who killed a  two-year- old child and a lady in Cherpaal Salwa Judum  camp, He also tried to save Matwada accused police officers and SPOs.  He was the investigating officer in Dantewada in 2007,  was promoted to the Rank of Superintendent of Police in 2008, as Bijapur S.P and he was S P intelligence Dantewada in 201oand took over as S.P Dantewada on 30th March 2011, in his tenurehe had initaited many anti naxal operations . On Dec 28 , 2011 a day after cadres of the CPI-Maoist blasted Geedam Police Station in Dantewada District, SP of the District, Ankit Garg, has been removed and attached with the PHQ.

GALLANTARY AWARD FOR THE PERPETRATOR OF SEXUAL TORTURE

What has been terribly shocking and perturbing is the fact that while in custody she has been subjected to gross sexual torture, by S. P Ankit garg evidence of which has come to light following a Supreme Court directive for medical examination in a government hospital in Kolkata. Compounding her crisis is the fact that despite this damning evidence, Soni Sori has remained in the custody of the Chhattisgarh police for all this while.

It is shocking to note that in spite of wide publicity and protests over SP Ankit Garg’s inhuman conduct by a large number of women’s and civil liberties groups, nationally and internationally, the government has deemed it fit to confer him with a gallantry award. It is even more baffling to note that this has occurred at a time when the Honourable Supreme Court itself has expressed anguish at the happenings and is still looking into these violations. Compounding the very serious charges of a heinous crime of sexual violence against Ms. Soni Sori that SP Ankit Garg faces, is that fact that this crime happened when she had been entrusted into his custody as a senior police officer. After the report from the Kolkata NRS Medical College and Hospital, this is no longer a case of mere allegations against the police, but there is also solid evidence by a government medical team to support her charges. However, none of this appears to have placed even a shadow of doubt on the gallantry of this Officer as far as the government is concerned. By giving an award in the face of these complaints which have not even received a cursory investigation, both the Central and State governments are condoning this sexual violence which is being perpetrated in the name of anti-Naxal operations.

26th Januray, 63rd independence day is the darkest day of the Indian democracy . While Ms. Soni Sori, the victim of this heinous torture languishes in the Raipur Central Jail, with a deteriorating health condition, and waits for her case to be listed in the Supreme Court, women’s teams who have been taking up the case of her torture have been refused permission to meet her. She is still under the custody of the same state police has that inflicted this torture on her.

Soni Sori wrote a letter from the Raipur Central Jail to her Lawyer Colin Gonsalves fighting her case. I read that letter for you, in Hindi and English, listen here

Soni Sori letter from Prison- Hindi

Soni Sori letter from Prison- English Translation

Related posts

Lo fir basant aaya-Happy Basant Panchami

A short documentary film about Basant, the spring festival of the Sufis in north India. The video covers a day in the life of qawwals and Sufis at the shrine of Nizamuddin Aulia in New Delhi, India. The Sufi festival of Basant is related to a legend of Amir Khusrau and Nizamuddin Aulia, is celebrated each year on the eve of Basant Panchami.

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Feminist Kolaveri on Declining Sex Ratio

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जैसे मेरे पास भी एक योनि है…सोनी सोरी

Listen to the poem on Soni Sori here
जज साहब,
मेरे साल तेंतीस होने को आये लेकिन,
मैंने कभी कारतूस नहीं देखी है !
सिर्फ बचपन में फोड़े दीपावली के पटाखों की कसम,
आज तक कभी छुआ भी नहीं है बन्दुक को !
हा, घर में मटन-चिकन काटने इस्तेमाल होता,
थोडा सा बड़ा चाकू चलाने का महावरा है मुझे !
लेकिन मैंने कभी तलवार नहीं उठाई है हाथ में !
में तो कब्बडी भी मुश्किल से खेल पानेवाला बंदा हूँ,
मल्ल युद्द्द या फिर कलैरीपट्टू की तो बात कहा ?
प्राचीन या आधुनिक कोई मार्शल आर्ट नहीं आती है मुझे !
में तो शष्त्र और शाष्त्र दोनों के ज्ञान से विमुख हूं !
यह तक की लकड़ी काटने की कुल्हाड़ी भी पड़ोसी से मांगता हूँ !

लेकिन मेरे पास दो हाथ है जज साहब,
महनत से खुरदुरे बने ये दोनों हाथ मेरे अपने है !
पता नहीं क्यों लेकिन जब से मैंने यह सुना है,
मेरे दोनों हाथो में आ रही है बहुत खुजली !
खुजला खुजला के लाल कर दिए है मेने हाथ अपने !

और मेरे पास दो पैर है जज साहब !
बिना चप्पल के काँटों पे चल जाये और आंच भी न आये
एसे ये दोनों पैर, मेरे अपने है जज साहब !
और जब से मेंने सुना है
की दंतेवाडा कि आदिवासी शिक्षक सोनी सोरी की योनि में
पुलिसियों ने पत्थर भरे थे,
पता नहीं क्यों में बार बार उछाल रहा हु अपने पैर हवा में !
और खींच रहा हूं सर के बाल अपने !
जैसे मेरे पास भी एक योनि है और कुछ पैदा ही रहा हो उस से !

हा, मेरा एक सर भी है जज साहब,
हर १५ अगस्त और २६ जनवरी के दिन,
बड़े गर्व और प्यार दुलार से तिरंगे को झुकनेवाला
यह सर मेरा अपना है जज साहब !
गाँधी के गुजरात से हूं इसलिए
बचपन से ही शांति प्रिय सर है मेरा !
और सच कहू तो में चाहता भी हूं कि वो शांति प्रिय रहे !
लेकिन सिर्फ चाहने से क्या होता है ?

क्या छत्तीसगढ़ का हर आदिवासी,
पैदा होते हर बच्चे को नक्सली बनाना चाहता है ?
नहीं ना ? पर उसके चाहने से क्या होता है ?
में तो यह कहता हु की उसके ना चाहने से भी क्या होता है ?
जैसे की आज में नहीं चाहता हु फिर भी …
मेरा सर पृथ्वी की गति से भी ज्यादा जोर से घूम रहा है !
सर हो रहा है सरफिरा जज साहब,
इससे पहले की सर मेरा फट जाये बारूद बनकर,
इससे पहले की मेरा खुद का सर निगल ले हाथ पैर मेरे ,
इससे पहले की सोनी की योनि से निकले पत्थर लोहा बन जाए,
और ठोक दे लोकतंत्र के पिछवाड़े में कोई ओर कील बड़ी,
आप इस चक्रव्यूह को तोड़ दो जज साहब !
रोक लो आप इसे !
इस बिखरते आदिवासी मोती को पिरो लो अपनी सभ्यता के धागे में !
वेसे मेरे साल तेंतीस होने को आये लेकिन,
मैंने कभी कारतूस नहीं देखी !
कभी नहीं छुआ है बन्दुक को ,
नहीं चलाई है तलवार कभी !
और ना ही खुद में पाया है
कोई जुनून सरफरोशी का कभी !
– मेहुल मकवाना, अहमदाबाद, गुजरात
94276 32132 and 84012 93496

 

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Music and Mental Health

Music has the power to influence people’s emotions; it can make them happy,sad, or angry. Music can also aid in the recovery of mental illnesses.

The Geriatric Mental Health Department of the Chhatarati Shahuju Maharaj Medical University in India is starting a music therapy clinic to treat elderly patients with mental disorders (like dementia). Nearly 5% of elderly people older than 60 suffer from dementia.

S.C. Tiwari, the head of the Geriatric Mental Health Department, said that music is found to have a positive impact on patients suffering from mental tension. Slow and melodious music soothes tension; rock, pop, and fast music should be avoided because of the negative emotions it can draw out, and it also raises blood pressure. So, soft, melodious, and soothing music is the way to go if you want to relieve your mental tension.

Not only can music therapy help people with mental illnesses, but playing an instrument and being a part of an ensemble can help, too.

Tunefoolery Concert Ensembles is a group of 50 musicians from Cambridge,Massachusetts, who are all living with a mental illness. The group helps musicians move away from the mental patient role into a new identity as a professional musician and performer.

“Tunefoolery is a great example of how non-traditional mental health treatment truly can change people’s lives,” said one of the band members.“Music is powerful medicine! I have a tremendous feeling of belonging with Tunefoolery. I have found great friends here. It’s a job and a creative outlet at the same time.

The members perform as solo acts or small ensembles; they play 75 to 90 gigs every year at mental health treatment programs, hospitals, nursing homes, and other locations. You can visit their website at www.tunefoolery.org.

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