Courtesy, People’s Forum Bargari, Punjab

Courtesy, People’s Forum Bargari, Punjab

‘Hum Ladenge Sathi’ a powerful poetry of resistance by Punjabi poet Avtar Singh Paash has been produced as a music video by Majma, a cultural group based in Delhi. The video is a tribute to all progressive, democratic movements in India, including of farmers, dalits, tribals, workers, women and students, many of which have been active since decades. Its release is timely, given the spirited wave of protests by student and activist groups for justice to Rohith Vemula. But the soulful, stirring composition has indeed the force to be an enduring inspiration to all those committed to an equal and just world.


Composition: Ravinder Randhawa

Hindi Translation: Chaman Lal

English Translation: Trilok Chand Ghai

We Shall Fight, Comrade

We shall fight, comrade, for the unhappy times
We shall fight, comrade, for the bottled-up desires
We shall gather up, comrade, the fragments of our lives
The hammer still falls on the bare anvil
Furrows are still made in the clayey soil
Is it our duty to fight?
We shall forget this question
And fight, comrade
We swear by our crushed desires
We swear by our hopes turned to ashes
We swear by our horny hands
We shall fight, comrade
We shall fight
Until Veeru the goatherd
Has to drink goat piss
Until those who till the land
Cannot inhale the fragrance of mustard blossoms
Until the swollen-eyed school teacher’s husband
Does not return from the war front
Until the police constables are duty bound
To strangulate their own brethren
Until the babus keep writing on their files
In human blood
We shall fight
Until there are reasons for us to fight
If we don’t have the gun, we shall have the sword
If we don’t have the sword, we shall have the passion
If we don’t know the art, we shall have the reason
And we shall fight, comrade…
We shall fight
Because one gets nothing without a fight
We shall fight
Wondering why we did not fight until now
We shall fight
To acknowledge our guilt
To keep alive the memory of those who died fighting
We shall fight, comrade…