• India 2019: दूसरा बटवारा 

    मासूम शाह

    November 2, 2018

    Is this the India we want?

    A country in which citizens are murdered or attacked for being rational; for being critical, for raising a voice of dissent; for just being themselves, Muslim or Dalit or women. Intimidation, threats. Hatred. Lynching. Sickening violence. Students and teachers given the choice between being leashed in thought and word, or being hounded as seditious. Institutions built over the years weakened. The economy and development turned into exercises that mock the needs and aspirations of most people. The secularism, the scientific temper and the rights promised in our Constitution subverted every day. Our democracy, our India, frayed.

    But this is our country. It belongs to us, and we belong to it. We have each other for support. We have our poems and songs and films and essays and fiction and art. Our diverse voices.

    What is the India we want?

    Listen to our fellow citizens speak of the country they don’t want and the India they want on the series India 2019 on the Indian Cultural Forum and Guftugu.

    Saba Hasan, “We Sinful Women”, mixed media, 2013

    दूसरा बटवारा 

    खो गया कहीं मेरा दोस्त मेरा वतन 
    खो गया वह दिल पुर जोश व् जज़्बा व् जनून 

    चमन में थी न खुशबु न सरोवर में चाँद 
    खाक में थी न रंजिश न पत्थर में जान 

    बोया था जो बीज उखड़ नहीं पड़ता है आज 
    चीरी थी जो चादर पिरोती नहीं है आज 

    हाँ सोचा था फुरक़त में मोहब्बत जवान होती है 
    हाँ सोचा था साये में भी सोहबत जिया करती है 


    کھو گیا کہیں مرا دوست میرا وطن 
    کھو گیا وہ دل پر جوش و جذبہ و جنوں 

    چمن میں تھی نہ خوشبو نہ سروور میں چاند 
    خاک میں تھی نہ رنجش نہ پتھر میں جان 

    بویا تھا جو بیج اکھڑ نہیں پڑھتا ہے آج 
    چیری تھی جو چادر پروتی نہیں ہے آج 

    ہاں سوچا تھا فرقت میں موہبّت جوان ہوتی ہے 
    ہاں سوچا تھا سایے میں بھی سوحبت جیا کرتی ہے 


    Maasoom Shah is a poet. His collection of poems, The Sufi's Garland was published by Roman Books in 2011.

    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.