Tribhuwan N. Bhan

Table of Contents

   Kashmiri Writers

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Mera Bharat Mahan

By Tribhuwan N. Bhan

When I was a child, I heard the famous “Tryst with Destiny” speech of our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. No doubt I understood the significance of these words many years later. Since then on every 15th August, I have been hearing the Independence Day speech of every Indian Prime Minister. Always for the last five decades I have been listening to the words of different people but with the same content, possessing much heat but little light. All tall promises which are seldom fulfilled. These words remind me of Macbeth’s words in Shakespeare’s tragedy:

“This is a tale told by an idiot
Full of sound and fury
Significant nothing”
 On 15th August 2002, I was watching Prime Minister Vajpai delivering his customary annual speech, from the ramparts of Red Fort, as there was nothing much I did not already expect to hear, I dozed off. While asleep, I had the vision of the ‘madari’ who used to entertain people particularly children near my home in Kashmir at Karan Nagar. The ‘madari’ used to be accompanied by three monkeys and he would make them perform all sorts of comic antics, which would make us laugh. Day after day, he would come and amuse us while the monkeys performed their antics. But as time passed, our interest in them started to wane. But then to attract the attention of the people, the ‘madari’ dyed the heads of the monkeys pink. One would notice them from a distance where even the sound of his ‘dholki’ was not audible. Everytime the culmination of his roadside show was, the three monkeys enacting the maxim ‘Bura Mat Dekho, Bura Mat Suno, Bura Mat Bolo’. We had seen him repeat this everytime. So much before the last act, we all anticipated his next item of the tamasha and would leave the place. This however did not deter him from making the monkeys act the last scene of his show. At times he would be the only one to see the three monkeys enact the final scene. Not only the monkey tricks, the man would sing songs in rythm with his ‘dholki’ about India’s glory and also about topless Himalayan Mountains. While doing so, he would dance around in a circle turning and twisting his wrist to make his only musical instrument beat in rythm with the steps of his crude dance.

    But suddenly my vision was disrupted by the loud sound emanating from T.V. Vajpaiji was shouting at the top of his voice ‘Jai Hind’ Jai Hind’. Everytime he did so, the rest of the congregation joined him. These two immortal words were coined by that brave son of Bharat Mata, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Suddenly I remembered the words of poet Coleridge in his poem Kubla Khan:

‘A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulicmer she played
Singing of Mount Abura
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song
To such delight it would
Win me .....’
 Coleridge’s vision was due to an anodyne prescribed to cure him of his indisposition hence rather vague, dim and hazy. Even that vision passed away like the images on the surface of a stream in which a pebble has been thrown, creating numberless circles on its surface. But my vision of the ‘madari’ was clear like an image on a smooth and tranquil surface of a lake. I could see him singing about our country’s past glory and describing the natural beauty that abounds in the land of our forefathers.

 This year on 26th January, the grand show of Indian culture and past glory came on the small screen. The Republic Day parade on Rajpath was being shown. After the tableaus of various states, the impressive show of our modern defence equipments was exhibited. Seeing these huge guns, tanks and also the fighter bombers flying in the sky above, my mind went back to the days of Second World War. The tension, the uncertainty and the trauma people had to go through those days is unimaginable. All that came to an end when two atom bombs were dropped on Japan. First on August 6, 1945 on Hiroshima and second on August 9, 1945 on Nagasaki. It was due to this catastrophic event that Japan surrendered to allied powers on August 15, 1945 on board the ship Missouri.

 Nearly the whole of Japan was a colossal devastation. People had no houses to live in, no food to eat, no clothes to wear, no water to drink, leave aside electricity and other necessities of everyday life. But at present after five and a half decades, Japan is the world leader in manufacturing electronic equipments, automobiles, optical instruments, ships and also high potency medicines. Such a tremendous achievement by this small country has been possible because of impeccable character and dynamic leadership of the people who are elected by the masses as their national leaders.

 In 1945 when Japan had ‘nothing’, we in India had ‘everything’. But today, in comparison to Japan, our once great country is reduced to insignificance. Our country is reduced to this sorry state because of flagrant favouritism and blatant nepotism in the rank and file of bureaucracy. All these negative elements have conspired together to turn this ‘Saare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara’ into a cesspool of rampant corruption. We have numberless politicians but no statesman, who could lead our country without fear and favour, to the zenith of progress.

 Vascodegama looted our country and sailed away with huge barges full of our treasures, which was our national wealth. This happened centuries ago, but today our politicians having over-vaulting greed are not satisfied by draining the country through various scams. Instead of bowing their heads in shame, they even snatch the fodder from the mangers of animals. All these unscrupulous people, instead of mending their undignified ways proclaim with pride that they will govern even from the wrong side of iron bars. We should not expect anything better when people with criminal records win elections by using questionable means. One has to view the most deplorable and disgusting scenes of people prostrating themselves on ground to touch the feet of politicians who have been linked with various cases of corruption involving hundreds and thousands of crores of rupees. It is at times as these that one is really at loss to understand whether these people really know what they are doing. The whole world is seeing India as a country, which is corrupt, dirty, riddled with sycophants and criminals. A friend of mine who has migrated to Australia once wrote to me, “For years in India, I breathed dust and hopelessness. In Australia my family and I atleast breathe fresh air”. Our Hindu caste system is the greatest evil faced by this country. Low caste Hindus are harassed, humiliated and hounded around. Our desperate democracy is only a formation of defection and damnation. But in our country, “Sab Chalta Hai. Chalne Do.’

Source: Milchar



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