Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vacate the throne, the people are coming...

The way the people of India responded to the arrest of a seventy five year old man, trying to rid India of corruption, is quite overwhelming. I don't know much about the personal political beliefs of Anna Hazare, but I salute him for uniting the people of India. Against corruption.  

Here are a few lines from a beautiful poem written by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, which were used by Jayaprakash Narayan in one of his famous speeches during the national emergency of the mid-seventies. I have tried my best to translate them into English. I can hear a strange echo of these words -- even today.

सिंहासन खाली करो कि जनता आती है। 
रामधारी सिंह "दिनकर"

सदियों की ठंढी-बुझी राख सुगबुगा उठी,
मिट्टी सोने का ताज पहन इठलाती है;
दो राह,समय के रथ का घर्घर-नाद सुनो,
सिंहासन खाली करो कि जनता आती है।

Vacate the throne, the people are coming.
(Ramdhari Singh Dinkar)

The dying embers of winter have a new fire in them,
(Since) the earth, having found a crown of gold, has lost its head
Oh crossroads, listen to the turning wheels of the chariot of time
Vacate the throne, the people are coming.


  1. I read only your translated version, it's very beautiful. You have put together a very touchy post. India is definitely united again...

  2. Khoob Kaha aapne.. Dinkarji ki kavitaon ka kya kehna. Aur aapne use sahi maine me isthemal kiya.

    Keep posting

  3. Dinkar and Maithili Sharan - always evergreen and relevant.

    Of UPA II, I can only say that 'those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad'.

    I had heard of the 'tyranny of majority', but after Indira, did not think I will see it used so blatantly.

    I suspect somthing rather ironical will happen. Anna Hazare has the followers who guarantee wide coverage in the press, but it is the small town followers of Baba Ramdev who will actually vote the UPA out.

  4. Malaysians have gone through (and still are) something very similar against the ruling party albeit owing to a bunch of revolutionists rather than just one...

  5. The trnslation is Brilliant.
    Does it matter what political views Anna Hazare has, or does it matter even if he is a self righteous old man; as a certain section of our so called intellectual accuse him of. Whatever you do- log to bolenge hi.

  6. @DLR,
    It does matter what Anna Hazare's political views are.

    Anna Hazare has established his credentials as a do-good crusader over many years. However, because his heart is in the right place, and his intentions noble, does not mean his solution will work.

    History shows us that watchdog bodies are never a long-term solution. They always will get subverted by force and wealth. That will also be the result of the Lokpal.

    If you have a rotten house, the house needs to be rebuilt, have someone watch the health of the house is not going to help.

    See my comment on a previous post here (The path to fascism). Our systems are not designed to be democratic - they need to be rebuilt.

    Let me give an example. The British built the Indian army on same lines as the British Army - the reason was that both were meant for the same purpose - fight an external enemy. They built the Indian Police different from the British police - the reason was that the British Police was meant to help the local people, the Indian Police was meant to suppress the local people. Yet, we continue the same structure and wonder why the Police are not helpful and friendly? They were never designed to be so.

  7. Sudeep,
    Your comments are always excellent. I have read your last comment, in fact i always look forward to your comments.

    What i meant was, whatever Anna or any one believes in, political or otherwise, people will always be there to find fault with it or ready to ascribe some shade of a colour to it. In Anna's case they accuse of a tinge of saffron but will it help if he had a shade of Red, green or even if is spotless white?

    What we have to look for is the larger cause the man stands for and his sincerity. If we go on nit picking then we will turn inert. We can't do anything because we are busy being perfectionists,

    Whether Anna's solution will work? you, have given the answer.If you have a rotten house you rebuild it.
    But you don't rest after rebuding a house, that will be inviting your own doom. If you want your safety you will always be alert to the dangers, continuously trying to fill the loopholes. If the same thing is not in Lokpal case then the fault will be ours. You have given the example of British police, which may be better, but to keep it better the British must be oiling it continuously.
    Let's look at Anna's Example: He went back to his village and tried to reform it and he succeded. If he had condemned all our village systemic faults, backwardness or ascribed our rotten village conditions to cultural or religious beleives, than what would have come out of it.He did much better work in his little village than all the big talk our politicians or what all the research institutuions achieve. You and me will run away from even our backward cities, to look for greener pastures.

    I am going by his track record, not by what some people with thseirr own deep colours of beleifs, are accusing him of.

    Forget about Watchdog bodies like Lokpals, Nothing in this world is a long term solution. May be we have not evolved that much to look for long term solutions. Whatever we bulid is short term. With constant repairing you make something long term.

  8. Saru: Thanks for the kind words!

    Anamika: Bahut Dhanyavaad...

    Sudeep: You may have a point there, the pulse of rural India is very different!

    Daran: I did not know about the movements in Malaysia. I will check it out!

    DLR: I agree, the political views of Anna are irrelevant, since all he is asking for, is a bill, which seems to be quite apolitical.