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Mainstream, VOL LIII, No 8, February 14, 2015

The People For Ever

Monday 16 February 2015, by Bishnu Dey

How many brigands have raided our country, how many times?
Ravaging village after village, piling up cruelties, crimes!
How many bulbuls have ravished our grains,
Mothers have crooned of tyrannical reigns,
In spite of it all the proud spirit remains
Of the people forever!
The peasant, the potter, the fisher, the blacksmith, the boatman, the weaver!
The soul is immortal in this immortal country of mine,
And hence out of Death’s deep mouth comes music adamantine,
Here on the margin of wandering streams
Gold-coloured harvest eternally gleams
Ripe through what myriad ages of dreams,—
While, a fire of lust,
The red Earth burns, reducing all Tanaka-san into dust!
Remember, O Comrade! When Freedom’s shut door is opened apart,
A handful of cowardly ashes will seem the small strife in your heart!
For lo, our dear land through the long centuries
What marvellous cultures hath drained to the lees,
What sword-sharp ways it has trod, with what ease,
What dangerous tracks!
Today it is wielding in conscious resistance a fiery axe!

[Translated from the original Bengali by Harindranath Chattopadhyay]

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