Mainstream, VOL LIV No 18, New Delhi, April 23, 2016
Lenin (April 22, 1870-January 21, 1924)
Monday 25 April 2016
Where accidents of birth or whims of moneyDetermine the World’s value, high or low,And gambling greed flits where the wealthy go,Man’s bagatelle, a pawn, not worth a penny.Thru this external fault, mankind has beenFor ages dark, paltry amid profusion.But empire’s siren-song, of Commerce queen,Now ends, is changed in Life’s great revolution.Each his own value now—life’s based on reason.Now starts the blade sharp conflict that’s worldwideOf mind and body, that new forms allow,Being classless. At the delta mouth has risenThe Soviet workers’ sacrificial tide;Brothers! your Bhagirath’s our Lenin, now.
[The poem in Bengali, written before 1945, was translated by David Esbury]