‘Ai Rahabar Mulk-o-qaum Bata, Yeh Kiska Lahu Hai Kaun Mara!’

Years ago, read a poem by Sahir Ludhianvi, ‘Yeh Kiska Lahu Hai Kaun Mara’. He had penned it in 1946 to honour the Sailors who participated and some of whom were killed in the Naval uprising against the British. The tone and fervor were patriotic. The poet both questioned and served an ultimatum to the colonial masters. It’s an awe-inspiring poem! Vividly recall reading and reciting with much enthusiasm!

A few years later, came across lyrics from a film Dharmputr (1961) in which Sahir had used opening stanza of his 1946 poemAi Rahabar Mulk-o-qaum Bata, Yeh Kiska Lahu Hai Kaun Mara. Its vehemence was more intense, its tenor had changed to demand from the rulers of Independent India responses after a communal riot. Lyrics of song are-

Ai Rahabar Mulk-o-qaum Bata, Yeh Kiska Lahu Hai Kaun Mara
Yeh jalate huye ghar kiske hai, Yeh katate huye tan kiske hain
Taksim ke andhe tufan me, Lutate huye gulshan kiske hain
Bad bakt kijaye kiski hain, Barabad nasheman kiske hain
Kuchh ham bhi sune hamako bhi suna,

Ai Rahabar Mulk-o-qaum Bata, Yeh Kiska Lahu Hai Kaun Mara

Kis kam ke hain yeh din dharam, Jo sharm kaa daman chak kare
Kis tarah ke hain yeh desh bhagat, Jo baste gharo ko kak kare
Yeh ruhe kaisi ruhe hain, Jo dharati ko napak kare

Ai Rahabar Mulk-o-qaum Bata, Yeh Kiska Lahu Hai Kaun Mara

Jis Ram ke nam peh khoon bahe, Us Ram ki ijjat kya hogi
Jis Din ke hatho laj lute us, Din ki kimat kya hogi
Insan ki iss jillat se pare, Shaitan ki jillat kya hogi
Yeh ved hata kuran utha.

Ai Rahabar Mulk-o-qaum Bata, Yeh Kiska Lahu Hai Kaun Mara!

Its 2020, and communal riots are still a reality!

Kill, maim, beat up, burn down houses, businesses- all in the name of God!!

Shahir’s poem still beckons answers from leaders of country and communities, ‘Whose blood has spilled? Who died?’

And why?? Why in name of God??

Maybe, time to find answers within!!

Time to contemplate, re-visit beliefs, check premises! Sixty years later we are at the same spot Sahir found himself in in the sixties!

Is this progress?

Published by Umong

A veteran with experiences of military diplomacy, academic world, Not for profit organisations, skill development. Associated with Strategic Think Tanks and Industry Bodies and contributes to the discourse on National Security and other issues. Distinguished Fellow with Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS). An Independent Director of a Limited Company Limited and Adviser to a Joint Venture Company between India and China. Involved with informal groups that work on environmental and social issues including an Old Age Home.

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