Monday, October 26

‘All will be remembered’: Soul-stirring poem by Indian activist takes internet by storm

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NEW DELHI: Indian poet and activist Aamir Aziz on Thursday became an internet sensation in Pakistan after Prime Minister Imran Khan shared a video of British songwriter Roger Waters reciting verses from the poetry of Aziz to a packed audience at a London protest event.
In the video, Waters can be seen reciting the verses of a powerful poem penned by Aziz earlier this year, in which the poet evokes the power of parables to shine a light on the grave human rights situation unfolding in India under the government of premier Narendra Modi.

Although Waters only recited a handful of the verses from the poem, searches for Aziz and the related poem have skyrocketed across the sub-continent, especially in Pakistan. A video of Aziz reciting his now viral poem is available on video sharing platform YouTube as well.

Violence hit parts of Delhi earlier this week as gangs roamed streets littered with the debris of days of sectarian riots that have killed 39 people, police said Thursday. Thousands of riot police and paramilitaries patrolled the affected northeast fringes of the Indian capital.

The unrest is the latest bout of violence over a new citizenship law championed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which triggered months of demonstrations that turned deadly in December. The law is discriminatory toward the Muslim minority of the country, experts say.

Reproduced below is an English translation of the poem penned by Aziz. The poem has been translated literally with an emphasis on preserving the meaning of the original verse.

All will be remembered, all will be remembered.
Everything will be remembered.
All my friends who were killed from your sticks and bullets, their memory will be kept alive in destroyed hearts.
All will be remembered, all will be remembered.
Everything will be remembered.
And we know you will write lies with your ink, but truth shall also be written down, even if it is written down with our blood.
All will be remembered, all will be remembered.
Everything will be remembered.
Shutting down mobiles, internet, and telephones in the light of the day, and putting the city under house arrest in the cold of the night, you come bearing hammers into our homes.
After breaking my head, my body, and small life, and after beating up my little darling at the street center, you flash an evil smile while standing amid the mob.
All will be remembered, all will be remembered.
Everything will be remembered.
Sweet talking by day, saying everything is okay in different languages, but at night, beating those asking for their right by sticks and bullets, you label the attacked as the attackers.
All will be remembered, all will be remembered.
Everything will be remembered.
The ways in which you conspired to break up the nation will also be remembered, as will the ways with which we hoped to bring the nation back together.
All will be remembered, all will be remembered.
Everything will be remembered.
Whenever the world reflects back on the era of cowardice, your name will be remembered, and whenever the world reflects back on the era of life, our name will be remembered.
That there were some people whose intentions were not broken by the hammer, whose conscious was unswayed by the power of sticks and stones.
That there were some people who were still there after the great storm had passed, who were still alive after the news of their death had come. No matter if the eyes forget to blink, or the earth forgets to spin, our trimmed wings, our voices hoarse from shouting, will be remembered.
You write night, we will write moon, you send us to jail, we will jump the walls and write. You write an FIR, we are ready, we will write.
You murder us, we will write as ghosts the evidence of all your sins. You write jokes in the courtroom, we will write justice on the walls outside.
We will speak so loud that the deaf will hear, and write so clearly that the blind will see, you write about the color black, we will write about the red of roses.
You write injustice on the land, we will write revolution on the skies.
All will be remembered, all will be remembered.
Everything will be remembered.

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