Kanchan Bhattacharya Reviews Khurshid Alam’s Investigative Poetry & Other Poems
Sacrilege: The Babri Mosque
This poem expresses anguish on the demolition of the Babri Mosque, Ayodhya (UP) on December 6, 1992. The poem depicts also the condition of a people who are pushed to a corner of uncertainty and fear.
The hatred bared one people to come nearTo save the edifice or beat the heartThey must scream in some corner in the darkThey must not memorize the DayAnd if they do they risk their patriotismThey should be kept away at a distanceThey are strangers, they are from other nation.
A nation within a nation, a dual nationCan’t work for a great nationWho are patriotic? Who are nationalists?Those who create nations of a nationThose who create alienationAmong the people of their own nation?
Demolition: The Bamiyam Buddha
Khurshid Alam has made an interesting protest against the Aniconic Wahabi method ─ the meaningless and wanton destruction of the priceless treasures of the Bamiyan Buddha, in his poem, Demolition: The Bamiyan Buddha. In a fanatic attack at the turn of the millennium, Taliban troops blasted the Bamiyan Buddha caves that had sheltered intellectual coexistence for centuries along the Silk Route:
The first cultural melting pot on earthThat united the West with the EastAnd stood a resort for all –Tourists, schools and connoisseurs of arts
Oh heaven! Cease to exist there.And fall on them…the abbot of unreason!But there is a silver line that shinesFrom under the dust clouds. He’ll reincarnateAnd the hands will rise for blessing againFor he who grew wide ears to lend earTo people’s misery, and brooded on to easePeople from grief. He had the heartThat did no harm to any and professedNo Godism and no atheism.
He’ll live through the Turkish and Afghan folktalesForever in the form of male Salsal or female Shamama charactersPeople will remember him as Sakyamuni, or Dipankara munis.
House Arrest: The Mumbai Attack
It was an event that shook India in November 2008. The killers, except one, were killed. There was an immense “collateral damage” and a few martyrs too laid down their lives. The invasion of a goofed up Pakistan, and an incredibly inadequate juggernaut called the security forces became highlighted.
A sea of emotion, commotion, and anguishThe people have suffered a lotThey can’t forget the burns they’ve got at their backFor what fault they are to buy the pains.
Each bullet shouted the name of GodBefore tearing the dreams of the victimsThey killed in the name of religion!
The terrorists looked for British and American tourists.But can you see? They took people of all religionsHostage. There were Khans, Singhs, and Williams
‘What religion do you follow, can you tell?‘What faith do you have, can you spell?‘Which religion can be as senseless?‘To preach killing of all innocent people.’
If each religion wages war against othersWhat a world of hatred we can haveEach person with a sword in a handAnd the Holy Book in another to sayThis can be the only book that you can have