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 Poems
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THE GANDHI LOST IN THE CROWD
PRATAP SEHGAL
 

PRATAP SEHGAL

THE GANDHI LOST IN
THE CROWD

There is crowd of the Right
And a crowd of the left
And the crowd in itself
Is only a crowd.
Gandhi the individual
Also was lost
In the crowd.

Locked up in the midst of
Throttled voices of the crowd
Hidden behind
The broken chord
The Gandhi ceased
To be Gandhi
But the crowd
All the same remained
A crowd.

Voices of virulent violence
Continued to rise
In the background of
Non-violent movement
Non-violence :
An exercise in futility
Is a facade
To bring human propensities
Into a single compass.
The overgrown nails
Make a mockery of
Non-violence.

Immersed in flesh and blood
The nails
Have made deep wounds
On the face of Non-violence
And have further complicated
The problem of human dignity
Struggle of fragmented existence
Has separated us
From Gandhi
And has thrown us
On the cross-roads.

From the cross roads rise :
Dissonant voices,
Dicordant notes.
A few political dice,
Lifting the lid of Gandhism
Stamp it with
Their own trade-mark :
And thus endeavour
To make us believe :
Another futile exercise.
The self styled apostles of
The young generation
Fight shy of any exigency
And append their every pronouncement
"So has Bapu said"
Friends !
Gandhi was a seed
And the crop
Has been harvested;

Today untilled
Lies the field.
The tell-tales of :
The absence of seeds
In the fields
Droughts and heavy rains,
Rendering
The already choking climate
Graver engulf
The entire nation.
And then sitting
In the corner of some Restaurant
Burst out

In dreadful laughter;
And every morning
The news-papers recite them
In a sing-son manner.
And every individual crippling
Wraps the newspaper
Around himself;
Partakes of it
As his break-fast
(a light break-fast)
And reiterating
The vows of Gandhi
Joins and crowd.