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 Poems
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GANDHI
JAGANNATH PRASAD DAS

JAGANNATH PRASAD DAS

GANDHI

All the experiments with truth
turned into slogans.
Life's philosophy stuck to
the statue's blind eye.
Achievement was
circumscribed by definitions.
The soul was taken over
by crass opportunism

For the entrenchment religion
war was fought
For the maintenance of peace
slums of the oppressed were gutted.
Swearing by the art of deception,
the testimony of truth was probed.
Harijans were ostracized.
The lowest of the law
sunk even lower

There are no more seekers after truth
No one brothers about the means.
Everyone eyes the spurious end
The relics the capital of
good conduct has been spent
in the relentless black-market
of unequivocal profit and loss.
The imperialists have gone away
looking for new colonies.
Peace prizes have been awarded
to warmongers

The old pocket watch cannot cross
the poverty line.
The horror of the painted truth
is no more visible
though the thick glasses
The scant loin cloth cannot hide
the obscenity of absolute power.
The savage ferocity of the terrorist
cannot be stopped by the
lathi to support a frail body.

All the clocks are dead and mute.
Echoes of prayers are silent.
History takes leave.
Religion returns to its shame
Freeing himself from stone statues,
disciplines of definitions,
movies and anniversaries,
he walks away in brisk pace
towards the raised guns of
a new band of assassins.