Sunday, February 19, 2006


Jithe khun hain meren veeriyan da Vishiya sadkan te haqan di luk banke Buchar khaneyan chon jithe lok mere Nittar rahe itihas di thuk banke Maa dhartiye sada suhagne ni Mere yaaran nu janam tu deyin uthe…

Written by Sant Ram Udasi, this Punjabi poem has now become Bant Singh Inquilabi’s beloved song. The poem talks about the pride of his ‘brave brothers’ struggle’ for their rights. He asks mother earth to give them birth again in this land where they are “emerging from the slaughter houses where they were always the spit of history”.

In the ‘trauma ward’ of the PGIPMER at Chandigarh, it is more than just Bant Singh’s mangled, sun-burnt torso that has made him so popular among the patients, attendants and hospital staff. Every night, this revolutionary regales the ward with inquilabi songs and stories of his struggles. So hypnotic is the spirit of this piggery-owner from Mansa that attendants and patients ward off security guards and stick by Bant’s side till the early hours of the morning. One such admirer is young Balkar Singh from Kaithal in Haryana, who is attending upon a sick uncle on a nearby bed. Now, Balkar too wants to join the inquilabi movement like Bant, so inspired he has become.

“I realise I have become a symbol for the oppressed to fight on. “I never will give up my struggle. I can still sing. I can still talk. Can they stop me from that? Never. I had decided I will always work on my own and never as a servant of the landlords. My wounds are grievous, I am physically helpless, but I will still work on my own,’’ says Bant, without a glimmer of self-pity.

But why did they attack? For the first time, he breaks down. “They rape our women. They raped my daughter. I fought back. I made sure they were punished. In every village people were becoming members of the Mazdoor Mukti Morcha. They believed me. I told them they should stop working for the landlords. I was one of the 10 delegates from Punjab for the national conference on labour in Rajahmundry. All this, obviously, outraged the landlords.”

Tehelka, Feb 18 , 2006


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