34. Poem: ‘Prasna’ (Question) of the book ‘Parishash‘ (At End) written in the year 1932

[Translator’s note: The British atrocity in brutal suppression of India’s struggle for Independence was at its peak when this poem was written. India’s freedom fighters being tortured, murdered, sent to exile/jail or hanged in large numbers were a daily affair during that period of turmoil. It appears the Poet lost his faith in the doctrines of love and forgiveness preached by the various prophets at different times of human history. In spite of the enormous sacrifice of our youths, India’s Independence was a far cry (which was eventually earned on 15th August, 1947) which was behind the Poet’s frustration.]

O Lord, from age to age
The saints carried Thy message
To this earth devoid of compassion-
To love all was their sermon
Get rid of malice too
Whatever injury be to you.
In our memoir they are –
We revere them for ever
Yet, at my outdoor
With nothing more
Than my vain salutation
  Turns them back my frustration
In these disastrous days
Blinding all the ways.

In the night of deceit
Concealed cruelty’s feat
I’ve seen and terrible
Blows to the humble.
I’ve seen rush the wild juvenile
Shatter head in what pang futile
For what offence must he
Go without remedy
Words of justice in dejection
Will weep alone?

Choked is my voice to-day,
My flute no more music to play
My world drowned in nightmare
So I ask Thee in my tear –
Those Thine clime to blight
Bent on to put off Thy light
Did Thou them condone
Yet Thy love for them borne?