Monday, Jan 24, 2022
Outlook.com
Protest Poetry

Poetry, Protest, Pain, Pathos: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Over the past two years, from Shaheen Bagh to Tikri Border, protestors have found hope in the verses of old greats such as Faiz to contemporary poets such as Varun Grover.

Poetry, Protest, Pain, Pathos: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Photograph: Shutterstock; Illustration by Saahil
Poetry, Protest, Pain, Pathos: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
outlookindia.com
2021-12-02T08:49:28+05:30

Pithy at times. Stirring at others. But powerful always. Poetry has always been one of the most important weapons in civil society’s resistance against oppression—a spontaneous pushback through verses that speak truth to power. Across the world, from the Black rights movement to the Arab Spring uprising to the CAA/NRC protests back home in India, poets and thinkers have moved the masses with their rousing poems and songs.

The ongoing peasant protest against three farm laws—which the government has said will be repealed—too has seen some of the finest verses being recited during the demonstrations. Some are old, the others new. In December 2020, at the peak of North India’s bone-chilling winter, a farmer cycled 400 kms from his home in Faridkot, Punjab, to join the farmers protesting at the Tikri borders on the outskirts of Delhi. All that he carried with him was a poem by Avtar Singh Sandhu, also famous as Paash. Like a slow-burning flame, the stirring poem titled ‘Sab Ton Khatarnaak’ (The Most Dangerous), kept the hearts of many protestors lit with hope on cold dark nights.  

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.