The death of dreams was considered the most dangerous. Avtar Singh Sandhu ‘Pash’ was a supporter of expressed socio-political freedom. Pash is known as the poet who composed his revolutionary poems and questioned the system. Pash started writing poetry at an early age. By the time the Khalistani movement in Punjab reached its peak, he was opposed to the movement through his poetry and magazines.
Through poetry, Pash was constantly strengthening the socio-political consciousness in the masses. The tone of rebellion and change in his poems was so strong that his every word challenged the compositional system. There was a lot of opposition to his literature, but given the environment in which Pash grew up, he had the courage to express himself in words.
Due to threats from Khalistani militants, Pash went to the US with his family but returned to India after some time. The Khalistanis had received news of his arrival. He was killed the day he returned to the United States. He was attacked, killing both Pash and his accomplices. The reasons behind Pash’s murder were not only considered by his system of criticism and contradictory poems. When Pash was a teacher in a school in Punjab, he published a manuscript magazine which was against Khalistan. He used to expose the Khalistanis through the monthly ‘Deewar’. Pash repeatedly referred to the people of Punjab as examples of Gurbani, saying that the demands of the Khalistanis were against the teachings of Guru Nanak. But even after going there, Pash did not stop writing on Khalistanis. He continued to distribute handwritten pamphlets among the people, which put the Khalistani militants on the verge of his assassination ….
There are many similarities between Bhagat Singh and Pash. The day of their death (March 23) is also the same and both were born in the month of September. On the day Bhagat Singh was to be hanged, he was reading Lenin’s book. While reading, he turned the page of the book. Pash mentions this in his poem and says – the youth of Punjab need to read the next page of the book that Bhagat Singh read before he was martyred. His ideal was on the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Pash writes in his poem on March 23 – At the time of martyrdom, he was alone, like God but not as lazy as God.
Bhagat Singh considered Lenin as his role model and Pash Bhagat Singh. There is another similarity between the two – both were killed by fascists, Bhagat Singh on the one hand by British colonial socialist forces and Pashla on the other by Khalistani fascism.
Pash was prosecuted and jailed for his alleged involvement in Naxalite activities. He was only 20 at the time. At the age of 20, Pash became very popular with his poems and stories. During that time, he was accused of being a Naxalite and was imprisoned. . He was charged with perjury, for which no evidence was later found. His first book was published while in prison. Pash was arrested in 1972 and 1974.
On June 25, 1975, Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in the country. “The then Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah did not allow the imposition of emergency in the state under Section 370, which was recently lifted in Kashmir. At the same time, a Punjabi Writers’ Conference was held in Jammu in which Pash was also present. At the meeting, Pash had strongly opposed Indira Gandhi’s dictatorial decision and had spoken out against the emergency. He was also arrested for opposing the emergency.
On 9 September 1950, a son was born to retired Major Sohan Singh Sandhu in Talwandi Salem village in Jalandhar district of Punjab. Named – Avatar Singh. By the time he reached adolescence, Avtar Singh had begun to take an interest in social and political work. Through his writings he spread the revolution all over the Punjab. Later, Avtar Singh Sandhu became known as the revolutionary Punjabi poet ‘Pash’. Pash wrote his first poem at the age of fifteen, and at the same time he was associated with the communist movement. At just 19 years of age, he was implicated in a false case and was imprisoned and subjected to severe torture. But the ruling class failed to crush his revolutionary ideology. His poems kept coming out of prison and in 1970 a Hindi translation of his first collection of poems, Iron Story, was published, containing 36 poems, which gave a new impetus to Hindi revolutionary poetry.
Reading Pash’s most famous poem “Sabse Khatranak Hota Hai”, you may think that the experience of the words in that composition is very wide. Pash describes man’s silence on social evils as the most dangerous. Pash describes the moon as the most dangerous. .
The true beauty of democracy lies in the broader dialogue between consensus and disagreement. Pash’s poems enrich democracy. People-conscious poetry struggles, be it street struggles, poor peasant movements or giving voice to social movements, everyone can find their share in his poems. The poem ‘Saathi’ symbolizes the struggle of the proletariat. In which there is an appeal to fight for injustice, exploitation, struggle for rights and this fight is also sung in many movements.
During the revolutionary struggle in Punjab, he raised his voice for political-social change and rebellion, for which he had to give his life. Religious contradictions were opposed to bigotry, imagining a society that would be just for the proletariat.
If one understands the meaning of Pash’s poems and acts accordingly, he can be called a traitor at the present time. Just as Pash’s works took the form of declarations in movements, so he can be called a voice against India today. This rare sensitive poet of progressive thought left us with less than 4 decades of life.
On March 23, 1988, at the age of 38, he was shot dead by Khalistani terrorists. But the ‘loop’ does not die, it lives in your thoughts, in your mind, in the form of your soul that keeps asking you questions through their poems.
Vikas Parasram Meshram works in the development sector