The cultural hub of Delhiis located at Mandi House. I occasionally have lunch there (costing Rs. 50/-) at a popular kiosk. Progressive artists put up posters all over the place. During my last visit on 30 November 2023 I saw the above poster pasted on the outer wall of ‘Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts’. It is probably the only place in Delhi where you can still find such posters on the wall. The poster had few lines from a poem by Gorakh Pandey (1945-1989), a revolutionary poet who committed suicide in the Jhelum hostel of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi where he then worked as research scholar.
Following is the full poem in Hindi by Gorakh Pandey:
एक समूची ज़मीन है,
और ज़मीन से मुकम्मल प्यार
इसलिए तुम्हारी मार से
फिलिस्तीन आज़ादी का ज़रूरी भविष्य है
लोहू और इस्पात
से फूटता हुआ गुलाब है
कभी न मुरझाने वाला गुलाब
जो आखि़र में उगेगा
तुम्हारी क़ब्र पर।“
An attempted English translation by this author:
Is a whole land,
And absolute love for the land
Is therefore outside your killings
Palestine is the essential future of freedom
Palestine is a rose bursting from iron and steel
A rose which never withers
Will grow in the end
On your grave.
Shobha Aggarwal is a member of PIL Watch Group.