Mahaveer aur Buddh ki,
Nanak aur Chisti ki,
Aur Gandhi ki dharti par main jab aise tashabdoot aur dehshat ke nazarein dekhta hoon toh,
Main jab apni zameen par apne logon ke lahu ke behte dhaare dekhta hoon toh,
Mere kanon mein jab aati hain un majboor aur dehshat ke mare un maaon ki cheekhein,
Ki jinke bete yeh kehkar gaye the, shaam se pehle hi ghar laut aayenge hum toh,
Main jabhi dekhta hoon sooni aur ujdi hui maange,
Bahut sehme hue se bachchon ke hairaan se chehre,
Laraste hothon pe khamoshiyaan, bheegi hui palkein,
Toh meri aakhein harsoon dhoondti hain un darindoon ko,
Jinhone train mein, bus mein, jinhone sadko mein, bazaroon mein bum aake hain phode,
Jinhone aspatalon par bhi apni goliyaan barsayi, mandir aur masjid tak nahi chhode,
Jinhone mere hi logon ke khoon se mere shehron ko ranga hai,
Haan! Woh jinka hona hi haiwaniyat ki inteha hai,
Mere logon joh tum sabki tamanna hai, wahi meri tamanna hai,
Ki un jaise darindon ki har ek saazish ko ab nakaam dekhoon main,
Joh hona chahiye unka wahi anjaam dekhoon main,
Magar kanoon aur insaaf jab anjaam ki janeen bune le ja rahe hon toh,
Main unmein se kisi bhi ek se ek baar milna chahta hoon.
Mujhe yeh poochhna hai,
Door se dekhoon toh tum bhi jaise ek insaan lagte ho,
Tumhare tan mein phir kyun bhediyon ka khoon behta hai,
Tumhari saans mein saapon ki yeh phunkar kabse hai,
Tumhari soch mein yeh zeher hai kaisa,
Tumhein duniyaan ki har neki se har acchai se inkar kabse hai,
Tumhari zindagi itni bhayanak aur tumhari aatma aatang se bimaar kabse hai.
Mujhe gussa bhi aata hai, taras bhi aata hai tumpar,
Ki tum toh bas pyaade ho,
Jinhon ne maut ke khel mein tumko hai yoon aageh bhadaya, woh khiladi door baithe hain,
Bade chaalakh bante hain, bade magroor baithe hain,
Zara samjho, zara samjho, tumhare asal dushman hum nahi hain,
Jahan se aaya ho mudkar zara dekho, tumhare asal dushman toh waheen hain,
Woh jinke haath mein katputliyon ki tarah tum khele,
Woh jinke kehne par tumne bahaye khoon ke rele,
Tumhare toh hai woh dushman, jinhon se nafraton ka yeh sabak tumko rataya hai,
Tumhare toh hai woh dushman jinhon ne tumko aise raaste pe laake chhoda hai,
Joh rasta aaj tumko maut ke darwaze laaya hai.
Yeh ek dhokha hai, ek andheer hai, ek loot hai samjho.
Joh samjhaya gaya hai tumko woh sab jhooth hai samjho,
Koi pal bhar na ye samjhe ki main jaazbaat mein yoon hi behta hoon,
Mujhe maloom hai woh sun rahe hain jinse kehta hoon,
Abhi tak waqt hai jo pattiyaan akhon ki khul jaayen,
Abhi tak waqt hai joh nafraton ke daag dhul jaayen,
Abhi tak waqt hai humne koi bhi hadh nahi todi,
Abhi tak waqt hai humne umeed ab tak nahi chhodi,
Abhi tak waqt hai chaho toh ye mausam badal jaye,
Abhi tak waqt hai joh dosti ki rasam chal jaye,
Koi dildaar banke aaye toh dildaar hum bhi hain,
Magar joh dushman hi thehrein toh taiyaar hum bhi hain.
Log on to www.hindustantimes.com to hear the poem in Javed Akhtar’s voice
Whenever I see scenes of terror and killings
On this land that belongs to Mahaveer, to Buddha, to Nanak
And to Chishti and Gandhi
And whenever I see the blood of my people
And whenever I hear wails of helpless mothers
Whose sons left promising they shall return home before dark
Whenever I see women’s
foreheads without vermilion
And terrorised children
speechless with fear
Trembling, silent lips and wet eyes,
My eyes search for those beasts,
Who exploded bombs in trains, on buses, on road side, in
Who fired bullets at hospitals,
Who didn’t even spare temples and mosques,
Who turned my cities red with the blood of my own people,
Their very existence is the ultimate in what is vile and beastly.
My fellow people, you and I wish the same:
To see all their deadly designs fail,
To see them reach the end they deserve.
As law and justice are taking them away to their end,
I want to ask one of them:
You appear to be a human
How is it that a beast’s blood flows in your veins?
When did your breath become a snake’s hiss?
Why do your thoughts contain poison?
When did you start negating goodness?
Since when has your life been so horrifying, your soul so sick from terror?
O terrorist, listen to me.
I am angry, but I also pity you
Because you are a mere pawn
Who has been made to move forward in this game of death
By players who sit far away
They pretend to be clever and are proud of themselves.
Pause and think
Pause and think
We are not the enemy
Look back and see where you come from
They are your real enemies
They who gave you lessons in hate that you have learnt without reflecting
They are your real enemies
Who have left you on the road that has brought you to death’s doorway
You were told a lie, is deceptive and is blinding.
Do not think I am swayed by
Those I speak to are listening, I know
There is still time to remove the blindfold
There is still time to wash away the stains of hatred
There is still time; we haven’t crossed any limit
There is still time; we haven’t lost hope
There is still time; the climate can change if you want
There is still time; friendship can be resumed
If you come to us carrying love in your heart, we will open our hearts to you
But if you insist on being an enemy
We shall be ready.
— Translated by Farhan Mujib