Surrender Not Bannerjee

The pages of History which I go through
One of the biggest gain I find
The joy of marvel, the awe of being humbled
When I get to meet the giants of past

One such super cool, Bearded Suave Rockstar
One whose speeches India first heard
Was our dear old Surendranath Bannerjee
Or as I like to call him, SNB

Raja Rammohan Roy,the first modern Indian
Nehru might after all be the first independent one
But, my dear friends, talk of the Indian who was first free
The one who stood as Indian, our SNB was the one

Surrender Not Banerjee was what the British would call him
A fan of Mazzini, Garibaldi, the first Indian ICS
This was the man who scared Hume
And thus we got our own Congress

He was the one who started mutinies and won them too
Fought and won the post of ICS once
Until they couldn’t but dismiss on whim
And thus was born the first radical

Buried in the pages of Moderatism
The free Indian got blown by Tilak
The Rashtraguru faded into oblivion
But not before he had made the mark

Years countless have passed since your birth
Almost a century since your death
And yet this one son of your nation
And a lover of your extremism

Shall always remember you
The one with poise but too the swag to push it up
The one who started it all for us..
The one great grandfather we all forgot

Il Risorgimento


Lets talk of a unification great
Of an empire that once was supreme
Lay sprawling in the dust
The nation of Italians which once was foremost

A king sagacious, A statesman peerless
A dreamy Revolutionary and A hero of two worlds
Emmanuel , Cavour, Mazzini, Garibaldi
Four names I hope Italians still do adore

Sardinia was to be the core of it all
State of Emmanuel with the guile of Cavour
Became the shining light of Italy
A leader to all, the guiding force

Napolean,the other one came to the rescue
Nationalist at heart,a carbonari he once was
Melted away at the plight of a nation old
At Plombiers he vowed, To deliver the birth

Won the war Napolean did for Italy
But stopped short of the desired victory
Lombardy they got from the clutches of tyrants
But the fratello Venetian lay still under the foreign yoke.

Parma, Modena, Bologna, Tuscany then
People all stood up in the name of their nation great
The British bulldog came to Cavours help
Keeping Austrians at the bay and Napolean could just watch and wonder

Turn of the two Sicilies it was next
Up in arms they stood against the Bourbon French
Cavour, hand tied due to the Catholic effect
Brought along the sword of Italy to fight the battle rest

Expedition of the Thousand rode across the kingdoms
Garibaldi and the Red Shirts won the piece missing
The kingdom of Italy thence was made
Emmanuel the King, through a republican sword.

Rome still with the Pope, Austria lorded the Venice
Bismarck,the Champion provided opportunities two great
Snatched Venice from the enemy Austrian
Drove Napolean’s armies away from Rome

King Emmanuel never the fool
Death of Cavour couldn’t deter
Fall of 70 he made Rome his own
When Cadorna crossed the Papal frontiers

Garibaldi tending his field in Caprera, Cavour in his grave gone
Mazzini the scholar lost, King Emmanuel who wore the crown
Four men who made the Italy
Could finally that day, have taken rest

Man ki Swachchhata

Indian win over Pakistan to win Gold Medal in Hockey.Dream come true for so many Indians who wouldn’t have known names of perhaps 2 hockey team players (Sardar Singh might be known because of being flag bearer). The era of 1948,1971 and the ages of percieved equality in 80s and 90s are gone. We have surged ahead of Pakistan. We are an emerging global power, Pakistan is a failing nation, the competition ended years ago.

Pakistan is a separated brother, agreed they are temperamental, hostile but which younger brother is not hostile to seemingly harmless actions of a big brother because of the fear of domination. I saw the fear in eyes of my 1 year old nephew. Kids are kids, my older nephew came and snatched away the toy from his younger brother and played away to glory. We the elders were left to pacify the younger one distracting him away from the toy.I wouldn’t comment too much on Pakistan but India (hopefully) has matured over the years. We are a young nation with the famous “Dividend” , not a toddler. Age of brow beating and toy snatching is gone. India’s vision, as too that of India’s youth, should be higher, better and suitable things rather than the joy of beating Pak to win Gold in a second grade competition against a similarly woeful opponent.

I would have liked atleast one to say, “This should be a building block, India should now aim for greater glory in Olympics”, it wasn’t even a celebration of India’s victory, but a defeat of Pakistan. India has moved beyond 90s in many things, this is one of the vestiges which need to be shed soonest.

With the vested interest making up political leadership in both countries, any chances of peace and brotherhood are limited for India-Pakistan. More than Pakistan, India needs a peaceful Pakistan and good relation for its benefit. Its our prerogative to offer the hand of friendship. Diplomatically its a tough nut. Only way out is “Dil Milna” of the aawam of 2 nations. When I see, some of the most politically correct, unbiased of my friends celebrating Pakistan’s loss. I can only pray for “Man ki Sawchchhata” of some, just to make a beginning. Brothers can fight but shouldn’t kill or humiliate..
Someday before I die in a world seemingly impossible hopefully realistic, I would like to able to shout the slogan “Hind-Pak ek maa ki santaan” without any brow beating or violence.