They promised that freedom would be every Indian’s right
But against their misrule, if my voice I raise
The police come knocking on my door at night
“My dear friend, you can sing but only paeans in our praise”.
They promised to dole out, one scheme after the other
Come elections and it’s raining largesse
But the file remains stuck in an office corner
“My dear friend, we’re trying but the whole system is in a mess”.
They promised us jobs and decent salaries
But with a labyrinthine system, incentive is killed
There are few investors and fewer industries
“My dear friend, show me even one regime which promised and fulfilled”.
They promised to give us the best infrastructure
But it is as always in a pitiful state
Roads full of potholes, for weeks no water
“My dear friend, good things come to those who wait”.
They promised to maintain law and order
Rid the country of all things dreadful
But the police protect only those in power
“My dear friend, at least you are safe, so be thankful”.
They promised to bring back from abroad
Black money as well as fugitive crooks
But like all other promises it was a fraud
“My dear friend, things are not as easy as they look”.
Promises of leaders work as opiates
Subduing the resentment simmering inside
As public memory fades, hoping it will abate
While taking the country for a ride.
But no more shall we bow down and suffer
The country and its citizens deserve better
Up in arms, now we shall rise
Our forefathers’ dreams, we shall realise.
Years ago an entire generation
Laid down their lives for the cause of our nation
My dear friends, it is up to us now, the time has come
For India to awaken, once again, to light and freedom.
Shukr Usgaokar is a final year law student. A bit naïve, he still believes that words and ideas can change the world.