Rang de Basanti generation

I was very young when the original Mandal commission and reservations in education came about. My first exposure to it was actually in the men’s room. A line was drawn with the following words scribbled next to it ‘If you want to join the fire department, pee over this line’. Someone then had another line drawn half way down and scribbled ‘For Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes‘.

On growing up and better understanding reservations in education, it started making more sense and you see the need to uplift sections of society which never had oppurtunities before. The former American President’s, while introducing affirmative action, said “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line in a race and then say, you are free to compete with all the others, and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.”

The current ruling Congress party brought the reservation issue back to the forefront with a proposal of increasing the reservation quota and including Other Backward Casts along with SC/ST. The Congress party has a history of playing caste politics to preserve its vote bank, inspite of knowing that the number of OBC’s have doubled in the last decade since the mandal commission. The whole pretext of helping underpriveledged classes is no longer true as the poorest and most downtrodden have been passed over. With their narrow minded approach towards OBC reservation, they seem to ignore the other non Hindu religions in India. Muslims have one of the lowest literacy levels in India, so why shouldn’t they avail of reservations as well, not to mention Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and all others. The government instead wastes money pouring it down the drain, funding the flailing public schools while every minister’s child attend the better known private schools.

The government apathy lead to widespread protests amongst the student community. Quite a few of the students resorted to hunger strikes in an effort to have themselves heard.

The government, in a desperate attempt to save face, tried to use police force to break up the protests. Somewhere along the line to keep their caste based vote bank, they seem to have forgotten that the protestors were medical and engineering students.

The fire of protests have started, will be interesting to see what the government’s next move will be.

With a touch of dramatism, here’s words from the movie rang de basanti

Hai liye hathiyaar dushman taak mein baitha udhar
aur hum taiyyaar hain seena liye apna idhar
khoon se khelenge holi gar vatan muskhil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

haath jin mein ho junoon katt te nahi talvaar se
sar jo uth jaate hain voh jhukte nahi lalkaar se
aur bhadkega jo shola-sa humaare dil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

hum to ghar se nikle hi the baandhkar sar pe qafan
chaahatein liin bhar liye lo bhar chale hain ye qadam
zindagi to apni mehmaan maut ki mehfil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

dil mein toofaanon ki toli aur nason mein inquilaab
hosh dushman ke udaa denge humein roko na aa
duur reh paaye jo humse dam kahaan manzil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

2 thoughts on “Rang de Basanti generation”

  1. Oooh my urdu isn’t very good, but I’ll give it a shot. All apologies to urdu speakers for attempting to butcher the language. You obviously loose quite a bit of the meaning and poetry due to nuance of the language.

    Hai liye hathiyaar dushman taak mein baitha udhar
    THE ENEMY IS AHEAD WITH THEIR WEAPONS
    aur hum taiyyaar hain seena liye apna idhar
    WE ARE READY WITH OUR CHESTS FORWARD
    khoon se khelenge holi gar vatan muskhil mein hai
    WE’LL PLAY HOLI WITH BLOOD, OUR LAND IS IN DANGER
    sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
    OUR HEARTS ARE READY TO GIVE UP OUR LIVES

    haath jin mein ho junoon katt te nahi talvaar se
    SWORDS CANNOT CUT DOWN THE HAND WHICH ARE FUELED BY INSANITY
    sar jo uth jaate hain voh jhukte nahi lalkaar se
    HEADS WHICH RISE DONT FALL BACK ON BEING CHALLENGED
    aur bhadkega jo shola-sa humaare dil mein hai
    OUR HEARTS WILL BE FILLED WITH FIRE
    sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
    OUR HEARTS ARE READY TO GIVE UP OUR LIVES

    hum to ghar se nikle hi the baandhkar sar pe qafan
    WE HAVE LEFT OUR HOMES WITH OUR HEADS COVERED WITH THE DEATH SHROUD
    chaahatein liin bhar liye lo bhar chale hain ye qadam
    OUR STEPS ARE FILLED WITH HOPE AND DESIRE
    zindagi to apni mehmaan maut ki mehfil mein hai
    LIFE IS A GUEST AT DEATH’S PARTY
    sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
    OUR HEARTS ARE READY TO GIVE UP OUR LIVES

    dil mein toofaanon ki toli aur nason mein inquilaab
    THERE IS A HURRICANE OF FREEDOM IN OUR HEARTS
    hosh dushman ke udaa denge humein roko na aa
    DONT STOP US, WE WILL DESTROY OUR ENEMIES
    duur reh paaye jo humse dam kahaan manzil mein hai
    THERE IS NO STRENGTH IN THE GOAL IF ONE STAYS AWAY
    sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai
    OUR HEARTS ARE READY TO GIVE UP OUR LIVES

    (There are quite a few words where I had a problem trying to translate it literally into english – this is the best I could do).

    Anyone who has a better grasp… feel free to comment

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