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Bangladesh: The Birth of a Nation - I

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Below is the poem entitled Bangladesh: The Birth of a Nation - I which was written by poet Sumit Majumdar. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Bangladesh: The Birth of a Nation - I

We were one people, neighbours and kin
Before independence and the politician’s whim
In August’47, the brotherhood ended
The country was partitioned and we were independent

Democracy worked in India, floundered in neighbouring Pakistan
Victim to army rule and the power of the gun
And many a times since ’47, the two nations went to war
As defender of sovereign territory or blatant aggressor

A tenuous existence was Pakistan’s, to our east and west
Their land and race divide put this bond to test
The East staked its claim to governance on the people’s mandate
But unwilling to yield power, the West unleashed a campaign of hate 

Aspirations muzzled after twenty four years, bypassing legislation
Saw the birth of a defiant East yearning for liberation
A hotbed of political activity, Dhaka University was targeted
It was spring that night in ’71, the campus was surrounded

Troops loyal to the West sealed roads under night’s cover
And shells were fired in haloed ground from battle tank and mortar
Shrieking death, it is said, arced through the sky that night
Exploding amid the campus buildings, in blinding flashes of light

Besieged and battered was the East’s cradle of intellect
A grim warning for the masses, March 25 was the date
Then ground troops with weapons of death silently moved in
To slaughter at close quarters, academics and their kin

As flames licked the sky from adjacent slums
Fleeing residents were mowed down by soldiers with machine guns
The stench of burning flesh filled the night air
As bodies piled on streets were set on fire
 
The sky glowed red that night, as Dhaka burned
The orgy in the campus ended after all found were gunned
The handful, who escaped death, shed silent tears 
As ghastly fires burned to ashes, family and peers

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  1. Date: 10/3/2012 12:15:00 PM
    Interesting historical poem... good images... Terry