Get Your Premium Membership

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

Copyright © | Year Posted 2012

Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

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