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Saturday / June 19.
HomeBetween The LinesI, Too, Sing India

I, Too, Sing India

by Amritjit Singh
(with apologies to Langston Hughes)

I too sing India

Ghalib sang India
so did Bahadur Shah Zafar.
Tagore sang India
so did Nirala and Bharati.
Allama Iqbal sang India,
as did Puran Singh.
I too sing India.

Bachchan sang India,
Oh, not the Big Bachchan of Bombay fame,
but the Bigger Bachchan from Allahabad,
Harivansh Rai Bachchan!
I too sing India.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz sang India,
what if he sang India from Lahore and Cairo.
Toru Dutt sang India from France and UK
Oh yes, Sarojini Naidu, our nightingale,
sang India everywhere.
Amrita Pritam sang India, and
in 1947 she lamented
India too, invoking Waris Shah
to sing with her.

I too sing India
I am the darker brother
I am your Dalit Sister, and
your Muslim Brother

I too sing India
I am the Bhil from heartland
I am the Naga from the Northeast
The Gorkha from North Bengal
The Buddhist from Ladakh

I too sing India
I too am India
I know I am beautiful and
you know I am strong

I am the darker brother
I am the darker sister.
I too sing India

I sing India because
I am a Singh,
a lion who walks
in peace next to the grazing goat.

I too sing India. I always will.
If you leave me behind on
the pavement or
the railway platform,
I will walk 300 miles
to my village, and
I shall always vote.
I shall always vote!
I shall always vote!

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