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Gandhi Jayanti: Poems by Leonard Dabydeen

Strength does not come from physical capacity.

It comes from indomitable will. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi Jayanti

Gandhi Jayanti is an event celebration in India that marks the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 1869 (died in January 30, 1948). The event is celebrated around the world wherever mankind is in search for peace and non-violence among communities and nations.

Suno suno aye duniya waalon, Bapu ki ye amar kahaani
Listen, people of the world, to Bapu’s immortal story…
[Mahatma Gandhi: born Oct 2, 1869; assassinated Jan 30, 1948]

at each other
eye to eye, blinding the whole world
makes mediation so complex
for peace.

cannot resolve
territorial rights
based on our religious believes
God’s ONE.

Where hate
inflames the mind
and racism colours our
skin to scoff and scorn our canvas
seek Truth.

lesson is to
follow his legacy
stand deeply for SATYAGRAHA
in Life.

when Truth becomes
nations will relish its sweetness
for peace.

is no resolve
and racism colours our
stand deeply for SATYAGRAHA
for peace!



Deep in the colour of my skin, I live 
Heart to heart and rumble for peace within; 
I traverse this world for freedom, but give 
Not my pride for prejudice or chagrin. 
I walk not alone, but in footsteps 
Where the journey is long, but dream is strong; 
Where civil rights are mine, with no regrets 
That civil liberty is never wrong. 
Non-violence is my definitive creed, 
Through Gandhian spirit I strive and breathe; 
For you and I are equal without plead 
Where discrimination is full of seethe. 
Assassination leaves my world a cloud, 
Racism cannot be dressed in any shroud. 


telling you
where to look for Truth
it speaks from your mind, and your heart.
When mind is weak, heart palpitates
and Truth becomes so


down to ground
Earth is manifold
forbid war; make peace with neighbours.
When you make war, your enemy
is your restless mind
burning hate



In the end all men have to die. He who is born
cannot escape death.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi – Speech
at Prayer Meeting, New Delhi, January 15, 1948.

They who live by their own chagrin, acquire
moth that spiral in their mind without peace;
fetch hate, animosity as desire
never to see our world a happy place.

Often times by foolish wit denigrate
our hopes and dreams far beyond squint of eye,
they criticize and also peculate
day by day they usher grandiose lie.

Step by step we massage Gandhian thoughts
and follow in faith a path righteous
ahimsa our kindled lamp against krauts
satyagraha our stand prestigious.

Walking in Mahatma’s footpath joyous
we build our future world so enormous.

Bapu ji (died Jan. 30, 1948)

I was
thirteen days
old and crying
Mama said Nathuram shot Bapu ji.

Bapu ji clasped his hands and smiled at him
nod in silence
said, ‘Ram, Ram’.
Eyes closed




Footprints on the sands of time
glow with birthmark
each glittering step
unshaken and challenging
not by yielding to temptation
but thirst for truth
for the awakening of men
for soul-searching
in glimpses of the Transvaal
for monsoon moments

in vestibules of maharajas
turnstiles in South Africa
under a mango tree in India
ricocheting in global rumbles
for peace and non-violence
and as the wind whispers
in a stormy weather
where wars create bedrocks
for sleepless journeys
I clasp my hands

in solemn gesture
as if it were the beginning
of the end
namaste, Gandhiji.


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