The Naked Fakir (Gandhian Philosophy)

Roopali Sircar Gaur
Kings and queens 
burdened with crowns 
studded with diamonds 
Covered in ermine fur and velvet walked slowly into the room. 
Their cloaks lined with gold and pearls lifted by many hands.

He walked with great speed this bony bodied man in a hurry. 
Dark skinned with a toothless smile
With just a strip of white cotton cloth to just cover his naked body.

You are a Naked Fakir
shrieked kings and queens and courtiers.
They who could not walk without help.
They who needed help to hold 
on their empty heads those crowns over loaded with jewels .

In Ahmedabad in the ashram on the banks of the river Sabarmati
 I stood staring at those spectacles and that roughhewn stick 
he had used to walk his frail body.
Those miles he walked to Dandi where the heaps of salt they churned.
Those men he led those sticks which rained down on his back 
that bone breaking pain which flailed him down 
now made the tears roll down my face my flesh throbbed with pain. 

Just this stick and these spectacles and the bare bodied man in a loin cloth? 
That is truly all that one needed
 to say 
“Enough no more. “This is our country. 
You Must Go!

That stick stirred a revolution 
and those who held the flag 
to their bullet ridden chests 
charged at the gun wielding brutes.

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t break those frail bones. 
You see with him came the satyagrahis more and more and more.
One by one they fell on the ground till a mound of women and men and a pen for a room. 
The hands of violence that wielded cannons and guns now exhausted in silence fell. 
With folded hands they begged to be released. 
Let us go they cried.

Cunning enemy decided
to unleash violence
They cut our people in two
and left it to bleed forever. 

Let us not remain strangers forever .Let us bind and heal the wounds
Let us follow the Mahatma’s path
Let us work for Peace!

Bio: Dr Roopali Sircar Gaur is a bi- lingual widely published poet, author, travel writer, editor and social justice and animal activist. Founder President of YUVATI a not for profit organization, she runs a special initiative called Mera Kitab Ghar. 
She taught English Literature in Delhi University and Creative Writing for IGNOU. 
Passionate about ecology, recycling and composting she lives in Meerut with her veteran husband and three rescued dogs.

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