Pash was the pen name of Avtar Singh Sandhu (September 9, 1950 – March 23, 1988), an Indian poet. His strongly left-wing views were reflected in his poetry.
He was born in Talwandi Salem, Jalandhar, Punjab, growing up in the midst of Naxalite a revolutionary movement waged in punjab against the landlords, industrialists, traders, etc who control the means of production. He published his first book of revolutionary poems, Loh-Katha (Iron Tale) in 1970; his militant and provocative tone raised the ire of the establishment and a murder charge was hastily brought against him. He spent nearly two years in jail, before being finally acquitted.
On acquittal, he became involved in Punjab’s maoist front, editing a literary magazine, Siarh (The Plow Line). He became a popular political figure on the left during this period, and was awarded a fellowship at the Punjabi Academy of Letters in 1985. He toured the United Kingdom and the United States the following year; while in the U.S., he became involved with the Anti-47 Front, opposing Sikh extremist violence.
The brilliant journey of poetry was cut short in the year 1988 when Paash who was in Punjab for a holiday from the US was shot dead by a group of terrorists.
Bio note courtesy: wikipedia
image courtesy: facebook
Time is not a dog
* Avtar Singh Sandhu ‘Pash’
If not Frontier, read TribuneIf not Calcutta, talk about DaccaBring the clippings fromOrganiser and Punjab KesariAnd tell meWhere are these eagles flying?Who has died?Time is not any dogThat can be chained and driven wherever you likeYou tell usMao says this and Mao says thatI ask you, who is Mao to say anything?Words cannot be pawned awayTime itself can speakMoments are not speechless.You sit in the RambleOr drink a cup of tea from a side stallSpeak truth or lie –It doesn’t matter,You may even jump over the corpse of silence——-And O rulers, askYour police and tell meWhether I am imprisoned behind the barsOr this policeman standing across?Truth is not a whore of AIRTime is not any dog.
Poem courtesy: Radical Notes, here