Can you conquer pain and smile like a victor in the face of fast-approaching death? Defeating all the crushing defeats, can you stand up again and fight back in such a way that your blood-besmeared face dazzles the enemy with its glow of final victory? Can you sing aloud obstinately the forbidden song of dawn in the dead of the night? Yes, my soul stoops with respect for those – who dare – who invite the wrath of gods, who challenge the mighty victors to fight a foreordained duel. What if they fall and are ruined in the attempt, success lies in the cause for which one stands, rather than what one achieves.
Do you remember Victor Zara – the man whose soul stood firm before the loaded guns. With every single bone of his mutilated body broken and crushed, he was challenged to sing his beloved song. Would the man writhing in pain sing the song? Yes, he would. He did. He sang again – the song of freedom – and a joy emanated from his heart that defied death – that was his last song.
Do you remember the beautiful arrogance of the man who stood unrepentant before the Inquisition after eight years of solitary and inhumane confinement, not to win his last chance to survive but to win his chance to die for truth and to make his supreme sacrifice? The fire that consumed his living organs one by one, flared up to consume the entire establishment that had held in captivity his free spirit that loved the vastness of the sky. That was Giordano Bruno – the heretic, the outlaw, the rebel.
And I am reminded of another man. A man whose name was ‘freedom’. As the first bullet entered his right thigh and broke his thighbone and a second left the unprepared man’s right shoulder useless, he felt not the pain, but the necessity to prepare himself for the last fight – his last battle. Come what may, he decided to stand undefeated and victorious in the end. He was fighting not for himself but for his motherland. He cannot let her down. He has to win. The battle began – one man against an army. As he fired back with the left hand with only one magazine in his little pistol, his left hand did not shake, his grip was firm, his aim steady, and mind focused. Not one shot went blank, not even the last with which he claimed his freedom from the reach of the dirty hands of the murderers. He died with a clean heart – like a warrior. I bow down before the great martyr of the Indian freedom Struggle, Chandra Shekhar Azad.
Half-forgotten and half wiped out, the stories of what man is capable of, are waiting to be heard by the new generation that has to carry forward the war of justice and truth to its completion. The battle, my dear friends, is not over yet. As long as there are hungry vultures eyeing the gains of human labor, as long as there are the self-acclaimed Gods who suck the blood of the deprived ninety nine percent of the denizens of this beautiful earth – the war will continue. There are moments when I feel immense pain welling up inside me. It has become so important for us to win the battle that had been started long back by warriors who conquered pain and defeat – the battle which, if won, would usher in the era for which our earth has been waiting since ages, the era of freedom. This irrepressible desire often takes me to that spot. And as I sit under the shade of the old tree which had once shielded the lone warrior, I feel so humbled and so strong. Yes, it is a true, i will not conceal it – my heart craves for one such fight. Yes, I am waiting for that day when a new army of valiant fighters would come marching in, singing the song of war and peace and of the final victory of truth, and I would be in the rank, blessed to have got a chance to sing with my comrades – that song of freedom