13 August, 1980 – Muslim festival of Eid was being celebrated across India but in Moradabad these celebrations turned into mournings as Police in Moradabad, a district in West Uttar Pradesh famous for brassware work, fired upon a gathering of Muslims offering Eid prayers. Hundreds were killed at Eidgah (ground where Eid prayers are offered) as journalists like BJP leader MJ Akbar and Syed Shahabuddin called it a cold blood murder of Muslims by the police.
This massacre disturbed most of the Indians and famous progressive Hindi poet Shamsher Bahadur Singh wrote two Rubai (four line poems) bringing out the pain, despair and hopelessness of an Indian when his fellowmen were massacred.
He titled these Rubai as Bharat Desh ki Eid; 1980: Moradabad (Eid of Indian Nation; 1980: Moradabad)
First Rubai reads;
Vah kaam Moradabad mai hum kar aaye,
Duniya mai uncha apna parcham kar aaye !
Bachcho.n ki, javaano.n ki ummido.n ki wo Eid !
Us Eid ka hum jaa ke maatam kar aaye !!
(In Moradabad, we have carried out this operation
We raised our flag proudly in the whole world
Eid which gave hope to children and youth
We turned that Eid into a mourning)
In continuation, Singh wrote another Rubai, keeping in mind that the massacre was carried out on 13 August, only a day before Independence day, 15 August. He writes;
Rashtriya Swatantrta-divas purv ki Eid-
Aate hi, – Swatantrta-divas par hai shahiid !!
Hai Rashtra mahaan ! Rashtra ke dharm mahaan !!
Ye sab hain Moradabad mai qaabil-e-diid !!
(Eid, which arrived on the eve of National Independence Day
Martyred itself on the Independence Day
Nation is great, Faiths of the nation are great
In Moradabad, these are out on exhibition)
- (Author is a well known Historian & editor of heritagetimes.in)