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Political Turmoil Of Contemporary India: Kaka Hathrasi’s Poems Explain It All

| Updated: July 20, 2022 8:42 pm

“अंतरपट में खोजिए, छिपा हुआ है खोट,

मिल जाएगी आपको, बिल्कुल सत्य रिपोट”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoted the above lines by Kaka Hathrasi, the Hindi poet and satirist, in Parliament in 2017. However, PM Modi used his words to reply to the Motion of Thanks in Rajya Sabha. 

Surprisingly, Kaka Hathrasi, born as Prabhu Lal Garg in Hathras of Uttar Pradesh, has written poems on politics that align perfectly with the national upheaval. As he kept humour and satire as the base, Kaka’s pen created magic as he wrote about socio-political issues. 

Here are a few poems by Kaka Hathrasi that fit into modern politics like a lost puzzle piece.

Kaka Dohewala

Kaka’s two-lined sword on religion describes the restlessness India witnessed after Nupur Sharma remarked on national television on Prophet Mohammed. Amid the religious chaos, two Muslim men from Udaipur beheaded a local tailor who supported Nupur Sharma and left the nation in shock. Followed by the incident, outraged Hindus took to the streets in violent protest. 

Kaka says, 

अंध धर्म विश्वास में, फँस जाता इंसान,

निर्दोषों को मारकर, बन जाता हैवान।

As Indian-origin leaders like Rishi Sunak and Kamala Harris make headlines every day, here is a bonus from Kaka on Indian Diaspora. 

अँग्रेजी से प्यार है, हिंदी से परहेज,

ऊपर से हैं इंडियन, भीतर से अँगरेज।

Nagarpalika Varnan

As Kaka looks around, he makes a series of keen observations about the inefficiency of the micro-level government. Thus, he refers to ‘Nagarpalika’ or Municipal Corporation as ‘Narakpalika’ or Hell Corporation. 

Recently, the heavy showers in Ahmedabad exposed AMC’s reckless work. Thus, the narrative perfectly describes the reality of Municipal Corporations in India. 

Mega Pothole In Vastral, Ahmedabad

पार्टी बंदी हों जहाँ , घुसे अखाड़ेबाज़, मक्खी, मच्छर, गंदगी का रहता हो राज

का रहता हो राज, सड़क हों टूटी – फूटी, नगरपिता मदमस्त, छानते रहते बूटी

कहँ ‘ काका ‘ कविराय, नहीं वह नगरपालिका, बोर्ड लगा दो उसके ऊपर ‘नरकपालिका’

Ghuus Mahatamya

In the satirical poem, Kaka becomes the devil’s advocate and promotes corruption. The poem best fits the case of IAS Officer K Rajesh, facing bribery charges. A few days ago, the CBI alleged that the former collector of Surendranagar was taking bribes for land dealings and sanctioning weapon licenses.

कभी घूस खाई नहीं, किया न भ्रष्टाचार

ऐसे भोंदू जीव को बार-बार धिक्कार

बार-बार धिक्कार, व्यर्थ है वह व्यापारी

माल तोलते समय न जिसने डंडी मारी

कहँ ‘काका’, क्या नाम पायेगा ऐसा बंदा

जिसने किसी संस्था का, न पचाया चंदा

Murgi Aur Neta

Kaka beautifies the irony where leaders misuse the power given to them by the citizens. The Rajapaksa family of Sri Lanka dominated the nation’s political scene for years, only to flee the country in crisis and leave their citizens unsupported and unattended.

नेता अखरोट से बोले किसमिस लाल

हुज़ूर हल कीजिये मेरा एक सवाल

मेरा एक सवाल, समझ में बात न भरती

मुर्ग़ी अंडे के ऊपर क्यों बैठा करती

नेता ने कहा, प्रबंध शीघ्र ही करवा देंगे

मुर्ग़ी के कमरे में एक कुर्सी डलवा देंगे

Saare Jahan Se Acha India Humara

When Indira Gandhi asked Rakesh Sharma in space, “How does India look from there?” Rakesh Sharma replied, “Saare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Humara.”. 

In his poem, Kaka Hathrasi explains the downsides of our country. He targeted issues like freedom of speech and the socio-economic scenarios of India. Recently, Indian journalists like Avinash Das and Mohd Zubair in interim custody are facing charges because of their statements and tweets. Although activists call it ‘absolute hypocrisy.’ 

Here are a few lines from the poem:

सत्ता की खुमारी में, आज़ादी सो रही है

हड़ताल क्यों है इसकी पड़ताल हो रही है

लेकर के कर्ज़ खाओ यह फर्ज़ है तुम्हारा

सारे जहाँ से अच्छा है इंडिया हमारा


It’s not new for Hindi Literature Poets to humanise the rise in prices of commodities. However, one of the most notable poems ever written on the never-ending issue was by Kaka Hathrasi. On July 20, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and the NDA government faced backlash due to the price hike even during the sky-high inflation rate.

जन-गण मन के देवता, अब तो आँखें खोल

महँगाई से हो गया, जीवन डाँवाडोल

जीवन डाँवाडोल, ख़बर लो शीघ्र कृपालू

कलाकंद के भाव बिक रहे बैंगन-आलू

कहँ ‘काका’ कवि, दूध-दही को तरसे बच्चे

आठ रुपये के किलो टमाटर, वह भी कच्चे

Darshanik Dalbadlu

There’s a possibility that Kaka might have already seen every political twist that was about to happen in India. To our astonishment, he wrote a poem on a leader who changed his party. 

Shivsena rebel MLA Eknath Shinde with 40 others dominated the news channels for days as they revolted against the CM of Maharashtra and Uddhav Thackrey. As the two new Shiv Sena parties fight for their bow and arrow, here are a few lines from the last poem

आए जब दल बदल कर नेता नन्दूलाल

पत्रकार करने लगे, ऊल-जलूल सवाल

ऊल-जलूल सवाल, आपने की दल-बदली

राजनीति क्या नहीं हो रही इससे गँदली

नेता बोले व्यर्थ समय मत नष्ट कीजिए

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