In an interview with The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta on NDTV 24x7’s Walk the Talk, lyricist Gulzar talks of being pained by the Delhi gang rape, and writing a poem for the victim.
It’s a sunny Delhi afternoon and my guest today needs no introduction — Gulzarsaab. This is a bit of a sombre conversation, if I must say, as our long-planned Walk the Talk got postponed because you were so affected by what happened in Delhi.
Ek depression aa gaya tha after this gang rape incident happened. That is why I postponed it, because we could not have discussed anything else.
So how does something like this affect a poet?
I think it affected everybody. But it was more important for a poet to be affected by it, if he or she is sensitive enough. Its was so horrible. I felt a sense of helplessness, not just of that girl, but of the entire society, the entire system. Neither does our government do anything, nor can our bandobast. Even those who witness such incidents do nothing. And this was not the first such incident. A few days before this case, a similar incident took place in a local train in Mumbai. No one can gather the courage to do something because nobody wants to go to a police station.
But the Delhi incident was a wake-up call. The girl’s sacrifice has woken up the Indian society.
Yes, absolutely. However, there were such calls in the past too, but we ignored them. Today’s youth have shown courage. They raised their voices and protested. I did not see anyone from the last or my generation among them. And in a way, I felt better that the country will be in safe hands. I trust this generation, today’s youth, very much.
Have you thought or written anything on this?
No, this was not the time to write a poem. However, I have written on such incidents in the past. There is one poem that I wrote after a similar incident: Aisa koi mahaul nahi tha ki faanusi awaazein hon ya baarish ka waqt ho, ya aisi koi pari-chehra bhi nahi thi ki woh utri ho falak se, na hi kuch aisa mahaul tha ki jazbaat mein hijaan paida kar de. Sirf iss liye ki woh aurat thi aur kamzor thi woh, aur woh mard the char, jo mard the bas isliye pas-e-deewar usay rape kiya. There