The Swan will take flight one day…(Ud jayega hans akela…)

The inevitability of death and poignant context set in this Kabir Bhajan always stirs disquiet yet settles  me each time I hear it. It’s not only the lyrics but the soulful rendition by Kumar Gandharva that sends me tripping.  In this performance, the singer and the song have become one…The lyrics, the rhythm and the cadence, the tone, the mood, everything comes alive with deeper and newer meanings…

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Tension Relief

“Many find in sex and economics the meaning of life and the reason of it all. The consequence of this is that the goal of life for many has become a relief of tension.”

~Sachindra Kumar Majumdar

Thomas Sankara::”While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”

thomas-sankara

What an inspiration! His life gives such a big hope that even bleakest circumstances and social decadence cannot stop good people from being born. His assassination also proves that we can’t take such providence for granted.

The cynic in me died just knowing what he spoke and what he did. Hear this-

He was really bold-

  • He sold off the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5 (the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at that time) the official service car of the ministers.
  • He reduced the salaries of well-off public servants, including his own, and forbade the use of government chauffeurs and 1st class airline tickets.
    • He redistributed land from the feudal landlords to the peasants. Wheat production increased from 1700 kg per hectare to 3800 kg per hectare, making the country food self-sufficient.[6]
  • He opposed foreign aid, saying that “he who feeds you, controls you.”[6]
  • He spoke in forums like the Organization of African Unity against continued neo-colonialist penetration of Africa through Western trade and finance.[6]
  • He called for a united front of African nations to repudiate their foreign debt. He argued that the poor and exploited did not have an obligation to repay money to the rich and exploiting.[6]

“Thomas knew how to show his people that they could become dignified and proud through will power, courage, honesty and work. What remains above all of my husband is his integrity.”

— Mariam Sankara, Thomas’ widow [1]
  • In Ouagadougou, Sankara converted the army’s provisioning store into a state-owned supermarket open to everyone (the first supermarket in the country).[1]
  • He forced well-off civil servants to pay one month’s salary to public projects.[1]
  • He refused to use the air conditioning in his office on the grounds that such luxury was not available to anyone but a handful of Burkinabes.[7]
  • As President, he lowered his salary to $450 a month and limited his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer.[7]

Here is a very long yet very interesting biographical video-http://youtu.be/J5USbA701SI