Translations of poems of some of the revolutionary artists of the Indian Freedom Struggle can be found here.

Mulk Raj Anand believed that the criteria for revolutionary art is that it not only articulates the conditions and needs of the people, but provides a 'desire image' toward which people can work to change their lives and thereby society. He called this a 'poetic realism' as opposed to 'literary photography' that merely reflects what is and not what ought to be. The artist is in a position to show us the way forward by confirming and elucidating the meaning behind the inmost experiences, because he understands people in their totality, and 'because of his addiction to truth'.

Nazrul Islam, the 'rebel poet' of India, wrote fiercely against British imperial rule and paid dearly for it. His revolutionary voice was heavily suppressed by repeated imprisonment and banning of his poetry and magazine 'Dhumketu' ('The Comet'). He inspired millions by his stand for and writings on the Swadeshi and non-violent non-cooperation movements of 1920s. His famous poem 'The song of youth', where he calls upon his fellow people to reject fear of death, because meaningful death is the harbinger of new life, went on to become the national march song of Bangladesh. See more

Faiz Ahmed Faiz was deeply inspired by the Sufi tradition of seeking truth through a personal God by means of revolutionary love. He was also rooted in the freedom struggle and remained an inspiration for many to take principled stands against war, imperialism and untruth. His poetry earned him the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963. In perhaps his most popular poem, 'Hum Dekhenge' ('We shall see'), he envisions the ends of the struggle against oppression, as not merely a world without oppression, but one where truth reigns. See more

Rabindranath Tagore perhaps was the fullest embodiment of the Indian mind in modern literature. His prose, poetry and plays draws on man's struggle to commune with nature, society and himself. He took inspirations from classical as well as folk traditions and touched the hearts of millions through his creativity that spanned the many aspects of whole human life. Tagore was deeply involved in the ideological struggle for freedom and understanding the crisis in modern civilization, and maintained close intellectual ties with many freedom fighters, most prominently Gandhi. In 1915 he famously bestowed the title Mahatma (great soul) to Gandhi. See more

The Year is organized by members of the Saturday Free School for Philosophy & Black Liberation, based in the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia, in partnership with the Gandhi Global Family.