O P Bhatnagar – A Poet of Political Awakening


P Bhatnagar is one of the most leading voices of Indian English poetry whose thinking collections poems (1976), sense of fossils (1977), Angels retreat (no date), the Audible landscape, Oneric visions, bespeak generate shadows in floodlight illumination (1984) and cooling the flames of darkness (2001) of the political consciousness of the poet. As that is made clear cut Indian English poetry can never stay away from the political and social atmosphere of the India and poets not writing under a unique formula but rather a dialogue between man and man so Bhatnagar also addresses a number of issues in our society and politics. Comments by Dr. A.N. Dwivedi:

“Bhatnagar poetry covers a wide range of topics which focus directly on the length of your experience and the solemnity of his involvement in the Affairs of life”. (CIE217)

Bhatnagar approach of political issue is firmer and larger than any other Indian English poet has touched nearly every aspect of the political scene. Dr.V.K.Singh notes:
“we are Bhatnagar a frank analysis of the facts of contemporary life. Bhatnagar descants in countless aspects of political life existing nowadays. No outstanding feature escapes his eye very demanding. Bhatnagar breaks open the sine of various political enigmas. It reflects that we have before us is that of all the political problems.” (152)

as electoral issues, bribery, corruption and criminalization of politics, rampant corruption among leaders degrade the character of national leaders, Division of society by castism, communalism, linguism, and regionalism etc. and the total loss of values in politics are touched by the poet in an extremely sensitive and extremely sarcastic way that not yet is to be overcome by any poet of Indian English poetry. His claim of that ‘Indian poetry in English have to be Indian’ not can be ignored if we want to promote the literature of the India. Simply copy and deal with English and English literature are insufficient because India sensitivity is not suffering with the dearth of thoughts, emotions and sensitivity and because it has its foundation potential voice and vitality. Dr. R.C. Sharma is right when he says:

“the reason why Bhatnagar advocates make India poetry in English is riddled with conflicts and concerns;” and these conflicts and concerns are basically Indians. Bhatnagar is conscious of the environment in which the Indian poet in English lives as well as the duty of the Indian poet in English has to carry out.” (79)

O.P.Bhatnagar has dealt with a number of issues such as social consciousness, political consciousness, love, nature, philosophy and the Indianness. According to Dr. A. N. Dwivedi:

Bhatnagar poetry covers a wide range of topics, focusing directly on the extent of their experience the solemnityof their participation in the Affairs of his life. (CIE, 217)

thus Bhatnagar understands rhythm and the temperature of its time and therefore organizes his poetry. Try Bhatnagar with the theme of the policy is real and many. Various social problems which agitate the conscience of man are the themes of his poetry and he tries to shed much light on all of them. S.C.Bose notes:

“the poetry of O.P.Bhatnagar that in fact has many dimensions is also important as poetry of political consciousness”. (V. V., 29)

franco of the fact of contemporary life analysis and the picturesque layout make his vibrant poetry and attractive. According to Bhatnagar:

“the most vital areas of life are today governed by the quality of political life and environment are creating and living. Policy has now replaced our religious way of life. “We are fast being refers to a kind of nationalism that can define our roles and responsibilities in the realization of the fate of our nation in the future”. «Introduction», 8 (RC)

according to Bhatnagar:

Indiana English poetry should concern especially to the social and political life of the people of the India and, ‘ they must democratize their concerns and relations with society and be a source of expectations shared… that should throw light on the degeneration and corruption corrodes the identities. Talk of total loss of moral values, the darkness and the frustrations that permeates the national scene”. (RC, ‘ 9 Introduction)

poetry to Bhatnagar is a constant search and effort to symbolize for a best .to socio-political life, is ‘ a conscious art shaped by constant practice refined and enhanced through the vision itself. Like life itself, is the work of a gardener who after removing all weeds grown in the end growth and flowering. As such there is no influence of any particular thought his poetry in school. It is entirely his propia-un experiment staff inspired by age, area, time and especially by the human condition.

the first collection of poems of thought Bhatnagar (1976) has a lot of poems of political consciousness. The rich’s poems in the lack of content of thought in the excitement as the romantic poets, but the first poem of the collection see the process of poetic creation. Bhatnagar writes:

“poetry of meaning
as a deity in consecrated
words, the construction of the building.” (EDUCATION, 5)

Bhatnagar sheds sufficient light on the question of God, which cannot be resolved in the round the temple by the worshiper. God is a meaning and a deity enshrined in the words of the poem, the artist can only expose and seek him:

“can go round and round the Temple
but never be close to God.

we can go round and rand an idea
but never around than a thought.” (ibid. 5)

in one of his poems, predicts the future as bleak as the present:

– future appearance disappeared
as cactus flowers after the dawn
los Santos of bars, brothels and night clubs tasting
casinos and underworld
to turn moral, values and virtues to ice cream
holes for fun loving childness in cones. (EDUCATION, 10)

in the poem the new scale Bhatnagar tries to balance between a man meat is another man’s poison. The poet is the worn dictum in the modern context ‘a simple and honest man measuring spoons value life as it is dishonesty the best form of life’. The harsh reality of life can be seen as:

“a simple and honest man
in a worn mode may
still himself find life of measurement
ladles of value
bribery, corruption and counterfeiting

for him, a bitter poison.” (T.P., 12)

Bhatnagar wishes to say to that she is that accumulate wealth are the little interest with the interest with peers, nor feel any immorality indeed quite contrary to the code of conduct. In another poem ‘A Oh of wonder’, Bhatnagar expresses our feelings and helpless attitude. The poet regrets the diversity, disintegration that our country has today. The emphasis of the poet is more than nationality, a sense and an attitude. This idea is written by the poet as:

“ours is a multiheaded
country look in no particular direction
Trimurti is a vision all included
from here to eternity resurrected
telling the story of our frivolity.” (T.P., 14)

also in the ‘Country’s attention bonds’ poem the poet says about the loyalty and patriotism of those Indians that have been accumulating wealth, vanity and arrogance for his services to countries to those who have immigrated. These so-called loyal citizens and tireless Patriots visit India for its own cause:

“loyal citizens proud Patriots
never forget caring for his country
and fly back home from time to time
whether to choose a bride as a Prince
or buy a few country a gem of the Earth
put his Kingdom in a security sealed
bands with the guarantee of faithful with a wink
” “which although is does not belong to this country
insurance belonging to his empire.” (T. p., 15)

the second collection of fossils of sentiment has also some poems of political interest. Bhatnagar, despite the policy of an indirect way just not pin point very rare phenomena that somehow remain hidden from the eyes of those who have specialized in the game of politics. ‘Crossing the bar’ is realistic poem plaguing modern politics. His commentary on modern politics is worth quoting:

«moral as
thick as forests
do not let light;»

the game is rare loyalties Hunt

for the romance”. (F(F), 16)

another remarkable poem ‘ The no man’s land’ expresses the idea that freedom has not brought any racial change in the lives of people who are still living in the dark Dungeon of poverty, illiteracy, and justice. The liberation movement was raised by the masses, but only few privileged men arose to control. And when the efforts and sacrifices of the masses those privileged few captured thrown were success the country continued the judgment on the nation in the garb of democracy. By what feels good poet:

“before that the
British land was not ours:
after left,
was not our also
Earth is
to those who govern;”

the others will simply inherit
no man’s land.” (FF, 19)

the third withdrawal angles collection has a number of thought provoking poems in which the poet explores the meaning of time as assessed from the events of the cave of materialism combines hypocrisy. The tone of the poet in this collection is satirical and ironic. In the poem ‘history is a sentence go round’ the poet wishes to propose that historians often ignore the importance of the population in general and tend to magnify the facts of some privileged men. Political sycophants have no other way to the pages of history. Historians believe that his work in the register of titles and torture serve the cause of national unity and security and they are aided by political sycophants:

“political sycophants are his assistants
whose seductive predictions
fire to eat and carry out
shows Japanese fire
walk to dazzle already stunned”. (AR, 40)

However the fawning and political leaders forget that tyrants and blood suckers have to face a fall:

“too much repression and much POLITICKING enzymes
defeat forcing masses
forge in the smithy of his conscience
invisible weapons of his conscience
weapons invisible of his shame of Coronation of autumn
on the fronts of tyrants
and nail bitter truths
in” crossing times.” (A.R.41)

‘beggars can be Choosers’ it is a notable poem in which the poet extends its sympathy to the deceased poor, homeless and proposed that begging is not an evil which is harbored by shallow careerists, dare devil smugglers and deceit sells. Beggars are far from the medical condition of tension, alienation and loss of identity and the poet concludes:

“my humanitarian approach
seemed a grunt I
and my reformist zeal zeal beggars celluloid
little Dame account that can also be choosers
just under command the way we misunderstand one another
to keep our irrational ways are
that the deception without end
” put an end to forms of our destiny”. (AR, 43)

Similarly, in another poem ‘Thoughts on the day of elections A’ is another poem of political consciousness in which the poet ridiculed and paints a picture very vivid and realistic of the ignorant voters and officials can read and write as follows:

“ignorant in their routine
tail voters dreams
and a second passion
get rid of the symbols of sealing of indecision oscitant
for men.”

with a handful of literate people sealed illiterate favors in boxes of steel

and recording proud survey
percentage very about the polls
Queen as mourners retreated from their funerals.” (A.R., 46)

the hope of new political miracles after such democratic phenomena in every five years is finally interpreted by the poet who wants to say that democracy is nothing but the ugly face of oppression and injustice.

the fourth collection of verse Oneric visions indirectly reflects on the themes of the policy in which several fragments related to political consciousness are scattered on the volume. For example in the poem ‘if one starts asking questions like Hamlet’ the poet gives a reference to policy:

“fanatic erecting marble statues
of their heroes transitional
in the evanescent route times-
some whispering revolution
others proclaiming peace-
leaving the Sun with umbrellas to the common man
for elbow.” (V.O. 25)

in ‘who’s afraid of fear’ idea of the poet on the magnitude of the evils that say about the nature of the policy is expressed by the poet:

“to raise the specter of hooligans
smugglers hoarders and Santo-rodillos of a spicy denial of his betrayal

and evoke the deformed appearances
of men who wished to govern
or the man who could simply not be men
and as a” Shikhandi
the Branding sun shade


complain drop
bent with an old dream
morality of cleaning such as beauty
discarded by actors with cold cream. “(O.V., 35)

the concept of Gandhian non-violence is very well expressed in the poem ‘Non-Niolence and violence’.” As Gandhi, Bhatnagar feels that even violence has no limits:

“if one hits you once
that invite him to do it again:
if one takes off his shirt
offer to eliminate what is left.” (O.V., 35)

but is not virtually non-violence but a shortage of wisdom the poet suggests something:

“with the ideals that is folded like umbrella
one can save a day of rain
and enjoy violence for fun
but wrinkled dialectic of violence
is a little too monotonous
to ikebana of horror Unrelieved
unemployed’s sense of humor
it is worthwhile.” (O.V., 43)

the shadows of the collection in focus has several poems of depth and the observation that the poet turns philosophical as analytical. In the poem ‘ poverty, revolutions and dreams ‘ the poet argues with reason:

not appreciate poetry as its content
as Vice more than its purity
and frustrations behave a wfore:
for the poetry itself is a revolution
undreamt-of of in dream undreams. “(S.F., 17)

but the scene lives in another poem the poet presents the image of the modern India saying:

” the scene of life in my country
applies only to granite eyes Insensitive
resistant to our visions to reveal. “” (SF, 20)

and adds:

“is a scene where utopia and epic
are merging in a palpable chaos
adventure overrunning freedom
gangsterism whipping justice policy
maintain dignity captive
inaction to prevent the thought.” (ibid)

the collection saw the landscape Audible has extensive poems related to political consciousness in which the poet moans and reflects the current situation of the nation and its people. For example, the first poem reflects the servile mindset of people who are willing to suffer without a sigh. The nation has become cowardly and disease is beyond treatment. The poet says:

«slavery slaves of self are
happy ghosts-driven». (TO 9)

and adds:

“when slavery is beloved as a rhetoric to survive
not representation Cervants and useless Dostoevsky
Conceits of cowards need no therapist
or freedom a Marx or revive a Gandhi.” (p.9)
which reflects our this predicament:
“a prisoner is more free than those
has no freedom even to dream.” (ibid)

almost the same tone is continued in the following poem ‘ the walls of the prison House remain ‘. Bhatnagar writes:

“we have broken the chains of Slavery
remain prisonhouse walls.» (TO 10)

the following excerpt from the poem reflects the plight of Indians:

“our despair is not because there
is less revolution
but few changes”. (ibid)

“now are looking for leaders to follow God
to send us his grace:
we feel afraid to say the truth
and resisting what is unfair
All filthy and corrupt in our bones.” (ibid)

what fun is that we have taken phrases from reality forget all resistance and protest. Bhatnagar, says:
“caged too long in slavery
we have developed as circus Lions
unable to freedom in the emotions
developed in our own prisonwalls.” (. A.L. p.11)

the third poem in the volume ‘ can made be destroyed by Ideas, highlights the reality that can not be destroyed by the ideas of the so-called policy of cat can not play the game of hide and seek for a long time. The poet writes:

“a”yer were the dreams of tomorrow
today are the memories of the past-
villages to replace sky:

homeless resting in villas:
morality to be as strong as mountains:
hungry for power at the Taj-
all this is history now
policy that enriched the country with such long poverty.” (TO 12)

the poet concludes by saying:

“Poets even now are tired of dreams
strangled as Caligula to exit
lets fight reviving to offset the loss of material of art turned
hostile to art.” (ibid)

in this collection there are poems as ‘Still questions’, ‘The new morality ‘,’ the second coming’, ‘ to see Rashtrapati Bhavan’, ‘Larger displacement’, ‘Space’ and ‘Second conversion’ in which the poet says blades and weaknesses of our character and presents the snapshot of the suffering humanity and enjoying a nude life modern Bhatnagar attempts to reform the present scenario and motivates us to fight against injustice and humiliation.

the ultimate collection of cooling the flames of darkness (2001) also has a number of poems of political interest that highlights the poem ‘ the Janus political front ‘. The poet starts saying:

“that says takes it yellow sweat and suffering
to become a leader in these fruitful days!

with more charm disadvantages
way placement day dreams by faldage
misleading drawings of fain hope is China with all the imperfections
charm the unequal innocent
. (CFD, 17)

face farce of the India policy and politicians called Shams are sketched by the poet as well. Bhatnagar urges us:

“so, watch a hijacker of green seasoned hardcore bandolero

intelligent murderer of A: a smuggler of high-fi
a high mobile scamster
talk glib television
or dictate its undercover becomes
people twice besieged
him voting power with the
option forcing their way to a travesty of democracy.” (CFD, 18)

the poem ‘Devastated by children of civilized time’ shows almost all external conflicts in the world where people of modern times is more pleased in cancerous violence, sins and crimes being something ‘ on-line fiction Bestsellers: / Blow up the media to view on the internet’. Politicians are like Cassius Shakuni are fixing distant personal energy Park designs and are ‘get off your nebulous dreams’. According to him, politicians will never let the world change in its former glory. Says:

“are stricken civilized times-
our spirits limps have their own unnerving truth:

philosophers, physiologists, and politicians on one side
all Fireworks end for his glory in ashes:
and the waters are empty
through all the gashes of the mountain.” And
Howsoever much innocence can stand the test
by fire and water:
violence will never lose its shine
the evils of innocence cold surrender.

can be return to the tenderness of heart
lies through bestiality, faxed around the world
unchanged text on their authenticity. “(CFD, 14)

Similarly, in ‘The primitive age’, the poet imagines the more mishappenings of overgrowth of the ghost of the dirty politics and the ghasty:

” come one, come all come from hyenas or wolves

the roots inlaid naturally compel
power trampled to fresh shoot
and survive the weed grizzly
in a new grace of its ancient rooms
civilized Tesing in their

much biting “” teeth.” (CFD, 16)

looking for in my solitude the poet tries to relieve himself of the agony of the time, but finds solace in nowhere and says:

“philosophy, music for the agony of the
poetry can only half – persuade good taste
to savor the taste of loneliness
in good taste and confidence” “:
for the best bitter can convert
only bite less not sweeter still.” (CFD, 36)

as well, from previous narration it became clear that the poetry of Bhatnagar is free of all movements of left or right or has anything to do with any particular school of thought or ideology but a representation of reality crystal-clearly and narration of the truth in painting and live. The religion of Bhatnagar poetry is love and peace. His poetic credo is essentially human and good. Seems to be a real advocate of simplicity when he says:

“poetry in all its glory is a clear and a simplified version of the complex and the confused, because there is nothing more transcidental beyond the creative simplicity of poetry. Poetry wins not by his snobbishness, but by its simplicity. Simple poetry is the poetry of togetherness. If more India people to read poetry in English must obtain common and accessible and connected with the life of concerns human times of mere words, animals, maidens and sex.” (FD, 122)

therefore, we can say that Bhatnagar has tried politics as a metaphor in his poetry and his poetry has been established as the Bugle of awakening in the current atmosphere of political darkness.


oa. N. Dwevedi (ed.), contemporary English Verse Indo. Bareilly: Prakash Depot.1998 book.

oV. K. Singh. Critical evaluation of the poetry of O. P. Bhatnagar – to ‘Results from the political and economic life’. Under the supervision of Dr. T.. K. Ramchandran, sent to the Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, 1992
oR.C. Sharma and Dolly Oswal, «of O. P. Bhatnagar treatment of policy», Journal of the University of Agra’s research. Vol.xxx, PT. 1, I Jan.1982
. C. bose, the vision and the voice. Vol.2, Ed. G. P. Baghmar, Nagpur; Publications of Vishwa Bharti. (Abbreviated as V. V).
. P Bhatnagar(ed,) lifting columns – some Indian poets in English.Amravati; Kala Prakashan.

or – thought Poems.Aligarh: Lark publications. 1976, (abbreviated as TP in the text)
or – feeling of fossils. New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan, (abbreviated as FF in the text)
or – removal angle. New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan, (abbreviated as AR in the text)
or – Oneric visions. Jaipur: Rachna Prakashan, (abbreviated as OV in the text)
or – shadows and projectors. Aligarh: Publications lark. (Abbreviated as SF in the text)

or – Audible landscape. Aligarh: Publications lark. (Abbreviated as in the text)

or – cooling the flames of darkness. New Delhi: Samkaleen Prakashan., 2001 (abbreviated as CFD in the text)
or – future directions Indian poetry in English Jaipur: Rachna Prakashan, (abbreviated as FD in the text)


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