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Anjalay Devi Coopen

Anjalay Devi Coopen

Anjalay Devi Coopen, also known as Anjalay Tassalam Twakaran, is a famous name in Mauritius because as a 48 year old pregnant labourer, she was shot by the police on 27 September, 1943, reportedly during a religious ceremony at a baitka held at Belle Vue Harel, at a time when there was general unrest on sugar estates and protests against working and living conditions.  A statue of her can be seen at the Aapravasi Ghat in Port Louis [former Immigration Depot] and was unveiled in May 1995.

Her sacrifice has been immortalised by the Tamil poet Permal Soobrayen.

 

ANJALAY

The tears of the sons of Bharat

Like river flow

And shall not our hearts bleed

When alone you stood

In poverty and innocence.

Against those who thought to murder you

You stood;

And you fell!

Now let the world stand and say

Anjalay, beloved woman of Belle vue.

You are the symbol of sacrifice.

Ignorant of the Vedas and lofty thoughts

And in poverty you lived.

Yet, your heart was full of love and compassion!

At the sight of the wicked.

Against them you stood

To show us, helpless men.

Our duty,

And the meaning of fearlessness!

While in the country

Many a thing happened

The woman in you said

Woman, your place is at home

A man’s mettle you possessed;

And you are propulsed into action

But,

To fall like the stag

At the hand of the hunter!

So you sacrificed your dear life

In the middle of a strife!

Unto this world

Where the arrogant,

The wicked and the mean

Suck the blood of the poor

You sought for a cove

Where peace prevails

At last,

In the pur hearts you settled

Of many a man of good deeds

Upon earth what wrong have you done

For man to subject you thus?

Bullets struck an dyou breathed out!

Many spoke of the hideous crime

Yet soldiers of fame who attained heaven.

 

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