This paper will examine the sanskrit short-poem Ātaṅkavādaśataka (“Century of Verses on terrorism”) written in 1988 by the famous indian pandit Vagish Shastri. Although composed in a language that is 2500 year old, the Century deals with one of the most dramatic events in contemporary indian history: sikh nationalist terrorism. The poet provides both a socio-political interpretation as well as a mythological-theological one, managing to combine a traditional approach with a pronounced ideological awareness. We will both supply information on the social and historical background of the phenomenon, and discuss the poetic qualities of the work. Special attention will be given to linguistic, metrical and rhetorical features, which link this contemporary composition to classical kāvya poetry.
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