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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 6, New Delhi, January 25, 2020 - Republic Day Special

Pardon Me For Writing

Monday 27 January 2020, by Sagari Chhabra

Pardon me for writing

For you have wrenched

The tongue of the students

And used their pens

To impair their legs,

Forcing your way

Into their library.

About entering the mosque

I will not say,

For now it is the norm

To break mosques

And to say your God

Was born right here.

I say your God

Because mine is everywhere,

Omnipresent,

But you have reduced Him

To a historical figure

With birth pangs and waste,

While you forbid menstruating women 

To enter the Sabarimala temple

As they defile the celibate place.

Make haste, 

For our people

Reeling under a crisis for jobs

And fobbing off hunger,

Are now feeling the pain

Of being robbed of their identity;

Citizenship is about feeling good,

Having a sense of brotherhood

And a space in the sun,

But have your merciless fun;

Stop the metros, the internet

Charge us all with sedition,

Is this a limited edition

Of jackboots and shoelaces

Across our face, 

As you place

The police dressed in riot gear

Jerking tearing, gassing shells

Against us?

What’s the fuss;

This is not India,

This is you with a manufactured majority

But see how the students and the young

Mock your authority;

Your marigold colour,

Your detention camps,

Your counting at the NRC,

The Citizenship Amendment Act;

Your act is now exposed,

Take a break 

Afterwards the show will go on.

Meanwhile give them medals of gallantry

Wrapped in porn,

To go on and on, 

Erecting barricades painted yellow 

Against our own fellows.

Pardon me for writing,

But I have seen

Ahimsa hand over roses

Across these barricades

To the khaki brigade,

I have seen satyagraha shivering 

But valiantly receiving the blows;

All this I have witnessed, I know.

Pardon me, for writing 

About the soul of India.

                      Sagari Chhabra

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